This fast disappearing place has been somewhere that I’ve been wanting to visit since I first heard of its existence but, due to other commitments, procrastination and a whole lot of bullshit excuses, I somehow managed to put that thought aside for a period of time. Nevertheless, the idea of visiting this place has always been at the back of my mind and I know, deep inside, that it’s just a matter of time before I get about doing so . However, unlike many of the other local attractions that I had visited, this one might just vanish in due time … Just like how the Butterfly House at Amber Road no longer exist as it was partially demolished to make way for new developments. 😦 The long weekend came and both the boy and I made an impulsive decision to finally check out this forgotten land of paradise. And, this place is none other than the last surviving kampung on mainland Singapore – Kampong Lorong Buangkok.
Kampong Buangkok has been ringing in the news for the past couple of years, for all the wrong reasons as the government had the area slated for re-development. You know what that means … Off goes the last kampong and in comes the influx of HDB and condominiums. While there’s nothing wrong with building more HDB ( Well, I certainly want to bid for a HDB in a few years’ down the road!), it however, saddens me to know that the last traditional village will soon be vanishing.
The pictorial journey of Kampong Buangkok begins …
The door that leads to the little land of heritage
Kampong Lorong Buangkok
Despite having difficulties trying to locate this place that’s hidden from view from the main road, we managed to piece together the information provided by other netizens and arrived at our destination.
Partially tucked in a forested area, Kampong Buangkok sits on a 12,248 sq m plot of land, roughly the size of 3 football fields, and is apparently (according to articles dated in 2007-2008) home to an estimated 28 families. The following pictures portray a sight that juxtaposes modern living and simple, rustic kampong life, thus reflecting a view that’s not common in our cosmopolitan country. The kampong is also currently sitting on a land that is undergoing PCN (Park Connector Network) renovations.
PS: Part of the Kampong faces a row of luxurious landed properties, hence highlighting the extreme contrast between the 2 different kinds of housing.
A lovely patio that overlooks a vast of lush greenery
This particular house (too bad, MK didn’t take that many pics) seems to be slightly inspired by the Cottage/Al-fresco style and it’s my favourite amongst the many houses. In fact, I’m so inspired by it that I’m considering to pick up a couple of design tips for my future home!
Take a peek into the simple zinc-roofed and wooden housing in the Kampong. According to an article dated 30th August 2007, the kampong residents only have to pay a nominal rental amount, ranging from $6.50 (!!!) to $30 a month to the landlord. Gosh, can I just say that I’m jealous?! $6.50 for a month of rental for a landed property? Sounds like a deal that’s hard to resist.
It is often said that the trust amongst the kampong residents is so strong that they often leave their doors unlocked and open. However, a stroll around the kampong grounds on Sunday revealed that almost everyone had their windows and front door shut, thus contradicting to the much-talked about ‘kampong spirit’. While I certainly don’t doubt the strong community bonds amongst the residents, I however, believe that the influx of visitors (like us) is probably an invasion of their privacy/personal space and it had inevitably affected their way of living. *Guilty*
During our tour of the village, we observed that the residents made up of mainly Malay families and Chinese senior citizens; most of whom probably enjoy the rustic charm of kampong living. After all, we live in an urban concrete jungle that’s constantly buzzing with activities and events and to find a small plot of land that’s so close to nature to come home to is almost impossible. For the majority of us, it’s definitely not our cup of tea but for some, it’s back to the basics living.
Info: Do you know that the plot of land that the kampong is located at is reported to value an estimated $33 million? OMG. This only goes to show how much this kampong means to the landlord… for her to remain determined to fight off monetary temptations for sentimental values and friendship.
The trip to the last surviving kampung certainly brought back fond memories of my childhood when I used to stay in my previous house. Wait… I’m no Kampong kid (not my era duh!), but the design and architecture of the housing sort of reminds me of my previous house which was also built in the 1950s when my grandparents first purchased it. Nostalgia feelings.
Knowing that it will only be a matter of time before the kampong gives way to newer housing/facilities, I certainly hope to make a return visit to Kampong Buangkok sometime later this year … Hopefully, with better pictures (I seriously need a new camera!) and an opportunity to interact with the residents! View this link for more artistic/lomo pictures from another photographer.