The exhibition Bukit Brown : Our Roots, Our Future was officially opened by Ms Jane Ittogi  Shanmugaratnam, Chair of the Singapore Art Museum, on the evening of 29 June, 2013.

Ms Ittogi, who had visited Bukit Brown with the Brownies in March 2013, shared her views and impressions. She spoke at length of the potential of its material culture for scholars. In particular, Bukit Brown’s preservation may rest on weighing the opportunity cost, its community value, and its universal value, she said.

Raymond Goh representing All Things Bukit Brown made an impassioned speech, sharing the significant  discoveries which have emerged only in the last two years.

Guest of Honour Jane Ittogi Shamagaratnam (photo Bianca Polak)

Photos of the opening and tour of the exhibition can be found here

Special Thanks to Ang Hock Chuan for the videography and our official photographers: Gan Su Lin & Bianca Polak

Photos of the opening and tour of the exhibition can be found here

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The brief: a nature ramble led by the affable Brownie, Peter Pak.
The morning started with a slight drizzle, but the skies soon cleared and remained cool. Along the way Peter  to introduced participants to the earliest tombs in Bukit Brown in 1922, the year Bukit Brown, opened.

(photo: Khoo Ee Hoon)

 

Horses (Photo: Khoo Ee Hoon)

The tour ended at Ong Sam Leong’s family cluster where they met a film crew at work (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

July 14 tour (Photo: Khoo Ee Hoon)

Watch out for our weekly tours on this page.
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The first Saturday afternoon tour drew a big crowd of 50, mostly first timers to Bukit Brown.  It was lovely, cool weather. We split into 2 groups, Group 1 led by Claire, Su Min and  Catherine and group 2 by  Fabian, Andrew, Steven and Jonathan.

A sketch by Lim Su Min, of Claire at Tan Boon Hak’s tomb which is staked (photo Su Min)

Group 1 ending the tour at Lee Kim Soo – the “Matchbox King” (photo Lim Su Min)

Group 2

Group 2, with Andrew. (photo Jonathan Siew)

Group 2 parting shot for the day (photo Jonathan Siew)

Look out for more Saturday afternoon tours.

Date : Saturday, July 13

Time :  4pm -to 6.30pm

Join Fabian Tee and Claire Leow this Saturday, July 13, for a heritage walk through Bukit Brown and enjoy the Heritage, Habitat, History of the beautiful grounds. Given it might rain, remember that we guide, rain or shine. We suspend tours if there is lightning or haze.

Meeting place: Main gate at Lorong Halwa, off Kheam Hock Road and Sime Road.

Bukit Brown. More than a cemetery. More than a Chinese cemetery. Come discover our heritage and history, while enjoying the habitat.How to get there and handy tips here: http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347By agreeing to take this walking tour of bukit brown cemetery I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward) Precautions: There are wild dogs around the kampung area, so we tour as a group for safety reasons. We will also walk in the dense undergrowth so wear good shoes, no flip flops please, and be careful of snakes, insects, etc. No need to be fearful. Just remember we are the ones intruding.Registration: 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. Brownie Code: We guide rain or shine.
========================================

The tour:
Bukit Brown Heritage Park is about 173 acres 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.
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:
http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg
========================================

Please take note:
1. We will be walking through the undergrowth to find the old village 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.

By car:
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.

Singapore, Singapore 821206

 

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Jul
7
0

July 7 Tour Report

Report by Bianca Polak

Raymond Goh guided this special tour, and led participants thereafter to the exhibition, Bukit Brown: Our Roots, Our Future, on Sunday 7th July, 2013

Once the post went up, so many signed up, more guides were needed!

There were more than 60 participants so we split into 3 groups: 1. Raymond & Steven guiding, 2. Fabian & Andrew guiding and 3. Keng Kiat & Beng guiding. The first 2 groups would go by bus to the exhibition after a 2 hour tour and do an exhibition tour at Chui Huay Lim club. Group 3 went on a longer cemetery tour. we finished around 11.30am. It was a beautiful sunny day and group 3 bumped into group 2 a few times, as we were taking a similar route. It was a good introductory tour with general tomb design, how to read a tomb and find out about the person buried there, different style tombs, such as Hokkien, Peranakan, Teochew, war style tombs, ornaments, etc. The pioneers were also highlighted and we visited Chew Boon Lay, Lim Keong Saik, amongst others, as well as Ong Sam Leong, to which we took a short-cut from Boon Lay’s grave. Some nature on the way too, which Beng was happy to point out and explain.

