Ann Ang spotted this beauty at Bukit Brown this past weekend. She says, “My friends and I found this reticulated python 2m from the road at Bukit Brown, about 600m from the gate and I estimate about 2.5m for the python’s length.”
This is not the first time we have snake sightings, so it’s a good reminder to take care when moving in the bush. We remind you with visiting tips here.
The Guiding Guides Tour
Date: 19 May, Saturday
Time: 8.30am – 11.30am
We are opening up to the public just 10 places to join a training tour conducted by Raymond for our student volunteers. The route covers the most “staked” area in Bukit Brown, Blocks 5 and 2 and starts off with the largest single tomb located off Kheam Hock Road belonging to Oon Chim Neo, stake number 77. Please meet for this tour outside the gates at the junction of Lorong Halwa and Kheam Hock.
Please register interest here to book your spot
Date: 20 May, Sunday
Time: 8.30am to 12pm
Come conquer Hill 3 with our volunteer Guides: Claire and Keng Kiat (97903886), as they challenge you to keep up with them as they climb up and down the biggest hill in Bukit Brown, and introduce you to some notable pioneers who had made great contributions to Singapore in the first half of the 20th century. We also discuss the historical context of their lives and times. Hill 3 is the largest of the five hills at Bukit Brown.
Meeting Place: Under the large and beautiful, and possibly endangered, rain tree, at the Roundabout. After the main gate, go ahead another twenty metres, to the right of the SLA office. Please register interest here
For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit
Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide).
Please click ‘Join’ on the FB event page to let us know you are coming, how many pax are turning up, or just meet us at the starting point at 9am. We meet there rain or shine.
The Bukit Brown area is about 233 hectares in extent, bordered by Lornie Road, Thomson Road and the Pan-Island Expressway. It lies just to the south of the Central Catchment Forest, being separated from it by Lornie Road and includes Singapore’s only Chinese Municipal Cemetery. With more than 100,000 graves, Bukit Brown is also one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China.
We will start with a safety briefing and quick history and geography of the grounds, and share with you the story of a man with a duo identity …
We will take a leisure climb to pay respect to a school founder, as the actual school teachers and students had recently done so …
We then take a side track and visit one of the important founders of Bukit Brown, who thankfully is not affected by the proposed highway …
Another arduous climb, and we will drop in on three neighbours from Semarang (Central Java) …
No visit to Bukit Brown is complete without visiting the biggest tomb there, as well as the famous coloured Sikh Guards …
And there are more, if you can keep up with us …
Don’t forget to bask in the peaceful surrounds, and also chat with your guides and make friends with other participants. We are amateurs and volunteers, but we are passionate and serious about what we do at Bukit Brown, and we encourage sharing of knowledge.
Here is a map of the grounds:
We will be covering several pioneers in groups 5, 6, 11 and 12.
Please take note:
1. We will be walking mainly on paved roads. But there are hill treks so dress appropriately, especially your footwear.
2. Wear light breathable clothing. Long pants and long sleeves if you are prone to insect bites or sunburn. Bring sunblock and natural insect repellent.
3. Wear comfortable non-slip shoes as safety is important. Walking sticks are recommended.
4. Do read up on Bukit Brown before going so you have a better understanding of the place (e.g. BukitBrown.com)
5. Do bring water, light snacks, poncho/umbrella, sunhat and waterproof your electronics.
6. Please go to the toilet before coming. There are NO facilities anywhere there or nearby.
How to get there by MRT / Bus:
Bus services available: 52, 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855.
From North: Go to Marymount MRT and walk to bus-stop #53019 along Upper Thomson Road. Take Buses 52, 74, 165, 852, 855
Alight 6 stops later at bus-stop, #41149, opposite Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Walk towards Sime Road in the direction of Kheam Hock Road until you see Lorong Halwa.
From South: Go to Botanic Gardens MRT and walk to bus-stop #41121 at Adam Road, in front of Singapore Bible College. Take Buses 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855. Alight 2 stops later at bus-stop, #41141, just before Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Cross the bridge, walk towards Sime Road, follow the road until you see Lorong Halwa.
Turn in from Lornie Road, to Sime Road. Then, turn left into Lorong Halwa.
