King enjoys idyllic charm of Brunei’s ‘Venice’

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Brunei), The beautiful, idyllic setting of Kampong Ayer here and the uniqueness of its architectural designs has won a fan in Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who was left charmed by the famous settlement and its people during his visit there today.

His Majesty’s visit to the water village, popularly dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, was part of the King’s itinerary in his three-day state visit to Brunei that began yesterday.

Located along the banks of the Brunei River, Kampong Ayer is now a major tourist attraction by being the world’s largest floating settlement that was first established more than 500 years ago.

The King enjoyed a river cruise on a ‘perahu tambang’ (traditional boat), which is the main mode of transportation to the settlement connecting some 13 villages with a total population of about 15,000 people.

His Majesty’s arrival was greeted by Kampong Ayer village chief, Ahmad Bujang, 73, who led the welcoming entourage which then accompanied the King for a visit to the settlement’s Tourism and Cultural Gallery.

Spending about an hour there, the King then dropped by the village chief’s home and mingled with the local folk.

His Majesty’s maiden visit was made more memorable when he was treated to a local cultural and traditional performance.

Earlier, Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah visited the Royal Regalia Museum here.

During the visit, they were given a tour of the Royal Exhibits and the Silver Jubilee celebrations galleries. The Museum was officially opened by the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Sept 30, 1992 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee celebrations of his rule of Brunei.

The museum has an architectural design that combines the Royal Malay-Islamic concepts and houses the regalia of the Sultan and the royalty of Brunei Darussalam.

In a separate itinerary, the Raja Permaisuri Agong visited the Handicraft and Cultural Training Centre in Kampong Subok here, where she toured, among others, the weaving, carving, keris and prayer beads divisions.

Tunku Azizah also paid a visit to the Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam headquarters.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)