death by paper cut











{May 9, 2012}   Bay East

the highly anticipated opening of Gardens by the Bay is slated for 29 june 2012 with a line up of performances and activities to begin this new park in a big whizzbang way.

unknown to many however, gardens by the bay east, also known as bay east, is already open to public and offers very nice views of the city skyline. bay east links tanjong rhu to the marina barrage.

earlier this week, i checked out this precise route. the marina barrage can be reached by public transport by taking either the shuttle bus or sbs service 400 from marina south mrt station. the bus timings are clearly displayed at the bus stop, and can also be found online.

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 1 Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 2

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 3 Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 4

from top left: marina south mrt station (come out through the circle line exit), bus stop, bus timings, bus 400.

the last time i was at the marina barrage, marina bay sands was not yet part of the horizon. the view has therefore definitely changed.

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 9

walking across the marina barrage towards bay east.

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 25 Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 21

a very leisurely stroll from the marina barrage to the end of bay east at tanjong rhu coveres 2.6km and can be completed in about an hour.

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 67

the walk was timed such that the sunset hues can be seen changing against the city skyline.

at tanjong rhu, sbs service 158 can be taken to mountbattan in the direction of aljunied.

enjoy the rest of the photos!

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 28

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 32

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 40

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 42

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 47

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 55

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 58

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 61

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 64

Marina Barrage to Gardens by the Bay (EAST) 66

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{January 22, 2012}   “cape” crusader

At Kent Ridge Park

almost like wearing a cape, my latest sports bag acquisition fits snugly in all the right places. it is essentially a large waist pouch that has detachable a “harness.” i first spotted this design on a deuter a while back and had a mind to get something like that for my walks because firstly, i don’t need to carry much around, secondly, it has minimum contact with my back so heat does not build up and thirdly, the ends of straps near the arms stray less i.e. i get less annoyed.

i got this for $45 from the mecca of sporting goods in singapore, queensway shopping centre, at cliffhanger connection. the brand of the bag is “one polar” which does not seem to have a navigable website, in any case, they do their bags better than they do their website.

other gear i recommend – waterproof trekking shoes from northface, shown in picture above; cheaper at queensway shopping centre too. and the platypus softbottle – a foldable hydration pack that is very lightweight and space saving, also available at cliffhanger connection. in this picture, my 1 litre platypus softbottle is filled to about 600ml, folded in half and stored in the bag. no more concern about the shape and size of bags to accommodate a fixed size waterbottle.

this picture was taken around the 3km mark of the 8.58km walk.

Southern Ridges - NUS to Vivocity

typically, we begin near the central library building of nus, walk along science park drive and continue heading south (of singapore) towards mount faber and then make the steep descent down the steps of marang trail and emerge at habourfront mrt station.

when we do walk, we usually walk on friday evenings when kp knocks off at 5.30pm at nus. the hours of dusk are the best time to walk because it is much cooler then and being a weekday, the southern ridges is not crowded with people. also we’ll get to vivocity in time for dinner!

i’m very glad that there are healthy and off-the-beaten-mall options in singapore to begin the weekends. who says there is nothing to do!

other pictures along the southern ridges from my previous walks.



in support of The Green Corridor, i subscribe to the facebook page We Support The Green Corridor to follow updates of their activities especially walks organised for the public along the old railway track.

i did not manage to join in the walks along the better known bukit timah railway but jumped at the opportunity to attend the walk at the old jurong line. the old jurong line, i was told at the walk, begins at jurong shipyard at jurong industrial park, extends along teban gardens, sunset way and connects with the bukit timah line after ulu pandan.

the old jurong line is in purple (defunct for eleven years now)

Re-Imagining the Rail Corridor 6

Re-Imagining the Rail Corridor 5

i learnt at the walk that the old jurong line was meant to provide transport for goods disembarking at jurong shipyard into malaysia because the market of the malaysia of 1963 (merger with singapore) was expected to be large. this economic plan however fell through upon singapore’s separation from malaysia rendering old jurong line not as highly utilised as originally intended.

