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  1. #151
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    Jun 2007
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    We were in Saigon for only two nights. It was the end of two weeks of travel. I was tired. And the district we were staying in seemed pricey. I did like our hotel - The Hammock. But other than that, I was finding I preferred all the other places we visited. Then, on our last night we took a walking food tour, and my perspective changed. Immensely. We took a Grab over to District 3 and began to walk around streets that felt so much different than District 1. It was buzzing with life. It is a locals district, and they were out in hordes as it was New Years Eve (The Vietnamese celebrate both Western and Lunar New Years)


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    Our first stop was a wrap your own rice skins type of place. Bo La Lat are minced beef wrapped in betel leaf and then grilled. Served with rice noodles, lettuce, cilantro, basil, mint, limes and rice skins. Oh, and fish sauce for dipping. So good they were gone before I even thought to take a picture. To be fair, we were hungry with it being our first stop. From there we began to walk several blocks and then dipped down into so side streets.


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    Once off the main streets, it was really quiet. There was still the occasional motorbike, but we were for sure inside the local's area. Eating street food can be a bit intimidating in a place like Saigon. The water is not clean from the tap, and even lettuce washed with tap water can cause problems, even for those with less sensitive stomachs. The advantage of going with a guide, is they frequent these places, and have contracts with the vendors, and have a track record of people not getting sick. Another advantage is to boldly wander around parts of town I might otherwise second guess with my kid in tow. Not so much because I thought it might be dangerous, but rather getting lost in the maze of alleyways. Still, this walk was my favorite of our time in Ho Chi Minh City.


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    Melons, Coconuts and Motorbikes. All neatly lined up.

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    Our second stop was for Banh Xeo at Banh Xeo Mien Tay 335 Dien Bien Chu, Q3. I tell you this, because the pancakes were superb and you should find your way here if ever in Saigon. This place makes their own fish sauce, and it is not weak sauce. Again, a dish to be wrapped up, but these you wrap up in leaves. Either lettuce or a type of spinach. The rice pancakes have prawns cooked into them, so this if for sure a seafood dish.

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    They also make a second type of rice pancake, Smaller, thicker and served with either a prawn or ground pork inside the cup shaped cake. Pour some coconut cream over the top and pop them into your mouth.


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    Soon, we were out walking again, and eventually ended up near 27 C Ban Co - P3 - Q3. This lady and her husband have had their cart at this corner for over thirty years making Banh Bot Chien - Fried Rice Cakes with Egg. And these guys are known for their homemade say sauce. All these things I thought one just purchased at the corner market.


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    This is Saigon street food. We are sitting on short plastic stools and using metal stools as a table, and still the dish is served up in a porcelain bowl and with metal utensils. Of course, if you asked for "take away" it would be in styrofoam. But this was the most elegant bowl I've ever eaten from while sitting on a street corner. Oh, and the sugar cane juice was pretty good as well.

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    Maybe this will help you find this spot if ever in Saigon. Next we were off to a seafood place. For sure not a spot I would pick out on my own. The shell fish was sitting in bowls, out on a table for display. HCMC is not a chilly place, but our guide assured us - this is how we do it. He order us some scallops, clams and snails. All good, all with a good dash of fish sauce. And he grabbed us some beer and served us some rice wine (that hit like booze) from a flask in his jacket. All in all, a super fun experience.


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    Then we were off to the night market for dessert. First we walked through the flower market. Rows and rows of flower stalls. On the way in, we passed a table with about 20 men sitting at it, eating, drinking and singing karaoke. They waves and hollered. I asked out guide if he knew the group, and he did not. Rather, he was pretty sure they were interested in us - seeing westerners in this part of town attracts attentions, and as I looked around, I noticed we were a rare sight. Our guide explained that most Saigon residents are just very friendly people and always want to talk to strangers.

    The lotus flower is very important in Viet Nam. The flower is cut when still closed into a bud, and it will not open on its own. The florist will pry each petal open, and tuck the down to make an open display of the flower. The white lotus represents spirituality and is often gifted at funerals. The pink lotus is for new beginnings and represents the Buddha, and is gifted at New Years and birthdays.


    Avocado and Coconut Ice Cream for the win.


