Sembawang Park- Just a Short Swim Across to Johor, Malaysia. (I didn't insist you do it, mind you)

Singapore Travel Blog

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The delightful park is at the northern central part of Singapore. It's along the same stretch of road as a major shipyard & repair facility, a prison camp for drug offenders, naval base, industrial zone, power plant, some nice colonial style bungalows & housing and foreign workers quarters. Free car park and a bus service is available for those who wish to venture there.

I've noticed the following taking place there :
People fishing with rods & nets
Lots of families & couples camping in tents
Joggers & those just walking about
Couples making out (evenings & nights generally)
BBQs by all manner of people
Dogs being exercised or exercising the owners
Functions & buffets at the restaurant located there
Kids running wild all over the place & playground
Some swimmers but they don't get very far before they are turned back by the marine police boats ( I was waiting for them to fire a volley over those swimmer's heads but no luck)
Cyclists and  suicidal cyclists practising how to collide with all manner of objects, both mobile & immobile
Skateboarding
Picnics which hopefully doesn't produce more waste (in volume) than the food consumed itself.

Exercising (or making a show of exercising) on some of the equipment at the park
Bowling with the 'cannonball fruit' - that was done by yours truly some time ago

For those of you wondering why I seem to have extremely few photos of myself in the blogs, it's not because I'm superstitious about my soul being captured by the camera. (those who know me well would concur that I seem to lack a soul in the first place, we are not talking about jazz here).
I actually simply find it weird to look at myself in pictures. Out of body experience kind of thing, you know. Once was enough, thank you.
No, I do not stare at myself in the mirror either.
And NO, I'm not a vampire for that matter. (I've been staked in the heart way too often to Not have died as a vampire)
Could it be I saw too much of myself in those pesky 'Wanted' pictures and kinda like to keep a low profile?  :D

If you look at the waters across the beach front, that's Johor, Malaysia there.
Just across those waters is Malaysia. Forgotten your passport ? No problem, just evade those pesky patrol boats out there.

The port is just slightly to your right. (Pasir Gudang). -Not as busy as Singapore or the new container terminal at Tg. Pelepas
Directly across is the seafood place in Teluk Jawa, Masai in Johor.  A whole bunch of them cluster there, hidden in the Kota Putri housing/industrial area.
To your left across the Tebrau Straits also known as Johore Straits, is the causeway bridge that links Singapore and Malaysia.

You will notice that the police boats do watch you closely if you start swimming out from shore. This is more so since the infamous escape of one Mr. Mas Selamat from special detention camp about nearly 2 years ago. This chap who was slightly crippled evaded police & the army for a whole year and then some. He somehow scrounged together some plastic bottles & material and swam across the straits at a different point to Johore.
And, he lived happily in Johore for a year plus. But... the havoc he caused in Singapore was fantastic. The causeway bridge was jammed to hell as cars, trucks, buses and everything was searched individually instead of a regular passage through. We even had to get fingerprint checked to get across ! The delays were like 3 hours for a trip across the bridge instead of a hour or less. The poor commercial vehicles were held up till the drivers bladders burst (something like 18 hours avg.), they did put up mobile toilets after the drivers started to water the plants by the roadside. 
All spots with greenery (which I happen to like & frequent) were suddenly full of soldiers & police and dogs. Wandering into the reservoir areas with a backpack was now suspicious behavior and warranted a search.
There's the same truck like those used in Mogadishu. (after they finished with those pesky teenagers.) I told them to keep the noise down, but would they listen ? - kids these days
If you had extra clothing, (or worse, food & drink) in your bag,  ha ha ha - you had some explaining to do. Me, with my looks of undetermined nationality was not having fun.

Back to Sembawang Park, there is now an added feature for your security (so I presume). There's a pickup truck with a GPMG mounted on it driving around with the police. I just can't imagine what happens they open fire with such a thing in an environment crowded with campers, picnic goers, dogs, kids, old folks, cyclists. I guess it could be for the suspects trying to flee by swimming across the straits. I'm one who prefers to steer away from armaments unless I'm the one holding them or it's at an exhibition.

With such a safe atmosphere, you can now happily spend your time at the small expanse of beach concentrating on the important stuff like :
Why isn't the fire for the BBQ lighted yet ?
Why are the sausages burnt to crisp despite your kids swearing that they turned them every 30 seconds ?
Where the hell is the dog ? He was just tied to the tent a few minutes ago.
They got a few crabs and one dead fish. ( I looked in their bucket)

Where is the stupid husband ? Doesn't he know those crabs he keeps catching are not edible ?
What is that dead fish found floating in the water doing on my BBQ grill ?
How does anybody expect me to eat this charred / uncooked / semi cooked food without chilli sauce ?
Is the queue to the toilet still half an hour long ?
Who the hell booked this BBQ pit next to a overflowing garbage bin ?
Which smartass even suggested coming to this *(&^$%^$%!#  supposed recreation spot in the first place ?
Why is the bicycle daddy bought now a unicycle instead?
Is that someone we know who keeps waving & bobbing his/her head into the water ?
When are those people by the beach going to stop pointing & shouting at the person above in the water ? It's distracting !

