Mosque in Water Village, Asian Islamic architecture, Brunei
The water village, or Kampung Ayer in Malay (Bruneans are ethnic Malay), is a collection of 20 separate villages that sit over the Sungai Lagoon just outside Bandar Seri Begawan. People go about their lives over the water. Boardwalks and small boats called "Water Taxis" are the only means of transportation. The sound of cars is totally absent, replaces entirely by the sound of feet on the boardwalks and the sound of waves. It must be easy to sleep there at night.
The water villages are very old, the first Europeans to visit them were Magellan’s crew. At the time the whole population of Bandar Seri Begawan (not its name at the time) lived in the water villages, only the royal family of Brunei lived on land. The description Magellan’s crew (Magellan himself was dead by that time) left behind suggests that the villages looked much the same then as they do now, at least outside the houses. Inside, most houses have electricity, air conditioning, and other modern amenities.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Robert Wilson