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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Urban jaunts

Melissa Sim talks to people who walk for a living and Tay Suan Chiang susses out the best spots for a stroll
The Sunday Times - June 12, 2011
By: Melissa Sim and Tay Suan Chiang
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Urban jaunts JURONG CENTRAL PARK

JURONG CENTRAL PARK

Even if you are not a Jurong resident, getting to this 8ha park is a breeze. It is opposite the Boon Lay MRT Station and is also connected to Jurong Point shopping mall via an overhead bridge. The park, at the junction of Boon Lay Way and Jalan Boon Lay, has a 2km cycling and jogging track, as well as benches and shelters.

It is popular not just with families but also kite-flying enthusiasts. When LifeStyle visited on Tuesday afternoon, there were several groups of people flying their kites. This activity goes on even at night, when the sky is dotted with kites lit up with light-emitting diodes (LED). There is also a McDonald's outlet nearby which operates 24 hours.

MARINA BAY SANDS BOARDWALK

Get a view of the city skyline at the Marina Bay Waterfront.

A 3.5km pedestrian loop connects Marina Centre, Collyer Quay and the Bayfront areas.

There are seating areas on the boardwalk outside Marina Bay Sands to let visitors look out onto Collyer Quay and Raffles Place.

Or take a walk to The Promontory @ Marina Bay, an open field where you can snap pictures of Marina Bay Sands on one side and the offices at Raffles Place on the other.

Apart from taking in the city skyline when here, visitors can also watch a free 13-minute light and water show called Wonder Full, which is on at 8 and 9.30pm nightly, with an additional show at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

PUNGGOL PROMENADE

This 4.9km promenade which connects Punggol East to Punggol Point has yet to be fully completed but is already proving a hit with residents nearby.

The Riverside Walk section of the promenade, which runs along Sungei Serangoon, opened earlier this year. Two more sections, the Nature Walk and Punggol Point Walk, are expected to open later in the year.

There are cycling and jogging tracks at the Riverside Walk, as well as lookout points that allow visitors to get closer to the water. Cattails line the riverbank.

The walk is not shaded, so it is best to go early in the mornings or in the evenings.

There are several F&B outlets, including two seafood restaurants, near the start of the Riverside Walk at Punggol East.

At the end of the walk is a bridge that connects to the Lorong Halus Wetlands, a biodiversity haven for flora and fauna across the river. It takes about 15 minutes by foot to reach the wetlands.

GREEN CORRIDOR ALONG THE KTM RAILWAY TRACK

Last year, the Nature Society of Singapore put up a proposal to the Governnment to keep the current KTM Railway Land as a green corridor after train operations cease on June 30.

A 40km track runs from Tanjong Pagar railway station to Woodlands, running through areas such as Clementi Woodlands, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Kranji.

There is plenty of greenery along this track, along with giant tree ferns, fruit and vegetable farms, mangroves and mudflats along with rare birds such as the Buffy Fish Owl.

Visitors can walk along the railway track. The Bukit Timah Railway Station is a good starting point.

The station off Bukit Timah Road is not accessible by car - take public transport.

Do note that trains are still running, so anyone walking along the tracks must be careful.

BUKIT BROWN CEMETERY

The 86ha graveyard off Lornie Road has been earmarked for future housing development but there is still time to check it out before it is gone.

Many of the 80,000 tombstones here are hidden by dense undergowth.

The cemetery holds the remains of many Singapore pioneers including Chew Boon Lay, Lim Chong Pang and Lim Nee Soon, as well as Tan Kim Ching, eldest son of Tan Tock Seng.

The surroundings are very peaceful except for the calls of birds and crickets.

The gates to the cemetery shut at 5.30pm from Mondays to Saturdays and it is closed on Sundays and public holidays.

The Nature Society occasionally conducts guided tours to Bukit Brown so visitors can learn about the trees found there.

Check its website, www.nss.org.sg, for the next tour.

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