 

Raymond Goh aka “the tomb whisperer”(Photo: Bianca Polak)

Raymond Goh (Photo: Diana Teow)

He was assisted by others such as Steven:

Brownie Steven Toong (Photo: Diana Teow)

While we were looking at the graves, two Kingfishers were looking at us from a tree branch.

two Kingfishers (photo: Bianca Polak)

Besides the graves of some of the pioneers of Singapore, we also had a look at some special tomb designs, such as this war-time grave which has Japanese influences. The round shape seems to depict a Japanese lantern.

war-time grave (Photo: Bianca Polak)

Teochew graves are distinct in design too and have inscriptions in red and green colour font engraved on the tomb.

Teochew tombstone (Photo: Bianca Polak)

At the end of the tour, the group that stayed behind took a group picture at the grave with the famous Sikh guard statues:

Part of the group that stayed on for an extended tour (Photo: Bianca Polak)

Chameleon (Photo: Raymond Goh)

For more photos, check the tour report album at: click here.
Join us! Check out our events page for announcements including tours, exhibitions, movie screenings and talks.
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The exhibition Bukit Brown: Our Roots, Our Future, co-organised by All Things Bukit Brown and the Chui Huay Lim Club was held  between 29th June  and  7th July 2013. With over 60 panels, it  marked the biggest exhibition of its kind on Bukit Brown.

It was officially launched by Jane Ittogi Shanmugaratnam who gave the opening speech before touring the exhibition, which featured collections from descendants as well from private collections.

More photos of the exhibition  here.

Jane Ittogi Shanmugaratnam being escorted by Chew Kheng Chuan and other members of the organising committee (photo Gan Su-Lin)

Victor Lim explaining the origins of Peranakan Tiles to the  GOH as Ang Yik Han, who conceptualised the themes of  the exhibition looks on (photo Gan Su-Lin)

Chen Kezhen, artist and collector  explains  the intricacies of the inscriptions on Cheang Hong Lim’s ancestral tablet to Prof Phua of  Chui Huay Lim (photo Gan Su-Lin)

Walter Lim, the main contributor to the pioneers section sharing with visitors (photo Gan Su-Lin)

A set of ritual vessels previously used by a Teochew clan association when paying respects to their ancestors during Qing Ming and other occasions. The set of five consists of a censer, a pair of candlestick holders, and a pair of vases. (photo Gan Su-Lin)

(photo Gan Su-Lin)

A dapper Raymond Goh and Lim Su Min albeit from two very different periods (photo Bianca Polak)

Photo opportunity with GOH (photo Gan Su-Lin)

Special thanks  to our official photographers on opening night, Gan Su-Lin and Bianca Polak

About the Exhibition:

Our Roots, Our Future  has 4 themes:

A)  History  – Bukit Brown’s place in the history of the evolvement of Chinese cemeteries in Singapore, its administration and topography.

A 1898 map of Bukit Brown and its environs

B) Our Pioneers – their contributions to social and community services, education, commerce and banking; the role members of the Singapore chapter of Tong Meng Hui (China Revolution Alliance) and Republican Party played in the 1911 Revolution which changed the course of China’s history.

Pioneers of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce

C) Tomb Culture – understanding tomb design, carvings and statuary in relation to feng shui principles and beliefs; the development of  features unique to South East Asia such as Peranakan tiles and Sikh guards; inscriptions with  different calendar systems, ranks , and insignia  reflecting a century of political change of China and colonial powers.

The Feng Shiu of a Nanyang Tomb ( photo Lai Chee Kien)

D) The Living Cemetery – speaks to the potential of Bukit Brown for UNESCO World Heritage listing by showcasing the popular weekend heritage and nature tours conducted by volunteer guides, flora and fauna, student projects, refurbished tombs, Qing Ming and the community of tomb keepers.

Raymond Goh – sharing the history and heritage of Bukit Brown

Exhibition artifacts include a 3 D model of Bukit Brown, implements used in feng shui and a display of Peranakan tiles.

