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March 18, 2008

From The Past Into The Future At Telok Blangah Hill Park, Singapore

Above: Picnic Hill Top

From The Past Into The Future At Telok Blangah Hill Park, Singapore

Changes were evident when I stepped onto Telok Blangah Hill Park recently.

In one corner, “No Entry” signs and crude fencing kept out visitors to the historic Alkaff Mansion. Overgrown vegetation was abundant around the property. A road leading up to the bungalow was littered with broken branches, shriveled leaves and fallen frangipani flowers. Alkaff Mansion, once owned by Arab traders, hosted grand banquets and high-maintenance dinners during its heydays. The Singapore Tourist Promotion Board turned it into a restaurant after restoring its old-world charm and architecture. However, disuse and abandonment seemed to be its only patrons now.

At the fitness corner of Telok Blangah Hill Park beside Henderson Road, another perimeter border kept out inquisitive eyes. There were signs of development of a futuristic-looking pedestrian crossing. From Henderson Road, I could see workers walking across the bridge towards Mt Faber Park (picture above). Completion of development works appeared imminent. While I welcome new improvements, the increased pedestrian traffic from Mt Faber to Telok Blangah Hill Park may disturb the peace and quiet on this little hill.

Hopefully, my two favourite locations in Telok Blangah Hill Park will not be subjected to crowding and noise pollution in time to come. I like the Terrace Garden, the highest point on the hill. Over there, the colourful bougainvilleas when in full bloom never failed to light up my mood. The panoramic view at its apex could be as worthy as that from the top of Mt Faber Park. The other favourite area of mine is at Picnic Hill Top, which affords privacy and space for contemplative thoughts.

Depending on mood and occasion, I would hang out at either one. Do you have any special place that you like to hang out and why?

Take care, be happy.

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