In a magical instance, two islands rose from the sea. Well in the case of Pulau Punggol, it was not quite so magical. It was through an announcement in 1995 that the public came to know of the two reclaimed islands off Seletar - Pulau Punggol Barat and Pulau Punggol Timor, or West Punggol Island and East Punggol Island. 1
Pulau Punggol Timor was initially used as a military exercise ground from 1998-99. 2
In 2007, it was announced that these islands were to be used as a landing and stockpile site for granite and sand. 3 I've read much about this place and so with my trusty bicycle, I took the road less travelled. I was a bit more careful and had chosen to cycle along the path rather than on the road. It seemed like there was an endless stream of tipper trucks.
They were moving sand and granite to the various locations around Singapore, all in the name of urbanisation and the building of government flats and other other developments.
Pulau Punggol Timor
My cycling trail started at Punggol Way. I'd crossed the bridge that cuts through Sungei Punggol. The first building that you will get to see is this weathered building that house the dam gates for this river. The bridge led me to Pulau Punggol Timor where you can find the landing and stockpile sites. These sites could be seen all over this island.
In a short 15 minutes, I was able to get to the bridge that led me from Pulau Punggol Timor to Pulau Punggol Barat.
Pulau Punggol Barat
It was more cycling from here. However, this island now sees more vegetation that Pulau Punggol Timor. This island also see a 3.7 Kilometre long fence to deter illegal immigrants from landing on this island. It has happened before. 3
Moving along, there were also lovely flowers that laid spread out on the pavement. The excitement was growing and I'd really want to see what's at the end of Pulau Punggol Barat. A bridge linking to the outskirt of the Seletar Airport was all that I had wanted to see.
Paddling the gradual slope was most satisfying when I caught sight of the surroundings. On my left, was the edge of the island. On the right was Seletar Airport, and behind me was a true bonanza.
That is the elevated view of Pulau Seletar. Paradise.
1. Tan, H. Y. (November 22, 1995). Singapore islands get new names with reclamation. The Straits Times. P.3.
2. Military Exercise. (February 14, 1999). The Straits Times. P21.
3. How police deter smugglers at hotspots. October 2, 2010.