One of many Peranakan tiles which can be found in Bukit Brown (Photo Victor Lim)

Complementing the exhibition was a series of talks which include presentations on cemetery research in Malaysia and Singapore culminating in a panel discussion, nature in Bukit Brown, personal accounts by descendants on rediscovering their roots and Qing Ming practices.

There was also a  screening and talk by the producer of  “Light on Lotus Hill” –  an award winning documentary set against the backdrop of the Sino Japanese war about the Buddhist Abbot Venerable Pu Liang and the part he played in supporting the China Relief Fund and the recruitment of Nanyang volunteers who served on  the Burma Road.

About the Organisers:

Chui Huay Lim Club established since 1845, has a rich history of 167 years. It was originally setup for Teochew businessmen to engage in business networking and recreational activities.

All Things Bukit Brown is the banner for a group of dedicated volunteers who conduct weekly public tours and independent research on the history, habitat and heritage of Bukit Brown Cemetery. They share their on-going learning journey in “Our Roots, Our Future”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The building that was the Japanese headquarters still stands today (Photo: Claire Leow)

 

Sunday 30th June 2013, Jon Cooper conducts the very popular battlefield tour.

On Feb 15, 1942, Singapore fell just one week after Japanese forces landed. As they headed down south, fierce battles were fought in the Adam Park area and the fighting extended to Bukit Brown, then known as Cemetery Hill.

“On the evening of 14th February 1942, the rolling hills of the Bukit Brown Cemetery were suddenly engulfed in a barrage of flame and fire. It appeared like scene from Dante’s ‘Inferno’. ”

Jon Cooper, the battlefield archaeologist behind The Adam Park Project, wrote this gripping account as he retraced the battle ground route with all things Bukit Brown.

This is your chance to brush up on your history. Jon Cooper will take you through the paces. Don’t miss his energetic retracing of the movements on both sides, as we commemorate the fallen. You will be expected to do some walking in the sun, so wear good walking shoes and bring snacks and water. The tour ends at the Bukit Brown Cemetery, where you will see the graves among which the soldiers sheltered and fought.

Meet us at the bridge on Sime Road entering Bukit Brown, opposite the SICC traffic light. Start time: 9 a.m. Ends at 11:30 a.m.

This tour is limited to 20 persons, with a fee of $15 per person, while children under 12 come for free. The size is kept small for safety reasons and for ideal interaction as Jon shares the maps, photos and stories of the battles. All proceeds go to Jon’s Adam Park project to help find war artifacts during this 71st anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. All things Bukit Brown is only the organizer as we  support the work that Jon and his team are doing out of respect for our common heritage.

Reply to this post to register for the tour.

Jon’s post on his interest in Bukit Brown and the missing soldiers is here.

For a visual guide to your route, cartographer Mok Ly Ying has done this wonderful guide map for you.

Previous tour reports here:

May 26 2013 tour

Oct 21 2012 tour

July 22 2012 tour here and here 

June 17 2012 Father’s Day Special

 

*****

To help you plan your Sunday morning and enjoy the tour, you can follow this map of a previous one: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208524362450694978161.0004cc9d065f2a171893d&msa=0&ll=1.336901,103.817351&spn=0.003566,0.005681

Jon conducts the Battlefield Tour once a month, when time permits. For other war-related stories, you can join tours by All Things Bukit Brown on the heritage tours.

 

Participants (total 21):

Aaron Chan (1)

Zhi Hao (1)

Selina + guest (2)

Roberto Cartelli + guest (2)

Darius Fan (1)

Kelly Cheng (1)

Xue (1)

Lindsay & Simon (2)

Shing Gene + guest (2)

Jai & Rajini (2)

Alvin Chow + guest (2)

Eric (1)

Heng Swee Kiang + 2 guests (3)

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Jun
13
1

Weekend Talks

Complementing the exhibition Bukit Brown : Our Roots, Our Future is a series of talks in English and Mandarin which will be held at the Chui Huay Lin Club, Level 4, 190 Keng Lee. No registration required. Seats are available on a  first-come, first-served basis. Kindly please be seated 15 minutes before the talk. It would  be appreciated if you  could indicate your  attendance by clicking on  the Facebook page : Our Roots, Our Future , look for “events” on the top right hand corner and  click “join” to indicate your attendance in the event page you are interested in. More details on the talks are also available on the Facebook page

