Monthly Archives: October 2015

“Where is the cow?” A cycling trip to Coney Island …

There was a bunch of 6 male cyclists in their 30s or 40s at the map at the eastern end of Coney Island (see map below). One of them asks, “where is Coney Island?”, the rest burst out laughing and someone replied, “you bodoh, this is Coney Island!”. Then, the man says, “then, where is the cow?” …. LOL!

Map of Coney Island; note that the P sign stands for bicycle parking, so don't try to drive your car there to park, haha.

Map of Coney Island; note that the P sign stands for bicycle parking, so don’t try to drive your car there to park, haha.

Yup, I really overheard this conversation as I cycled my way around Coney Island today after I had my dizi lesson nearby in the NE part of Singapore. Its a nice little island for those wanting to be with nature, away from the distractions (or conveniences) of “modern” life (like shopping malls, eating places, electricity etc etc).

What you get is trees, mangroves, beaches (and sandflies!!), birds, mostly dirt tracks, sea breeze and a cow (which you will be have to be very lucky to spot, believe me! the island is not that small. Also, see this link from NParks website). There are shelters and bird hideouts in several places along the connecting trails from the main park connector (the one that runs down the “middle” of the island from east to west) to the beach areas,

shelter on one of the trails joining the main park connector and beach ...

shelter on one of the trails joining the main park connector and beach … blends in with the surroundings

and an eco-toilet at the eastern end only (see map above and photo below).

solar powered toilet

eco-solar powered toilet

Here are some photo “highlights” of the island and tips for visiting:

best to start at the more accessible Western end of the island (this is 700 m from the end of Punggol Road, by Bus 84 or drive there; limited free parking available)

best to start at the more accessible Western end of the island (this is 700 m from the end of Punggol Road, by Bus 84 or drive there; limited free parking available)

If without your own bicycle, it is best to rent one as you make your way towards the island at the Punggol Settlement (shophouse, mostly seafood restaurants) from Jomando Adventure and Recreation (search them to find out about rental rates and opening hours). While walking is good too, it will take some time if you plan to cover the entire island (2.4 km from east to west along the main connector!)

Jomando for bike rental and other gear (scooter for kids?)

Jomando for bike rental and other gear (scooter for kids?)

western promenade, nice steps to sit around as it is very windy and looks out to Johor across the sea

western promenade, nice steps to sit around as it is very windy and looks out to Johor across the sea

 

 

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tanker on the Johor Straits, P. Ubin is the island seen sticking out on the right hand edge

 

 

 

 

 

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absolutely no way to get lost with these signs everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

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Good to visit one or two beaches, but beware of sandflies! don’t stay around too long at the beach and apply insect repellent (but not sure if it works, haha) … 

 

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Beach area C is the one that is joined to the main connector by a boardwalk …

 

 

 

 

 

 

this is a bird hide ... no, not for bird to hide but for people to hide while looking out for birds!

this is a bird hide … no, not for bird to hide but for people to hide while looking out for birds!

the only birds I spotted were those on the sign boards, haha!

the only birds I spotted were those on the sign boards, haha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the main "road" on Coney Island ... near the toilet end (i.e. eastern side)

the main “road” on Coney Island … near the toilet end (i.e. eastern side)

along the Eastern promenade, P Ubin is directly across the waters. The dam is a prominent part of the bridge that is used to get to Coney Island from the Eastern side.

along the Eastern promenade, P Ubin is seen directly across the sea. The dam above is a prominent part of the bridge that is used to get to Coney Island from the Eastern side.  Lorong Halus Wetland Park may be a good place to gain access this end of the island …

 

Random people that you meet on Coney Island ...

Random people that you meet on Coney Island … couples, students, joggers, cyclists, etc … and plenty of pine (??) and casuarina trees

Final tips:

  1. bring water, sun protection
  2. go with little expectations (especially of finding the cow!!)
  3. wear proper footwear (otherwise, the sand, little rocks will get in between your toes)
  4. cycling will make your coverage of the island much quicker, but be prepared for bumpy rides (most of the “roads” are dirt trails, some rocky and some sandy, but mostly fine for cycling still)
  5. have a cold drink from 7-11 or ice cream after coming back to the mainland at the Punggol Settlement or use the drink vending machine at the car park (oh, and outdoor shower facilities are also available at the washroom near the carpark)

 

$1 Kickapoo from vending machine outside the washroom, beside the car park

$1 Kickapoo from vending machine outside the washroom, beside the car park

And I will no longer say “looking for needle in a haystack” (which doesn’t really make much sense in Singapore); instead, it shall be “looking for cow in Coney Island” ! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Macritchie Reservoir scenes …

Last Wednesday (7 Oct), the skies suddenly turned rather clear after weeks of unhealthy haze, and I managed to take this shot at Macritchie Reservoir (very happy to get so many birds in this picture 🙂 )

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The good thing is that ever since then, it has been relatively “healthy” air, especially around the central part of Singapore (and at Macrtichie Reservoir) and almost every alternate day finds me there doing my morning runs 🙂  Today, I was fortunate to see a very nice “misty”(and very symmetrical) view from the SICC end of the reservoir:

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Even nicer for me was seeing this Great Purple Heron, and I followed it for almost 100 m to take this image:

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(btw, the yellow cast is rather exaggerated; had set my mobile camera settings to underexpose for the sun and sky and this was the colour cast that resulted).

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Mt Bromo and Mt Rinjani (chinese ink painting!)

With the haze in town the past few weeks and “stuck” indoors, I painted these images of Mt Bromo and Mt Rinjani, using Chinese ink …

Bromo sunrise

Bromo sunrise

painting based on this panoramic shot taken with my mobile camera

painting based on this panoramic shot taken with my mobile camera

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Mt Rinjani !!

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lovely photo of Mt Rinjani … really makes me want to go there next year!!

Must credit my classmate from ink painting class who did an incredible huge Chinese landscape piece that inspired me to produce the above … above are just small experiments for me to practise before I do a big piece, hopefully soon!! 🙂

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