Water ways of Brunei - Air Kampung, Venice of the East

Brunei, the first thing most of us remember is its oil and the Sultan who is one of the richest men in the world. The tiny country is in the Borneo island and has the same tropical climate as Malaysia. Abundance is seen everywhere and there is no income tax! The taxi driver who took us around commented 'RON 97 petrol is just 53 cents/liter, where as mineral water is $1 per liter'. Perhaps, it is cheaper to drink petrol in Brunei!!!

Let me come to the topic of this post, Brunei river spans through the country and here is a river view. Obviously, waterways is the major 'roadways' and 'water taxis' are common.

River view, besides Nurul Iman Palace

People who live in the Water village or Air Kampung, park their cars on the river bank and use the water taxis for commuting to their homes in the river!

River Bank

You have to flag down the boats, like how you hire a cab. Tourists like me, take these boats just to get a closer view of the water village life or take on long tours in the hope of catching a glimpse of Proboscis monkeys along the river bank. We just went for a water village round, as we had only a day in Brunei, because we had planed to go to Labuan and then to Kota Kinabalu.

Water Taxi

The boat man said that this water village was considered as the Venice of the East! Well, my husband who has been to Venice didn't see the similarity except the water taxi:) Whatever, it was a full fledged village, with all the modern amenities. Let's take a photo tour:)

Imagine speeding in this boat!

Such a Big School in the water!

Petty Shop

Taxi stand!?

Power cables

Dish Antenna!

Cute house

Road or lane


We met with a local and made small talk while we walked down the junction. As the sky was overcast, I asked him, 'how deep is this river? are you not worried about floods?' for which he replied, 'center of the river is deep, but near our houses, its shallow and during low tides you can even see the riverbed! This part of the river doesn't flood, may be in Belait area, there are floods...'

Dilapidated building

Grocery Shop


Venice of the East or not, it was a great experience!


Ricardo Miñana said...

Excelente post, gracias por compartir, un placer pasar por tu casa.
feliz semana.
un abrazo.

cocomino said...

I didn't know such a place.
Very impressive.I learned a lot.
I'm looking forward to read your post.

Mexóba said...

Interesting place, and very nice post!, we like so much your blog, and will continue visiting it, if you want to visit us, this is our blog's direction.

Icy BC said...

Fantastic photos, and very interesting.

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to have a decent camera, but can't afford it.

Lesley said...

Nice introduction to such a quaint village. It is nice that they have all those amenities right there so don't have to go to the mainland to buy everything.

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