The Bukit Timah Heritage Trail was the second trail that i went for this project . The first one being : The spirit of saving lives . My first trail went horribly wrong . There were only three places to go to . First being a museum(which was close) , the second one was a college of medicine building ( which i cannot enter ) , and the finally Tan Teck Guan building ( which i cannot take a photo of ) .
I was initially going to still write about my first trail , but when i was asked by my 2 friends , Xun Rui and Zhong Yi whether i want to follow them to the Bukit Timah trail . Afraid of getting the same results as i did when i went to Outram Park for the trail , I initially do not have high hopes that this would go as plan , but i soon found myself enjoying the trail too.
Our trail starts near the Rail Mall , Upper Bukit Timah Road. We had to change 2 buses from Bukit Batok bus interchange to reach there .
As we were chatting and making our way to the first destination , we already spotted our first rail way track . The track run in loops , stopping at Bukit Timah , Woodlands and Tanjong Pagar. To us , it’s like the track welcomed us to explore the rich history within itself .
Our first destination was the Old Ford Factory . The Old Ford Factory is well-known for it is the place where the British surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 . While the Factory was built in 1941 by Ford Motor Works , it became the Japanese’s military headquarters but was soon relocated to Raffles College . It resumed operations in 1947 after the Japanese Occupation and was finally shut down in 1980 . (Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Ford_Motor_Factory)
We actually wanted to take a walk inside the Factory but it was closed down due to renovation and would only open up again in 2017 .
Our next destination was suppose to be the Former Bukit Timah Fire Station . However , we crossed the road and have totally forgotten about the fire station . But on the other hand , crossing the road lead us to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve , our third location for visiting .
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was the location that we were looking forward to the most . We wanted to go for the Summit trail , which in we will be able to see the hills from a distance . But to our disappointment , the Summit trail was only available on weekends and on public holidays . Nonetheless , we still went for a walk in the Nature reserve .
The first thing we immediately notice when we enter the reserve was that there was a Rail way track . The second thing was that there was monkeys at the entrance of the reserve. We immediately went on guard , as it was probably the first time we ever saw that many monkeys that were out in the open . Not knowing what to do , we just stood there taking pictures , and in the mean time , monkeys started coming closer to us . But i soon learnt that the monkeys were totally not afraid of humans . I saw many people just casually walked right passed the monkeys , and the monkeys just kept minding their own business . I think this is because there is trust in between the monkeys and humans . As the reserve had been open for almost some 100 years , it is no wonder that the monkeys and humans can eventually co-exist in harmony . Signs that were put up tells us that we should not feed them monkey as they already have plenty of food in the park . This happened before we found out that the Summit trail was not open for the day .
After finding out that we could not go for the summit trail , we headed off to our next location which was the Beauty World plaza . There wasn’t really anything there . But there were signs that says for renting . Beside the Beauty World plaza was the Bukit Timah Plaza. More people were seen going to Bukit Timah plaza instead of Beauty World plaza as there were more shops there .
The last location that we went was the Bukit Timah Railway Station . The tracks run from Bukit Timah to Kranji and finally to Woodlands , where it will then proceed to Malaysia. The Bukit Timah Railway Station was first opened in 1915 . And had closed and dismantled in 1939 due to the decreasing amount of passengers . Another factor is that more road have been built and the reliance on vehicles like buses has resulted in people not using the train .
After the trail , we were all tired and just wanted to go home . But the knowledge and memories that we bought home with us is what matters . From this trail , i have learnt about the history of Bukit Timah . Just seeing the transportation systems used by people in the last century made me appreciate the quality of today’s transport . Knowing the history of Singapore is important . We can learn from our past mistakes and further improve ourselves . From this trail , i have also learnt that it is important to give anything a try . Imagine people were all afraid to try out new things , we would not be able to advance vastly and effectively from the past to the present . Same thing , if i had not went to the trail with Xun Rui and Zhong Yi , i wouldn’t have learnt anything. By learning the history of Bukit Timah , we know how far we have come over the past century , therefore , it is also important to preserve the history of Singapore .