为了配合“百年武吉布朗:追古抚今”展览的举行,醉花林和武吉布朗学会将在醉花林会所(190 Keng Lee Rd)四楼演讲室举办一系列座谈会。讲座无需报名,座位有限,先到先得。请于讲座开始前15分钟入席。有兴趣出席讲座的朋友,请在相关的Facebook活动网页右上角点击”Join”,方便我们估计出席人数。

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun
12
0

Two Weekend Tours

This week, there are two tours at Bukit Brown, one by Post Museum (Sat 4-6 pm)  and one by All Things Bukit Brown (Sun 9-12), with its event posting here. Click on the hyperlinks if you are a Facebook user.

 

Sunday June 16 Tour:

 

Some tombs are marked (staked) for exhumation (Photo: Claire Leow)

 

 

  • Guides: Andrew, Steven, Fabian.=========================================

    By agreeing to take this walking tour of bukit brown cemetery I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.

    To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward).

    =========================================

    Come visit Bukit Brown Heritage Park and see for yourself why this place is currently ranked among the top ten attractions of Singapore by tripadvisor.com.sg

    http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Attraction_Review-g294265-d2547770-Reviews-Bukit_Brown_Cemetery-Singapore.html

    It is history, heritage and habitat concentrated in an area 173 acres, that can be worthy of a Singapore heritage site worthy of preservation.

    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 Bukit Brown office

    For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit
    http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347

    ========================================

    Registration:

    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 tour:

    Bukit Brown Heritage Park is about 173 acres 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.

    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:
    http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg

    ========================================

    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.

    By car:
    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.

Singapore, Singapore 821206

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Jun
9
0

June 9 Tour Report

June 9 tour group at Ong Sam Leong

 

June  9 – Guide: Peter Pak. Report: Despite the morning showers that fortunately ended at 9 am, 25 pax turn up. We visited the tombs of Ho Siak Kuan, Tan Huck Wan (exhumed), Koh Hoon Teck, the colorful Sikh guards of Chew Geok Leong, Pang Cheang Yean, Tan Boo Liat, Tan Ean Kiam and finally Ong Sam Leong.

Do look out for future tours and our upcoming exhibition. All this info at: http://bukitbrown.com/main/ .

I shared these words from Koh Hoon Teck’s tomb inscription:

“Besimila mulai pertama, 
Dari Adam mulai Agama, 
Dunia bugan kita punya. 
Asal manusia pulang ketanah.”

Oh from the beginning of life , 

from Adam born of earth, 

this world is not ours. 

Man returns to his origin.”

 

Do you want to go on tour with us and discover our roots? Our public weekend tours are posted every week here on ourevents page.

 

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Raymond Goh (Photo: Bianca Polak)

Join the Tomb Whisperer as he sweeps you away with his passion and knowledge of Bukit Brown.

Sunday 2 June 9 am – 12 pm

Meet under the ole raintree on your left as you enter the gates.

Disclaimer:
By agreeing to take this walking tour of Bukit Brown cemetery you understand and accept that you must be physically fit and able to do so.

To the extent permissible by law, you agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to yourself and persons in your care (including child or ward). Dogs are welcome but must be leashed.

=========================================

Come visit Bukit Brown Heritage Park and see for yourself why this place is currently ranked among the top ten attractions of Singapore by tripadvisor.com.sg

http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Attraction_Review-g294265-d2547770-Reviews-Bukit_Brown_Cemetery-Singapore.html

Why: It is history, heritage and habitat concentrated in an area 173 acres, that can be worthy of a Singapore heritage site worthy of preservation.

Where: Under the large and beautiful, and possibly endangered, rain tree, at the Roundabout. After the main gate, go ahead another twenty metres.

How to get there and handy tips – http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347

========================================

Registration:

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 tour:

Bukit Brown Heritage Park is about 173 acres 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.

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:
http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg

========================================

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.

7. Carry your own garbage out for disposal.

=========================================

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.

By car:
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.

 

Singapore, Singapore 821206

 

 

 

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