Tag Archives: Nature Society Singapore

The Green Corridor Run 2014

The Green Corridor route in Singapore, a beautiful nature trail running through Singapore’s heartlands and some of Singapore’s natural greenery from the Southern tip of Singapore at Tanjong Pagar towards the Northern part of Singapore around the Woodlands region. The Green Corridor as some of us would affectionately know, is also known as the Rail Corridor, given her former roots and history of the former KTM train services running on the railway track from Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station to Bukit Timah KTM Railway Station and Woodlands Checkpoint before crossing over to Malaysia.

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The Green Corridor Run 2014, a unique trail run that starts from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Bukit Timah Railway Station, over a distance of 10.5km surrounded by the natural green environment and the Singapore heartlands. In their 2nd year, it was great to see a great turnout of runners running in the Green Corridor running singlet and the runners blend themselves beautifully with the beautiful greenery of the Green Corridor/Rail Corridor. I was at the Kampung Bahru Road flyover and photographed the first and second wave of Green Corridor Run runners running out from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station area and it was a nice sea of green runners among the greenery! The weather during the Green Corridor Run 2014 was very wet and kudos to the runners for completing the run in very wet and muddy conditions!

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I wasn’t able to cover the Green Corridor Run 2014 from the Tanjong Pagar towards the end point at Bukit Timah Railway Station due to a clash of schedules, like what I did in the Green Corridor Run 2013. However, I hope that my small contribution in sharing about the Green Corridor Run 2014 and some photographs from the Green Corridor Run 2014 would encourage future Green Corridor runners to join! I also hope that more people would continue to love and explore our Green Corridor/Rail Corridor for leisure and recreational activities, along with the history and culture of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore.

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I personally feel that the Green Corridor Run is great and suits the Green Corridor perfectly! Let’s keep the Green Corridor Run going in the years ahead and beyond! Let’s keep the Green Corridor status quo and an area for outdoor recreation, fun, healthy living and leisure activities!


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Bidadari Woodlands

Bidadari Woodlands, a gorgeous, tranquil and peaceful green belt in Singapore. It is a former cemetery, one of the oldest in Singapore. The last burial at Bidadari Cemetery was in 1972, in the year 1996, the government announced future redevelopment plans for Bidadari, earmarked for future housing developments. In 2002, exhumation of the graves began and Bidadari transformed into a temporary park space in 2006. The future plans for Bidadari was recently announced around August 2013 inside the Draft Master Plan 2013 and the new housing estate development plans are in place in the years to come.

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Here are some useful links and information on Bidadari

Bidadari Cemetery on Wikipedia

Draft Master Plan 2013 ~ Bidadari Estate

National Heritage Board ~ Bidadari Memorial Garden

Housing Development Board ~ Weaving Through Bidadari – A Community in a Garden

Nature Society Singapore ~ NSS’s Position on Bidadari 

Facebook Group ~ Saving Bidadari for Birds and People

I visited Bidadari Woodlands a few times, exploring, photographing the beautiful green landscapes, observing and photographing the avian community, the local and migratory birds that make Bidadari Woodlands home or transit/rest point. Bidadari Woodlands has an extensive list of birds that were spotted there. It’s a haven for bird watchers and bird photographers especially during migration season when the birds fly into Singapore’s Bidadari Woodlands and rest there for a while before continuing on their migration journey. I went to Bidadari Woodlands for bird photography exploration a few times and I hope to photograph more of the birds before the Bidadari Woodlands is changed into a new housing estate.

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Recently, I joined a group morning hike with friends to explore Bidadari Woodlands together, starting from Bartley MRT station, towards Mt Vernon and hiking across the Bidadari Woodlands towards Woodleigh MRT station. During this trek, my emphasis was on the landscape and greenery, capturing and documenting as many different landscape scenes inside Bidadari Woodlands. I am planning to go back again a few more times, for both bird photography and more landscape photography. I just want to share the beautiful and lush green nature belt known as Bidadari Woodlands. Do check out my Flickr on the photographs that I took at Bidadari Woodlands!

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There are many different areas that Bidadari encompasses, history, heritage, culture, conservation, preservation nature and wildlife for you to explore and know more about Bidadari Woodlands. Do go and explore them!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Outdoor and Birding Photography Adventure @ Sungei Ulu Pandan

The Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector Network is part of the wider networks of Park Connectors Network managed by National Parks (NParks) Singapore. Our Park Connector Networks is a great idea for people to be able to access to the outdoors for leisure and recreational activities. Some of the Park Connector networks connects the green belt to the community, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors and wildlife spotting.

