Perhaps Brunei is the most unfamiliar name when it comes to Southeast Asia tourism. But there is a reason for you to consider traveling to Brunei.
Brunei is a small, oil-rich kingdom nestled in Malaysia's Sarawak province, boasting pristine beauty and rich cultural history.
On the river that flows through Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the kingdom of Brunei, there is a village built on stilts that are older than the city surrounding it. Wooden houses only existed for several decades, but this particular village has existed for over a thousand years. This magical floating village is where you can fully explore Brunei.
Kampong Ayer floating village still has the same number of houses as any city. But absolutely no home here hanging signs like in Vietnam at all. Instead, they paint their homes with special patterns with vivid colors to help people locate the house. When you come to this floating village, keep an eye out for the house numbers that are often painted on dazzling walls. Some décor houses are extremely complex, even with décor. Although criminals are rare, all families have "geese" goose.
Visitors to Kampong Ayer floating village (meaning "the village on the water" in Malaysian) can only come in one way: a boat. Take the opposite direction of the beautiful Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, walk towards the banks of the Brunei River and ask any water taxi driver waiting below the steps. Tell them you want to go to Kampong Ayer, and they will enthusiastically drive you to visit "Venice of the East". Drivers will ask you which direction to go to (read "jeti" on the signpost), the price will depend on your destination and will increase in the evening.
Kampong Ayer has existed for hundreds of years even though wooden houses have been rebuilt every 60 years, as wooden foundations can rot. If you stay in one of the Airbnb rental houses here, you will wake up in the scene when fishermen catch fish in the morning and people go to work by "water taxi".
Shipbuilding is the traditional industry of this mysterious village. The people of Kampong Ayer have the skills to create wonderful, watertight wooden boats. Coming here, you will see them boast about their "wooden steeds" to prepare for the annual Regatta boat race on the Brunei river.
The cost of maintaining a bungalow can be quite expensive. Because rebuilding after 60 years. However, creative residents are beginning to put their rainbow-colored houses on cement pillars to ensure the Kampong Ayer floating village is still alive. When traveling along the Kampong Ayer waterway, the people here will greet you warmly. They even invite you to visit your home. If you want to enjoy Brunei cuisine, you can go to traditional restaurants here, we recommend the restaurant located between the Floating Village Museum (Water Village Museum) and Jetty 1 (Jetty 1).
Wooden walkways along Kampongs (small settlements) can get you lost. Mark each of the highlights of the necessary places or you want to go back to ask for directions for ease.
Cat lovers must definitely travel to Brunei once. Kampong Ayer has a lot of friendly cats roaming the wooden boards waiting for mice. Most houses here have at least one cat. And consider bringing food for the stray cats.
If you decide to spend a few hours walking around this magical floating village, take a walk in the sunset and you can always catch a boat back (as long as you remember the harbor number). When it gets dark, light up your phone and wave in the air to alert the water taxi that you want to cross the river.
Before the 1980s, there was a floating market where merchants would stop under the kitchens of all houses to check if residents wanted to buy any merchandise. But with the expansion of amenities and more supermarkets, the floating market has ceased to exist. It was a disappointing loss for those interested in preserving the unique culture of Kampong Ayer. However, floating villages still exist.
For much of Brunei history, Kampong Ayer is like the capital of this country. But despite the significance, many Brunei people have never been to this mysterious village. They missed out on the beauty just across the river from today's capital Bandar Seri Begawan. And perhaps, they never know what they have lost. But you don't.
Watch next: Thailand's Best FLOATING MARKET!