Kampong Ayer - Venice of East

Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan: Hours, Address, Kampong Ayer - Venice of East Reviews: 4/5

Kampong Ayer - Venice of East

Kampong Ayer - Venice of East
4
Points of Interest & Landmarks
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00:00 - 23:59
Monday
00:00 - 23:59
Tuesday
00:00 - 23:59
Wednesday
00:00 - 23:59
Thursday
00:00 - 23:59
Friday
00:00 - 23:59
Saturday
00:00 - 23:59
Sunday
00:00 - 23:59
About
Technically part of the Bruneian capital of Bandar Seri Begawan, Kampong Ayer has more than enough uniqueness and history about it to be considered separately. Meaning “water village”, Kampong Ayer is built on stilts above the Brunei river. More than 30,000 people inhabit Kampong Ayer, the largest water settlement in Southeast Asia, and travel about by boat or the extensive network of wooden walkways, footbridges, and boardwalks. Kampong Ayer’s 4,200 structures include homes, mosques, restaurants, shops, schools, and a even a hospital. People have been living here for more than 1,300 year. Many of the traditional lifestyles of its inhabitants; fishermen, traders, and artisans; have remained unchanged. Visitors can experience this heritage by taking one of the many water taxis in front of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.0
792 reviews
Excellent
278
Very good
348
Average
134
Poor
25
Terrible
7

Rod W
Brisbane, Australia249 contributions
Jan 2020
Went here as part of a day tour. An essential part of a look around Brunei. Make sure your visit includes a visit to the inside of one of the houses.
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Adam P
Trowbridge, UK4,621 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
A must visit when in Brunei. The world's biggest water village, and has been here since the 11th century. We also saw some Kimodo dragons in trees, a fire station and some schools.
Written 10 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kjpdavid
Melbourne, Australia92 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
We visited this attraction on a Sunday and left with mixed emotions.
The history and heritage of this site makes for fascinating reading as detailed in the wall murals at the Visitors Centre, and all the inhabitants we crossed paths with while walking on the wooden footbridges through the village were extremely friendly and welcoming (as were all locals throughout our stay in BSB).
However, the general state of disrepair and neglect we saw (we spent around 1.5 hours at the village) was at odds with the site being the historical seat of power where the monarch resided until the 19th century.
I do understand the difficulties balancing the preservation of antiquities in their original state and ensuring modern living conditions for current inhabitants, but it seemed to us that more could be done.
Still, as a significant part of Brunei's history, Kampong Ayer should be on your to- see list.
For those who'd rather not take their chances on the wooden footbridges, there are many boats available (from as little as B$2- p/person) to take you around the village.
Written 23 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jon W
Singapore84 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
One of the highlights of Brunei
Opposite promenade allows a very scenic view of Kg Ayer and also a motivating jogging route.
Be there at dawn or dusk for stunning views.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

C R
Washington DC, DC153 contributions
Dec 2019
It is really interesting to see an entire village (really many) all built on the water. It is a very different way of life, just across from modern Bandar main area. You can do a boat tour, but can also take a boat across for about $1 and then walk through the houses. If you walk all the way to the right, you can even get the same view of the palace that you would get from the boat tour, at much less the price. To the left, there are more restaurants and facilities that cater to tourists, but overall, it is just seeing normal stilt visit life.
Written 13 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joe
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia23 contributions
Dec 2019 • Family
45 minutes boatride thru the Brunei river, crusing along old and new settlement of Kampung Ayer and the mangroves forest. Exciting experience of sight-hunting for the Probosis Monkeys, crocodiles and other wild mangroved animals
Written 30 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

saronic
Zurich, Switzerland22,325 contributions
Dec 2019
Since settlements on stilts are an important part of Brunei's history, it makes sense to go and visit Kampong Ayer (Malay for 'Water Village'). From the jetty at Bandar Seri Begawan there are constantly water-taxis travelling back and forth across the Brunei river.

For the aesthete the settlement is quite disappointing with all its concrete and metal, especially at low tide, when the stilts are standing on mud, often with quite a bit of garbage. Hardly a description is more misleading than to call this place 'Venice of the East'.

Probably the best way to visit it is with a guided tour, showing one around with a chance to meet people living and maybe working here. For me the only really satisfying experience was the Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery with several good information boards in English about various subjects referring to Kampong Ayer. Of special interest is the thousand year old history of this 'Floating City', which had been the capital of Brunei until the construction of Bandar Seri Begawan just across on the mainland in the early 20th century.
Written 27 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PacePace
NYC341 contributions
Oct 2019
A very special part of this city, especially if you can have a personal visit with the residents of an original home here.
Written 9 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

The World is My Oyster
Orlando, FL19,375 contributions
Nov 2019 • Solo
Really enjoyed strolling down the river and seeing how the local live over water. They even have a over the water police and fire station. Great way to see the bridge lit up at night!
Written 18 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Poleinahole
Switzerland1,925 contributions
Nov 2019 • Solo
The water village is huge but a bit run down, surprising given Brunei’s wealth.

What is worth doing is driving up river to see the jungle and the Probosis monkeys. It’s just 10 minutes from Kampong Ayer into a completely different world. Great to go at sunset.
Written 17 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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