Saturday, September 27, 2014

Keppel Hill Reservoir [27/09]

As I flipped through the local newspapers on the 18 Sep 2014 (Thursday), I noticed the highlight for the day is the discovery of an abandoned reservoir near Telok Blangah road by a group of NHB researchers. From some older reports, this reservoir is actually known as Keppel Hill Reservoir. I did a few screen shots of the local publications reporting on the discovery of the abandoned reservoir below. After reading about it, I contacted FP and started organizing a trip to explore this abandoned reservoir.

As I was overseas the last weekend, the first possible weekend available is the 27 Sep. The rough location we have was actually from Today's newspaper which has a big red dot near to Wishart Road and Keppel Hill Road.

From Vivocity (Harborfront MRT), it is 3 bus stops away. There are several buses plying along the road. If you are coming in from Vivocity, please alight at the 'opp Chr Community Chapel' bus stop. After alighting, we will need to cross 2 pedestrian traffic lights and we will come upon the bus stop that is along Telok Blangah Road (leading towards Vivocity).

(A) Bus stop along Telok Blangah Road (bef Chr Community Chap)

You can take a look at the buses that ply along this area. There are also shophouses and a 7-11 in the area.

We made a turn into Morse Road which runs perpendicular to Wishart Road. Wishart Road is the road which will directly lead you to Keppel Hill Reservoir.

(B) The junction of Morse Road and Wishart Road

We made a right turn from there and walk along Wishart Road. This is a landed residential area with shophouses at one side of the road.

There is quite a good indian restaurant at Wishart Road. We took a break here and have some drinks. The can drinks are going for $1 each. I could not find this price in most of the coffeeshops around Singapore.

(C) Wishart Road Indian restaurant

We continued our journey along Wishart Road. Do not make a left turn as it will lead to some construction sites. We actually explored the area but the route did not lead us to anywhere. We continued walking straight along the road and we came to a Joaquim Garden and Landscape Pte Ltd. The reservoir is not here and we continue walking along the road.

We finally arrive at the end of the road. Though there is a small gate in front, this is actually to prevent vehicles from proceeding forward. For pedestrians, you can continue walking straight in.

(D) Gate at Wishart Road

We continue walking straight up the road. And came into a junction as seen below. We made a left turn. The route to the right road is gated and there is no thru-access. (After we have explored the reservoir, I heard from FP that the mansion to the right is actually abandoned)

(E) Junction - Turn left to the reservoir

We made a curve turn to the left and came upon a large open area where construction trucks can be seen. Occasionally workers are seen unloading steel sheets in this area.

(F) Open area

The workers look back at us and we just wave and said hi to them. And we continue going straight towards the end of the open area.

As we continue walking straight, we will come to an area with some wooden planks to the right and an altar as seen below.

We turned right and slowly walked along the plank. Along the way, we also put our palms together and give thanks to the local deity for protecting this area. From the altar, we made a left turn as seen below.

There is actually a pathway where we can continue walking. The pathway is quite people friendly and it is not the forest type of pathway.As the Chinese saying goes "路是人走出来的"

There is a small bridge which we have to cross over. As I approach the bridge, I heard a small pop sound. Seems like some animal submerged themselves into the water below as we approached.

And viola! Here is the reservoir. From the open area to the reservoir, it is a comfortable 1min walk in.

It is a very quiet and peaceful place. There are some stairs leading down to the reservoir.

The full view of the reservoir.

There are some old pipes leading to the reservoir. But it seems they are no longer working.

The route we have shared above is actually the direct route leading to the reservoir from the main street. FP and myself spent over an hour searching the vicinity for the location of the reservoir. We tried walking into a forest path a few times but could not locate it.

I hope this guide will help people who are interested to visit an important heritage of Singapore. Please keep the place clean and orderly. I have also created a map below for easy reference (with the alphabets referencing to the photos above). The best attire for this journey are track shoes and perhaps long pants. I was dressed in my regular berms and casual shoes today.

