Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Daily Thought: Hiking on Singapore's Rail Corridor

WATCH YOUR STEP: The railway crossing near Rail Mall, Chua Chu Kang

So the other day, together with a bunch of friends, I had the chance to finally hike the Singapore's Rail Corridor. Well, not so much as a hike per say, because the route was flat all the way and I suppose it's more like a trek. It was part of a birthday celebration and there were seven of us.

We started off at the track crossing next to the Rail Mall at Chua Chu Kang, with the intent of reaching Buona Vista as our destination. The track is pretty simple actually, aside from the occasional overhead bridges and brushes with civilisation, it's mostly a dirt path cutting through trees, bushes and vegetation on both sides.

CHIEF NAVIGATOR: He's the one who's checking the map the whole time

Because it rained the previous day, some parts of the path were completely covered in mud (you can see some signs of it in the above picture), where we had difficulty trying to walk past the puddle and mud. All of us ended with mud covered shoes in the end.

The path took us from Chua Chu Kang to Bukit Timah and finally to Buona Vista, with numerous interesting sights along the way. We passed by the now defunct Bukit Timah railway station, beautiful scenery, the Rail Corridor art space and even a group of people filming.

A STEP IN TO HISTORY: Bukit Timah Railway Station, which is now abandoned

GRAFFITI IN A MESSAGE: Who knew Singapore has hidden gems like this (@ Rail Corridor Art Space)

Along the way, there were several cyclists and joggers as well, though surprisingly most of them were Caucasians. Not sure if it's reflective of the general group of people who frequents the trail, but if it is it's certainly interesting. And I can't help but wonder where they got their bikes from too (if it is their personal bikes or rented).

It was certainly an interesting experience, I would say, but just make sure to bring your umbrella or go when the sun is less punishing if you plan to go on foot. And be prepared to get muddy if you're going during the rainy season (I've seen cyclists with their backs splashed in mud). I heard PM Lee was planning to make the rail corridor a full cycling path, which I think is definitely an interesting idea. Not only you get to have an extra option to tackle the transportation issue, you get to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the trail as well.

I wonder how it would be like to walk all the way to Tanjong Pagar?


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