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    HCMC from above. The sprawl is huge. You can see District 1 near the top right corner, and is where the tall buildings are. From there, the city spreads out in every directions for miles and miles. Flying away, soon after you are above the Mekong Delta and then open ocean.


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    Coming back home. Plenty of container ships, the CBD, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay through the haze.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-26-2023 at 05:02 AM.

  2. #152
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Tahoe-ish
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    2,505
    Man, it looks like the Vietnamese have really upped their coffee and beer game in the (....checks calendar, recoils....) 13 years since I was there.

    Thanks for reminding us that there's more out there than powder!
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  3. #153
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    Man, the beer in Saigon was some of the best beer I’ve had since moving out here. Brewlander in SG also does a decent job. But the Loose Stivers NEIPA has been my favorite.

    Have not yet put into words, but the egg coffee was pretty delicious. Will get back in and write up about it soon. Still in process of posting up pics.

    Truth be told, I’m very much missing that powder. But what can ya do. Looks like the best start of a season in my memory. Hope it continues for y’all.

  4. #154
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    Again, biking in SG is some of the best and some of the worst. Here is a pic of the stairway ramps for getting you bike up or down over passes. When these are utilized on dedicated bike lanes, it feels like a kick in the face. OTOH, if you find yourself on a roadway, or sidewalk, and a need to get over a divided four lane road, and the over pass is the only option within a mile, having these ramps installed feels pretty damn nice. SG is slowly building its infrastructure to make the bike experience more pleasant.

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    We've been trying to stop in to Hup Kee Fishball for several months now. We had expected my in-laws to come visit, but a positive Covid inspection cancelled their trip - so we had about a week left of winter break from school, with no plans. We took advantage of this time to get over to Hup Kee mid week and before noon. They close each day when they sell out, and that can be as early as 11:30AM on a busy day. A bit pricey for Fishball Noodles (S$5) but a damn good bowl. I prefer mine dry, and my wife ordered the soup.



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    Hup Kee s located on Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, near the Mayflower MRT on the Thomson-East Coast Line. An easy enough place to get to from a Chinatown or Duxton Hill hotel. And well worth the trip. If you get up this way, I'd highly suggest a visit, and then either a stroll through AMK Town Center Garden (the park directly behind the adjacent Mayflower Food Centre) and over to AMK Central Food Centre and market area. It is so different than the typical tourist districts, and gives a good sense of the local life in SG. Another option would be to get down to Bishan - And Mo Kid Park. One of my favorite spots to stroll or bike through. Or do both. There are no shortages of Food Centre in the area, so you can always find cheap eats.

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    Back at the Night Safari. We skipped the tram ride this time and just walked around on the dark trails. It is really quite cool to see all these natural animals.

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    The antelope were pretty easy to take pictures of, as they were barely moving around. Very still creatures.

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    The Hyena offered a different challenge, as they barely stopped pacing around. This guy almost stood still for me for a few seconds. This would be another place I'd suggest visiting while in SG as there are, to my knowledge, not common zoo features. It opens up after dark only and is open until midnight. Not easy to get to from the hotel district, but worth the trek. They even have decent food at the Night Safari. A bit more expensive than a market, but not really any more expensive than a counter service restaurant.


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    Finally got my kid out for a MTB. We took a van service over to Chestnut Nature Park and biked home from there. About 6.5 miles on dirt and 5.5 on PCN. Pretty stoked on their riding for their first time out in this heat. They have not been trail riding since Santa Cruz, so over 6 months, and they killed it out on the trails. We started with a few laps in the pump track. I tried to get a pic of them cruising by a band of monkeys, but all you can see is the creatures retreating into the bush as my kid cruised by.

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    No trail pics, as they had my phone in their pack recording their ride and top speed. Just as we got out of the bush, the sky opened up and we found a bus stop to hang out at for the thirty minutes of downpour. The rained stopped and and we continued home. On days like this, the rain feels so manageable. Now we are in a run were rain returned on Friday and an rained all day Friday, Sunday, Monday and now Tuesday looks the same. At least on Saturday we were lucky enough to have mostly dry weather through the day.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-23-2023 at 07:39 PM.

