For centuries Kampong Ayer, the world’s biggest water village has withstood the vagaries of nature and time to emerge as an important landmark and trade centre of Brunei.
Situated over the Brunei River in the heart of the capital city, the village has over 4,000 houses, schools, police stations, clinics, markets and mosques constructed on stilts. In the local language, Kampong means village and Ayer water.
The population of the village is around 30,000, most of them fishermen but there are also government officers and others working in the public sector. Kampong Ayer is equipped with basic and modern infrastructure. It receives a substantial annual budget from the government due to its status as a national landmark, says village head Haji Ahmed. According to Mr. Ahmed, Kampong Ayer is the world’s biggest settlement on stilts and has been existence for more than a thousand years.