When we were in Bangkok, one of the more memorable things we did was going on tour around the Chao Phraya River. We went by motorboat, a vehicle about double the size of the ones found on Kampong Ayer, and operates twice as noisy. The Chao Phraya River, like Sungai Brunei, runs right in the middle of the city, and so anyone who goes on a tour will be able to feast their eyes on a view of the city from the river. One will pass by many many houses and temples and it’s quite interesting to see the similarities and differences from our very own Kampong Ayer. It is true then what they say, “we are the same, but different”.
Although there is not really much difference, however, one thing very much jumps to me. Unlike in our beloved Kampong Ayer, the Chao Phraya River, is extremely clean! Sure it might be murky and brown, unlike the pristine waters of Temburong, but no where did I see any trace of rubbish! Now considering how this is a very compact and very dense residential area, that I think is an extremely impressive feat.
How did they do it?
According to our guide, the Chao Phraya River, or more specifically the smaller river canals, are fixed with one of these giant rubbish filters, that prevents the rubbish from entaring to the main stream. That way, it would be easier to clean. I’m not sure how the filtering system works but I assume it involves daily round the clock maintenance otherwise the rubbish will clog the canals.
Something that we can adapt to our own river canals perhaps? The Thais have really done a great job keeping the most important river in Thailand clean.
Fishing is not allowed near temples. This policy is very strictly enforced, and protected the catfish population there from being overfished. Boats stop by near temples to feed these fish bread (among other kinds of food), so they’re very healthy, big and very fat! And healthy fish produces more healthy fish. And what more would healthy fish want more than just clean water to live in? 🙂
I hope we can learn a thing or two from Thailand’s management of the Chao Phraya. Sungai Brunei is the most important river in Brunei, and we rely so much from it. Let’s give it the respect it deserves.