A little spot of Haven in Upper Bukit Timah

When I first saw the theme that Sarah created for the latest series of blog hops. I thought that it will be really interesting to read about wat the other SMBs have to say about their spots in Singapore. It took me a while to convince myself that I could write anything mildly interesting about the area I live.

The thing is where I live isn’t just ordinary. It’s just well…boring and familiar. Maybe it’s the familiarity that makes my eyes gloss over the surface of things, thinking that I have seen these things before. 

Getting into the swing of this exercise, I realized that walking around the neighborhood helped me to dig deeper into things, challenge myself to re-discover my surroundings.

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So what I really love about this area where I live? Let me list the things…

Sights

I love having nature at my doorstep and squirrels, iguanas, strange looking birds and monkeys for neighbors. Just a stone’s throw away from my home is Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Hinhede Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

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The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve retains the only substantial area of rainforest left in Singapore and has the most diverse ecological system in the world. It is a botanical collecting ground for more than a century. An eminent conservationists has even pointed out before, that the number of tree species growing in a mere hectare of the Reserve is more than the total number of tree species in all of North America!

There are so much to see and explore in these nature parks. All you need are a set of eyes that see and not just look, and God’s wonderful creations will not cease to amaze you with their intricate little details.

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Eats

I love that there are no lack of eateries to choose from. Like many residential areas in Singapore, there are many places in the vicinity where you can find local food any time of the day.

There’s Rail Mall, where there are two 24 hour cafes serving local fare, pubs serving bar food, and a supermarket, sandwich cafe, Thai fusion food, as well as a Italian restaurant.

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And Cheong Chin Nam Road opposite Beauty World Centre,

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Where you can find Chicken Rice, Korean Food, Chinese ‘Zi Char’ or simple Malay fare at a 24 Hour Prata shop which has a really extensive menu of Malay food. My favorites at the Malay Prata shop include, the height-defying ‘Prata Tissue’ and mouth watering ‘Ayam Pemyat’.

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History

– Memories at the Old Ford Factory

I love that despite all the new developments in the area, there are still that little bit of history and nostalgia retained here.

Nestled along the junction right before Hume Avenue, is a building whose history dates back to 1941. The Ford Factory’s origins started as the first vehicle assembly plant for Ford in Southeast Asia, and more notably was used as the venue for the formal surrender of Malaya by the British to the Japanese.

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The Ford Factory was rebuilt in 2004-05, and it serves as an permanent exhibition gallery of the memories and reflection of the hardships faced by the SIngaporeans who lived through the darkest years of Singapore history during the Japanese occupation.

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Right behind the Old Ford Factory building is a quiet garden known as Syonan Garden. Where you will find an assortment of “food crops” like Tapioca, sweet potato, yam, banana, coconut, pineapple and rice, crops which were grown during the Japanese Occupation.

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Nostalgia

– The Old Railway

We used to take short hikes into Dairy Farm Nature Park, wandered off the beaten track to a little bridge where we will be able to see the KTM train passed below the bridge. I can still recall the sight of the train and sound of the train driver blasting the horn, each time he caught a glimpse of people on the bridge looking down to the passing train below.

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The old Railway ceased operations in July 2011 and only 400m of the railway tracks were retained. This is part of the Upper Bukit Timah track, next to the classic cast iron bridge on the far right of Rail Mall.

Looking to the southbound side of the tracks, all that is left of the track is a long gravel track stretching for miles ahead.

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– Beauty World Centre

Way back in the 60s, Beauty World Park was a popular shopping destination in Singapore, where there were over a hundred stalls that sold fresh produce, household items, textiles and stationery. The park experienced many incidences of fire during that time and thus most of the stall-holders were relocated to the Beauty World Centre. The former Beauty World Park site is now an open field and car park.

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There is an open air food centre on the 4th floor of Beauty World Centre where you can find yummy Satay Bee Hoon, Mutton Soup, Thai Food, Handmade noodles and Xiao Long Pau.

I can’t help but ending off this post with food again, I guess the way to most Singaporeans’ hearts have to be most definitely through their stomachs :)

So u know who to find next time if you do come around Upper Bukit Timah after your nature or nostalgia walk and need a lunch/dinner partner, I will be more than happy to join you for a good meal!

 

This post is part of the series of posts hosted by Sarah of The Playful Parents. Do check out the rest of the blog posts in this series to uncover all the little gems found in various neighborhoods of Singapore.

