Home > Singapore, sports - cycling > From Nicoll Highway To Bishan Park By Kallang Park Connector

From Nicoll Highway To Bishan Park By Kallang Park Connector

It is remarkably simple to walk, jog or cycle from Nicoll Highway to Bishan Park, thanks to the Kallang Park Connector. A rather different side of life in Singapore exists along the waterway:

Marina Reservoir, Kallang Park Connector Nicoll Highway, Marina Reservoir, Kallang Park Connector
if you start from Nicoll Highway MRT Station (difficult not to think of Heng Yeow Peow), just as the sun is setting, you will see next to the waters, meet-ups and couple-time with the Singapore Flyer and Gardens By The Bay in the background,

Fountain at Marina Reservoir, Kallang Park Connector Golden Mile Complex, Kallang Park Connector
“The fountain you see in front of you shoots water to a height of 12 storeys. It was launched by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew during the commissioning of Marina Reservoir on 20 November 2010.

This body of water is part of Marina Reservoir, Singapore’s 15th reservoir and also Singapore’s first reservoir in the city. Water from as far away as Ang Mo Kio gets channeled into this reservoir. The Marina Reservoir catchment is Singapore’s largest and most urbanised, with an area of 10,000 hectares, or one-sixth the size of Singapore.”

Kallang Park Connector Marina Reservoir, Kallang Park Connector
Choosing not to notice that Kiki is in town, you can stare at Tanjong Rhu, Pebble Bay, Singapore Indoor Stadium et al surrounding the rest of Marina Reservoir before hanging a left towards Nicoll Highway. (Except that’s not really the rest of Marina Reservoir, since it’s an estuarine reservoir that wanders up all the way to Ang Mo Kio.)

Waterways Watch, PUB boats, Kallang Park Connector Waterways Watch, PUB Boats, Kallang Park Connector
Past Waterways Watch Society vessels and PUB‘s (i think) blue river cleaning crafts,

Nicoll Highway Underpass, Kallang Park Connector
then under Nicoll Highway to Kallang Riverside Park,

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
where Burmese, Indian, Chinese groups can be found picnicking under the casuarina trees. Washroom facilities.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Cross the bridge over Sungei Rochor to TURE (66 Kampong Bugis), where you may want to take the opportunity to fuel up at Loysel’s Toy.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
If not, turn right after the bridge, past The Spirit of Kallang sculpture (where Filipinos string up badminton nets for a few games during the weekends) made from the supporting pillars and girders of Gasholder No.3 from the old Kallang Gasworks, and follow the path along Sungei Kallang. Keep walking until you hit Sir Arthur’s Bridge and Kallang MRT in the distance.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
The aim is to get back along the river next to Kallang MRT where the Kallang Park Connector officially starts, so cross Sir Arthur’s Bridge and look to see if there is an underpass under Geylang Road. All i found were three men cleaning fish, one of whom shouted and rushed at me after i took this photo (i just wanted to note the impassable path to the underpass actually!).

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Cross Geylang Road, trundle across Geylang Lorong 1 Bus Terminal, cross Kallang Road and mosey down the side path to the river. Follow the path to Boon Keng Road. If you look back, the Singapore Flyer view makes for a nice place to chill out on the grass with significant other or friend while watching Hindu movies (i’m guessing since it involved Ganesha) on a cheap laptop.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Have to be grateful for the rather exact signs! Cross Boon Keng Road at the traffic light pedestrian crossing and continue along Sungei Kallang.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Here you will see the two tributaries (Sungei Kallang and err, Sungei Kallang) form…yeah…Sungei Kallang (or Kallang River). A drainage reserve, huh.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Go past the Boon Keng Ville flats and Chwee Kang Beo temple and cross the strangely-lit bridge when you come to it. (You may overhear two men sitting on a bench nearby, discussing the disadvantages of the new lights,”Now cannot fish already. Fish there everyone can see you.”)

Kallang Park Connector
Singapore Flyer still visible.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Edge along the boundary of Kallang Distripark. You might just about make out two people walking steadily along the grass on the other side of Sungei Kallang. They may suddenly notice you, stand and stare at you until you turn up the stairs. Thus comforted by your imminent departure, they may then resume their pace and head for the cover of the Kallang Bahru Road bridge.

