A corner of Singapore left aside by time as almost nothing else there has been is now drawing serious tourism interest as Singaporeans are unable to travel past their own borders, where nearly six million people live in 724 square kilometers.
That's an area smaller than New York City, and it doesn't have the surrounding suburbs or neighboring states New York does. So, in this century, nearly all of the city state is built-up and new, leaving Kampong Lorong Buangkok as the last traditional village, where once there were hundreds.
The village—kampong is the Malay word for that—has 26 single-story wooden houses, occupied by families who are in no rush to leave; aside from any nostalgia, it's some of the least expensive housing in the city.
And now, during the pandemic, the neighbors have begun to come calling, often as part of tour groups that pay the equivalent of $140 to $180 per group to wander around, to learn to use traditional tools such as a coal-fired pressing iron, and to chat with resident about their gardens.
Residents told Reuters that the tours started with some mixed feelings; one resident told reporters that "Initially ... we were very uncomfortable, because tourists would start to come and look at us," but that he now enjoys showing visitors his garden. And from the other point of view, a financial trader told the news agency that "I think it's good that (her son) does know there is something like that here, it's not just overseas like Malaysia, or Thailand, or the Philippines."