  5. #155
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    Jun 2007
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    Finally came across a monitor lizard who was not skittish. This guy was hunting worms along the side of the Railway Corridor. He was also smaller, so maybe not old enough to fear humans. Or maybe it was because it lived closer to them.

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    Often this place feels like the future, with automation and apps for every thing in your life. And then, at times, it feels like the past. My kid had to ask me, what are CDs, and I began explaining by asking if they recalled the music devices I have in the garage back at home.

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    The jungle is hard to take pictures of. Sure, with a decent telephoto, you can get great shots of colorful birds with a backdrop of greens and browns. But I mean capturing the majestic trees ad vines and lush life. Across the street from our place is the Thomson Nature Park. It is an interesting place, as recently as the 1950s there was a thriving kampong (village) in this area. The main trails are the old paved roads, and occasionally you come across concrete ruins and foundations. Otherwise, the jungle has grown back over everything here.



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    These palms date back hundred of millions of years. They grow in bushy clusters and are found all over the island.


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    With the early January being fairly dry, I began to explore more MTB tracks and finally found the entrance to Centipede. This long XC track is pretty fun and rather organic. It is not maintained by any official group, and sections of it are super Rooty. The locals MTB crew mostly enjoys a more natural trail, and this one fits the bill.


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    Parts of it are fast and flows, and others are amazing feats of root crossings. It travels along the western shore of Upper Seletar. There ae limited miles (or kilometers) of trails here, and this one links up nicely with the Chestnut area, so a good find and alternative to traveling on fire road.



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    A few days later, I took my first bike ride out to the Kranji area. Kranji is home to Sungei Boluh Wetlands Preserve, as well as the only "rural" area of Singapore. We stopped and spent some time in the wetlands park. It has never been developed or logged, and truly feels like a preserve. I knew right away I would need to return to this place with my family. Being a 18 mile ride from home, it was clear we would need to take transit to get here. Luckily, it is a short bus ride from the Kranji MRT. So while a long trip from the hotel district, certainly reasonable. Jump on the North South lIne and ride for a little over an hour and transfer to the 925 Bus at Kranji.


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    One of the standouts about Sungei Buloh is that there are crocodiles in this region. the phone camera is not the tool for this shot, but this guy is pretty damn big. I've seen alligator in the wild, but never crocs. The only time I've been in croc territory has been while I was surfing and really had no desire to see one.


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    The monitor lizards in this area were also pretty majestic. This guy was about a meter long head to tail. And those claws were no joke.


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    The wetlands were covered with mangrove forest which are always cool. Even cooler were these jumping fish everywhere that turned out to be impossible for me to catch in a photograph. Also, birds galore, and they had bird viewing shields set up all over the place so you could hide and watch without disturbing the animals. More pics later from when I returned with my family the following day. It was that cool of a place.


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    At mile 50, I stopped at Tap on the Singapore River, for a beer (or two). Tap has decent prices, and no happy hour - just reasonable 9by SG standards) pieces all day. This is Brewlander Love IPA again. They carry a bunch of SG beers, as well as a few Assie, US and Canadian beers. This is what fueled me up for my final 12 miles home.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-23-2023 at 08:04 PM.

  6. #156
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    Breakfast at home starts with a smoothie. Mango w coconut water for my kid. I add some dragon fruit and banana to that to make mine. Will totally miss this daly ritual when we return. I'm finding the mangos for $.50 to a dollar, and the dragon fruit fro $.50 to $2. Bananas are about $1 for a large bunch. And the bananas are a variety I can't find back home - super flavorful.

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    Sungei Bulah Wetlands Preserve is in the northwest of Singapore. You need to pass through Woodlands, and also Kanji. Woodlands is where the Singapore American School is located, so lots of expats to have their kids near school. They have 4000 students. Woodlands also houses plenty of Singaporeans. It has malls, markets, parks, and otherwise feels like many parts of the country being generally urban. Once you pass further west into Kranji it becomes quite a bit more industrial, with little housing, and certainly no malls (or parks for that matter). Once you head west past the Kranji Reservoir, you enter on the eastern front of the preserve. And suddenly, you are in crocodile territory. Sungei is not the only area that crocs have been reordered (they've been seen downtown in the Singapore River, as well as other waterways and estuaries), but they are common up here.

