Singapore's East Coast Park is a bustling place. IS it great? Perhaps almost. If a park that has such poor public access is still inundated with joggers, cyclists, skateboards, sand castle builders, campers, walkers and so on, the answer is yes. I visit it at least twice a week as it stretches nearly 15 kilometers along the beach providing cycling and walking trails, most well shaded, usually sea breeze blessed and with any number of rest areas, toilets, bike rental places, restaurants: you name it.
It stretches from Fort Road right up to the SAFRA golf clubs at Tanah Merah and links to several PCNs providing side trips to other reasonably delightful walks and attractions: Siglap Linear Park, Kembangan Canal, Bedok Reservoir, Haig Road pathway and so on. Once you reach the eastern end, you can continue to Tanah Merah Ferry which is almost 19 kilometres from the start before Fort Road. That is a lot of park!
The beaches are created, not natural. Indeed the whole park is on reclaimed land. The sight of hundreds of ships anchored well off shore is a little disquieting. One has visions of spillages etc. Maybe that is why so few swim there.
If only the authorities could do two things the park would be perfect:
1) provide more pubic transport (bus 401 visits on Sundays and public holidays only)
2) enforce the separation of cyclists and walkers. There are signs urging people to be considerate and stick to the right path. Do the cyclists care? No, as any where else, a cyclist has the right of way: didn’t you know that?
That is really annoying. Mind you, lots of walkers use the cycle paths, so…
The place is packed on weekends and evenings. And the campsite son weekends are amazing, packed with Singaporeans enjoying tent life. It is a shame that few of them have enough social graces to dispose of their amazing amount of rubbish thoughtfully. But I suppose it does not matter. After all, the foreign workers will clean up the mess before sunrise.
Despite this, the place is wonderful. As with everything else, it is the few who spoil it.
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