26 November 2011

Saturday Morning in Singapore

I live on the east coast of Singapore, surrounded by park to the south, condos to the east and west and some more condos to the north.  What makes this location spectacular is the scenic view I have from my lounge room of the condos' facilities (five swimming pools for starters), East Coast Park and the Strait of Singapore sprinkled with maritime vessels.

East Coast Park (ECP) is a 15km stretch of tree-lined walking and cycling paths.  Particularly popular on the weekends with west and north coast residents sojourning here for a day trip, the ECP is a fitness fanatic's paradise.

Singapore may at times come across as a sleepy city with little happening during the day, of course discounting the shopping sprees taking place at nights, however, what a person like myself (I am not a morning person) may not see is the vibrant and bustling early hours of ECP.  It starts around 6.30am when walkers, cyclists, inline skaters or runners hit the pavement.  The fishermen are already at it on the nearby pier and the photographers are taking advantage of the morning light.

During one of those rare sleepless nights, I hit the pavement myself at 6.30am, camera in hand, water in the bag and the pier as my destination.  The pier is bustling with athletes, walkers and fishermen.  The sun is slowly rising on the horizon, the air is mildly fresh and every two minutes a plane is preparing to land at the nearby Changi Airport.

It's 6.30am with the sun rising on the horizon,
Singapore Airlines preparing for landing and the vessels still resting.

My favorite views are the maritime vessels.
Maybe because it conjures images of adventure on high seas.
7.00am on the East Coast Park.
Half hour later I leave the pier and as I walk along the ECP I come across a group practicing Tai Chi and preparations for a charity walk underway.  Hundreds of people of all ages patiently wait for the walk to commence and help raise funds for the Home Nursing Foundation.  The 3km walk may not seem like much but given that a large proportion of the walkers are senior citizens, it is certainly a great way to start the morning, whilst doing something for the community.

They were very smooth in their practice
Volunteers arriving to the event.
Having fun whilst waiting for the event to start.

Ready, set, go....
...and off they walk.
As the morning awakens, the sand castle beach is empty and the hawkers market is a ghost town till late afternoon. Yet the runners are out, the cyclists are pedalling whilst trying to work around the throng of people gathered for the charity walk and the carpark is full.

Each weekend grand sand castles are built here
for all to enjoy and participate in.
East Coast Lagoon Food Centre (aka hawkers market).
Hard to imagine that by 7.30pm this is not just bustling but usually
the several hundred seats are fully occupied.
Looking good.

Pedal away sweetheart...

So the streets may be quiet during the day as locals stay out of the heat and humidity but come the morning and many are out and about exercising, photographing, fishing and generally enjoying the early morning tropical weather. 

Bayshore Park Condos seen from the ECP.