The last standing kampung in Singapore – Kampung Lorong Buangkok

08 Nov 2019, I applied leave to take a break from the working life and wanted to have a time of my own.

A week prior to that, I was having a chat with a cab driver and he mentioned about this last standing village in Singapore. I recalled that I have read it somewhere too and so decided that I shall visit the place to take some pictures. After all, it is really rare to see a village in this modern city.

And so, I planned to pick up my camera again on this day to capture the “other side” of this city.

It was a gloomy day and rain started to pour after I had my breakfast. My plan was foiled, I thought to myself, as I saw the sky filled with dark and concentrated clouds.

But I didn’t want to waste a day of leave, and it was 11 plus just before noon when I decided to take the chance. I packed raincoats for myself as well as the camera, grabbed all the necessary equipment and began my journey of discovery.

It was still drizzling when I boarded the bus and I prayed silently for the rain to stop.

As I alighted from the bus after about 20 minutes’ ride, I was delighted to find that the drizzle has stopped. With the help of Google map, I walked for another 10 minutes before I reached the entrance of the kampung, where the big sign showed: Kg. Lorong Buangkok and Selak Kain.

According to Wikipedia, Selak Kain in Malay means ‘hitching up one’s sarong (skirt)’ as people hitch up their sarongs to wade through floods whenever the village experienced flash floods in the 20th century Singapore.

It was initially a swampy piece of land with only 5-6 homes. By the 1960s, it housed about 40 families. The land area used to be 21460 m2. The land area has shrunken in size to 12248.1 m2. Electricity, running water and garbage collection are provided by the government. Post is provided by a postman on a motorcycle once a day.

*The above 2 paragraphs are extracted from Wikipedia.

Standing at the entrance of the village, I allowed my thoughts to wander to the past, imagining how Singapore looked like many many years ago. I have never lived in a kampung before but I had vague memories of visiting my 2nd aunt and my cousins when they lived in Kampung Tai Seng (where my office currently sits).

By then, the sun has come out and I was happy that my prayer was answered.

Then I started to walk on the sandy and pebbled path slowly, looking out for interesting things to capture into my camera, which I did, such as the old iron and the wooden slippers. The place was quiet even though it wasn’t really far from the main road, and I could hear my own footsteps very clearly.

And suddenly the world seemed to have slowed down as I enjoyed the peace and serenity that filled the surroundings.

It was just barely 20 minutes and I have toured the whole place and snapped a few pictures. Then I went a second round to shoot a video of the place with my iPhone 7 seated on my Feiyu Tech A1000 Gimbal.


Francs Lim

Categories: Photography, Travel

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