Kampung Buangkok Hot
Founded in 1956, Kampung Buangkok is the last surviving original kampung in Singapore in its vast modernisation over the years. Located at Kampong Lorong Buangkok in Hougang, in northeast Singapore, visitors can catch a glimpse of original kampung life, the way it was lived in the olden days. Nowadays, Kampung Buangkok is affectionately known as the 'last kampong'. A strong communal spirit still thrives here, with neighbours working together to help each other.
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A beautifully different lifestyle
I visited Kampung Buangkok on a geography school trip this year. When we first arrived at the place, what first struck me was how quiet the place was compared to the other parts of Singapore. It was really just that tranquil.
As we walked past the old houses, I started to like the area more and more - devoid of much technology, Kampung Buangkok really appealed to me. Although I admit I am often over-reliant on technology, I do appreciate the simplicity that I once enjoyed when I was younger - and that simplicity is in abundance at Kampung Buangkok. With areas for those living in Kampung Buangkok to play and gather for different occasions, I couldn't help but yearn for the close-knit community they have.
When we were walking past one of the houses, we met an elderly Malay lady who told us about how nice it was to live there and I couldn't help but agree - even the people there seemed friendlier.
Although modern HDBs and bungalows can be seen from the entrances of Kampung Buangkok, the kampung itself has a totally different feel. I really enjoyed my trip there and I would love to visit again - and even live there if I had the chance.
Adventure in town
Prior to discovering the place by accident, I have completely no idea as to the existence of Kampung Buangkok, and long believed that kampong life in Singapore was a thing of yesterday. Hence, it was a pleasant surprise when I was exploring the Hougang-Buangkok neighbourhood with some friends while on a biking trip that we found a whole kampong smack in the middle of the neighbourhood.
It was a pleasant afternoon spent. The first incident was when my bike nearly ran over a chicken as it dashed across the dirt path out of the blue. It got such a shock that I nearly fell off a bike. Secondly, we ventured into the courtyards of some houses to take a look, meeting some of the villagers (a mixture of Malay and Chinese families) who were residing there still. I really admired the tranquility and peacefulness of the place, it felt as if time slowed down there. However, the gnarled old trees, altars and statues were quite spooky and we decided to leave after a while.
Kampong Buangkok is a place really worth visiting. However, due to it being situated on low lying grounds, it is not advisable to make a visit during the monsoon period (Nov-Jan) as the area gets flooded pretty badly. In fact, the old name for the village was Kampong Selak Kain, which means hitching up, as the villagers in olden days used to hitch up their sarongs to wade through the floods!