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This particular network, the Sungei Ulu Pandan segment, is one of my favourite areas due to its proximity to my home (not too far away), it’s part of my childhood growing up years since my former Primary School is just around the corner nearby there and lastly, it’s part of the Old Jurong Line/Green Corridor network that I personally took a strong interest and support in. It’s not just for walking, running and cycling along the Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector, it’s great for wildlife photography too!

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I had been there quite a number of  times and slowly exploring the various areas along the Sungei Ulu Pandan, Clementi Woodlands, Community Farm at Clementi and Old Jurong Line (from the Sunset Way pedestrian bridge, heading towards Sunset Way Railway Bridge and heading towards the Ayer Rajah Expressway whereby another smaller Old Railway Bridge of the Old Jurong Line is (the river forms a Y-shaped there before heading towards Pandan Reservoir direction. Here’s a handy map by NParks for your reference! If you love to capture sunsets, walking down along Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector does give you the opportunity for a beautiful sunset! Take a leisure stroll and enjoy the quiet time and tranquility of the Green Corridor surroundings.

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Here are some of the birds and wildlife spotted along Sungei Ulu Pandan, Clementi Woodlands and Old Jurong Line

– Egret family

– Grey Heron

– Purple Heron

– Striated Heron

Brahminy Kite

– Common Kingfisher

– White-Throated Kingfisher

– Collared Kingfisher

– Long-Tailed Parakeet

– Water-Breasted Waterhen

– Slaty-Breasted Rail

– Oriental Dollar bird

– Black-Naped Oriole

– Malayan Monitor Lizard

There are definitely more species of birds and wildlife that I have yet to spot and photograph them! Hopefully, as time goes by, I would be able to fill up more photographs of the bird sightings at Sungei Ulu Pandan in my Flickr collection! Do check out my Clementi Railway Track collection and my adventure when a few of us trekked from Teban Gardens to Sunset Way!

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The photographs and adventures brought back many memories, from trekking along the Old Jurong Line and the Green Corridor that were part of the Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector Network, documenting and photographing memories of history, heritage, community and culture. Adding in the wildlife, leisure and recreational memories here sums it up the importance of such places in Singapore!


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Old Jurong Line Update 2 – Community Gardens Farm at Clementi

The Community Gardens Farm at Clementi, located in the heart of Old Jurong Line, part of the KTM Railway networks in Singapore’s history when the KTM Railway networks were operating into the Jurong Industrial estate. I promised to share and update about the new Community Farm in Clementi since I lived not too far away from the area and I grew up studying in the Primary School with the Old Jurong Line behind my Primary School! I used to remember playing nearby there when I was a Primary School kid!

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I went for the Old Jurong Line trek with a group of like-minded people from the We Support The Green Corridor community, trekking from Teban Gardens to Sunset Way. There were a number of changes along the Old Jurong Line, in some segments, it’s totally gone forever, changed into modern roads, viaducts and flyovers. Today’s update will be the Clementi Avenue 4 segment of the Old Jurong Line that were in the limelight with the community gardens farm appearing and the former facilities around the community garden farms were gone forever. The community farm at Clementi was officially opened on 3rd March 2013 and you can check out the news report here!

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Having saw the transformation from clearing the former farming land to the community farm at Clementi, there were mixed feelings initially. Balancing both sides of the stories from the residents complaints and having been there for myself, I can understand where the decision was made to change it to the community farming concept. This is probably a Win-Win situation for all parties and stakeholders out there, while it lost part of her history, we can see that majority of the greenery are still preserved and intact around the community farming area. In my personal opinion, that is definitely better than clearing the green belt and building concrete blocks, buildings etc. Moreover, the community farming at Clementi can help to reach out to the residents and nearby communities in different ways such as the outdoors experiences, community bonding, teaching the younger generation on farming, gardening, leisure and recreational aspects of it.

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The rest of the greenery, heritage and history of the Old Jurong Line are still intact around the Clementi area. Let’s hope that they continue to keep this status quo and not destroy our history and heritage of the KTM Railway networks and Singapore’s growth history. This is a beautiful area with the Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector running parallel beside it and a rich greenery and wildlife habitat connecting to the Clementi Woodlands, you can check out Nature Society Singapore (NSS) Green Corridor Report for more details. It’s a thriving green community with a number of wildlife spotted around there and a place for Singaporeans to rest, relax, exercise, enjoy the outdoors and to keep fit and healthy!

