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March 09, 2009

Kampong Places Singapore: Lorong Buangkok

Kampong Places Singapore: Lorong Buangkok

I was intrigued to take a look at the last kampong place still standing in mainland Singapore. Blogspot friends like Lam Chun See and victorkoo mentioned it. There's even a TV programme about Singapore's Kampong Lorong Buangkok in Australia.

Being a busybody and someone who likes to visit offbeat places in Singapore, this Kampong place at Lorong Buangkok was on my list of must-see places in Singapore.

On a recent weekday afternoon, I became a voyeur just like many Singaporeans who visited Kampong Lorong Buangkok upon hearing that this piece of authentic kampong heritage might be gone forever.

Before the trip to this Kampong Lorong Buangkok place, I received briefing through the Internet. By learning from other visitors who had written about muddy tracks, pesky mosquitoes and fierce canine encounters, I ventured out on my solo journey of discovery with some trepidation.

Finding Kampong Lorong Buangkok, off Lorong Buangkok, was harder than I expected. Like an archaeologist with a map that had no cross to mark the spot, I wandered into the backlanes of Buangkok estate, in search of a Kampong place that did not exist in my copy of street directory.

Who would have thought that a kampong, being so uniquely different from the tall cookie-cutter HDB flats, could hide itself so well from civilisation? Lesson learnt: kampongs are low-rise residential places that camouflage themselves well in the woods.

With much backtracking, I drove up and down Gerard Drive and Lorong Buangkok until I spotted this Kampong Lorong Buangkok sign post.

Image: Welcome to Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the one-and-only Kampong place in mainland Singapore, with old trishaws and smouldering open fire.

So there I was, poking my nose inside other people's properties, wandering around the dirt track of Kampong Lorong Buangkok and wondering what kampong treasures or secrets I might uncover.

Was I looking for a lifestyle angle? Like looking at what Kampong residents kept in their backyards...

Image: This Kampong place had a well-worn chair that reflected the taste of a resident.

or in their front yards...

Image: Red roses add a touch of colour to this Kampong place.

or around their yards...

Images: Wall, fence and tyre in this Kampong place.

Was I looking for some human interest Kampong news? Like how did the residents feel about strangers walking up to their Kampong homes, snapping photographs of their Kampong properties as if there would be no more Kampong places left on the face of Singapore soon?

Or how did residents feel about the possibility of losing their heritage-endowed kampong homes and familiar Kampong places, to make way for non-Kampong progress and non-Kampong re-development soon?

What about this: How is life like, living in a kampong home? Auntie, uncle, do you have cisterns to flush your toilets? Is there clean running water, a water storage tank or a deep hole for a well?

Is your corrugated Kampong zinc roof rain-proof, heat-proof, sound-proof, mosquito-proof and harnesses sunlight like no other roof?

And by the way, do you get tired answering all these silly questions from inquisitive Singaporeans and nostalgic globe-trotters about your heritage Kampong living and back-to-nature lifestyle?

Hello, is anybody home?

Or are you also caught up in the modern rat race despite living in an ancient kampong place and won't come home so soon?

One last question please. Can I have your email address, so that you can answer my silly questions about Kampong places in Singapore when you're back in your kampong?

See more places. Love more life.

seen this scene that

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noelbynature said...

oi. archaeologists almost never have maps with Xs on them. -_-. Care to post this on yesterday.sg?

Seen This Scene That said...

Hi noelbynature, I only know archaeologists by watching Indiana Jones movies. heh heh.

Sure. I will post this soon.

Victor said...

Very nice photos of unusual subjects.

Jinghui said...

Great photos ! Nice write up too !

I am also planning to explore Kampong Lorong BuangKok, maybe do it alone like u ! Haven't done it though .....

A motivation to do it soon & share with everybody !


noelbynature said...

heh heh. Indiana Jones was a crook. at least the Nazis took measurements.

Muhd Imran said...

Hey! You beat me to it!

I wanted to venture out to this kampong myself last week, but Sonny has his CA the whole week before the school closes for holiday... so better wait for him.

I google-mapped it to be at Lorong Buangkok along Gerald Drive and so ready for an outing there. Yes, I'm the nostalgic busybody Singaporean who is going to take lots of pictures too.

And yes, you beat me too it too... I always wanted to ask about the kampong toilet this day and age. I know my old kmapong had a Ah Pek to ahhh... "pick-up" after us at the out-house.

It would be interesting to be there. All this while I thought I had to be at Pulau Ubin to be in a place I once loved.

Thanks for sharing. Always interesting here.

Lam Chun See said...

Ha! So you too had some difficulty finding the place.

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