Kallang Park Connector
Meanwhile, cross Kallang Bahru Road

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
and go past the Geylang Bahru flats. This is the point where Sungei Whampoa and Sungei Kallang meet. The River Vista @ Kallang HDB flats are situated at this confluence.

Kallang Park Connector
The floating platforms (not jetties?) on the Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront look promising.

Kallang Park Connector
Cross this bridge for the Whampoa Park Connector if you wish.

Kallang Park Connector
If not, some thoughtful planner has included a bicycle wheeling ramp for your ride,

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
so continue along the hive of activity below the Geylang Bahru flats – badminton, basketball, sepak takraw etc are played in earnest here.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
You’ll start to see signs for Bishan Park.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Thanks to another wheeling ramp up the overhead bridge, there is no longer the need to risk life and limb dashing across Bendemeer Road with a heavy bike. Onward to the retro National Aerated Water Co. Ltd. building!

Kallang Park Connector
Except this “POB” has no wheeling ramp.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Here we are.

Kallang Park Connector
At this point, you may want to wander off for some bak kwa (smoked pork jerky?!) from Bee Cheng Hiang to chew on as you go along.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
If not, cross Sungei Kallang and head towards an unlit bridge that will take you back to the other side. (Wheeling groove thoughtfully provided.)

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Head past this little grove where foreign labourers are lying around chatting on their mobiles, and emerge in the estate with roads named after gemstones.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Turn left up Moonstone Lane and then right towards Topaz Road where there is a fantastic almost untouched retro house.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Down under the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), then, if you’re an office rat riding a 10kg Flying Pigeon (some say 22kg, and it certainly feels that way!), some heavy-duty weight-lifting is in order.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Once you’ve made it to the other side, do a U-ie and push your ride along the scalloped walls of St. Andrew’s Village.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
This bridge joins St. Andrew’s Junior College and Chapel of the Holy Spirit to St. Andrew’s Junior School.

Kallang Park Connector
Cross Potong Pasir Avenue 1. Until recently a stubbornly Opposition ward, Potong Pasir has a laidback feel to it.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Soon, you will have to dismount and push your bicycle through the underpass under the Central Expressway (CTE). On the other side, you’ll see a heavy vehicle park to your left and ComfortDelgro/SBS Transit across Sungei Kallang.

Kallang Park Connector
Woohoo, the distinctive sloping roofs of some Bishan flats. There were a number of people fishing and crabbing next to Toa Payoh Lorong 8. Some had made themselves very comfortable and fallen asleep on mats with the radio on.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Cross Braddell Road. (Yay, wheeling ramp.)

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Kallang Park Connector
Along this stretch of the Kallang Park Connector next to BCA Academy of the Environment, loads of herons (grey herons?) and frogs in the canal. Also, several maids “walking the dog” with their boyfriends.

Kallang Park Connector Kallang Park Connector
Past Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary and Secondary schools and Bishan Stadium on the left and SMRT Bishan Depot on the right, under the MRT tracks, then

Kallang Park Connector
collaborate and listen.

Kallang Park Connector
Bishan Park!

Equipment:
– two pegs/two wheels
Vibram Five Fingers barefoot sports shoes
– Move Collective’s Bobble filtered water bottle

While commenting on the ease of navigating between Nicoll Highway and Bishan Park, we realised that signposts and streetlamps are quite recent phenomena and certainly limited to some parts of developed countries. The writer of Psalm 119 might have had this sort of help in mind when he referred to the Word of God as “a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”. Life seems as if we have suddenly woken up in the middle of a forest, or somewhere in a vast terrain, and there are no visible paths, or perhaps there are many paths radiating away from us. We don’t even know where we are meant to go, so which path to choose? Which direction to take? Everything seems meaningless. Which stranger along the way can we trust? Which signpost (if any) can we rely on?

The Bible is a brilliant navigation device because it tells us why we are here, where we are going, and how we can get there. And, as far as human experience can tell, it is trustworthy because of its historical veracity and internal consistency. Whew.

  1. May 2, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Hey dude, this is one of the coolest posts you have by far (though I’m still looking forward to your caffeinated reads). And I seriously think that Npark should give this post a link up to 🙂

    Btw, just wondering, how long did the whole trip take on wheels?

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