Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cycling in Singapore!


Singapore may be a busy city with tons of concrete and miles of roads. The roads are always busy and in heavy traffic. However, do you know that this so-called Garden City does have quiet and serene places where you can totally relax yourself and just enjoy the surroundings? Cycling is an almost forgotten activity in many Singaporean's’ lives, everyone is into computer games, shopping malls and theme parks. In fact, cycling is one of the most affordable and healthy activity!

Just yesterday, Me and my girlfriend made a trip to East Coast Park, the longest and biggest park along the east coast of Singapore. It is one of the favorites among family kind of activity where there are BBQ pits, white sandy beach, and dedicated pathways for jogging and cycling! There is even a extreme skate park for the bicycles and skaters! Our plan that day was to cycle from East Coast Park all the way to the end of it, and through the park connectors that will bring us all the way till Changi Beach Park, another great park behind the Changi Airport.


East Coast Park Area C PCN Pit Stop

To get to east Coast Park, we boarded the MRT to Eunos MRT (Green Line) and took a bus (No.13) and alighted at Marine Crescent. From there, we are able to cross to East Coast park via an underground tunnel over the East Coast Parkway (An expressway in Singapore). There are numerous bicycle rental stations over here, but only one offers you to rent and return somewhere else along the park, “PCN pitstop”, have multiple stations along East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park. Thats why we can make an one way trip without having to cycle your way back to East Coast Park! PCN Pitstop we went to is located at Area C of East Coast Park, very near to Burger King and the Long Beach Seafood Restaurant.

We rented mountain bikes which cost like $10 for 2 hours, which is pretty cheap and of good quality. The bikes there are very well maintained and all sorts of sizes are available. You can choose from one seater mountain bikes, or twin bikes and even a four-seater family cart! But well, for long distance, you really need the mountain bike to make it all the way there!

The distance from Area C to Changi Beach Park is around 18 kilo meters (11.2 miles) and you definitely have to be prepared to perspire and tire out along the way. Trust me, the sense of achievement and with the Changi wind blowing on you is going to overwhelm you and worth everything you have put in. Don’t worry about water and rest, there are plenty of water points and shelters for you to rest and refill.

Just to get you prepared, mentally and physically, here are some descriptions  of various segment along the journey:

  • Area C to the End of East Coast Park (near NSRCC Resort) –> There will be curvy path ways and more crowded with people. Expect uphills and down slopes. No traffic light junction, so you are safe from the cars.
  • End of East Coast Park to Changi Airport Runway—> This is a Park Connector known as  Changi Coastal walk. Great scenery, expect curvy roads . It cuts through vegetation but the road is cemented and well maintained. Expect one of the 3 traffic light junctions, dismount and cross the road.
  • Changi Airport Runway to Changi Beach Park –> This is the toughest part of the route. The path is parallel to the Changi Airport runway. So basically you are cycling from the end of the runway to the other, straight and even path. No great scenery, but you will experience the engine sounds of planes taking off and landing. The road is just straight and can be boring, so maintain speed and endure for this 8 kilometers.
  • Changi Beach Park to Changi Village—> You will know that you have conquered the runway when you hit another traffic light. Here is another PCN Pitstop which you can buy some well deserved drinks and ice cream. Changi Beach park will bring you to another stretch of beaches, you will see many fishing along the way and witness planes landing over your head.


Changi Beach Park PCN Pitstop

Your destination is Changi Village, the end of Changi Beach Park where another PCN pitstop is located. You can return your bike here and show the guys your receipt. Changi Village is one of Singapore’s first settlements and now built up nicely where you can find good food at the hawker center. Nasi Lemak, or Coconut Rice, is a malay delicacy and Changi Village have one of the best Nasi Lemak in Singapore. There are many stalls selling, but as a rule of thumb, go to the one with the longest queue!

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Changi Beach Park and Changi Village Hawker Center

You can get back to Tampines MRT station by taking a bus (No.29) from the bus terminal at Changi Village and leave knowing that you have spent a good day covering 42% the width of Singapore! You have burnt 488 calories! Great job!

This cycling route is one of the longest in Singapore, you can even go on from there till you hit Pasir Ris Park! It is pretty safe as there is only three traffic light junctions and the paths are all well maintained. I strongly recommend to those who enjoy the beaches and winds.



Things to take note:

  • Getting to East Coast Park – > Taxi is the most convenient. Tell the driver to bring you to Area C carpark. Buses are available at Eunos MRT (No.13) alight at Marine Crescent and walk through a few apartment estates to reach the underground tunnel that brings you to Area C.
  • Rent your bikes at PCN Pitstop if you are going to return at Changi Beach Park. Note that you will need a Singapore Pink IC to do that. Other forms of identification can be used, however you will have to return your bikes at this PCN pitstop.

Expect to be under the Sun! Use sunscreens and sunblocks with you want to avoid getting tanned! Bring water bottle and you can refill at various water points along the way. There will be stalls selling drinks with you crave for something ice cold.

  • Changi Village, a small residential area with a bus terminal. Buses there can bring you to Tampines MRT (No.29). Good food available there.  

1 comment:

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