April 22, 2013

Round Island Walk - Boon Lay to Kranji

Round Island Walk Leg 4. Boon Lay to Jalan Murai

We assembled at Boon Lay MRT Station and had lunch at Jurong Point. After that we moved on to Pioneer Station and the nearby Yunnan Park at Jurong West St 93 to view the original Nantah Gate. This was where we had to drive through in the 1970's to enter Nantah from the old Jurong Road.

Old Nantah Gate
Thow Kwang Industry
After that we walked along Pioneer Road to NTU. We followed Nanyang Crescent northward to Nanyang Ave where we turned eastward past Cleantech 1 then into Cleantech View to Cleantech Loop to Lorong Tawas. Thow Kwang Industry is located here. They run the longest kiln in Singapore. It is operated only 3 times a year during which clay products from local potters are fired. The company also exhibits and sells products from China. However the kiln will be closed next year as JTC wants the place for Cleantech factories.

A garden has already being built next to the company and landscaped with granite streams and staircase to the Cleantech 1 building. Cleantech 2 is now under construction. A group of students from the Communication Class of NTU interviewed us for their class project. They wanted to find out what was our interest in the dragon kiln but missed the story of our Round Island Walk.

We moved on to Jalan Bahar where we walked past the Christian, Muslim and Chinese cemeteries. One of my friends told me he used to cycle among the cemeteries as he found the surrounding peaceful and serene.

Thow Kwang Industry
About 500m after the junction of Jalan Bahar and Old Lim Chu Kang Road, we turned into another stretch of Old Lim Chu Kang Road where bus service 975 also turn in to drop soldiers on their way to or from their camps. We did so because this stretch has more trees to provide shade.

This stretch of road finally turned back to Lim Chu Kang Road. Threatening clouds were fast approaching when we stopped at a bus stop opposite Jalan Murai. We powwowed and decided to stop our walk here because of the rain clouds and lightning that were fast approaching. As soon as we got on the bus the heavy thunderstorm descended on the bus. We were lucky this time and avoided a drenching.

Round Island Walk Leg 5. Murai to Kranji

We met at Choa Chu Kang Station and had lunch at the nearby Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall. After that we took bus no. 975 to Jalan Murai at Lim Chu Kang Road where we stopped our walk the previous week. As we alighted the bus driver was concerned and asked whether we were at the right place. We confirmed that it was and he left us. The bus would turn around after reaching the end of Lim Chu Kang Road. On the way back the bus driver waved to us as he recognized us walking toward the jetty.

Lim Chu Kang Jetty
Midway through our walk on LCK Road it rained. We were lucky to be at a bus stop shelter so we had a short break. When the rain slowed to a drizzle we continued our walk to the jetty.

Neo Tiew Road
After enjoying the misty scene at the jetty, we followed the path that we did earlier a few years ago (see Lim Chu Kang Farms). This way we reduced the distance we had to walk along Neo Tiew Road which was heavy with traffic, especially trucks carrying recycled building waste to and from the construction sites. Neo Tiew Road is a narrow 2-way road. With big trucks moving near the edge at times we had to step off the road to be safe. At Lim Chu Kang Lane 6, as we walked past one of the farms, the resident guard dogs gave us the obligatory barks, but seeing that we numbered 6, they decided not to go further.

Finally after passing the third Neo Tiew Cresent, we arrived at familiar territory, Neo Tiew Crescent led to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. By then, we were exhausted by the heat and the constant lookout for traffic, and walking single file that we went past this without comment. After a short break at a bus shelter, we proceeded to Block 259 next to the Chinese Temple at Kranji Loop for refreshments. Just before reaching the canteen, we were threatened by dogs again, this time they were more fierce and showed their teeth. But because we were a group of 6 and showed no fear, we continued on our way. However no more walking on this road what with the dogs, dust and noisy trucks. After the break we walked along Kranji Road to the Kranji Station where we ended this leg.

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