by Connie Ong, BAcc (Hons) 1987
I have walked around Singapore island twice and have explored nearly every Park Connector Network (PCN) and every good-sized park on our beloved island. Last year, I clocked 4.4 million steps and this year, I am on track to finish 2021 with almost 6 million steps. This translates to an average of 12.3km walked per day for the last 12 months or 4.4k km, which is more than the distance from Singapore to Hong Kong by road! I guess this means I have probably explored more of Singapore than many of you who are reading this today.
Was I a walking fanatic all this while? Not at all! When I was preparing for my first trekking trip to Nakasendo, Japan end of 2019, I was satisfied with walking just 3 to 5 km on the treadmill 2-3 times per week. I only walked Nakasendo for the sightseeing and not for the walking or exercise. My only 'regular' walking was 5km at Ghim Moh canal 2-3 times a month!
How has that changed today? For this, I must thank Nakasendo and Covid-19. Out of boredom and fear of putting on weight, I joined my husband in walking round and round and round my condo, doing 5km every single circuit breaker day! In Phase 2, with the more relaxed measures, I finally ventured out of my condo but still never strayed more than 5km away from home.
And then, SG Trek's Round Island Route (RIR) Challenge happened. We formed a threesome group and took up the one-month Oct 2020 challenge to walk 150km around Singapore island on a predetermined route. I guess we did it more to gain 'bragging rights' than anything else. And so, from my standard mere 5-8km, but with super great determination, I miraculously managed to complete the entire 150km in 7 trips. This feat can be likened to doing seven half marathons in one month! I am proud to announce that we, together with 285 others, got into the Singapore Book of Records to become the largest group completing an RIR event with our herculean effort.
After RIR, my outlook on walking was utterly transformed. I was pumped up to go anywhere and everywhere to walk and explore Singapore - just like the song says '… ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough baby …' and my life was never the same again! Come rain or shine, I am out there exploring every nook and corner, every reservoir, every river, every canal, every PCN, every park, and even every mural on the island.
Let me kick start by showing you a few interesting sights I found in Singapore city itself - a place where most of you walk past regularly.
I thought this would be a good simple place to start for anyone keen to walk but never really got into it. In any case, if you like these shots but missed noticing them when you were in the city, do go back and look for them. Go ahead - give it a try and let's get the walking started!
This mural is named Paper Mask & Puppet Seller. Are you surprised it is found in Chinatown? Go seek it out at Mohamed Ali Lane, closer to South Bridge Road corner. The mural painter is non other than our local boy Yip Yew Chong. He is from RI and an Accountancy Graduate from NTU - hey, another business schooler!
It's said he works as an accountant, but since 2015 he has been commissioned to create beautiful heritage-themed murals on Singapore lives all over the city, as in Kampong Glam, Everton Road and Tiong Bahru. Proud of you, Yip - keep up the excellent work!
No, no, I am not in Liliput Land, and this is not Gulliver's Travels - I am just at the URA Centre at Maxwell Road. I am proudly showing off one of the 14 winning benches of the Re: Bench design competition that breathes new life into the old timber seats of the former National Stadium. They are now placed at Marina Bay, Sports Hub and Singapore City Gallery (URA Centre) to public spaces more delightful. See if you can climb onto the chairs - unfortunately, I couldn't.
Re:Bench, URA Centre
Did you know that Singapore has its Olympic Walk? Take a walk at the tree-lined Marina Bay outside the MBS Shoppes if you have not seen it. This walk and the nearby Youth Olympic Park were set up to commemorate the Youth Olympic Games successfully held in Singapore in 2010.
There are so many sights to feast our eyes on through walking, have fun exploring them!