Photographer's Note

‘Bandar Seri Begawan - That was then, this is now.’

Outside of prayer hours, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque can be visited also by non-Muslims and photos can be taken.

When I left for Southeast Asia, I had not yet decided to visit Brunei or East Malaysia. I only made this decision when I left Cambodia. Nepal, Laos and Cambodia were the intended destinations of my trip, but I still had time.
During my last minute travel preparation for Brunei I looked at the pictures that could be found on TE.

There was also a picture of Kampong Ayer that Gert took in 1976 from the top of a minaret of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. Kampong Ayer is the large village on stilts near Brunei’s capital.
I immediately thought it would be a good idea to also visit that mosque and of course go to the top of the minaret. According to Gert you could even go up with an air-conditioned elevator.

However, upon arrival the men guarding the entrance to the mosque were amazed when I asked them where I could take the elevator. All I was told was 'no elevator' and after insisting, they decided to get someone else.
An older person came over and asked me in disbelief why I thought there would be an elevator.

When I mentioned that I knew someone who had taken the elevator to the top of the minaret in the 1970s, his only answer was ‘That was then, this is now’ and he left.
Conclusion, no more elevator in 2020.
Later inside I looked behind possible corners but no, I didn't see an elevator.
By the way, Gert, the part of the water village that bordered the pool where you can find the mosque and the boat-shaped pavilion, no longer exists.
There’s now a large landscaped park with a small playground for children. Quite beautiful but of course not as interesting as the water village.

There’s still a Kampong Ayer, even a large one. But judging by Gert's old photo, the water village has now expanded in the other direction.
Where it in 1976 used to appear to consist of three parts, there are now two large parts. One part can be reached via a new bridge over the river. The other (and larger) part can only be reached by boat. Transfer boats are sufficient and not expensive. Once at the water villages you can walk almost endlessly on the wooden walkways. New houses are even being built. Later some photos.

I'm not exactly proud of the quality of my interior photos of the mosque, but Craig had asked to see the interior.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7115 W: 24 N: 16599] (65018)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2020-02-26
  • Exposure: 30 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2021-07-02 10:43
Viewed: 0
Points: 42
Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7115 W: 24 N: 16599] (65018)
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