Monday, September 14, 2020

Touring Singapore's Last Kampung - Kampung Lorong Buangkok

Last weekend, our family took on a guided tour by Let's Go Tour Singapore - to visit Singapore's last surviving kampung on the mainland - Kampung Lorong Buangkok

The leading, award-winning Best Tour Experience tour agency has launched exciting, educational, immersive and experiential walking tours to encourage locals to rediscover Singapore and explore our local art, nature, architecture, culture and heritage and more. We are delighted to hop onto one of its newest local Edu-Tainment Story-Telling Walking Tours - {A Long Long Time Ago: Villages to High Rises} 

Hubby is the only one in the family who grew up as a Kampung kid. Hence, it is a lovely trip down the memory lane for him and eye opening experiences for myself and our kiddos who are HDB dwellers. 

Initially I was worried that my older teens will not be engaged with the tour but my worries were unfold shortly after meeting up with our friendly guide, Yap. Apart from taking us on a story-telling journey of Kampung Lorong Buangkok for the next 2 hours, Yap is always engaging and smiley as he enthusiastically shares the fun facts of the kampung, his insights and knowledge, relating back to the learning our teens have picked up in the Primary and Secondary school textbook contents.  

So what have we learnt about Singapore's Last Kampung?

Built in 1956, Kampung Lorong Buangkok is a hidden gem surrounded by high rise HDB flats. It was previously owned by a traditional medicine seller, Mr Sng Teow Koon and now handed down to his children, one of whom is Ms Sng Mui Hong who continues to live in the village. 

Entrance to Kampung Lorong Buangkok

At the left side of the entrance, you will notice a flood marker near the drain. The small village is prone to flooding and residents were seen hitching up their sarongs wading through the floods in the past. Hence, it also earned a nickanme - Kampong Selak Kain (in Malay) 

With the building of a canal at Gerald Drive, it has helped to absolve the floods though there are still flash floods happening. 

As we made our way into the village - have you notice anything different? A sight probably more commonly seen in Malaysia but definitely not in Singapore. 

I believe this is the only place you can find exposed electrical lines.
Do you also know that there are only 5 lamp posts within the kampung.

As we enter deeper into the kampung, we immediately felt being away from the hustle and bustle of the heartlands. What welcomed us was the squawks from the roosters and chirping of the birds. 

No high rise buildings or cement pavement but only zinc-roofed wooden houses that house the remaining 26 households. Each house is also painted with different colours that gives the village a vibrant look.

I was mesmerized by the kampung houses and was admiring their letter boxes as well which has different design and shape. It really takes the postman to be very familiar with the area to deliver the letters efficiently.

House (19B)

Surau Al Firdaus - last kampung mosque. Mosque (23F)

Some will remember the 4-digit postal code before it becomes 6-digit

We head on to the last house which belongs to Mr Nassim. His backyard is gorgeous with coconut trees and bamboo as his backdrop view! I can imagine this as a great play area for the little ones. 

We have to take pictures with the bamboos!

The coconut trees are so tall! It will take a true kampung boy for the climb. I will wait for the coconut to drop instead.

There are many fruit trees, flora and fauna within the kampung and it is like a garden itself.

Yap showed us a flower that looks like Corona Virus!

Picture perfect spot within the kampung.

Walk in the kampung, with the view of newer HDB flats in vicinity.

Green corridor where nature blooms

Yap did a wonderful narration of the kampung, sharing with us its history, how Mr Sng got the land and started renting it out to Chinese and Malay families and the village grew. Also, how he named the current area as Buangkok (万国) which means 'Million Countries' and this ties in with the essence of the village which has people from different culture and ethnicity staying together. It is also interesting to learn that monthly rentals is between $4.50 to $30 a month!

Our final learning journey of the tour is playing traditional old school games. Five stones, pick-up sticks, Zero-point (skipping) and marbles are my childhood games. Back then, we do not have handheld gadgets and we turn to creative hands-on play with friends instead. Our teens had chance to play with some of the games briefly before and is best at pick-up sticks.

Stringing the rubber bands together for zero point.

Glimpse of Ms Sng - the kampung towkay before we start our game

It is time to put our 'skills' to a test........ Obviously, we are not very good at it. :D

Yap has many hidden talents, and limbo is definitely one of them. We are really impressed

A game of marble - Hubby and our girl emerges to be the better players.

We had a nice ice pop treat after the games! It has been a long time since we had delicious homemade ones. Thank you for the hospitality!

A glimpse of the Guest House before we go

Many of the old furniture and furnishing brings back memories of our childhood

It used to be view of greenery

Do not forget to check out the freshly painted artwork on the zinc panel outside the guest house.

Ending our tour.... for once I felt the 2 hour tour was too fast.

Our walk back to the heartlands.

Ending our tour with this photo - Beneath the trees on the left lies the kampung and high rise HDB flats on the right. A distinctive line that draws the difference of two different lifestyles. Where would you choose to be in?

Kampung VS Heartlands

If you are planning to explore the village on your own, do note that it is still a private residential area and we should respect their privacy. Have heard from Yap that there are visitors who intrude the living space just to take pictures. We would not like to be a nuisance and have the same thing happening to our own homes. Hence, the guided tour was indeed helpful to let us explore the kampung without feeling intruding, and with the element of learning, family bonding incorporated.   

Let's Go Tour Singapore

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'This is Home' Edu-Tainment Tour was recently launched where each tour is carefully curated and planned with learning objectives that will be beneficial to students, children, and parents as well. Learning on various topics and subject matters (E.g. History, Social Studies etc) are being weaved into the tour as part of their learning objectives to make learning easier and fun. 

Targeting families with children, students, couples and small group of friends,these tours are great bonding activities for weekends and school holidays. 

Other interesting tours includes - Let's Go Kelong, Let's Go Cook Seafood Experience, Let's Go Bike, Singapore Day Tours and more!

** Singaporeans will be able to utilise their SingaporeRediscovers Vouchers (tourism credits) and get 10% off. More information at

Disclaimer: This is a media invite from AT Marketing & PR Consultancy All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. 

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