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    Not a croc. This is a monitor lizard, and these guys are also quite adapt in the water, As well as much less dangerous. They tend to not attack humans. Crocs can.

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    The boardwalk at Sungei is quite cool. Here we are descending from a bird watch. It was a perch, high above the water, that you can hide behind, so as not to disturb the wild life. No picture, but they were like flower bulbs you climbed inside of. Soon after this pic, we spotted a large crocodile, approximately 6 meters long. It was huge, floating on the water surface about 10 meters from us. It was only a glimpse, as soon after we spied it, it sank below, and would from then on only occasionally show its tail.

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    Earlier, we saw a much smaller specimen, maybe 1.5 meters in length, that also seemed to be playing in the water. It was quite close, maybe 2 meters away, but was mostly obscured through the bush. Also in the water, it kept surfacing, rolling its body, and snapping its jaw. Based on its size, we assumed it was a juvenile juts trying to make the most of a day in the swamp.

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    We hiked for a few kilometers, and were headed t the western side of the park when the sky just opened up on us. We tried to call a Grab, but had no luck convincing someone to come so far away from the city to pick us up, so hiked back tot he bus station near the reservoir in the down pour. We opted for some Tau Foo Young soup for dinner. This stuff is so good. Rich clear broth and stuffed goodness, with a side of noodles. Another hawker center worth visiting is Kampong Admiralty on the border of Yishun and Woodlands. Right at the Admiralty MRT.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-26-2023 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #157
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    I decided to finally go hit up Ketam Bike Park on Palau Ubin. Its about 20 miles to the docks from my house, but a decent ride mostly along PCN. This particular stretch has that middle of no where feel, but its nice fresh asphalt, with lights for night time riding and lined with these giant leaf plants.


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    To get to Palau Ubin (Palau means "island") you need to board a ferry near Changi Village on the north east shore of Singapore. Ubin is across a narrow straight and it is about a ten minute ride. The island is a great destination, with a small, but decent MTB loop, miles of paved and dirt fire roads with very little to no traffic, several natural sites and just a little bit of Kampung life still out on the island.
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    The ferry is just what is referred to as a bumboat that takes twelve passengers and has a small ledge to leave you bike. $4 each way per person, and $2 for a bike. Looking back toward the docks.

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    There is no ferry schedule. The bumboat will only leave once there are twelve passengers in the queue. This was not much of an issue on a Monday leaving Changi around 10:30am. I waited for about 10 minutes for the boat to fill. On my return, it was a different story. I arrived at the dock around 1:30, as the fifth person in line, hoping to get back to Changi Village to hit the lunch special at Little Island Brewing ($5 beer when you buy a stupid expensive western BBQ lunch). Alas, I was still waiting on the dock at 2:30 with only 8 people yet. We ended up board the boat to the mainland at about 3pm. So be prepared to wait, or bring a good sized group.

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    Ketam Bike Park is about a 4-5 mile loop built around an abandoned granite quarry that has filled into a lake. When I arrived, the NationalParks Board had just finished reworking the 3 plus mile section of black track, which makes up most of the loop. The blue section is now closed off for work, and not expected to open until March. Luckily, there is a fire road that connects both ends of the blue portion the track (for intermediate riders who want to make that a loop).



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    Singapore is a bit different. There are some 20 odd trails in Ketum, but they are really just named sections of what is otherwise pretty much one loop trails. In the black sections of the loop, there are two places where you can choose an alternate let, but really, it is just a loop. Most of the black trail is pretty benign, or at least it is with all the recent work that has been completed. There are a few mandatory rock gardens and root crossings, but for the most part this trail was pretty smooth and flows.

    The main trail here can be seen to the right, but the A Line - GraveDrop - comes in from the left. I attempted this section on my second lap, and chickened out. It had a few switchbacks setting up the otherwise easy enough rock garden. OTOH, you can see how little this section is ridden with all the moss on these rock.


