Off-the-beaten-track outings

Off-the-beaten-track outings
Visitors are flocking to the Southern Ridges, a series of hill trails linking Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill and Kent Ridge parks, to take in the beautiful scenery.

Ms Savita Kashyap is executive director of Journeys, a heritage tour company, which operates The Original Singapore Walks. It aims to bring people to the city's best-kept secret places.

She is also a member of a walking group called Jeywalkers which is named after its founder, Jeya Ayadurai, a prominent local historian who heads an associate company, Singapore History Consultants.

The walking group explores the lesser-known corners of Singapore every Sunday.

"We typically walk an average of 12km every time," Ms Kashyap says. These are her recommendations:

The Green Corridor: One of my favourite getaways, the old railway tracks of the former Malayan Railway that ran from Tanjong Pagar station all through Malaysia up to southern Thailand.

We've walked the entire 25km in Singapore up to Woodlands station. The railway line ran through some quiet but beautiful estates.

Today, only two old stations are left standing, Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar. My children and husband often join the group when we explore such places.

Southern Ridges: Another favourite with the Jeywalkers is the Southern Ridges area around Pasir Panjang and Alexandra.

We love walking from Kent Ridge Park, taking the various canopy walks and bridges all the way to Mount Faber.

Along the way there are beautiful black and white bungalows dating back to pre-war times in the 1930s. Nearby at Portsdown Road is Colbar, a unique colonial-style cafe run by Mr and Mrs Lim since pre-independence days.

Changi area: Yet another place we return to regularly is the Changi area which feels like Singapore in the '60s with the small and quaint shops at Changi Village and old chalets.

Haw Par Villa: Lastly, my current favourite is Haw Par Villa which was built in 1936 and opened to the public by Mr Aw Boon Haw, the brilliant businessman behind Tiger Balm.

The park has the most unique, even bizarre, sculptures and dioramas reflecting Asian philosophy and culture and Chinese classics.

A walk around this park is not only entertaining but extremely edifying and I love taking visitors there to learn about Asian culture.

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