Today in Singapore, I went on a long walk through some of the northern coastal areas. I’ve barely ever been to this part of the island and everything was new and interesting. We started of through two “new” islands (punggol Barat and Timor – or west and east) which are reclaimed land. Apparently, reclaimed land takes 30-40 years to be usable. On the first of these islands we passed some workers housing which stood out in their bright colors against the dull background of the surroundings. Most of that island is currently being used as storage for sand and gravel for the construction industry.
Crossing the river separating the two islands there was a stark contrast as it was largely forested and wild with the road cutting through the foliage.
Walking further we detoured to the Yishun dam, with the sea towards Malaysia on one side and a resevoir on the other. A couple of jetties belonging to possibly one of the last fishing villages jut out sea there. In the low tide there’s a bit of a same bank and several people fishing off the side. The area seemed to be teeming with fish as within a few minutes of us standing there we saw two people reel their catches in.
We then walked towards the seletar aerospace park, which is along side the still function airport for private planes.
The aerospace park which formally used to be the British and then Singapore airforce bases is now an industrial park for aircraft related companies. The colonial houses which would have one housed officers are now leased for residential use and some are being converted for restaurant spaces.
Walking through the area which had these houses, along streets that had very British names including a picadilly circus it feels a bit like you’ve left Singapore altogether.
The area retains a lot of other history as well. Some of the buildings such as the barracks and HQ of the first unit of the RAF will be conserved structures. They have also included the old gas lamps as part of sign posts. Yet others such as the 40 year old canteen which is also probably the last kampung coffee shop standing are likely to be gone as the development of the area continues.