Travels & Countries

Road to Sembawang

I am not new to Singapore. For last few years, I have been spending a significant part of each year in this place. Yet, this place keeps on surprising me, with its natural beauty, again and again. I live these days, in the northern part of this island. Compared to the south and the east, this part of the island is less built up with many open spaces between the dwellings and patches of tropical rain forests spread all around. The northern sea channel between Malaysia and Singapore or ‘Selat Johar’, as it is called, is just about three Kilometers from my house. Next to my house, I can see a storm drain canal, built to carry the floodwaters to the sea. A beautiful walkway with mettle surface has been laid on the embankment of this canal. A leisurely walk along this walkway, takes you straight to ‘Sembawang’ Beach.

This beach is really just a tiny patch of white sand and is flanked by the ‘Sembawang Port’. Thick tropical rain forest, with some trees as tall as sixty to seventy feet, could be seen just before this beach. This makes this entire area staggeringly beautiful.

I take my daily morning walks on this walkway. When I get out of my apartment each morning, melodious tunes of ‘Nadswaram’, coming from a temple of ‘Kartikeya’ across the road, invariably lift my mood to sublime serenity. When I was staying in California earlier, I used to walk along a picturesque street, lined with maple trees and had always thought that this street during ‘fall time’ would always be the most beautiful path, which I have ever trodden in my life. Yet this ‘Sembawag’ garden connector in some ways certainly surpasses my favourite maple street. This connector walkway has been laid along the left bank of the floodwater canal. On the right bank of this canal, I can see sheer majesty of a tropical rainforest giving me company all along. The tall trees and the thick grasses create certain kind of mystic air and as the dawn breaks, water vapours gently rise up from the rain sodden and moist forest, enveloping it in a foggy blanket, which further accentuates the mystic aura.

On both sides of this walkway, beautiful flowering trees and shrubs have been planted, which give the look of a garden path to this walkway. Few weeks back, I noticed many ‘Bottle Brush’ trees in full bloom with bright yellow flowers all along my way. I also notice all along the way, many varieties of Acacias and Crotons with their multicoloured leaves. Behind these shrubs, lush green grass grows on sloping land forming a nice backdrop. At few places, spiders lay out their white fluffy webs on the moist grass hoping for a meal. The webs shine and glisten in the early morning sunlight. The walkway is serenely quiet except for chirpings of all kinds of birds as a backstage musical score. Sometimes, battalions of birds start it at the same time to reach a crescendo, creating a virtual cacophony, which usually lasts for a few moments, later returning the walkway to normal calm. The calm sometimes gets disturbed with huffing and puffing of an odd jogger or when a bicycler whizzes pass you.

After a distance, the walkway turns sharply to the right. Not far from here, the land breaks and a clear open view of the sea channel with details of Malaysian coast emerge before your eyes. The sight of sea somehow brings a sense of freedom to my mind. However, this is the point of return for me and I stop and turn back. A feeling of contented satisfaction lingers in my mind.


About chandrashekhara

I am a retired electronics engineer. I am interested in writing, reading books. Other hobbies include Paper models, wooden fret work and social networking.


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