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Here’s my Green Corridor Photos Collection that I took over a period of time. The Green Corridor is really a beautiful and wonderful green space. Let’s keep it this way!

Green Corridor Run 2013

The Green Corridor, also officially known as the Rail Corridor, was very active today with about 6000 runners. Looking back in time, dating back to the last day of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore, the fate of the Green Corridor was hanging in the balance. Most of us do not know about the exact future and plans for the Green Corridor and it is still currently being discussed and planned by the authorities. At this current juncture, the Green Corridor/Rail Corridor is left as it is (except for Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Bukit TImah Railway Station being closed to the public). It’s a leisure and recreational space for Singaporeans to relax and enjoy.

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When the news regarding the return of the KTM Railway land back to Singapore, I started photographing and documenting the Green Corridor before the last day of the KTM Railway operations, the changes and developments thereafter. It was a humbling and enriching journey since I grew up near the Old Jurong Line at Clementi during my primary school days and my secondary school was beside Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (10 years near/beside the KTM operations). Even though I did not take the KTM trains, they had been a part of my growing up life. Therefore, I had a strong interest in the Green Corridor and would continue to lend my support in terms of photographing and documenting my exploration stories. Do check out my Flickr collection on the Green Corridor.

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The Green Corridor Run was a great idea to push forward the agenda that the Green Corridor to be preserved and used for outdoor recreational activities such as running, cycling and trekking. Starting from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Bukit Timah Railway Station, over a distance of 10.5km, running pass the HDB heartlands and lush greenery along the former KTM Railway tracks route. I confessed that I was planning to sign up and run in the Green Corridor Run 2013 but I didn’t manage to sign up in time when the run reached their quota number of participants. Therefore, I went photographing at different segments of the Green Corridor Run starting from Buona Vista MRT station, overhead bridge near Ghim Moh HDB estate, bridge near Cold Storage Jelita at Holland Road, and finally Bukit Timah Railway Station. It was a sunny day with clear blue skies, while the weather was hot today, it was great for the Green Corridor Run!

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Looking at the number of runners participating in the Green Corridor Run, it was really good to see and feel that Green Corridor has the potential to be a outdoor playground for Singaporeans to enjoy, relax, keep fit and healthy, enjoy the lush greenery and fresh air. The runners also stopped along the route to take photographs for memories sake. At the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the runners were happily taking photographs at the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the partial railway tracks that were preserved and the bridge across Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road. There were even people queuing up to take photographs with the Bukit Timah Railway Station signboard!  Nature Society Singapore (NSS) is the official charity partner and I had a good time catching up with the friendly folks from NSS, Kwok Peng and Hang Chong at the end point marquee, along with Eugene Tay from We Support The Green Corridor.

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With a maiden and successful start, let us all make the Green Corridor a haven for everybody to relax, enjoy, exercise, keep fit and healthy, have fun, leisure and recreation among the lush greenery,  conservation and protection of the rich flora and fauna that Green Corridor is part of, the rich heritage, history and culture of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore.

That is why the Green Corridor is very important to Singapore and deserves to be preserved as it is, for the future generations.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Old Romances & Old Places – Kick Off for 2013

My adventure in photographing, documenting and sharing about Old Places and lately Old Romances in Singapore, had always been a fruitful and exciting adventure for me. For my personal projects in the areas of Old Places and Old Romances, I produced a mixture of history, heritage, cultural, conservation, preservation, photographs and writing into my posts. With a mixture of current events and personal projects, I am a good mix of photography stories/adventures of past and present.

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After watching Old Romances at the National Museum of Singapore, it was a Rekindling of Old Romances inside me. There were still many Old Places and Old Business Trades for me to go out photograph and document in Singapore. It would be a balancing act for my photojournalism journey in 2013, between my personal projects in Old Romances, Old Business Trades and Old Places, along with current events coverage in sports, events and tourism. I am finally kicking off my Old Romances and Old Places photojournalism journey for the year 2013 and I would be sharing some areas that I would be looking into as my priorities.

