The following day 4 daring Australians (two of whom Kiel and I met in the line going through Brunei customs) caught public transport into the heart of the capital city.
We had head of a water village and were keen to check it out. We made a beeline straight for the waters edge - we weren't sure if it was part of a canal system or a river/dam etc.
Asmi - a local Brunei came to the rescue and offered the four young Aussies a tour around Brunei's water ways. $20 for one hour. We were there.
The water village was amazing - with incredible structures standing on the tiniest stilts, walkways connecting kilometres of houses, three story school buildings, mosques, restaurants, supermarkets, service stations (for the boats of course), police stations... the waterways had it all so it seemed.
It raised a lot of questions in my mind - should the Government whom receives all royalties coming from the sales of the oil being drilled in Brunei, be investing further in the infrastructure of the people (over 25% or 30,000 people live in the water village)?
What regulations can you possible put in for a place similar to this? Is it even worth the effort?
What role should a country like Australia play in the development of such nations? Are we to stand by and allow a country to somewhat neglect their people?
More things for me to consider over time...
At the end of the stopover I was extremely glad that we went the les comfortable option and got amongst it - the lunch at the restaurant on the river was also incredible - $2.50 for food, drink and a banana desert. mmmm