Archive for the ‘Changi’ Category

Monster Guns

September 8, 2009

A little further after Changi Chapel Museum, there is another historical site which was a strategic location in the defence of Singapore against the Japanese invasion during World War II. Along Cosford Road, this was where the so called “monster guns” once existed. “Monster Guns” so named because of its colossal size.

johore battery 01
^ The Johore Battery is a war memorial site in Singapore that dates back to the early 1940s. Some of the other major coastal batteries were the Pasir Laba Battery, Labrador Battery and the Fort Siloso Battery. The British had anticipated that the direction of the Japanese invasion would come from the sea. As such, the defence-plan was to strengthen the coastal defences of the island. This led to the building of the Johore Battery in 1939 as a coastal artillery gun emplacement site.

johore battery 02
^ This old hut was sited near the fenced-up area of Johore Battery in Cosford Road. It was said that there existed a labyrinth of tunnels built for the purpose to store ammunition for the guns. The monster guns were the biggest and heaviest coastal artilleries and were able to pierce the armour of battleships. Before Singapore fell into the hands of the Japanese, it is said that orders were sent out to destroy the guns. Tunnels were sealed up after the war.

johore battery 03
^ Below is the text from the display panel that makes reading easier on your eyes.

The Johore Battery comprised three guns. They were part of a group of twenty large coastal guns installed in Singapore in the 1930s.

The Johore Battery’s three weapons were among Singapore’s largest coastal guns. They were known as 15-inch guns, because 15 inches (38 cm) was the diameter of the shell they fired. Their gun barrels were 16.5 metres long and the shells stood 1.5 metres high. The guns were capable of hurling these shells at battleships over twenty miles away.

They were originally called “monster guns” when tested in England in 1934, before being sent to Singapore. When World War II started, there were only seven of these defending the coasts of the British Empire. Two were near Dover in England, and five in Singapore. Besides the Johore Battery, Singapore also had two 15-inch guns at Buona Vista Battery. They were located at the junction of Ulu Pandan and Clementi Roads, in the West of the island.

Each of Johore Battery’s guns had its own ammunition bunker. These were about 500 metres apart, arranged in a line that stretched from the present site onto what are now the runways of Changi Airport. Though these guns were originally intended to stop an attack from the sea, two of Johore Battery’s guns could turn around and fire to the rear, towards Johor Bahru. The third, the one located at this site, could only fire out to sea.

From 5th to 12th February 1942, the two guns of the Johore Battery that could turn around fired landward in Singapore’s defence. They shelled Japanese infantry positions from Johor Bahru, just across the Causeway, eastwards to the area north of Tanjong Punggol. They also joined in the battles for Bukit Timah Road and Pasir Panjang. The guns of Johore battery fired 194 rounds before the demolition by the British on the night of 12th February. This demolition, and the postwar upgrading of Changi aerodrome, means all that remains are the underground tunnels on this site, which once housed ammunition and power plants.

johore battery 04
^ A replica of the “monster guns”.

They were the biggest guns to be installed outside Britain during World War II. The site was named Johore Battery as it was learnt that the Sultan of Johore made a donation to the British in support of the war effort during World War II.


Cycling at Changi Beach Park

April 3, 2009

A quiet day cycling along Changi Coastal Road which is part of the Eastern Park Connectors Network. If you travel further up the road past the various spots along Changi Beach popular with visitors and campers, and past the SAF Ferry Terminal, you will find yourself enveloped in another environment of lesser buzz fill with tranquility.

^ A pavillion shelter with the location map of Changi Beach Park. The red arrow shows the location of “You Are Here”.

^ A new feature of bicycle rental for cyclists. You can rent a bike from any one of these PCN Pit-Stop stations located along the Eastern Park Connectors Network  and return it to any stations along the route. Much better than those bicycle rental kiosks where you have to cycle all the way back to the station where you first rented the bike. A time to refuel as this is just the beginning of an ardous journey. Why? The next photo says it all.

^ No water supply for the next 7.9km. So refuel at the Pit-Stop and perhaps have a spare water-bottle with you.

^ This stretch of distance covering 7.9km is known as the Coastal PCN. Its route runs parallel to the runway of Changi airport and beyond, passing the golf course of NRSCC, right upto the National Sailing Club at the ECP. It is also a good opportunity to take a rest-stop along this route under one of the little shelters while watching aircrafts take-off and land.

