Buangkok.

It just sounds so wrong on so many counts.

Putting aside the fact that it sounds weird, I never really thought there was anything remarkable about the place (other than the fact that Singapore’s most famous institution is located in Buangkok).

That was, until a couple of days ago, when I went with a friend to shoot the place.

With our cameras of course.

The draw? A certain Kampung Buangkok, which is the last REAL kampung in Singapore. Not the fabricated, touristy Geylang Serai types. In rapidly developing Singapore (where new buildings and roads are constructed in the blink of an eye), a true-blue, honest-to-goodness, real-life kampung is about as rare as a Liverpool win these days…

Anyhow, we weren’t the first people to go take photos of the place, and we will surely not be the last. I believe that once word got out that such a place existed, every photographer and their second cousin twice removed (and his dog…or cat) flocked to Lorong Buangkok every weekend to capture the last remaining kampung in Singapore. In fact, in the two hours or so that we were there, there were easily three or four other groups of city slickers who went to gawk.

I felt kind of sorry for the residents there…having to put up with strange people coming in and taking photos, myself included (like they were at the zoo or something). But then, the left-brain kicked in and I rationalised that I might just be doing my part to help conserve this part of Singapore that would otherwise be razed to the ground once development reaches its doorstep. In fact, it was already hemmed in by spanking new HDB flats. It was like the final frontier…Custer’s last stand…the Fellowship at Mordor’s gates surrounded by Sauron’s hordes.

It was like going into a totally different world. For a while, you can forget that you were in Singapore…until you spot the HDB flats in the background. But I have said enough…I will let the photos speak for themselves…

entrance to the kampung
entrance to the kampung
 
 
 
just in case you missed the sign...
just in case you missed the sign…
 
 
 
the road leading into the kampung
the road leading into the kampung
 
 
 
what did you expect? paved roads?
what did you expect? paved roads?
 
 
 
Main Road
Main Road
 
 
 
the neighbourhood Surau
the neighbourhood Surau
 
 
 
an honest to goodness kampung house!
an honest to goodness kampung house!
 
 
 
found this little statue tucked under some plants
found this little statue tucked under some plants
 
 
 
this house has probably seen better days
this house has probably seen better days
 
 
 
a home-made swing! ahhh...the simple joys of life...
a home-made swing! ahhh…the simple joys of life…
 
 
 
the old and the new
the old and the new
 
 
 
not quite Mann's Chinese Theatre...but hey, it still is a piece of history...
not quite Mann’s Chinese Theatre…but hey, it still is a piece of history…
 
 
 
wonder if there is Wifi connection here...hmmm...
wonder if there is Wifi connection here…hmmm…
 
 
 
just as i was leaving...
 

Just as we were leaving, an old man drove in, in a shiny white Merc…come to think of it, it wasn’t the only Merc i saw there that day. May have something to do with the low housing costs…maybe the people there know something we don’t….

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