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:
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,
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.”
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.)
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.
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!).
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.
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.”)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.