Loving My Spot SG edition

 

The next stop on our ‘Loving My Spot’ blog train will be Regina of MummyMoo.

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Regina documents her little family as they grow as one, charting everyday mundane events to milestones that will chart the shape of their future. She is enjoying being a wife and mother, two personae that she has never thought of becoming – in the past. She takes pride in being a working class stiff trying to be a first class Mum!

Regina shares her thoughts about parenting and personal experiences as : MummyMoo

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I love the prata tissue there! So missing it…

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    I think the best part of the prata tissue is the top of it as it gets too sweet when the sugar settles at the bottom

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  2. Why everyone’s got a nature park at their doorsteps?? I only have TPE at mine *sulk*

    Love your buildings & structure photos. I am trying to take good buildings photo but epic fail hahah, must learn from u 😛
    DinoMama´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – Celebration!

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    Rachel Reply:

    No need nature park, find a garden park near your home. I am sure there is one round the corner…that’s where you will be able to whip up your soon to have macro lens and capture the wonderful details of what u see.

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  3. the nature reserves really takes you away from the usual bustle of Singapore. I really have to explore there one day. Some of the places you mentioned here are new to me so thanks for sharing.
    Ai Sakura´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday {linky party}: Danboard in Nature | Week 31

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Yes it does, being inside the nature park makes u forget about the busyness of life in general.

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  4. Wow Rachel! Your photos are so nostalgic! I love the flower and bee capture! And I didn’t know that Ford factory had a gallery!!! So interesting!
    Adeline´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – Fireworks

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    Rachel Reply:

    I tried to capture what I felt and saw at the moment – esp of Ford Factory and the railway. THe history of the two places felt very poignant to me at that point.

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  5. Wah very interesting what! Where got boring! Haha. Miss climbing Bukit timah hill!
    Madeline´s last blog post ..Gems of the Oldest Neighbourhood in Singapore

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    Rachel Reply:

    Maybe its time to bring J and hb for a nature walk soon :)

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  6. I’m so jealous that you’ve got much nature surrounding you. Bukit Timah is not near to me, but the old railway is a place I’ve been meaning to check out just to capture pictures of a part of Singapore’s history.

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    Rachel Reply:

    Sometimes having these bonuses is like living in a condo – having a pool and all but hardly even using it haha.. You really should check out the other old railway sites, u will be able to capture alot more wonderful photos from there.

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  7. Rachel! I have always been familiar with the West and loved it. Familiarity is no synonym with being boring, its novelty-seeking that is often fleeting, a restlessness of sorts. Reading your article made me so proud to be on this side of Singapore and you added so much information I didn’t even know! I certainly were not aware that there were more tree species at the Bukit Timah Reserve than that of North America, plus the little gem of a garden behind old ford. Looks like its gonna get more interesting for our family outings now! :)

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Glad that u feel proud of staying in the west…indeed where we live is a nice area :)

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  8. Eh! I’m always looming around the same eatery! My fav teh Tarik joint! How come I never see you? :p
    Homeschool@sg´s last blog post ..She play puzzles!

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    I don’t go there very often at all, maybe once in two weeks or only a couple a times a month.

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  9. Al-Ameen! :) Love the Prata there too. I used to live around this area, and was always intrigued by the weird and wonderful bugs which would venture into my house. It’s a lovely spot, and your pictures capture it beautifully!
    beanbean´s last blog post ..Photoshoot! Our Family, June 2012

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    Rachel Reply:

    It’s actually Al Alzhar, just a couple of doors away from Al Ameen. Thanks for the compliments V

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  10. Lovely photos you have! I’m glad that I come to your blog tonight. I was planning to go to the Ford Factory. I guess I have lots more things and food to look at besides that Historic site. =)
    Lilium´s last blog post ..Delightful Sunday – thanks to Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s

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  11. Your photographs of BT area are stunning! Looking at them makes me miss my childhood years I spent in the West, and climbing up the hill with my parents. Beauty World was another place I went then…but haven’t for more than a decade. The most poignant memory I have of that place was my late grandfather taking us there in a cab to eat KFC. He couldn’t speak any Mandarin, only Hakka, and yet he took us out. I have yet to visit Old Ford Factory…just too far…but I know, I really ought to soon.
    Oh! And that old railway shot you have captures my memories of it so well too. I lived along that line but I was down at Clementi.

    Thank you so much again for being part of my blog train. And I am so glad to hear that this was a meaningful exercise for you! Muaks!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..A Champion’s Breakfast: Smoothie Shots & Cookies

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