In search of the urban hot spring | 三巴旺温泉之旅

新加坡,位于赤带的岛国,常年温度平均在于23-31摄氏度。

除了鱼尾狮、滨海艺术中心、乌节路、摩天轮等,新加坡的“郊外”也别有洞天。

温泉,在我们这热带岛国,似乎不受宠,因为天气太热了。

三巴旺温泉,近年却来开始受国人瞩目。许多爱好郊游的国人,常骑自行车到温泉走走,煮些温泉蛋,或泡泡脚。硫磺温泉水,据说对治疗脚疾有一定的效用(但这因人而异)。Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset除了拜访温泉,也探访了旧式的潮州饼家。这一整个早晨走下来,还挺有收获的。

 

Hot spring in Singapore, sounds like a deal too good (and too hot) to have?

I was pretty amazed when I heard about this a few years back, and it’s pretty near the Sembawang Shopping Centre, where I use to frequent previously, but never had the motivation to just walk a little more to this hidden place. joojourneys_sembawangThanks to Jerome’s (the man behind  The Long and Winding Road) invitation, and on a warm and breezy Sunday morning, a group of us set off from Khatib Mrt Station, in search of the the legendary Sembawang hot spring! Here are some of the highlights along the route:

 

1. Hot spring
Discovered by Chinese merchant Seah Eng Keong (b.1837), who saw the commercial possibilities in this hot spring, sent the water samples to Europe for testing by analysts . After the water was proved to be safe for consumption, Seah Eng Keong set up a Singapore Natural Mineral Hot Springs Company, to market the bottled spring water as well as to promote this location as a tourist attraction. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe Sunday crowd was a mix of regulars (elderly folks) and bikers. joojourneys_sembawang_hot_spring_warningBeware.joojourneys_sembawang_hot_spring_from_the_tapYes, our hot spring has been tapped. joojourneys_sembawang_hot_spring_cooking_eggs_1Have some eggs! joojourneys_sembawang_hot_spring_eggs

 

2. Gin Thye Cake Maker – traditional Teochew biscuits and pastries. joojourneys_ginthyeMaybe it’s a thing of the peeps of my era, there’s this nostalgic part of Singapore that lingers in our memories, bakeries and traditional cake shops are a big part of that memory (besides playgrounds and mama stores).

I was slightly sad when the Katong red house bakery closed, cause I vividly remember eating one of the nicest custard puffs from that bakery. Every time when I passed by now, I glanced at that building and feel a little sad.

Anyway, the folks from Gin Thye were really friendly and kindly answered all our questions. I bought a packet of 雪糕 (not ice-cream, but it’s called snow cake and oops I do not have a picture of it), which was a white coloured powdery snack that melt in your mouth. Not quite the kueh bangkit type of powdery though, this snow cake is sticker.

Tons of tau sau bia, pong bia and the baskets you need for traditional weeding rituals, which apparently people rent nowadays instead of purchasing them, unlike the old days. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset joojourneys_ginthye_oldschoolFriendly shop owner who had a short chat with us.

3. Ulu Sembawang
The forgotten urban playground (quote by Zinkie), an area of wilderness up the Ulu Sembawang Road (which is actually near Sembawang Shopping Centre). A great place to bring your kids out to, for short nature trekking and education, or simply a nice big field for kids to explore amidst our concrete jungle. joojourneys_ulu_sembawangjoojourneys_sembawang_group_shotThe group for the day!

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