March 28, 2013

Round Island Walk - Marina Bay Sands to Boon Lay

Round Island Walk Leg 2. Marina Bay Sands to Haw Par Villa MRT Station

We alighted from the bus at the Marina Bay Floating Platform where we ended our first leg (see Round Island Walk - East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands). We walked across the Double Helix Bridge to meet up with 2 more walking buddies. The weather was perfect giving us excellent views of the bay for photo-taking especially with the sun shining from the south providing good lighting on the skyscrapers emblazoned with their financial pedigree. There were not too many people because of the heat - probably indoors admiring all those branded stuff, eating or gambling.

Marina Bay
Amoy Street Food Centre
We wandered around the Marina Bay Sands promenade to Shenton Way to Amoy Street Food Centre for our lunch. We arrived just minutes before the office lunch crowd and so did not take too long to queue. By the time we finished our meal, the queues were much longer. Here we observed the power of the tissues used to 'chope' i.e. reserve a seat or table. I regretted not taking a picture of this unusual low tech Singapore phenomenon. Perhaps could have pushed all these away and see what happened. After lunch we continued our walk to Keppel Road via Anson Road. The traffic along Keppel Road was heavy, noisy and dusty but we had to endure it. Going by a more pleasant route would add mileage to our walk.

Marina@Keppel Bay

Keppel Island and Reflections
We passed the old Tanjong Pagar railway station which was locked up awaiting final plans for refurbishment. We walked through Vivocity for some cool air and had some refreshment at Kopitiam. After that we walked past Harbourfront to Keppel Bay Drive. We paid a short visit to Keppel Island to admire the boats berthed at the Marina with the backdrop of Reflections at Keppel Bay. Looking at the top of the high rise apartments I always wanted to ask the architect when they were going to complete the building. This was because of the skeletal structure at the top looked unfinished.

Then we walked along the promenade in front of Reflections to the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. There was hardly anyone there except for the crew maintaining the grounds

Labrador Nature Reserve
The Boardwalk led us to Labrador Nature Reserve. Here they were some workers taking a lunch break doing fishing from the shelter. We walked through the reserve and exited via Labrador Villa Road to Pasir Panjang Road.

The afternoon was hot and 2 members left us at the Labrador MRT Station. The rest proceeded along Pasir Panjang Road past Pasir Panjang Station and finally Haw Par Villa Station from where we took a train ride home on the Circle Line.

Round Island Walk Leg 3. Haw Par Villa MRT Station to Boon Lay MRT Station

We met up at the Haw Par Villa Station and proceeded to walk along West Coast Highway. Near the West Coast Car Mart we stopped at the Kopitiam Food Centre for lunch.

West Coast Park
After lunch we continued with our walk along the West Coast Highway then turned into the West Coast Park to enjoy its serenity and avoid the roar of the road traffic along the highway and the hot sun. We dropped by at MacDonald's (it was packed full with lunchtime crowd from the nearby offices) for a quick taste of their ice cream cone and proceeded toward the shoreline to enjoy the marine scene. It was unshaded near the two jetties so we hurried along to the mangrove boardwalk. Reaching the end of the park we continued on the same highway to Jalan Buroh where we turned left to get to the Pandan Reservoir.

Boats at Republic Singapore Yacht Club

Pandan Reservoir
When we reached the reservoir we climbed up the slope to access the jogging path for a better view of the reservoir. With a circumference of 6km unshaded. the thought of walking around the circumference was terrifying as it was hot and unshaded but we just had to show it to those who have not experienced it.

Pandan Reservoir
We returned to the sidewalk which was partially shaded to provide us respite from the afternoon sun.

On we plodded past Sungei Bajau. We wrongly turned into Jurong Port Road instead of Jurong Pier Road so we missed visiting Jurong Hilltop where we had spent many evenings enjoying the beer there.

We finally found our way to Jalan Boon Lay. At International Road we turned left to reach the canal where there was a park connector taking us all the way to Boon Lay MRT Station.


March 6, 2013

Round Island Walk - East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands

Round Island Walk 2013 or Walk Around Singapore in 10 days

This came about when one member shared a video of some seniors going around Taiwan on motorbikes. I commented that it would be easier to cycle in Singapore but since cycling has logistics issues he said why not walk around the island. So the idea was hatched to walk round the island in stages. When we come to the end of one leg we would continue where we left off on the next walk.

Camping at East Coast Park
We would try to keep as near to the coastline as possible by walking along the nearest trails, park connectors or roads. The exception is Tuas and Safti. Below is the route for the Round Island Walk 2013. It would consist of 10 legs each about 10-15 km in length so the total distance is about 130 km. We would start at the East Coast Lagoon. The last leg would end at the East Coast Lagoon Food Village where we would celebrate the completion of the whole route and claim bragging rights and bore our family members and friends to death about this 'epic' walk. We would also celebrate 5 years of walking all over Singapore together.

So for the next 9 weeks there will be little route planning required as all we have to do is follow the route shown below. We do have to deviate at times to ensure we pass the appropriate places to refuel our bodies and suitable termination of the relevant leg.

Leg 1 East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands

We gathered at the Lagoon View bus stop and walked around the condominium to the underpass to gain access to the East Coast Park. We went by the Lagoon and followed the park connector all the way to the Fort Road exit. The weather was excellent but there were few people around this time of the morning. The early morning walkers/joggers have already finished their bit. Just after the Siglap Canal we met up with 2 other members.

Gardens by The Bay East
Near the junction of Tanjong Katong Road was the holding area for the fishermen's boats. A group of them were seated around shooting the breeze. They apparently had enough catch for the day and were not going to heed the consultant's advice to catch more fish.

From Fort Road we walked to the Jalan Batu Market and Food Centre at Block 4A behind the 2 petrol stations for lunch. The Tanjong Rhu Wanton Mee was most popular so we had to queue.

Kite Flying at the Marina Barrage
After lunch we walked along the Geylang Park Connector which became the Tanjong Rhu Promenade and under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge to Gardens by the Bay East. This garden has a 1.5km trail all the way to the Marina Barrage. We came across 2 photographers with the biggest lenses that I have seen mounted on tripods. They were walking with these to take pictures of some crows perched on top of the trees. We noticed that there were more birds in the adjacent secondary forests  than in the garden itself probably because of more varied vegetation.

We crossed the Marina Barrage and observed that construction was still going on for  the west side of the undersea road tunnel. On the rooftop some students were either flying kites or throwing frisbees watched by their teachers.

As we walked toward the Bay South Garden, we saw that the Satay Club was operating. So we took a break After that we hurriedly walked past the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome to the Helix Bridge which was our termination point as the sky looked threatening.

Round Island Walk 2013 Route
Blue is the colour for the legs not travelled. After a leg has been completed it will be changed to red.

View Round Island Walk 2013 in a larger map