Brunei: Kampong Ayer – the Water Village
Kampong Ayer, or the Water Village (Malay: Kampong Ayer) is an area of Brunei’s capital city Bandar Seri Begawan that is situated after the Brunei Bay. 39,000 people live in the Water Village. This represents roughly ten percent of the nation’s total population.
All of the Water Village buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River.
The Water Village is really made up of small villages linked together by more than 29,140 meters of foot-bridges, consisting of over 4200 structures including homes, mosques, restaurants, shops, schools, and a hospital.
36 kilometers of boardwalks connect the buildings. Private water taxis provide rapid transit. Most of these taxis resemble long wooden speed boats.
From a distance the water village looks like a slum. It actually enjoys modern amenities including air conditioning, satellite television, Internet access, plumbing, and electricity.
Some of the residents keep potted plants and chickens.
The district has a unique architectural heritage of wooden homes with ornate interiors.
Brunei /bruːˈnaɪ/, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: نڬارا بروني دارالسلام), is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia.
Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and it is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang.
It is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo, with the remainder of the island belonging to Malaysia and Indonesia.
Brunei’s population was 401,890 in July 2011.
Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among the South East Asia nations after Singapore, and is classified as a developed country.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brunei is ranked 5th in the world by gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity.
Forbes also ranks Brunei as the fifth richest nation out of 182 nations due to its extensive petroleum and natural gas fields.
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