Kampong Ayer: The world’s largest water village in Brunei
By She Jingwei

Dubbed "Venice of the East" and located along the banks of the Brunei River, Kampong Ayer, in the heart of Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan, is the world's largest water village. 

In the local language, "Kampong" means village and "Ayer" means water. Home to around 30,000 inhabitants, the centuries-old Kampong Ayer consists of 10 floating villages, and each of them is interconnected with wooden bridges and walkways. In addition, the wooden yachts ferry local residents and merchants from one village to another, making it the main vehicle for transportation. 

Kampong Ayer in the heart of Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. /AFP Photo

Kampong Ayer in the heart of Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. /AFP Photo

Kampong Ayer in Brunei. /VCG Photo

Kampong Ayer in Brunei. /VCG Photo

A wharf of the water village in Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. /Xinhua Photo

A wharf of the water village in Brunei's capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. /Xinhua Photo

Kampong Ayer in Brunei at dusk. /VCG Photo

Kampong Ayer in Brunei at dusk. /VCG Photo

For visitors, the best way to experience the daily life of local villagers is taking a river cruise! Be it the colorful timber houses over the river, friendly villagers, or the gorgeous views along the Brunei River- a visit to Brunei's Kampong Ayer would definitely leave you with an unforgettable impression. 

Before you leave, don't miss the Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery. Officially opened in 2009, this gallery features the rich history of Kampong Ayer, which presents visitors with insight into the city's glorious past and the modern lifestyles in the water villages. In addition, the gallery offers an observation tower where visitors could get a panoramic view of Kampong Ayer. 

Today, apart from being a popular tourist attraction in Brunei, Kampong Ayer also serves as one of the country's trade centers.

What are the cultural elements that best represent Asia? Follow up the "Know Asia Better" series. It will offer you a glimpse of 47 Asian countries, through architecture, art or cultural figures to show you a diversified Asia that you may never have noticed before. Themed in the exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and building a community with a share future for mankind, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations will be held in Beijing in May.

(Cover designed by Fan Chenxiao)