this except from the singapore heritage society website puts it much better:

The 24km Jurong Branch line, conceived before merger with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah to form the geobody of Malaysia, was intended in the third phase to imagine an economy of industrial production that was connected to the main line, but also to markets in the peninsula and in South Thailand, despite Singapore’s subsequent separation from it in 1965.

because of the starkly industrial nature of the jurong industrial area, dr lai chee kien of the department of architecture, nus said that it was a deliberate attempt to make the residential area in the vicinity more green and livable. such consideration resulted in the naming of the housing estates in the area pandan gardens, teban gardens and chinese garden (which is also an actual park unlike the former pseudo two). this is also why the jurong bird park is situated in this part of singapore. the choice of the bird park was made over a zoological gardens for the practical reason that birds are cheaper.

i have a vested interest in the part of the old jurong line where the walk coincidentally begins because i live here. in fact, with the inevitable relocation to newer flats in the same estate within a year or two due to enbloc, my family and i will be living within metres of the old jurong line. unlike the more popular bukit timah railway, there is no public support to re-imagine this part of the rail corridor for designated civic use.

therein lies the irony. if the jurong line is left alone as it is, the community gardens or informal plantations as referred to in the above map can continue to exist and be cared for by the residents in the area. This is a truly grassroots phenomenon because the creation of these informal plantations on (formerly) malaysian land along the old jurong line is spontaneous and carried out without applying for a permit. i was informed on the walk that the natural inclination to cultivate land for fruits and vegetables is an impetus carried on and forward by former kampung folks with innately green fingers. evidently, they have done an excellent job of it. these informal plantations have aided a flourishing organic regrowth over the rotting wood and rusting metal since the old jurong line ceased its operation.

it would be a shame if the authorities were to act on taking back the land on which these informal plantations thrive, cordon the area from the residents (with the infamous STATE LAND do not trespass sign) and leave it derelict.

the start of the walk. my new apartment block is towering on the right.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 7

tall grass where the tracks used to be

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 11

wong kum seng of nature society (singapore) pointing out flora of note

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 13

i used to open these pods to let out the seeds. i hardly touch greenery these days.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 14

of course we had to disregard this sign to continue on with the walk

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 18

the informal plantations are in fact rather systematic

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 22

squatter residence or the extension of the HDB backyard?

notice a man boiling a pot of something on the bottom right quarter of this montage

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 23 The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 25

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 24 The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 26

wolf spider on its web with some morning dew

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 28

entrance of a pitched black and very muddy tunnel

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 29

reaching the exit

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 31

exiting. do not try this alone.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 34

navigating over and through the scaffolding

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 37

making it through and reaching for higher ground

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 39

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 40

to get to school, i’ve had to cross this bridge for ten years to get to the bus stop along the ayer raja expressway (AYE) and i’ve often stood here to wonder where this railway line comes from, where it leads to and what lies under this bridge. this part of the walk was therefore immensely surreal because the mystery unraveled with each step.

over the decades i’ve witness foliage and shrubbery encroach towards the railway line and finally completely engulf it like it has now.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 41

continuing along the AYE which is parallel to the old jurong line heading towards sunset way

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 51

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 52

nature takes over

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 59

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 60

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 61

rejoining and walking along the old jurong line amongst lallang

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 67

cutting through more undergrowth

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 70

and behold, suddenly, a playground at faber crest condominium

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 75

continuing along the old jurong line along sungei ulu pandan

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 87

larger informal plantations near clementi avenue four

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 098

aunty drawing water from a well the old fashioned way to water the informal plantations
clusters of chinese shrines informally maintained in the background

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 114

a malay and chinese syncretised diety. the diety is adorned with the songkok and sarong. my mom told me that this diety is called datuk gong and common in the kampungs. read this article for more insight on the datuk gong.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 108

trudging towards sunset way

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 118

the end of the line

this time, we really took heed of the signpost to keep out

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 120

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 122

although the section of the old jurong line that crosses sungei ulu pandan is closed off, the journey can be continued along the ulu pandan park connector. soon, this old jurong line will join up with the bukit timah line.

i’m glad for this opportunity to discover and travel long this historically and culturally rich three kilometre section of the old jurong line. as you can see, many portions of this walk is not safe to traverse alone or in the dark and has been closed off from the public for very good reasons. however, the closing off these parts also creates pockets of sanctuaries for nature to thrive independently or as informal plantations. even without official directives, residents do actually know how to make ingenious and productive use of the land around them. with the passing on of such older folks with first hand knowledge of cultivation however, it might not be too long before even such informal plantations are left to the elements or reclaimed by the state.