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    The trail is primarily smooth right now, although I got out here before any heavy rain fell. It will be interesting to see how the improved drainage holds up. Even with the smooth track, there are a number of challenging climbs and rock garden sections, both up and down. Just after this tree starts another rock garden up and over. But without a doubt, you feel like you are out there and in the jungle. Lots of wildlife, and very few people. I understand it gets busier on the weekends, but on this Monday, I passed one group of two as I entered the park, passed a group of three at the top of one of the climbs and chatted briefly with a woman who was checking out the map as I went for my second lap.


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    Black Cobra was perhaps my favorite challenge. Was stoked to ride this section on my POS bike I have with me. Had to stop at the top to manually lower my seat, but just the right amount of challenge for the Northrock XC27. The alternate route through this section is also pretty fun - though much more of a fast and flows section.


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    After Ketam, I crossed the island and headed for Chek Jawa Wetlands. It was a few miles of hills on pavement and then a few more on dirt fire road. A pleasant enough drive. While I had seen a few rather large boar in Ketam, the guys on this side of the island were way less bothered by human presence, and allowed me to snap a few pictures. This guy was typical for the larger boars I've seen in SG, and perhaps about 30 kilo and the size of a moderate dog.



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    The bigger boar were pretty huge and large enough that I would not want anything to do with them. Guessing about 70 kilo. They were bigger than a large dog, and more like the size of a huge dog. There were maybe 3 of the big guys in this area, and perhaps 7 of the smaller ones.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-23-2023 at 11:44 PM.

  8. #158
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    Chek Jawa is a series of trails, docks, and boardwalks on the eastern fringe of Ubin. Looking back toward Singapore and Changi.


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    There was a line of six or more of these barges, importing more land for Singapore.


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    One of the boardwalks is just off shore, and gives great view back to the island. The Nibong Palms in this picture are used by the villagers. The trucks are strong for building and the fronds used for thatching. The villagers of today are more likely to use corrugated metal for roofing though. The Nibong thrives in hot and humid climates and traditional people found uses for all parts of this tree - from blow pipes, to fish traps to food. The Nibong was an essential part of Malay life for centuries.

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    Palau Tekong is used primarily by the military and is a great example of "reclamation". Originally it was about 25 square kilometers, but is in the process of building and connecting to smaller nearby islands, and is planned to finish at around 75 square kilometers. Seen from the air it is a great view of how this process works. Huge jetties have defined the out reaches of the future island, and sand is being filled and compacted in the resulting lagoons. It is a patchwork form the air.

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    This boar was foraging at the water line. I was in Chek Jawa at mid tide. This sand flat will extend out several hundred meters at low tide and is home to many wetland creatures.

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    The sun is always hot here, but along the boardwalk over the mud flats, it felt quite a bit cooler than the typical concrete jungle of most of the country. These palms were bunched and growing directly of the mud.



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    Just across the boardwalk, in the opposite direction, the mangroves were the dominate species. If I had more time to kill (which I guess I did, seeing I waited on the docks for well over an hour) it would fun to watch the tide fill in through this area.


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    The boardwalk juts cuts through the mud flats and mangroves, and I was told it was just a few centimeters above the highest high tide line. When I asked about global warming, and rising waters, I was met with a blank stare. I know for sure this is a topic of discussion in some parts of SG (like the zoo) but not sure it has made its way to the ranger at this park. He just told me the boardwalk is above the highest level the tide would ever be. Guess they are just planning for few centimeter of rise here. That would explain the careless use of plastic bags and the AC pouring out onto the street in the CBD...


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    Mud homes for crabs dot the landscape. The mud crab is a delicacy in SG, and they are harvested from places outside the country, but it was suggested that some of the local villagers will harvest in this area from time to time, even though it is not permitted. The kampongs on Ubin are several of the remaining kampong in Singapore. The vast majority of people are involved with urban life, but there are still a few places in the country where a village lifestyle still exists. I would have taken pictures of the homes here, but felt it was a bit of an invasion of privacy - they are built like compounds, with a larger central home, surrounded by gardens and smaller structures. The kitchen is often in its own structure, and the entire compound enclosed by a wall or fence.

