December 21, 2012

Kallang Basin and Marina Reservoir Walk

For this walk we circumnavigated both the Kallang Basin and the Marina Reservoir. We would then have crossed 3 rivers and walked through 4 parks viz. Geylang River, Kallang River, Rochor River, Gardens by the Bay (Bay East, Bay South and Bay Central) and the Kallang Riverside Park. Bay Central is still under construction.

Kayaking at Kallang Basin
We started at Nicholl Highway at the bus stop and used the overhead bridge to cross over to the northern side of Nicholl Highway that would allow us access to the Kallang Riverside Park. This overhead bridge used to serve the hordes of soccer fans eagerly heading for the old National Stadium. The stadium is now being rebuilt to serve a modern day population. It will be a fully integrated sports and lifestyle complex.

1960s Knicks Knacks at Singapore Food Trail, Singapore Flyer
Kallang Riverside Park
We walked along the coastline in the park toward the Kallang MRT Station to meet up with 2 other members. The walkway here is lined with coconut trees. To get to the park where the gasworks used to be situated we crossed Sir Arthur's Bridge along Geylang Road. At the Kallang Riverside Park is the site of former Kallang Gasworks that produced town gas until 1998. They have rebuilt the external skeleton of Gasholder No. 3 as a memorial of its past.
Helix Bridge

As it was about lunch time, we went to the nearby North Bridge Road hawker centre. After that we went to another hawker centre at Beach Road not to eat but to go upstairs to check out the shops that served generations of National Service boys to replenish their army supplies. One of our members came here to buy a Victorinox Swiss Army pocket knife.

Back at the Riverside Park we walked under Nicoll Highway. The Kallang Sea Sports Club is situated here with their students out on the water taking lessons on their kayak. The Kallang Riveside Park then merged into Gardens Bay Central.

The footpath continued under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge where it runs parallel to the F1 Track. We walked past the F1 Pit Building. This is adjacent to the Singapore Flyer. There is now a hawker food centre and this was where we had a break. This is called the Singapore Food Trail with a theme of hawker food in the '60s. Many items from this era are on display here next to the food stalls.

Gardens by the Bay South
After the break we crossed the Helix Bridge. It won the World’s Best Transport Building award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2010. At the end of the bridge we turned left and descended the steps that would lead us under Bayfront Ave and the Benjamin Sheares Bridge to Gardens by the Bay South.

Rooftop at Marina Barrage
We proceeded along the coastline by the edge of the Gardens all the way to the Marina Barrage where we turned right to walk up the green grass slope to the roof top. People used to play the Frisbee, fly kites or have a picnic on the green rooftop here with the Gardens, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer for a backdrop - a truly relaxing and picturesque scene.

Marina Bay Sands and Bay South Garden from Marina East
Gardens by the Bay East
At the Marina Barrage, we could see that construction was going on for the western part of the undersea portion of the Marina Coastal Expressway that would link Marina South to Marina East. The eastern part was already completed. After crossing the dam, we arrived at the Bay East Garden. The park runs roughly northwest to southeast for about 1.5km. The trees are still fairly young with a lily pond near the Visitors' Centre. There are palm trees, flowering plants, and spacious lawns. This is a tranquil place to enjoy the skyline formed by Bay South Garden, Marina Bay Sands Casino and the ever prominent Singapore Flyer across the reservoir - if only there were more shade in the afternoon - more rain shelters would help too.

Palm Trees in Bay East Garden
Past the Bay East Garden, we continued on the Tanjong Rhu Promenade Park Connector along the Geylang River. We passed the attractive Tanjong Rhu Suspension Footbridge, the Kallang Theatre and the Kallang Leisure Mall which were on the opposite side of the river. Our journey ended at the Jalan Batu Market and Hawker Centre.

Related Links
East Coast Park to Gardens Bay East
Gardens by the Bay East Marina Barrage
Gardens by the Bay South and East
Round Island Walk - East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands

Route

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December 4, 2012

Buangkok to Tampines via Tampines Road

This route took us from Buangkok MRT Station, along the northern part of Punggol Park to Buangkok East Drive to Tampines Road to Tampines MRT Station via the Tampines Bike Trail.

Approaching the top of the hill at the Tampines Bike Park

Buangkok East Drive
After an early lunch at the Kopitiam food court, we walked south along Sengkang Central toward the canal then turned east in the direction of Punggol Park. We followed the trails in the northern part of the park, then moved along the Buangkok Park Connector toward Buangkok Drive East. To do so we had to access Upper Serangoon Road first then walk along Buangkok East Drive. If we stayed on the park connector we would end up walking along the Serangoon Park Connector leading to Tampines Road.

Map Board of the Tampines Bike Trail

Tampines Road
We made a mistake when we stayed on the right side of Buangkok East Drive as it would have led us to the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway heading toward the city. We discovered this early and backtracked to cross Buangkok East Drive at a safe position. Walking along Buangkok East Drive on the left pedestrian walkway would lead us eventually to Tampines Road. As we walked toward Tampines Road, we could see and hear the F-15s and C-130s taking off from the Paya Lebar Air Base.

Lake formed by rain water

At Tampines Road we skirted around the northern periphery of the Paya Lebar Air Base. We kept on walking and soon passed the two huge water towers on the left side of the road. And soon we arrived at the place with 11 Chinese temples. This was where we had a break at the Goodlife Restaurant that also served bak ku teh. I then discovered that all the pictures taken so far were no good caused by oil mist accumulated on the lens during a cooking demonstration. After a temporary clean job I managed to capture our moments for the remainder of the walk.
Shelter at the Tampines Bike Park

Tampines Bike Trail
After the break we moved on to Tampines Ave 10 where Ikea, Giant and Courts were located. We crossed over to Tampines Link that would lead us to the Tampines Expressway. We were looking for the Utilities Building beside the expressway and to locate an access to the Tampines Bike Trail. This we did and we happily explored the bike park.

We reached the highest point of the park and were rewarded with a splendid view of the surrounding area. This park is used by mountain bikers to practise and hone their riding skills. It is generally exposed so there is danger during thunder storms so we had to watch out for the weather whenever we visit this area. When the weather is hot, it can be quite exhausting as well.

Related Article
Bedok Reservoir - Tampines Quarry 

Route

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