Aaaaah.
Exercise thingies. Not for lazy bums like me.
... the important things in life. Remember :
Don't get sidetracked by the music those teenagers are playing, so what if it's loud enough to cause a mini tsunami across the straits ?
If there's smoke, there's fire...   so don't worry when the kiddies  next to you raise the pollution index to new heights not seen since the last forest fires in Sumatra & Kalimantan combined. (they are just trying out the smoked fish recipe they found at the library)
Ignore the guy who is being strangled by the fishing line cast by some moron who didn't look behind first.
Forget the rubber thingy floating in the water which your kid picked up and now is blowing it up into a balloon.
This place is totally safe so there is absolutely no need to check if you locked your car or that your notebook is sitting on your front seat in plain view of all & sundry.
Couroupita guianensis, whose common name is the Cannonball Tree, is an evergreen. It part of the family Lecythiaceae

The pier is very sturdy and despite all the kids jumping up & down, it will not collapse. (it may sway & have a few bits drop off but that's OK)

In summary, do have fun at this place and try your very best not to leave so much garbage behind that the recycling companies find it profitable to build a new plant on a plot of land right next to the beach. Till we meet !



almond72 says:
Just doing my part in promoting tourism here. Maybe till they pay me to keep quiet or shoot me in the head. :D Come on over, don't just take my word for it !
Posted on: Oct 25, 2009
bkretzer says:
LOL You paint such an inviting picture. How could anyone possibly resist is trip here?
Posted on: Oct 25, 2009
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Just across those waters is Malays…
Just across those waters is Malay…
Theres the same truck like those …
There's the same truck like those…
They got a few crabs and one dead …
They got a few crabs and one dead…
Exercise thingies. Not for lazy bu…
Exercise thingies. Not for lazy b…
Couroupita guianensis, whose commo…
Couroupita guianensis, whose comm…
These balls are great for keeping …
These balls are great for keeping…
Dont I wish some other things wer…
Don't I wish some other things we…
Oooer, this little fellow got sepa…
Oooer, this little fellow got sep…
Hey, I thought I left my car here …
Hey, I thought I left my car here…
A contented cat which I came acros…
A contented cat which I came acro…
The nation of signs and donts.
The nation of signs and don'ts.
A Cassia Fistula tree. The long se…
A Cassia Fistula tree. The long s…
A little spooky if you came across…
A little spooky if you came acros…
This one is fantastic when in full…
This one is fantastic when in ful…
These kiddies are having fun. You …
These kiddies are having fun. You…
I must say he is NOT running away …
I must say he is NOT running away…
Theres a short stretch of sandy b…
There's a short stretch of sandy …
A pair of oldies in the park. (jus…
A pair of oldies in the park. (ju…
Thats the name of the place that …
That's the name of the place that…
You can do some fishing here but m…
You can do some fishing here but …
Camping near the sea front is allo…
Camping near the sea front is all…
Whats lurking across that fence ?
What's lurking across that fence ?
See the guy fishing ? Hes hoping …
See the guy fishing ? He's hoping…
Ah, the big Sembawang Shipyard lur…
Ah, the big Sembawang Shipyard lu…
Water is looking quite good today,…
Water is looking quite good today…
See that patrol boat out there ? H…
See that patrol boat out there ? …
Well, I did warn you that the pier…
Well, I did warn you that the pie…
Thats Pasir Gudang, Johor. Conven…
That's Pasir Gudang, Johor. Conve…
I used to be doing stuff just righ…
I used to be doing stuff just rig…
Lots of teenagers out on the weeke…
Lots of teenagers out on the week…
Oh, oh, the police are here and wi…
Oh, oh, the police are here and w…
Yup, the civilians are running wil…
Yup, the civilians are running wi…
Even the birds are out for a date …
Even the birds are out for a date…
The booths where you get your camp…
The booths where you get your cam…
I wasnt trying to take the pictur…
I wasn't trying to take the pictu…
Really interesting bark texture.
Really interesting bark texture.
The saviour of tired feet !
The saviour of tired feet !
More birds having a quiet evening …
More birds having a quiet evening…
I like these colonial style bungal…
I like these colonial style bunga…
The bark is very thin and peels of…
The bark is very thin and peels o…