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    Thee is a viewing tower along the mangrove boardwalk. It is six stories high, or a total of 120 steps, and gets you above the canopy. Views are across the tree tops, and out over the strait. There are still a pair of White Bellied Eagles living in this area, and I was lucky enough to spy one circling above searching for its lunch. By this time I was already hungry and fantasizing about food and beer, so worked my way back to the docks.



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    As I was headed back to my bike, I came across a sign for the Muslim Cemetery, which consisted of these few stones. There is a Chinese Cemetery else where on the island, as the two use different burial spaces. There is one huge cemetery complex on the west side of the island, and then only a few older, smaller resting sites else where. Visiting the different cemetery may become a goal of mine. Some of them are reported to be haunted.



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    With missing the lunch special at the brewery, I decided to not get a $18 beer, and went looking for food. Changi Village was closed for spring cleaning (even though it just opened up in December from 3 months closure due to renovations), so I started my ride home and stopped at Pasir Ris Food Centre. I really like this place, and they have a lot of good options, including delicious Tau Foo Young.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-24-2023 at 12:11 AM.

  9. #159
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    I headed out for another big road loop, hoping to find some alternate routes. I tried for a landmark called the Rainbow Bridge, but you can no longer cross it as a member of the public. The is an Islamic housing unit called Kranji One on the far side, and you are not permitted to pass through unless you live there. This is too bad, as it would be a bit more scenic, as well as more direct. Years ago, the train tracks ran across this bridge and the Railway Corridor passed through here. Oh, well. As I left that area, and headed toward my main route through the area, I noticed the tremendous amount of litter along the sidewalk. As you get further out of the center city, the idea that there is no litter in Singapore juts falls to pieces. As an older uncle once told me, the cops don't bother with patrolling the poorer areas, and the people don't bother following the rules. No consequence, and it starts to look as littered as anywhere else. Its too bad, as it is quite pleasant being in a place like SG that is mostly quite clean.


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    Once out of Kranji, west of Sungei Boluh, and into Lim Chu Kang, you suddenly feel like you are biking on rural roads. Get of the main artery, and there are literally no vehicles around. Just need to keep your eye peeled for feral dogs, and not so feral guard dogs. I literally got ran off the road and through I was going to get bit by this one furious dog that came charging out of his compound.

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    the area is dotted with cars, and small kampong style homes. Fish farms, flower farms, veggie farms and this frog farm. My route took me almost to the northwest corner of the island, and that will be a goal for next time out. I was actually considering turning around, to head further north, when the dog scarred the hell out of me, and I decided I was not turning around at the point. I just kept heading east and out of there. Next time though, I will turn north before the home of the scary dog. Bet I find other scary dogs anyway.


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    Eventually you hit Lim Chu Kang Road and head south, which starts off pleasant enough, and slowly becomes busier, with cars, buses and construction vehicles. Then, suddenly, you are out of the trees and it becomes a six lane road, with a military installation to your left and right. I tried to find a route juts west of here, and one used to exist, but it has all become forbidden military training zones. After a few miles of this rather desolate feeling landscape, you have an opportunity to turn into the huge cemetery complex where most people in Singapore are buried today. There are two separate Muslim Cemeteries, this being the first one that I passed through.


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    Separated by two roads (one for Muslims and the other for Chinese) is a section of one of the even larger Chinese Cemeteries. Some areas are fairly fresh and new. Others are basically in ruins. It makes me want to learn more about these areas. Are the bodies removed, or still underground? Have their descendants forgotten them and allowed the cemetery to fall apart? How old are these older sections? Is it normal to allow grave markers to fall into ruin? So many questions. This section was well kept, and in several areas, I could see people paying their respects to a lost loved one.


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    This place is huge, and the only place you can currently bury a body in SG. My ride through the cemeteries was several miles long, and I was making the straightest shot possible. This is still a Chinese zone. There is also a Christian cemetery, although I have yet to come across a Jewish, Buddhist or other area. I understand that Hindu tend to cremate their dead, and would assume that is the practice here as well. There were for sure several different crematoriums in this complex.


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    After the cemeteries, it is several miles of city riding. A combination of sidewalks roads and roadside PCN. Eventually I pick up the Ula Pandan PCN, and this is what I think of when I think of the great tarmac biking here in SG. A few miles, with only occasionally crossing a road. Along a river, with plenty of shade, and few people out on the track allows for some fast, cruising style cycling.