Update (28 Sept 2014): There is a very good YouTube video of the journey from the Open Area to Keppel Hill Reservoir and around the reservoir by Foosoomin. Please search on YouTube "Keppel Hill reservoir" and the first one to appear is his. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bali Exquisite Living [18/09 - 21/09]

This is the fourth time we are back to Bali. In our previous trips, we had flown by Air Asia. For this trip, we are flying to Bali by Singapore Airlines.  I have lots of flying miles which I can tap on, so I only paid $227 for both of us in taxes. As I have a Krisflyer Gold card, we can enjoy the use of the lounge for free. We got to the airport early to have breakfast. 

And we are back to Bali after a 3 hour flight.

As with all the previous Bali trips, we will be doing hotel/villa hopping. This time round, the hotels we have booked are mainly in the S$300 range per night (with Eden around S$500+). The first hotel is Eden Residence by the Sea at Seminyak. From the airport, it costs around S$30 to get to the villa. It is only a 30mins ride away.

The villa is extremely huge. The size is suitable for 3 families. Here is the living area below which has good views of the swimming pool.

We can just laze there overlooking the pool.

And there are 3 rooms similar to the one below. The first room is located at the first floor and the other 2 rooms are located at the second floor.

The bath area also looks big. There is also a jacuzzi at the rooftop.

This is the kitchen and dining area which is just next to the living hall. The kitchen is well-equipped with drinks: water and coconuts.

As we have passed out lunch time, we asked our hotel to packet-out lunch for us. It was fabulous. Initially we thought it was Nuri's Pork Ribs, but this is actually Warung Sobat (Chinese Indonesian) Ribs, which cost S$16 (160,000 IDR).

We took a walk around the villa. It is just next to the sea as the name says.

There is a naughty nuri's warung in this area.

For dinner, we catered to BBQ seafood set which is US$30 per person. We have one of the chef preparing soup below.

And also another chef preparing the barbeque for us. Notice that she uses an electric fan to accelerate the barbeque process.

And our dinner is ready!

The next day, we went in search of a Bali local products warehouse. It's called Geneva Handicraft (JL. Raya Kerobokan no. 100). The opening hours are 9am to 8pm daily. It is located at the second floor of an industrial looking building around Seminyak area (along the main road).

It is an extremely huge shop. We spent an hour here going through the different wares.

Thereafter we made our way to Ubud. For lunch, we have it at the famous Cafe Wayan and Bakery.

And tonight, we are staying over at Alaya Resort Ubud. This hotel has a very cosy feel to it. The bath tub is also fabulous.

It has great views of the padi fields.

Here is the view of the padi fields.

And a beautiful pool in the resort.

There is a supermarket just next to the resort. Walking from where we stay to the main road is a journey pass rows of padi fields.

Before dinner, we decided to go for spa massage. A visit to Bali is never complete without a spa visit. We found a Jelatik Spa (along Monkey Forest Road) which is a short walk away. I went for the 90mins Balinese Massage which cost S$20 (180,000 IDR).

For dinner, we went back to Dirty Duck Diner and have pork ribs and satay.

The next day, we signed up for a cooking class with Bali Happy Bike Tour. Here we have our guide Made bringing us around the Ubud market.

He introduces to us the different produces being sold in the market.

As well as the spices below.

Thereafter, it is a 15mins ride to his house where he handed to us the recipes and the dishes we will be preparing.

The main chef is his wife.

And I help out a bit as well as the barbeque of the Satay.

And viola! After 2.5 hours, the food are ready.

Here we are enjoying the efforts of the day.

That evening, we went down to Mara River Safari. We will be staying in the Lodge Hotel.

It is quite a simple wooden design.

There are several shows in the safari throughout the day. And one of which is the elephant show.

From our room, there is good vantage view of the safari. We can throw carrots towards the safari and animals can dine on it.

At night, there is a fire performance.

The next day, we have breakfast at the animal viewing gallery.

In the afternoon, we went to Putri Spa in Ubud. I went for the four hand massage, four reflexology massage and cream bath. While AJ went for the four hand massage tool, with the sensation of Java Lulur. The total cost is around S$40 (IDR 360,000) each. They are 2 hours 45mins long.

After spa, we decided to drop by the Naughty Nuri which is just a short walk away.

We were amazed by the good quality of pork ribs. We thought we had Naughty Nuri ribs on the first day, but this is the real stuff!

We made our way to the airport. While boarding the plane, we were amused to see the airport staff singing farewell to the visitors.