^ Along one section of the Coastal PCN, trees were being felled. Why? Below was what a friend of mine in the Canadian forestry industry said:

This is the practice of high-stubbing. It is a means of preventing “windthrow” or what foresters called “blowdown”. The location of this tiny tract of forests lies by the sea and so it is subjected to heavier than normal shore winds. Besides, these coniferous trees are useful for the timber industry and would likely be purchased at very low stumpages rates by local sawmills for furniture and other forest products. Stubbing – that’s what the guy in the cherry picker is doing.

^ When the tree trunk fell, there was a loud thud that reverberated in the immediate surroundings. From the spot where I stood to snapped this photograph to the spot of the cherry-picker where the tree fell, the ground shook for a moment when the tree trunk hit the ground.

^ A cyclist zipping by. A popular training route used by triathletes, weekend cycling warriors, and the casual biker.

If you run out of ideas where to cycle or have not explored this segment of the Changi Coastal PCN, you might just want to pump up those bike tyres, strap on your helmet and head to this location over the weekend.

Changi Boardwalk

January 6, 2009

If you are planning for a quiet stroll amid lush greenery with the sound of waves lapping on the shore and the cool seabreeze blowing into your face, you may like to consider spending some time along the Changi Boardwalk. Spanning 2.2km along the coastline of Changi located at the eastern tip of Singapore, the Changi Boardwalk consists of four sections namely, Sunset Walk, Kelong Walk, Cliff Walk, Sailing Point Walk. The boardwalk offers a panoramic view from Changi Beach Club right up to Changi Sailing Club.

^ A pavillion that marks the entrance to the Changi Boardwalk located near Changi Beach Club.

^ Map reference showing the various sections of the boardwalk and its features.

^ Along the section of the Kelong Walk, you may come across anglers casting their lines in the hope of a catch.

^ A twin-hull luxury yacht anchored off Changi. The buildings located at the background is Punggol HDB estate.

^ A memorable moment for the wedding couple along the Kelong Walk.

^ A stroll along the Cliff Walk.

^ Many vessels, ranging from small luxury boats to cargo ships ply the route. In the background is the island of Pulau Ubin.

^ You will not miss this rock formation sighted along the Cliff Walk. What do you think it looks like?

^ Small boats anchored off Changi seen along the Sailing Point Walk.

^ A boat named “Hakuna Matata”. A Swahili phrase that when literally translated into English means “there are no worries”. Remember the title of the song “Hakuna Matata” made popular in the film “The Lion King”?

^ Canoes inverted for storage at the Changi Sailing Club.

^ A group of canoeists led by the safety boat.

^ No trespassing unless you want to run the risk of being clawed.

^ Bollards acting as a safety feature along the Sailing Point Walk. Out at sea is a barge carrying sand. The land forms in the background is the eastern part of the island of Pulau Ubin where Chek Jawa is.

^ A bumboat ferrying passengers from Changi Jetty Terminal to the island of Pulau Ubin.

As you end your stroll along Changi Boardwalk, pay a visit to the Changi Village Hawker Centre. A variety of hawker fare awaits you to fill that hungry tummy. From the famous nasi lemak to a cool glass of coconut drink, it is a trip worth making.

Impossible Is Nothing

June 3, 2008

Congratulations to those who have completed the challenging 42km Adidas Sundown Marathon and even more so for the 84km Ultra Marathon category held last Saturday. The cool weather of the night was something most runners welcomed compared to running in the daytime where the heat is something to contend with. For some runners, adjusting the body clock to counter the `zzzzzzz’ effect during the race was something new. The race route was well planned and gives a whole new experience of running past some housing estates in Siglap, Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris during the wee hours of the morning when most of Singapore was still asleep.

10.35pm: Race participant on 4 wheels.

Approach the race staff with all your questions.

10.45pm: Prize giving for the team category.

A section of the race route at Changi Point.

Timer clock for the ultra marathoners when they pass through this gate a second time during their 84km journey. Running from sun down…..

….. till sun up with the morning calm of dawn rising over Changi.

Changi Point was a nice location where the race start/end point was held. After the race, the early morning sun peeping over sleepy Changi Village provides a scenic calm to warm down one’s sore muscles while taking in the sights of Changi Beach. Then, it was a short walk to Changi Village food centre enjoying a hearty breakfast of nasi lemak and teh tarik before heading home.

