Historical Tour De Temasek (Singapore)

The Historical Tour De Temasek was executed on 15 Feb 2021 to coincide with the day when Singapore surrendered to the Japanese Occupation during World War 2 in 1942 at exactly at 5.15 pm; Singapore then became Syonan-to.

We started at 9 am from Yishun and ended about 8.25 pm with a total distance of 187.1 km. It was 4 of us, my wife, my son-in-law and my daughter and me. I rode my Honda Fighthawk CB 190X whilst my son-in-law rode his 200cc Scormadi.

The routes taken by us. We started in Yishun toward the East to West and back to Yishun.
First stop at Punggol End.

Punggol End is one of the oldest settlements in Singapore. The original settlers were predominantly Malays. The early Chinese immigrants, who settled in Punggol from the mid 19th century onwards, were engaged in plantation work, mainly rubber. Punggol, also spelled Ponggol, in Malay means “hurling sticks at the branches of fruit trees to bring them down to the ground”. The place is said to take its name from the river Sungei Ponggol. Ponggol also means “a stump of a tree”, especially “a high stump”. Currently, Punggol is one of the newest housing estates that faces the sea. You can see Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia. (Wikipedia).

Historic Changi and it’s Vicinities

It was believed that Changi got its name from the Chengal tree, a tall tree that used to grow in the district. The location of the tree can be seen on the above map. But the tree was felled in 1942 by the British Army to prevent the Japanese artilllery from using it as a ranging point during World War 2.

For further information, visits the following links.

The Johore Battery was a former British coastal artillery battery located in Changi – Cosford Road – on the eastern most side of mainland Singapore. In the late 1930s, the British government installed naval guns – 3 large BL 15-inch MK – on land to defend the approaching attacking enemy naval force from the eastern side of Singapore. All the guns have been destroyed during the war. What you can see here is the replica of the gun. The place is currently occupied partly by a halal eatery, D.U.I.T SG Ikan Bakar, operating from 11am to 10pm. Do check first before going to the restaurant.

Click the following links for further infomation.

A visit to the old Changi Hospital via Hendon Road. The perimeter was fenced to deter unauthorized entries by “thrill seekers”. In fact trespassers had been caught and dealt with by the Authority.

A brief history. The buildings were built by the British Government in 1930s as part of a military bases. In 1935, the Royal Airforce Hospital was commissioned occupying few blocks within the military base. It was converted into a POW camp during the Japanese occupations of SG from 1942 to 1945 where more than 50000 prioners were housed including the captured allied troops. It was taken back by the British after the war, and subsequently handed over to the Singapore Armed Forces in 1975 to be known as SAF Hospital. In 1976, it was handed over to the Ministry of Health. In 1997, with the merging of Changi Hospital and Toa Payoh Hospital, it ceased operations in Changi and moved to the new location at Simei as Changi General Hospital. The buildings of the Old Changi Hospital remains vacant til today.

For further information click the following links.

We tried to visit the Old Changi Commando Barracks and it’s vicinity, but the area was out of bound. Even the West Entrance of Changi Boardwalk was closed as some areas are under redevelopment. We decided to drop our plan to walk through the boardwalk and wait for its full operations in the 4th quarter of 2021.

Changi Point

Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Boat ride to Pulau Ubin. The boat ride to Tanjong Pengelih, Johor, Malaysia is temporarily unavailable due to the current pandemic.

A Visit to Mount Faber

One of the oldest park in Singapore, Mount Faber standing at 92m above sea-level. It was formally known as Telok Blangah Hill but was renamed after Captain Charles Edward Faber of the Madras Engineers, the superintending engineer in the Straits, in 1845 after he managed to construct a road leading to the highest point of the hill and built a new signal station; to replace the old one situated in Pulau Blakang Mati, now known as Sentosa Island. The Signal Station was known in Malay as Bukit Bendera (Flaf Hill). Mount Faber never became a Fort eventhough it was planned before 1900. Today, Mount Faber is a popular place for both locals and tourists.
Mount Faber

Good info on Mount Faber

Bukit Chandu War Memorial

Also known as Bukit Chandu (Malay for Opium Hill), this site saw intense fighting on 14 February 1942, during the Battle of Singapore. Led by Lieutenant Adnan Saidi, men of the “C” Company of the 1st Malay Brigade held their ground despite being heavily outnumbered, and fought to their deaths. The only Malay Regiment surviving witness was Corporal Yaakob, who pretended to be dead so the Japanese soldiers wouldn’t kill him. For his bravery, Lieutenant Adnan Saidi was recognised posthumously by the British government and his heroic contingent is remembered for their sacrifices while defending Singapore.

Apparently, we could not entered as the museum is under major redevelopment since October 2018 and expected to open this year. I was informed last week that the museum was back in business.

For more information, visit the following sites.

Jurong Hill

The highest ground in Jurong that is also known by its Malay name Bukit Peropok. It was converted into a park by JTC. It has a spiralling lookout tower which was opened in 1970. The hill also houses a Garden of Fame where heads of state and other dignitaries planted trees to commemorate their visits to Jurong Industrial Estate. A total of 30 trees were planted here between 1969 and 1984, before a lack of space saw a new Garden of Fame established on the grounds of Jurong Town Hall.

The Lookout Tower
Tree planted by Queen Elizabeth II.

As we were at Jurong, decided to visit Tuas Lamp Post 1 at Tuas South Boulevard and Raffles Marina Lighthouse.

Raffles Marina Lighthouse

There are many other heritage and historic places along the routes we’ve taken but we did not visit them on that particular day; infact we have been to that locations and spent many hours there with our bicycles. So I will be sharing them soon.

We ended our day by having dinner at Mr. Uncle Restaurant along Sembawang Road. It was a worthy ride on our motorcycles.

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