By : Kay Liao
23 May 2016
Bukit Panjang is pretty much unchartered territory to me. A quick Internet search informed me that its name literally means “long stretches of hills” in Malay, and refers to the long hill range that ends at Bukit Timah. Surrounded by Singapore’s rainforests, the town name already evokes images of lush greenery.
A slice of green heaven within the heartland!
My curiosity piqued, I decided it would be fun to take a look at the town now that it is easily accessible via the Downtown MRT Line! And so I began my research.
Besides being a green haven, Bukit Panjang is a town full of history. In fact, there is a special community effort called Project Corridor which aims to showcase and preserve Bukit Panjang’s heritage. Browsing Project Corridor’s website, I was awed by the online gallery of old photos and memorabilia such as theatre ticket stubs that were contributed by the Bukit Panjang residents. What a lovely throwback to the past!
I am especially keen to visit the interactive mural wall located at Block 421 Fajar Road! According to the website, it was created by Bukit Panjang residents to capture their memories of living in the town. There’s also an installation of students’ artworks of Bukit Panjang which can be viewed at Block 256 Bangkit Road.
The winning design for the mural features Sin Wah Cinema, a unique Bukit Panjang landmark in the old days
My friend, Doris, a resident of Bukit Panjang for the past 16 years, tells me I have to check out Bangkit Road Market. Likened by residents to Hong Kong’s famous Ladies Market, stalls selling a wide variety of goods line both sides of the street similar to the pasar malam. The market is currently undergoing renovation, and Doris is hoping it will retain its facade and charm. 🙂
While planning my little trip to Bukit Panjang, I stumbled across several blog posts sharing the best food in the area. A true blue Singaporean, I am more than willing to travel far and wide just for a good meal!
With plans to round up my foodie friends for the journey, I made a mental note to include the roti prata, prawn noodles and Indian fish head curry that can be found along Upper Bukit Timah Road – just a stone’s throw away from Bukit Panjang LRT station!
Blog reviews also suggest that the stalls at Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre are worth a stop.
A one-stop location for a wide variety of delicious local food
Since I plan to eat my way through Bukit Panjang, I figured I should also schedule a trip to the serene Dairy Farm Nature Park to burn some calories! The Park’s key feature is the Wallace Trail, where you can spot various animals including squirrels, birds and insects. The Singapore Quarry at the south-western end of the park is another prime spot to view indigenous flora and fauna, and rare dragonflies.
Escape to nature with your loved ones on a weekend!(photo from the National Parks Board)
For those who enjoy biking through nature, the Dairy Farm Nature Park also has a mountain biking trail. Visitors can engage in rock climbing at the Park too!
Besides the Dairy Farm Nature Park, there is a 13.5-hectare Zhenghua Park within Bukit Panjang which connects the town with the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Additionally, did you know Bukit Panjang is home to more than 11 community gardens that grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and medicinal herbs? There is even a Bukit Panjang Community Garden Trail that leads you on a tour of the gardens which are managed and tended by the residents. It would be inspiring to see how these community gardeners are keeping the kampung spirit alive!
With my plans all mapped out, I am looking forward to visiting Bukit Panjang to bask in its lush natural environment!
Do you know the best food or most picturesque nature spots around your town? Share your recommendations and photos with us at email@example.com or let us know on our Facebook page.