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    Eventually, you need to cross highway, but they have built this amazing structure to have the freeway not intcruot your ride. Cruise up the twirly ramps, across the road and back down.


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    I had to take several pictures of this bike path to really appreciate the time, money and effort put into making this a pleasurable bike route. Besides not needing to deal with cars, it was quite fun climbing, and depending these loops.


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    Looking south along the PCN. Like I've said several times, biking here is very much a mixed bag. When you hit crossings like this, you can imagine what it might be like in a decade if they continue along this trajectory. Sometimes it is hard to imagine, because so many areas are closed or cut off, due to all the construction going on. And others get shut down due to wear and tear, or nature disasters, like mud slides.But when the network is completed, it should be quite nice.

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    After a kilometer of bliss riding, the PCN suddenly becomes a sidewalk. Not even a wide sidewalk, but just a side walk. And eventually, a broken sidewalk, when I gave myself a pinch flat, trying to ollie my bike up and over a 4" chuck on broken concrete. A quick lunch a t a - new to me - food centre, and a tube change, I found my self in West Coast Park. A bit of a misnomer. It is on the south coast, but west of downtown. It was nice stretch to ride.

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    While technically on the coast, it is basically a marina. And most of the park is actually behind the shipping docks, so not even coastal.


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    Tree lined lanes. This view is pretty common on my different biking routes.


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    And more and more, so is this one, toward the end of the day. All routes lead to Tap.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-26-2023 at 05:14 PM.

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    A $10 feast at Golden Mile. From Flavorful Delights - Xia Long Boa and Zhi Jiang Noodle. And Lime Juice from around the corner. So delicious. The noodles are basically in a sauce of ground pork and onions cooked with a puree of fermented soy beans. It is on the salty side from the soy beans, but oh so good. Topped with fresh carrots and cucumbers. The steamed dumplings were super delicate and filled with pork, scallion and garlic. The lime juice, well, was lime juice with a touch of palm sugar.

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    Preparing for CNY. Stock up on fruits, because the markets are going to be closed for about a week, and the grocery sores will be expensive mad houses when opened. A lot of things completely close down during Lunar New Year (to be ore PC). Pretty much every Chinese ethnic run hawker stall, market and store. So do most of the stores in malls, some restaurants, banks and more. Some juts for the long weekend, others for the entire two week long period. It is not like New Years in the US, where everything happens on one night. The celebration continues for two weeks. In part this is from the tradition of traveling back to the home town for celebrations. It allows for time to travel long distances. Some people here in SG travel to visit family over seas, but most stick around. Trail is expensive this time of year, and why we stayed in SG. But you do need to plan ahead. Markets are beginning to open back up a week later, but stock is limited and still pricey. As more markets open back up, prices will drop. So the moral is, plan ahead, and get plenty of produce before everyone closes down.
    Last edited by Ottime; 01-27-2023 at 10:02 PM.

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    There is still plenty to do here during CNY. We headed down to the Tekka Food Cnetre in Little India, ate curry and naan, and then went out for a walk in a colorful neighborhood. I've eaten at Tekka before, and have biked through the area to buy a pair of surf booties (they were used once when the guy bought them in California and were super cheap - S$10) that I picked up for my kid as reef booties. But I never really stopped to walk around. It really does feel like a place outside of SG. Bright and low rise.


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    Oddly enough, this building was the home of a wealthy Chinese merchant, Tan Teng Niah. The area that Little India now occupies was previously a factory neighborhood. The home was funded by the creation of candies. Indians were (and still are to a degree) the working class of Singapore during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But it was not the factories bought Indians to this area. The British established a prison just up Serangoon Road near Bras Basah Road. In fact, Serangoon transformed from a dirt path to a proper road from convict labor in the early to mid 1800s. After serving their sentences, the Indian men settled nearby. Other Indians who emigrated to Singapore, would move to the same area, with to be near kin and because it was a growing trades district. This then induced wealthy Chinese to build factories nearby the burgeoning labor market.


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    Last edited by Ottime; 01-27-2023 at 10:18 PM.

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