Bukit Brown 

This year 2013, it would be the start of the exhumation of the affected graves at Bukit Brown for the upcoming building of the expressway cutting through Bukit Brown. I trekked and explored Bukit Brown with the Nature Society of Singapore on 24th December 2011, and with my relatives over 2 more times  to find my ancestors and pay respects to them. I had not written about my relatives visit to Bukit Brown and this would take on a more significant portion for year 2013 because three of my five ancestors (my maternal Great-Grandfather and two of my maternal Great-Grandmothers whom I never met before) are affected by the building of the expressway and they are slated for exhumation. I personally find it very challenging if the green light comes to me from my senior hierarchy of my maternal side of family to photograph and document the exhumation process. When the time comes, I would share my documentation stories and photographs with the blessings and permission of my relatives if they give me the permission to do so.

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Bidadari 

This is another former cemetery in Singapore, that was cleared sometime back. The plans would be a go-ahead to build HDB blocks in the area and the lush greenery that plays a birds haven to around 139 species of birds both local and migratory. There is a Facebook Group – Saving Bidadari for Birds and People, do check them out! While it is inevitable that the majority of the land at Bidadari would be used for HDB blocks, there is a chance that the lush greenery that housed the birds would have a different outcome since that area was planned to be a neighbourhood park. Nature Society of Singapore did a proposal for the conservation of Bidadari as a Nature Park, that would definitely benefit the preservation of the birds, a green space for the public to relax and enjoy. I am looking forward to visit Bidadari, enjoy the green lush space and do bird photography, along with writing and advocating the preservation of Bidadari as a Nature Park. Let’s see if civic groups and community engagements can make a difference to how we want Singapore to be like in the future, to strike a balance between growth, expansion and retaining our green space for wildlife, leisure and recreation.

Old Business Trades 

In the face of modernisation and capitalisation, many Old Business Trades in Singapore faced an uncertain future, they faced different issues such as the trade would not be able to pass on to the next generations at all since there were not any takers to do so. I was honoured that I was given permission and able to follow along with National Heritage Board (NHB) mini-projects to cover and document Old Business Trades. My first coverage of the Old Business Trades was my post on “The Art and Profession of Knife Sharpening“. Looking and moving ahead for 2013, I hope to be able to cover more of these Old Business Trades. Another segment that I covered was in the traditional arts performances such as Puppetry in Singapore and Bangsawan Performance.

Old Romances

After watching Old Romances, there was a connection between the love stories that the people kindly shared and what those Old Places, Old Trades and Cultures meant to them. From the different love stories shown, I had explored and photographed some of them, there were those that I didn’t know they were around in Singapore. I would look into this list and start to explore them in the year 2013, with fellow heritage buffs. We would all probably take turns to plan and lead heritage outing trips to the places shown in Old Romances.

Green Corridor 

The Green Corridor, also known as the Rail Corridor. An area that I was interested in, covering and photographing the KTM Railway before it was handed back to Singapore, the removal of the railway tracks and being transformed into a green corridor. While the future remains a question mark, I believe that with active and constant community engagements and dialogues with the relevant authorities. The Green Corridor/Rail Corridor would remain mostly a green corridor for all of us to enjoy, relax and stay active, exercising and healthy by cycling, trekking and running along the Green Corridor!

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Do stay tuned to my photographs collection on Flickr and 500px for my Old Places and Old Romances updates too!

500px ~ Old Places

Flickr ~ Old Places

Flickr ~ The Green Corridor

Finally, I got this write up off my chest and mind!! Now I can go ahead and kick off my Old Romances and Old Places 2013 documentary and photojournalism adventure for 2013!

The Rail Corridor Open Day 2012

One year had passed since the final faithful day on the 30th June 2011. The KTM Railway last train pulled away from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, marking a change in the history and timeline of Singapore. Today, there are no more trains operating from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and there were changes to the landscape of the KTM Railway route and train station compound. The railway tracks were removed and returned to the Malaysian Government with some small portions of the railway tracks remaining today.

On the 1st July 2012, the public was once again allowed to revisit the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Bukit Timah Railway Station, rekindling their memorie and passion. Besides that, there were nature walks from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Old Holland Road or towards Tanjong Pagar Railway Station for the more adventurous ones. This wonderful and meaningful event is organised by Friends of the Rail Corridor and Nature Society (Singapore).

I started to look back in time when my friends and myself were exploring, photographing and documenting the KTM Railway and the Old Jurong Railway line,

(Abandoned) Railway Track Photo Walkabout 

– (Abandoned) Railway Track (Part 2) Photo Walkabout 

Railway Track Exploration Part 3 – Bukit Timah To Ten Mile Junction

So Long! Farewell! The Last Train from KTM Tanjong Pagar

A Goodbye (Thank You) Walk to the Railway Tracks

Old Jurong Line Update 1 – Teban Gardens to Sunset Way

Bukit Timah Railway Station to Holland Road (Bridge)

These photojournalistic trekking adventures gave me many beautiful memories and photographs (some were sad too) with my friends who were just as enthusiastic, adventurous and making a difference to document and share the last months leading to the return of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Bukit Timah Railway Station and the railway land/tracks back to Singapore.

