**If you would like to watch the highlights of my journey, feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post!
Disclaimer: OVERWHELMING NOSTALGIA ALERT.
Kampung. Five stones. Zero Point. Playing with marbles.
No mobile phones.
I have always thought time travelling was just a fantasy.
Until I was offered the opportunity to go through an experience of a lifetime.
(Holy moly, I was so excited that I was not able to sleep the night before!)
I’m sure you must be wondering by now..
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?!
Through the magical tour by LETS GO TOUR
, I was literally brought back in time to have a physical glimpse of life back in the 70s – 80s!!
And I am not talking about a reproduction or museum tour.
It is a REAL LEGIT kampung (located at Buangkok) in Singapore. (In fact, it is known to be the last remaining kampung left here)
Believe it or not, there are still 26 families residing in the kampung and I had the luxury to visit a few of them + experiencing 2 hours of kampung life.
I have to admit…
The feeling was simply… SURREAL.
As someone who has always been fascinated with olden Singapore and the 80s lifestyle (I grew up in the 80s), I was able to resonate with the experience on many levels.
When I first arrived at the venue, (which I came via Grab car), I was immediately hit by a wave of nostalgia.
The sounds of roosters and the greenery made me feel like I had just entered another dimension.
Excitedly, I waited for the tour guide.
And here is our friendly tour guide, Yap !! I love his vibe so much – His friendliness and cheerful personality will make you feel like you have made an instant friend. And you can never be afraid to approach him for any questions.
We first did our temperature scan check (it’s a compulsory safety measure) and we started spraying our insect repellant on ourselves. (This is VERY important because I cannot deny that there were a lot of mosquitoes there! Probably my blood was sweeter than everyone else’s…)
It was time to begin our time travelling journey!
At the entrance, Yap told us to observe and feel the experience as the sounds and noises of the outside city slowly faded away…
True to that, it was exactly like walking down a memory lane where the time felt slower… slower… and finally stood still.
Inside the area, it seemed to be a little town of its own and there was not a single sound of vehicles. Houses look short in height (and made out of wood planks) with no HDB or tall commercial building in sight.
Birds were chirping cheerily and there were many beautiful plants, flowers and even fruits on the trees.
The atmosphere was nothing that I’ve ever felt before – it was simply serene.
We explored the outside of the kampung houses as Yap went on to share with us interesting stories and background of the culture and owners, etc.
According to what we were told, there was ZERO fight or argument amongst the people staying at the kampung and EVERYONE retained the “Kampung spirit” – whereby they are able to walk into each other’s houses just like that! Having grown up in HDB areas, this was unbelievable.
Even the rental of kampung houses were as low as $3.50 per month, with the highest amount at $30. Unbelievable, but the prices are true.
We had a fascinating tour around the greenery area as we embraced Mother Nature at her best.
Oh yes – and I spotted this nice decoration:
According to Yap, this was a space for their events (eg: weddings, etc) and they would decorate this place with banners and lights,etc! I can totally imagine how nice it would look!
**However, I have to advise everyone to bring along a strong mosquito repellant! (I actually sprayed mine, but my cheap repellant brand did not work. =_=” There are bound to have loads of mosquitoes in the kampung area)
I will never forget every single moment as Yap brought us in to one of the actual kampung houses (with permission from the owner Miss Sng) and it was just breathtaking.
I felt I could not lose any chances in taking photo of a kampung house exterior as well – So here you go! Nostalgic to the max?!
The interior layout was styled in a way that I felt like I was in a retro movie. The space was large!
And look what I found! A traditional handheld fan!
Yap led us to a vintage-styled round table as we all sat down on the individual chairs.
It was then that he started fishing out different games that made me went OMG.
It was a strong hit of nostalgia.
First, we had a FIVE STONES game which I am very sure the 80s kids would remember.
