It was a beautiful Sunny day, the Water Village, also known as Kampong Ayer in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, looked beautiful from the other side of the Brunei River, and the late afternoon golden sunlight made it even more spectacular. The hotel’s complimentary transfer dropped me off at the city center’s jetty, Mercu Dirgahayu 60 Monument in Bandar Seri Begawan. From there, I tried to get on a scenic water taxi ride around the water community and visit a local home to observe the daily livelihood of typical residents of the houses floating in the Brunei River.

Water Town, Bandar Seri Begawan
Wooden network of walkways and bridges in the village

Walkway Inside the Water Village

With a history of over 1000 years, the Water Village is the largest in the world and a preserved national heritage site. The Kampong Ayer is home to 30,000 residents and stretches about 5 miles ( 8 km), and is a self-contained community with schools, police stations, fire brigades, hospitals, and mosques.

Bandar Seri Begawan
Beautiful view of Water Town, Bandar Seri Begawan

Water Taxi – Jeti

The village is a cluster of smaller villages, each with its leader or chief, known as Ketua Kampung. A complex web of walkways and bridges connects the villages themselves.

Water village jetty
There are many Jetty all around the Water Village

Life Insider The Water Village

You must take a boat or water taxi to get to the village. Private water taxis provide rapid transit. Most of these taxis resemble long wooden speedboats. From a distance, the water village looks like a slum. However, if you look closely, they enjoy modern amenities, including air conditioning, satellite television, internet access, plumbing, and electricity. Some of the residents keep potted plants and even live chickens. In addition, the neighborhood has a distinctive architectural heritage of wooden homes with decorated interiors.

Water taxi in water village
Water taxi in water village, Bandar Seri Begawan
Water Village
A typical home inside the water community

The village people were very friendly and spent quite a bit talking to them; they usually park their cars on the mainland and have their own speedboat or water taxi service to get home.

Water Village in Bandar Seri Begawan
Heading towards the Water Village in Bandar Seri Begawan

I was there for a couple of hours and had a wonderful time walking miles on the wooden network of walkways and bridges over the water. In the late afternoon, the scene at the jetty bustles with life as school children and adults come home from work on water taxis. Some are sitting on the balcony with their family members and enjoying a relaxed life. Overall completely different experience, and I definitely forgot that there is another world out there. Apart from the incredible trip to water town, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the city to keep you busy during your trip.

Water Town, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Inside Water Town, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Where to stay in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Jubilee Hotel, Bandar Seri Begawan

Jubilee Hotel is located in Bandar Seri Begawan City Center, and the hotel provides a free airport shuttle. Jubilee Hotel is a 15-minute drive away from the airport. It enjoys easy access to attractions, including the Water Village and The Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. The private bathrooms have a bathtub and hot/cold shower.

Al Afiah Hotel, Bandar Seri Begawan

You’re eligible for a Genius discount at Al Afiah Hotel! Located in Bandar Seri Begawan and with Hua Ho Department Store reachable within a 5-minute walk, this 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a business center. In addition, guests can enjoy city views. Selected rooms are equipped with a kitchen with an oven and a microwave. At the hotel, each room comes with bed linen and towels. Royal Regalia Museum is 1.2 miles from the accommodation, while The Mall is 1.1 miles away. The nearest airport is Brunei International, 5.6 miles from Al Afiah Hotel.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Brunei.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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