On the Rail Corridor Open Day 2012, I trekked along from Bukit Timah Railway Station towards Ghim Moh HDB estate area before  leaving for Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. While I did not trek from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Tanjong Pagar Railway  Station, I might do it one day in the future with my friends. The lush greenery and vegetation were still as beautiful and mostly untouched. The weather was great with clear blue skies and beautiful sunshine. The participants were treated to great sharing on the flora and fauna by the volunteer guides from Nature Society Singapore along with bird watching too!

At the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Open House, the activities started in the afternoon and the visitors were allowed to explore the main hall and platform freely. There were screening of documentaries – Platform 1932, wonderful nostalgic photography and memories sharing by Darren Soh and Jerome Lim. Thereafter, there was also a guided tour on Tanjong Pagar Railway Station architecture and history by Dr Lai Chee Kien. Check out Jerome’s post on the Rail Corridor Open Day too!

I took this wonderful and grateful opportunity to explore and photograph those places that you will most likely unable to access them when the Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station was in operation, those of the train operations offices, warehouses, immigration customs booths, and kitchens that served very delicious food. The main hall, the ticket counter, the artwork, the platforms and railway tracks were photographed once again, same old place, quite a lot of difference 1 year later.

At 5pm on 1st July 2012, the metal grille gates to the platform were closed again. However, the metal grille gates “resisted” and seemed that they do not want to be “closed” again, they were not allowing the security officers to close them easily before they were closed tight. This omen was spotted by Jerome, who highlighted to me and it was probably sending a message that the Grand Old Dame, our Tanjong Pagar Railway Station wants to be back to her glory days again. When and how will this happen, change and metamorphosis, the supporters, Friends of the Rail Corridor, Nature Society Singapore and We Support The Green Corridor , would be there to welcome her back in operation (without the trains though)


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Nature Society (Singapore) Public Walk @ Bukit Brown 24th Dec 2011

A lush beautiful and peaceful greenery tucked away close to the middle of Singapore, near her Central Catchment Area, affectionately known to the locals as Kopi Sua (in Hokkien) or 咖啡山, this is the Bukit Brown area. This area is of great importance and significance in our Singapore’s history and heritage, with many pioneers and philanthropists of early Singapore buried there.

With Singapore’s limited landspace and thirst for expansion, Bukit Brown is slated for re-development, firstly, with the building of roads across this area, supposing to ease the traffic woes around there. This is only the initial stage with future plans for Bukit Brown being further re-developed into areas for housing development. There was a public outcry, it wasn’t just affecting the dead people below the ground at Bukit Brown, we are destroying flora and fauna, wildlife and animal sanctuary, and most importantly history, heritage and culture.

I was also following the developments and discussions of the Bukit Brown, reading it online via the social media channels and decided to join Nature Society (Singapore) Public Walk @ Bukit Brown on 24th December 2011 morning, led by Hang Chong of NSS, who gave us a great tour and overview of history, heritage, wildlife, flora and fauna of Bukit Brown. When I was hiking around  with the rest of the group, the lush greenery is very tranquil and beautiful, the peace can hardly be found in modern cosmopolitan busy hectic Singapore.

This was also the time to learn more about our culture, heritage and history, we can do so much more in this few areas, it was an eye-opener for me, a reminder to myself, we must always keep on learning and never stop learning, in one area, learning from the forefathers of Singapore, with their entrepreneurship, philanthropy and giving it back to society is something so precious that no amount of monetary value can be placed on it and many of them are there at Bukit Brown.

You can do a part too, support the movements to preserve and save Bukit Brown, follow them on these 2 sites on Facebook

Save Bukit Brown Cemetery – The Roots of Our Nation

Heritage Singapore – Bukit Brown Cemetery 

We are not just preserving history, heritage and culture. We are also preserving a lush greenery belt that is a sanctuary for wildlife, flora and fauna and lastly an untouched green space in concrete Singapore. There are still much for me to photograph and document and I would plan to go back there soon again, to continue with the photojournalism coverage of Bukit Brown.


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