If not for the fact that I was there as a part of media where photo-taking was a necessary task, I would have completely kept my technology devices (such as camera and mobile phones)to feel the utmost authentic “back in time” experience. Believe me, the whole game segment experience was very senses-stimulating.
We attempted to “compete” against each other as everyone tried their hands on grabbing the five stones on the table.
#1 Five stones:
#1: Throw down all five stones. Pick up one and throw it in the air, quickly pick a second stone, while the first is still mid air, and catch it while it falls. You should then have 2 stones in your hands. Put one of them aside, and repeat with each of the remaining 3 stones.
I knew the game rules, but I have to admit I sucked at it. *chuckles*
#2: Pick -up sticks
I REMEMBERED THIS USED TO BE MY FAVOURITE GAME WHEN I WAS YOUNG.
I used to own packets of them and even playing them by myself at home.
The game is pretty straightforward and simple.
The first player has to begin the game by holding the whole bunch of the pick-up sticks upright in his/her hand and then release it at one go. The colourful sticks would then fall onto the surface on a random, scattered manner.
In a round-robin format, each player will take turns separating and picking the individual stick out without moving the surrounding sticks. Once a tiny weeny bit of any surrounding stick is moved, the player would lose his/her turn.
(I did not actually have a good photo of this as the game was captured on video so I screenshot this )
Remember those good ol’ days when red rubber bands were in demand?
Kids used them to make a long connected string (something like a skipping rope) out of them and it would provide endless hours of laughter and joy.
Players would attempt to jump over it at different heights. The higher it is being placed, the more difficult it will be. I LOVE IT.
#4: “GO-LI” AKA Marble Game
Do these marbles trigger some memories? They certainly did for me! I used to collect a lot of them in my house despite that I did not really play them. I just felt they are beautiful, aren’t they?
Do watch the video below to find out how the game is being played! Basically, players have to use a marble to aim at another to shoot it out of its margin. And the player will get to keep the marble – whoever amounting to the highest amount of marbles eventually is the ultimate winner! I heard that people of the older kampung era would come up with strategies in order to be good at the game.
It was funny how time flew when I was engrossed in playing these games. And this was how people led their lives by in the past as part of entertainment. No computer games. No Facebook – Just strategic games to keep them occupied on a daily basis. And most importantly, people were happy with the simplicity of life back then.
After the games, Yap told us that there would be a surprise awaiting us. It turned out that we were given an opportunity to enter another kampung house where snacks were kindly prepared for us by the house owner! It was so sweet – We were all treated like friends and I could not be more thankful for the hospitality.
Yes- I am sure these are familiar to many. They are known widely as “Sng Bao“or Iced Lolly.
The owner actually handmade them for sale and she had customised 3 different flavours.
The little girl in me was thrilled and decided to take photo before opening it. Like come on, I don’t see such being sold in public anymore (not counting the factory-made ones)
It was yummy and thirst-quenching, especially when one feels hot after playing the physical games!
Can you imagine such a simple dessert can be a form of luxury?
The 2-hour trip ended on a happy note and honestly, I could not bear to leave the place. It has been a long, long time since I truly felt joy through simple life pleasures without usage of technology. In a way, I feel blessed to be an 80s baby and went through the actual era. Indeed, it is a far cry from today’s modern world when people depended heavily on technology to get things done.
If you were to ask me, I will highly recommend this trip to anyone and everyone – It is educational as well, and far more interesting than any textbook or classroom material you can ever find. Nothing beats personally experiencing an adventure for yourself – and it does cleanse your mind within the time span in there in a positive way! Indulge yourself in 2 hours of time-travelling fun – I am sure this will be an eye-opener experience, especially if you are a first-timer.
Should you be interested to find out more, do head over to: (They have other fascinating tours as well!)
Who says Singapore isn’t fun? I would say this period is the best chance for us to learn more about our own country and trust me, you will get to understand, be amazed and see Singapore like never before!!!
And now for the long-awaited video: – (I felt emotional while making this! *sobs)