Journey of the West

First created on 26th Jun 2005.

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25th June 2005, Saturday

Patrick, Chin Lin, Eng Hua and I decided to have a half-day road trip to sight-see the west side of Singapore. We actually wanted to explore many places, from Tuas (west most point) to Kranji dam to Admiralty road (facing Johor Bahru) and maybe even to Seletar airport! But in the end we only made it to 30% of the places.

We almost called off the trip because it was raining at the appointed time. However, we decided to meet at Boon Lay first (some of us were already on the way). The rest of the day was very clear.

Journey of the West is of course a wordplay on Journey to the West.

Was raining at the appointed time, so we decided to have lunch at Jurong Point first. It's a good thing it started raining before I moved off, because I was able to put on my full rain gear, but it also meant I have wasted cleaning my bike just the day before. Patrick decided to top up his petrol first. He revealed he has never topped up his 2T and pumped his tyres. His rear tyre were almost flat!

The Dragon Kiln

Our first stop, the Dragon Kiln. What do you expect to find here? Potteries.. .. more potteries..
.. and a dog guarding them! The famous Dragon Kiln. I bet you never heard of it. Me neither. It's very long, worthy of its name.
Patrick couldn't believe a vase can be taller than him! What do they do, grow them?

He met his apartment-mate here too. Small world!

There's a pond here too.

Just a side note, you're not allowed to take photos of the potteries.


NTU is just north of the Dargon Kiln, so we went in to make one round of the campus. We were promptly separated because I stopped to take the previous photo. I saw the fountain along the way, so stopped to snap a photo of it. And then I ended up at the Chinese Heritage Center.
Nice park, but do students really come here? If I were studying in NTU, I would pack my lunch, climb up the branches and have my lunch there. :-) All the canteens were closed. There was not a single soul in the hostels too! We discussed where to go next.

Hay Dairies Farm

On our way up north, we passed by the Choa Chu Kang cemetery. I wanted to visit it, but it was dropped due to time constraints. Next time, perhaps.

That thing on the right is my finger. I wasn't looking at the LCD screen at all cos I was still riding!

I didn't know we were going to a goat farm. The smell that greeted us was.. how shall I put it.. incredible. I don't know Singaporeans visit this kind of place! How do the kids stand the smell? That's not how you feed the goats.
Patrick bought one bottle of goat's milk for us to drink. I was apprehensive, but did try some in the end. It's different from cow's milk, and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Lim Chu Kang Jetty

We went all the way north to the Lim Chu Kang Jetty. How often do you see a road sign like this? The jetty. There were a lot of rubbish on the shore, totally spoiling the scene. There were some fishermen fishing on the jetty itself.
Everyone's looking at different things.

The shot of me is a classic photography mistake of poles growing on your head.

Notice the people behind the gate? It was closed so tightly that everyone thought it was locked. For a moment, we thought we were locked inside!

This is to show how different compositions affect the interpretation of the scene.

The color temperature was set to auto, that's why the colors are different.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

You need a dollar to get in. We were joking that you could swim across the swamp, but that's probably where all the crocodiles are (there are crocodile warning signs). We took the shortest route one due to time constraints. A pond at the starting point. No crocodiles, but we saw some tortoise.
Eng Hua likes to point at things. Just 20 cents to use the binoculars.
Chin Lin studied the map closely to make sure we were not getting lost. There are trails marked no entry, that's where all the treasures are. At the aquatic plant pond. I was somewhat scared to put my legs down, cos we saw some large lizards basking at the side of the pond. They are harmless, but I'm still scared. From the 15m tall observation tower.
A little island reachable only during low tide. I always wanted an island like that! A ray of sun light shining through the trees and illuminating just the flower, giving it a glowing feeling. We are not the only ones hungry at the end. Even the fishes are hungry.
Gliding slowly just below the surface of the water.

Going Home

Took this at the traffic stop. I am not able to evoke the noisy scene in this photo.

Going home to wash up to attend an ex-colleague's wedding.

Altogether, I clocked about 60 km for the trip.

Notes on riding

It's painful to change gear wearing sandals.

I was always the slowest rider. Patrick was going faster than me even though he had a pillion.

Got a few tailgaters, including one big lorry. That's scary, because you wonder if he can stop in time or not! On the way back, one van tailgated quite closely for a while, so I thought he wanted to go fast. I let him overtake, and then he drove at the speed limit! Guess he doesn't like bikes blocking his view.

I like to keep my visor up, and when the big lorries go past in the opposite lane, the amount of sand and dust is incredible. I had to blink my eyes several times to get rid of them. I had to do this several times before I learnt to look out for such lorries and close my visor before they go past me.

Sand feels like pins on your legs at 70 km/h. Happened to me when a pickup was in front. It was quite far off too. I was wearing shorts because I wanted to "tan" my legs. However, I didn't manage to get much sun.

Nothing dangerous happened during the trip, but when I was making my way to my ex-colleague's wedding, I encountered a close overtaking. I was on Holland road going towards Orchard road, travelling in the middle lane slightly slower than the 60 km/h road limit. Suddenly, a taxi swerve into my lane from the right. There was some road construction signs on the right lane, but did he really have to cut so much into my lane? I had to move to the left of the lane (still in the same lane) and braked to avoid him. My palms were cold for a while, then I was somewhat angry, but I quickly became calm again. My motto on the road is, "don't get mad, don't get even, get away". I wondered if I should ride up to him at the traffic light and ask him, "song, right?"


Camera: Dynax X60