June 16, 2012

Labrador Nature Reserve - A Blend of History, Nature & ModernArchitecture

Sorry that there hasn't been an update for 2 weeks. We were off for a diving trip for one weekend and the other weekend, we were detered by a morning thunder storm. Perhaps I will post the pictures of our diving trip in the floor, as this is a blog about healthy living afterall! This weekend, we arrived at Labrador Park for our weekly round the island run.

The starting point of our run.

My initial impression of Labrador park was that we will have to climb stairs. Afterall, it is a famous defensive position during WWII and the dark hills are welcomed by many couples who are looking for privacy in crowded Singapore. When Big Bone Guy suggested the area, I was like," Are you crazy? You want to run up a flight of stairs??" He assured me that feedback from his friends who about this running spot is positive. So off we went.

The nearest MRT is Labrador Park MRT (Obviously!) and it is a slow walk or fast drive into the park. Parking is FREE!! There is 2 segment to the park, the hilly, forested part which I visited when I was 17 years old and a new coastal area fronting the coastline. We ran towards the direction of Sentosa, hoping to encounter something interesting along the way. Boy, we were pleasantly surprised.

The broadwalk towards along the coastline
Along the way, we saw a well preserved WWII bunker and the iconic red lighthouse which has been there as long as I remembered. They did repainted it making it bright red, standing out in contrast of the morning deep blue sky. In the distance, we could see the strange bending high end condominium Reflection at the Bay. The Sun is just creeping above the horizon and I took one of the nicer shots in my entire running career using the lousy iPhone camera. 1km into the run, you will run around the perimeter of the Reflection at the Bay and the Marina at Keppel Bay.

A WWII Bunker just peeking out from the foilage
The famous Labrador lighthouse. Its a lighthouse right?
Breathtaking view at the broadwalk
Crossing a bridge will bring us to the tiny Keppel island and into the main building proper of the Marina. The Marina houses quite a number of restaurants and is a great place to bring your date along to enjoy the sunset. Other than that, it is a big open area which boast a great view of Sentosa Island, where families can enjoy a picnic with a great view. This place is not crowded as it is little known, so go explore this area before hordes of Singaporeans and tourists rush into this little known scenic gem.

Running around the perimeter of Reflection@the Bay
Marina @ Keppel Bay
The bridge leading to Keppel Island
The open area at Keppel Island
Other than a few other runners and a few curious tourists, there were almost no other crowds, as compared to the more popular and more well known parks. I did not even encounter any kids on deadly wheels or hordes of reckless rollerskaters in the area. The path is wide and easy to run and the view is interesting. There is no stairs, no traffic lights and best of all, no crowds blocking your way. The distance is not fantastic though as I estimated that you can go as far as 2.5 km before your path is blocked by a fence which marks the boundary of another boundary and you have to turn around after you hit Keppel Island. The other direction strecthes for 500 meters before a fence marks the start of the PSA container area, which is of course, out of bounds for casual runners. You can try running out into the roads which will lead to VIVO city but that is also where all the traffic lights start disrupting the pace of the run.
History, Nature and Modern Architect in a single area

The path ends at PSA
Overall, I will grade this area as one of the best place to run around in Singapore for short distance runners. Good wide paths, interesting people and a good view makes you want to explore the area, again and again.  

Location: Labrador Nature Reserve, Singapore

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