Panoramic view of Kampong Ayer from the pontoon boat with the iconic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque in the centre.
Last week while doing a shoot for September edition of Singapore Airline’s SilverKris magazine, I found myself riding on a pontoon boat down the Brunei River to photograph parts of water village and the Royal Palace at sunset. What started off as a relatively calm and collect ride off Kampong Sungai Matan Jetty quickly morphed into a landscape of exciting yet dizzying array of river boats shuttling passengers back and forth in the heart of Kampong Ayer (where RMS Portview restaurant overlooks).
No sooner had we departed from the chaos than I discovered a much calmer world further upstream. I had heard about the SARAWAK REGATTA 2009 which starts tomorrow later today (it’s 1.33 AM now) July 30th. I have a full day schedule of food photography assignment in 8 hours and here I am too excited about this post I cannot retire this exhausted body of mine.
Sarawak Regatta has been a premier event with a distinct historical and cultural significant. It was held as early as before 1872 and was organized as an annual event taking place during the New Year. Sarawak Gazette had recorded in 1872, that the annual Regatta that year was held, on 29th February 1872 at the Sarawak River in front of the Astana. The European community in Sarawak and in the neighboring countries were invited to the Astana – for breakfast – before the race. Keen competition were also recorded for the Rajah Cup.
So I learned from a source that Brunei is participating in the race although I found very little information online pertaining to this event except for a 2007 Brunei Times story. This lone kayak was a far cry from the bustling “water taxis” until I reached Damuan where the national team was about to begin their rowing practice. Not having much to go on and simply basing the team’s participation in the Sarawak Regatta on these practice runs, I wish them all the best!