Kampong Ayer - Venice of East

Kampong Ayer - Venice of East

Kampong Ayer - Venice of East
4
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Kampong Ayer - Venice of East

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles800 reviews
Excellent
280
Very good
353
Average
135
Poor
25
Terrible
7

kjpdavid
Melbourne, Australia92 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
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 January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zsuzsa.Guide
Targu Secuiesc, Romania695 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
The city is built entirely on foundations in the salted water. The houses are made of wood, placed on pillars. Houses are connected by wooden promenades. It has it's own Mosque, school, clinique, a fire brigade. Homes have piped water and electricity.
Written March 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marek Bocanek
Brno, Czech Republic42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Very nice experience of village on water as it used to be in the region around (e.g. barangay in Philippines or similar kampungs in Malaysia or Indonesia).
You can walk freely, people are nice and quiet, felt completely safe and from the south, there's a bridge you can leave through and walk back to town from southeast.
Written May 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adam P
Trowbridge, UK4,829 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TangoTravel
London, UK19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Recommend visiting Kampong Ayer by both foot and by boat. First, find a friendly water taxi from the steps near to Yayasan shopping centre to take you on a tour. It's also a good way to cool down as the outboard engines on these boats certainly pack a punch ensuring a windswept look. (The driver will probably try and sell you a trip out of town to see proboscis monkeys. Consider this, but only if it's early morning or later afternoon. At all other times the heat of the day will see these unique creatures at ground level and generally lethargic.)

To get a closer look at the village take a stroll on foot. A part of the village can be reached from behind Yayasan shopping center again.
Written December 17, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

donavan94563
Orinda, CA210 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
Had one day in Brunei during a cruise.

Taxis are limited so we decided to take the local public bus (1 SIN) as opposed to the cruise excursion bus ($70 USD) into town. They take local and singapore dollars and may also take USD.

The local bus stop is located in the small town of Muara (which right next to the cruise port) and has frequent buses that run south into town which takes about 50 minutes. The local buses are blue with no air conditioning and stop in the center parking lot of Muara. There are different buses (express, local, etc.) however it appears all go to the central bus station into town.

Just exit the cruise port gate and take short (10-15 min) walk down the street into Muara. Note: although it is a short walk and you can see the small town of Muara from the cruise ship, the weather is very hot and humid and expect to sweat.

The central bus station is located in Bandar Seri Begawan and is conveniently located across from the open air market, local banks/atms, restaurants, main shopping center and mosque.

We spent some about an hour or so walking around the town and ate lunch at the main shopping center to cool off from the heat. Not a whole lot to see, however worth walking around. We did not go into the mosque or museum, however took pictures from the outside.

Next, we walked along the river front and hired a small boat for a tour of the river and Kampong Ayer (floating village). There are many boats for hire and the cost is typically $10-$15 USD to hire a boat for approximately an hour tour. The boat help cool us off from the heat. Kids loved the boat ride and we could see the sultans palace and get up close to the floating village.

Around 3 pm buses start heading out of the central bus station back to Muara. There are bus station attendants to let you know which bus to take. You will see a que of cruisers..

There is also a grocery market in Muara to load up in supplies before heading back to the ship.

All and all its worth doing if you have never been to brunei.
Written January 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoannaSydney
Sydney252 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you are short on time, there is a new cultural centre that you can visit at Kampong Ayer. To get there, just negotiate the fare with anyone with a boat. I was told it is about $1 one way. If you have more time, then negotiate a cruise to view the palace, the proboscis monkeys while they are still there, since their habitat looks to have been just about destroyed, and then ride around Kampong Ayer. I negotiated the price beforehand, and shared a larger boat with a cover with two german businessmen. We went with a friendly young man by the name of Ridwan who invited us to his home to meet his family. The boat is equipped with life jackets and he was an experienced boatman. You can email ahead at waj276@hotmail.com or just show up early or later in the day to view the monkeys. Just go to the steps leading down to the waters edge, inbetween the two idenical shopping centres, and you can't miss them. You don't need to book through a travel agent to do this.
Written October 4, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adventuremachine
Scotland, UK172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Couples
We arrived in Brunei on the Sapphire Princess cruise ship which docked at Muara. We had arranged a driver and car to pick us up and drop us off in Bandar for sightseeing on our own and then to return us to the ship.
We managed to do a deal with him and it cost us 50 Brunei dollars for four persons.
If anyone needs details of this driver please message me.
There are plenty of private taxis waiting outside the port and it's just a case of negotiating a price with them. Best to group up with other passengers and negotiate a price.
On arrival in Bandar we took a water taxi to Kampong Ayer and the Mangrove forest. This cost us 10 Brunei dollars each. Again best to group up and negotiate a price.
The water taxi is highly recommended and you will be shown around the water village and then taken further down the river where you will see crocodiles, monitor lizards, monkeys and different species of bird.
After we had completed this trip we took a water taxi back to the water village and walked about in the village. There are restaurants for eating and drinking and it's really nice to see the village properly on foot rather than just from the boat.
You will see schools, mosques, police station, fire station, shops and homes in the water village.
You get a good view of the Sultans Palace from the water taxi too.
Written December 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hendrik_NL
Vlaardingen, The Netherlands7,804 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
Kampong Ayer is the largest water village in the world. It is also one of the main attractions of Brunei. To explore the water village you can choose for a guided tour in a tourist boat with explanation of a guide, or you can opt for exploring Kampong Ayer yourself on foot. Both options start at the jetty next to Fratini Italian Restaurant. Either you step with your colleague-tourists in the tour boat, or you beckon to one of the "flying coffins" to ferry you to the water village. You pay the boatman of the speedboat 1 Brunei dollar per person. Best is to go to the jetty of the Cultural Center. Visit the Cultural Center first. Here are displays informing the visitor about the history and the present of Kampong Ayer. There is also a small watchtower, where you can look over the water village or to the opposite bank where the part of Bandar Seri Begawan "on solid ground" is. Tafe your time to walk the (sometimes) rickety wooden walkways and marvel how all this hangs together all those years. One part of the water village is strictly modern with beautiful houses on stilts of course and cement walkways. This part was gutted by fire some years ago and rebuilt with financial help of the Sultan. We talked with a family living in a new house and the were glad to be back in their village and proud on their beautiful water house and grateful that the Sultan had let this happen. When you have finished your tour, you go to the nearest jetty and just beckon. A "flying coffin" will arrive magically to ferry you back to "solid" Bandar.
Written April 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarahlou8888
Black Rock, Australia46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
A trip that we'll never forget... for all of the right reasons!!! Our 'guide' was a local from the village. He promised us a tour of the village, crocodiles, mangroves, monkeys and even a visit into a residents house...all for $30 and all in an hour...and lets say he didn't dissapoint!! It did take 2 hours but every minute was worth it!!
Written November 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kampong Ayer - Venice of East - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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