Monday, September 23, 2013

Visit the World’s Most Famous Floating Village in Brunei

The floating village of Kampong Ayer is a must-see destination for visitors to Brunei. The world’s largest floating village, it is considered a symbol of the history, culture and development of Brunei.

According to the ancient documents and records, Kampong Ayer was formed some 1,300 years ago. Small settlements were then scattered on Borneo Island, but people were afraid of predators on the land, so they began building houses over the water. Later, as the Sultanate of Brunei flourished, the village grew larger and larger.

The 14th and 16th century were the most prosperous period for Brunei, as well as of Kampong Ayer, as the village became an economic and administrative centre, and the capital of Brunei at that time.

The houses in the village are connected by a system of raised wooden walkways called jembatan. There are a total of some 36km of these wooden walkways connecting the different sections of the village and running to each house.

All the houses and public buildings in the village are built of mangrove wood from Borneo Island. This type of wood is used for the stilts since it is hard and strong, able to both support the heavy structures and resist the corrosive effects of seawater for many years.

The houses in the village are well known for being cleanly decorated, with outdoor areas for flowers and bonsai. Most of the houses are furnished simply, in keeping with the lifestyle in Brunei, but many have numerous rooms including living room, bedrooms for parents and children, and separate kitchens.

The houses, built about 2 meters above the water, have a cool and airy atmosphere for the residents. The community is quite peaceful; people need not worry about theft or burglary, and everyone is happy together.