Sunday, August 18, 2013

Labrador Park

I've been to Labrador Park years ago, and very recently, and it had changed quite a bit. The whole park area is very nice with a great waterfront and some nice old military outposts to explore, however, I feel like there is a large part of our heritage is being destroyed constantly.

Firstly, some of the great stuff for people who do not care about heritage. This park is very nice and cool. Lots of shade from trees, and about a 500m walk from the Labrador Park MRT station. (Without shelter)

There are some trails where you can see previously build structures that defend the country from the Japanese during WWII, and a nice waterfront, for people to cycle. As a park, this is a nice place to visit, nice sunset views, great sea breeze, and relatively accessible.

The park is near the ultra rich waterfront living areas in Keppel Bay, the previously (and probably currently) very busy port area where you get large container trucks driving right outside your small condos that cost millions because you have a water view and perhaps the locality near Keppel Club, where you can park your Yatch in case you need to get out of the country fast after doing something illegal.

However, like many other Heritage locations or Nature locations, I do feel that having a nice mangrove shore, destroying it and building a boardwalk, replanting a few mangrove trees back -- does not really make it a nature reserve.

Many historic sites, Raffles Landing, Merlion, Long Ya Men Rock, countless more -- have been moved for commercial buildings, hotels and other profitable businesses. The marina barrage has closed up the Singapore river, and I'm sure in years to come, future generations will ask, "How did Raffles come into our reservoir?"

Building replicas of the Merlion and Long Ya Men is what Singapore try to do to keep these Iconic places which was a symbol of Singapore years ago. I'm sure discerning visitors will enjoy the real thing, rather than a replica, and it is impossible to always have the newest attractions as in time, they will also get old.

I'm sure if other countries would agree, China would take down parts of the Great Wall for condos, and move it else where, the other world wonders will be sold to become hotel, restaurants and the replicas relocated elsewhere.

That said, the government seemed to want to open the tunnels at one point, and air-conditioning is set up, but the whole place seems abandoned, and wonder how many millions are spent. Some tunnels are sealed up and I'm sure the government wants it to be a tourist attraction, but failed as the area was not developed yet, and since they have to make everything profitable, decided to close it indefinitely.

The vegetation and plants are overgrown in some locations now, and the tunnels are sealed, many guns that were used to defend Singapore was missing, (Why no replicas?) and what's worse, the renovations used were very unsightly, and I feel that the contractors removed much of the pre WWII relics and probably disposed them away. The whole area from a WWII standpoint seems incomplete, rebuilt, and -- FAKE.

I guess that is why there are no tourists coming. Good Try, Good waste of funds. But as a park, good park to come to and enjoy the waterfront.

-- Robin Low