Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Along the Brunei River

Wooden WalkwayTeeteringHigh SchoolCollapsed HouseTide is OutTin House
Right BankOld and NewSteps to the RiverRaised Walkway to BandarWe Have Power in Kampong Ayer!My House is the Green One
Swimming SpotGovernment BuildingsWooden HousesSultan Omar Ali Saifuddin MosqueStepsBig House
To the MosqueBoat StopSpeeding BoatCrocodileFishing SpotCement Pillon Houses
Along the Brunei River, a set on Flickr.
One of the things I really enjoy doing when I travel is to move up or down rivers in small boats or kayaks, taking in the scenery at water level, getting to places that no cars or planes go to and where the pace of change is not so rapid and overwhelming for all concerned.

In the past 2 weeks I made my 6th trip to the tiny Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, in North Eastern Borneo, to visit family, friends and when possible to explore further the rich and natural wonders of this tiny nation of just 400,000 people.

Something like 75% of Brunei is still covered in tropical jungle which allows a diversity of flora and fauna to thrive. It is not unusual to see Macaques (small monkeys) in the trees around the main capital of Bandar Seri Begawan and crocodiles up to 3 metres long within 1 km of the city centre and close to the above water stilt village of Kampong Ayer on the Brunei River.

I myself on this 1 hour Boat Trip along the Brunei River spotted 3 small salt water Crocodiles, a rather large Otter, a big group of Macaques and a myriad of colourful birdlife moving in and out of the mangroves and mud flats along the river, within just 1km of the capital city!

We also toured the rather large Water Village of Kampong Ayer, which straddles both banks of the river in places and extends along some of the smaller tributaries of the Brunei River, housing around 39,000 people or 10% of Brunei's population. As you will see in the photographs, many houses are very old and are built with whatever they can find, use or purchase. Some of the houses are huge and now sit on more permanent concrete pillons, while others teeter precariously on rotting wooden stilts, awaiting their inevitable plunge into the murky waters below!

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I did...

Rob Steer Photography

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