Full story from the Straits Times interactive on Runners enjoy night marathon.

Here’s the link to the photo gallery of pictures taken during the event: Sundown Marathon Photo Gallery.
Click on either the “Marathon 42km” or the “Ultra-Marathon & Corporate Challenge Relay” category located on the left panel. Click on the photo and scroll up (given the screen size may not be able to fit the entire template). Use the left/right arrows to navigate through the gallery.

84km Ultra Marathon for next year? It’s going to be tough but as the marathon slogan says, “Impossible Is Nothing”.

I can’t see!!…What to see!!

March 13, 2008

Last Saturday evening, we went to T3 at Changi Airport to check out the place. It was a spanking new Budget Terminal. I could not really say for sure if T3 really looks like a Budget Terminal. All the features you see at T3 looks like that in T2 and T1 except, from my viewpoint…the Viewing Gallery.

photo-0004.jpg Terminal 3 @ Changi Airport

photo-0001.jpg Check-in at T3

photo-0003.jpg Viewing Gallery @ T3

photo-0006.jpg Disabled friendly parking lots.

“I can’t see”, “So dark how to see”, “Nothing to see what”. These are some of the exclamations made by visitors at the Viewing Gallery. Unlike T1 and T2, T3’s Viewing Gallery is not really located at the edge of the building structure. There is another panel at the edge of the structure. So it’s like trying to peer two sets of panel before you can try to make out what’s really outside. The bright lights and glass panel reflections didn’t make it any easier to have a good view. Perhaps maybe there could be a clearer view in the daytime.

Changi’s Secret Garden

January 21, 2008


For those living in or around Changi area, you may have dined at this restaurant which top my list of places to spend a quiet evening and chill out. Don’t miss the refreshing Red Plum Soda drink. Read SD Food Advisor’s review of The Bark Cafe

Changi (Singapore)

January 8, 2007

Located at the eastern tip of the sunny island of Singapore, much of the area has been transformed into a pleasant place for having picnics, cycling or just plain lazing by the beach.

changi-beach.jpgChangi beach. Coconut trees and soft sand lined this stretch of the beach.

plaque.jpgChangi beach was once a place where the Japanese soldiers carried out a massacre called `Sook Ching’ during World War II described by this plaque.

changi-beach-coast.jpgCoast off Changi beach.

changi-jetty.jpgA well known part in Changi is ‘Changi Point’. This picture shows the original Changi Point jetty. It serves as an embarkation / disembarkation point for travellers ferried by bumboats to nearby islands…Kusu Island, Pulau Ubin, Sisters Island, St John’s Island, Pulau Penggerang. Sometimes, travellers have to hop from one bumboat to another to reach the outermost bumboat for departure. This original jetty is no longer existing. Instead a spanking new jetty was built near to its original location to provide an improved service to travellers.

Changi Prison was the only lock up in the old days. It still stands, serving as a prison up till today. Changi Museum was built to preserve its heritage where Allied soldiers, Indian soldiers from the British Indian Army, the Malay Regiment, who were imprisoned, tortured and died during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore during 1942 to 1945 (WW II).

changi-chapel-museum.jpgEntrance to Changi Chapel Museum. Artifacts, historical documents and items are on display in the museum.

chaplains.jpgA list containing the names of Chaplains who served in Changi administering to the spiritual needs and welfare of inmates.

changi-chapel.jpgChangi Chapel where services are held to commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives so that others may be free.

bronze-plaque.jpgA section of a bronze plaque describing the battle for Singapore and the eventual surrender of Allied Forces to the Japanese on 15th Feb 1942. During the Japanese, the island of Singapore was renamed by the Japanese to `Syonan-to’. General Tomoyuki Yamashita, known as the `Tiger of Malaya’ – demanded the surrender of Singapore from Lt. General A.E. Percival. Singapore fell to the Japanese when the surrender papers were signed at the Ford Factory located along Bukit Timah Road.

tribute.jpgA tribute to remember those who have sacrificed their lives.

boardwalk1.jpgAlong the stretch of Changi coastline, much of it has been transformed into a boardwalk allowing visitors to walk along the coastline to experience the scenic view.

boardwalk.jpgA section of the boardwalk known as the `Kelong Walk’.

sunset.jpgSunset at Changi …. breathtaking.