Parking space available at the largish paved area near the cemetery gates.
淸明- 杜牧 (唐著名詩人)
淸明時節雨紛紛 qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn
路上行人欲斷魂 lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún
借問酒家何處在 jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu
牧童遙指杏花村 mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn
Incessantly the rain falls during Qingming
On the roads are travelers deep in sorrow
Where is there a tavern to be found?
The shepherd boy points to Xinghua (Almond Flower) Village in the distance
(poem by Dumu translated by Ang Yik Han)
My Cheng Beng 2012 is a photo essay by Toh Zheng Han in memory of his late Ah Chors (great grandparents), Ah Kong (grandfather) and Ah Ma (grandmother) It marks his family observance of the festival and perhaps a coming of age for him in a year which has seen him playing his part to save Bukit Brown. Zheng Han is a 3rd year student, currently studying English and History at NTU/NIE.
On the morning of 31st March 2012, three days before the actual day of Cheng Beng on 4th April my family and I headed to Track 14 (Old Choa Chu Kang Road) to the Hokkien Cemetery and Chua Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery to pay respect to our ancestors. It had rained nonstop the night before. The poem 淸明- 杜牧 (唐著名詩人), captured the mood of the day, perfectly.
I only remember tagging along with the family for Cheng Beng about five years ago. I did not know why I wanted to go then. Maybe I thought it would be somewhat of an adventure to be climbing up the hills to visit my ancestors.
Recently, many Singaporeans including me have been trying to save Bukit Brown Cemetery from an 8 lane highway because we feel it is an intrinsic part of our nation’s history, heritage and habitat. Although I do not have any ancestors buried at Bukit Brown, it spurred me to find out more about my country and my ancestors. Personally, I feel that it is only by being able to find out about my country’s and ancestor’s histories that I am able to understand more about Singapore and myself. Cheng Beng offered me a chance to reflect upon this, to help me connect the past to the present and future; it reminds me that Singapore is home from the very day my great grandfather decided to make this place his home.
Family History (paternal)
This year, I decided to write this short reflection and take my camera to snap shot my family’s past. I have always wondered how my ancestors made the long and difficult journey out of their village many kilometers inland of Quanzhou, Fujian to Singapore without modern transportation such as cars, trains or planes. Instead they traveled the arduous journey by a boat all the way to Singapore. I guess I will never be able to find out or fully understand how it feels to leave home and make a new life for myself in a strange land. But I feel fortunate because my ancestor took that journey and I came to be born here.
My paternal great grandfather passed away about 20 years after arriving in Singapore a few years before the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. My father never knew him. Of my paternal great grandmother (his grandmother), he has only very vague memories as she passed away in the mid 50s a few years after he was born.
My father recalls life was tough growing up. He was one of 10 children and his parents – my grandparents – eked out a living raising poultry and pigs, and growing vegetables. Meals consisted mostly of porridge with soy sauce and some vegetables, and only occasionally a treat of meat. I have wondered how it would have felt to eat this meager meal day in and day out. But I am also guilty of complaining at times when my father cooks and I ask ‘Why is it the same thing again?”
It has only been in recent years that I felt a compulsion, a hunger to find out more about my family’s past and by extension to get a sense of my country’s past. Of course I realised I am no longer able to ask or hear stories from my grandparents who both passed away more than 10 years ago. I had not realised how much my grandparents doted on me when I was a child. But I am not about to let this deter me as I turn to my Ah pek (阿伯/ uncle), Ah kor (阿姑/ auntie) and the extended family to find out about my history, my story.
Cheng Beng 2012
1st Stop – Paternal great grandfather up the hill @ Track 14 Hokkien Cemetery
2nd Stop – Paternal great grandmother mid-hill @ Track 14 Hokkien Cemetery
3rd Stop – Paternal grandfather @ Chua Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery
4th Stop – Paternal grandmother @ Chua Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery
I wish to emphasize that every one of us needs to treasure the time we have with our loved ones and not wait until Cheng Beng to do so. While Cheng Beng gives us a formal occasion for the extended family to gather and reminisce about the past, what is even more important is the need to also enjoy the present and love your parents. Treasure the past, and enjoy the present – so that we can eventually embrace the future.