History, nature and culture collide – Bukit Brown

Today in Singapore, another walk through Bukit brown brought us to several tombs. The last two stayed with me as rather polar opposites. The first being the largest on site belonging to Ong Sam Leong. He was a wealthy businessman in his time and also supplied manpower in the form of indentured labour for mining companies. Some of the interesting of his tomb are all the stories of fillial piety, a huge moat and the Sikh guards with different features which are said to have been made after actual people. 

The other end of the spectrum is the tomb of Low Nong Nong, who is buried in the paupers section. He was a rickshaw driver killed during protests. His colleagues got together a collection to make him a tombstone which actually looks nicer that the others in that section. 

On this visit there was a lot more evidence of people visiting in the form of offerings. Perhaps this is due to the approaching 7th month. There were sweets for children and beehoon and other foodstuffs (and drinks) for adults. We also spotted beetel leaves laid out as offerings.

It was a hot day but the canopy offered plenty of shade. A lot of fruit and flowers were starting to come into season. We spotted figs,  mangoes and baby durians on our walk. The raintrees also had yellow orchids on them (would love to see them in full bloom) 

We also spotted a family of monkeys and several bird species. 

We left Bukit Brown proper and wandered towards Kopi sua, on the way we spotted evidence of kampungs such as an outhouse. 

The road brought us to the former entrance of the Whitley road detention centre. This place holds a bit of not so ancient history that most people will remember as it was where Mas Selamat escaped from before leading the Singapore authories on a long manhunt. 

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