The Green Corridor walk along Old Jurong Line - Teban Gardens to Sunset Way 3km 121

in the meantime, someone has left this pensive lone chair along sungei ulu pandan to mull this over.



{April 18, 2010}   Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 2

prior to yesterday, it has been eons since i climbed bukit timah hill. the most striking feature that i could recall was the very steep initial hike just after the visitor centre, and after yesterday’s climb, that still remains the most striking feature of the walk. a few metres up the slope sent my heart rate shooting off the charts.

after the first 10 minutes or so, we reached the first shelter. the path after that still continues with an upward trend but to a more gradual degree. by then, the rain trickled down to a stop and we went our jolly way along the yellow route.Runkeeper Walking Activity at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 5

the rest of the journey is fairly leisurely. however, it is still important to be alert when climbing up or down the high steps especially when the ground is wet. footing must not be compromised.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 13 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 9

within the next 20 to 30 minutes we reached the summit. it was much faster than expected, but tiring nonetheless because of the uphill climb. we took the obligatory group photo at the submit all sweaty and glistening.

the kids we saw at the submit however didn’t look like they broke a sweat.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 21

what comes up must go down. the return journey was easy peasy as expected and we were back at the visitor centre soon enough.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 28

it was at the base that things got interesting. i got to get up close and personal with the long tail macaques again. the ones i saw at bukit timah were not engaged in brazen activity like the ones at macritchie. this time however, i got to see a small family unit huddled together. i even manged to see the mother monkey nusing the baby monkey. most of the time the parents looked plain bored while their little tyke was amusing himself with a weed.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 41

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 34

these two are in need of a date night.

i really don’t think its a default bored monkey look because the ones at macritche really do look like they have a higher happiness index. maybe they should organise a focus group discussion and share best practices.

macritchie macaque

Macritchie Reservoir Park 47

vs

bukit timah macaque

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 42 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 43 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 46



on saturday afternoon, p, m and i did the 11km walking route at macritche. we stared at 4.30pm so there wasn’t time to visit the hsbc tree top walk which closes at 4.45pm.

the last time i visited the park was before the renovation of the carpark and entrance even began. there is now a multi-story carpark of sort to the left of the entrance and the original gravel carpark is now turned into a landscape garden. there is also now full shower facilities and information boards about the flora and fauna of the park. and a cafe for refreshments.

the walk ventured into the beaten dirt path before continuing on the boardwalks. i love boardwalks. the ones at macritche do not have railings which made the walk even more scenic.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 14

Macritchie Reservoir Park 19

somewhere in the middle of the walk, the path leads to the edge of singapore island country club. the manicures greens are such a stark contrast to the dirt track just next to it. several golfers were putting away. one golfer came down to the edge of the water body to putt.

in this photo, even the sky seams to be divided by the two different worlds.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 23

Macritchie Reservoir Park 34

we emerged from the dirt track and found our way back to the macritche reservoir park 2.5 hours later and into the glorious sunset. it was such a rare day in that the skies were blue, the temperature was comfortable, humidity felt lower and it was breezy all afternoon. i haven’t had a walk so enjoyable since my bush walking days in australia.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 66

Macritchie Reservoir Park 70

Macritchie Reservoir Park 78

also enjoying the sunset were the many monkeys of macritche.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 61

maybe they found the ambiance so romantic, they had to copulate infront of me.

Macritchie Reservoir Park 52 Macritchie Reservoir Park 47



et cetera