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Venice of the East, the waterworld in Brunei

By He Zhuoyan (People's Daily Online)    17:34, October 28, 2019

The Water Village, known as Kampong Ayer in Malay, is a historical settlement area in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei.

It has often been dubbed the 'Venice of the East'. Historically, Kampong Ayer had been the principal settlement of Brunei and was the de facto capital, particularly social and economic center, of the Bruneian Empire for a few centuries.

The scenery of the Water Village, known as Kampong Ayer in Malay (People's Daily Online/ He Zhuoyan)

Kampong Ayer are composed of several small neighborhoods which are officially designated as villages, the third- and lowest-level administrative divisions of Brunei.

The houses and villages of Kampong Ayer are interconnected by bridges and walkways, creating a community on the water of Brunei River. Many of the villages, therefore, can be accessed by foot.

In non-contiguous areas and where villages are not located along the riverbank, areas are accessible by water transport.

“They have all the benefits from the government, ”said Livingson Ong, a local tour manager in Brunei, “like electricity, water supply, instigation, schools,malls... this (system) is all complete.”

Wooden boats and speedboats are the most commonly used modes of transport in the water villages.

In times of emergency, there are police stations and fire departments. As a major historical and cultural heritage point of Brunei, there has been increasing concern over the survival of Kampong Ayer in modern times. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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