August 4, 2012

East Coast Parkway: It Is As Good As It Can Get

After the grueling hilly terrain of MacRitchie Reservoir, we decided to settle for something less demanding, preferably flat and has potentially lots of pretty ladies. We settled on the evergreen running spot of Singapore. East Coast Park!

If you take a look at all the past post, this is the first time we are doing a run in the east as a group. The reason why: Most of the unfit runners stay in the north and west and I am the only easterner around. It is sad given that the east side has some of the best running spots around. Feeling guilty, the guys let me have my way at the end of the day...

We arranged to meet at Eunos MRT and I will pick them up from there. While waiting in the car at the nearby coffeeshop, I messaged the guys:

PES E, " Come to the back of the MRT. There is a coffeeshop there. I am at the carpark there."

Lazy Girl, "Turn North. Make sure the sun is on your right."

BBG, "Turn Right, see Mr Bean, turn Right, turn right again to carpark."

Lazy Girl, "  <Scream>. I need a compass!"

PES E, "Look for the sun!" 

She found her way via the Mr Bean Method... Anyway....

In case you spot a swimmer drowning in polluted water..

We reached ECP and parked at the carpark at the old Mcdonald area. The carpark is nearly full at 8am in the morning and the whole area is a construction site, as the buildings which the first McDonald's drivethru restaurant was housed since 1981, are being tore down and reconstructed to make way for new developments. I haven't been here for half a year and the whole place is beyond recognition. I wondered if the beloved East Coast McDonald found a new location at ECP. We set off towards the direction of Bedok Jetty hoping to cover 7-8km.

The sun of ECP
The Map of ECP
The first significant landmark is the rows of red bricked ECP chalets that have been there as long as I remembered. It was the favorite sleepover spot when we were students, a chance to get away from our cramped HDB apartments and parents, a chance to get to play games, gamble in secret and get to know girls better. The rent is generally cheap and there are tons of activities which we can indulge in at ECP. Judging at the number of giggling teenagers at the chalet as I run past it, nothing seems to have changed much from 15 years ago.

The red brick chalets of ECP
Down the road, is the what I called the seafood section of ECP. This is where some of the biggest and most famous seafood restaurants in Singapore are situated. Many seafood fans, local and overseas, will converge to this spot over the weekend, and if you are lucky and did not make an advance booking, you may only need to wait in the queue for 30 mins. As I ran pass this area, I was surprised by the new restaurant which has sprouted over there. It is a BRAND NEW MCDONALD!!! Now I know where the friendly staffs of the old ECP McDonald have been relocated.
The new Mcdonalds!

The next significant landmark is the cable ski park. Refer to my Batam Cable Ski experience if you are unsure what is cable ski. Basically, the main differences with this one and only cable ski park in Singapore and batam are the type of water and the price. The price is of course much more expensive in Singapore, and it is a salt water pool as compared to Batam's fresh water pool. There is a nearby surfboard and watersport retail shop and a nice cafe where you can have a view of the cable ski park in aircon comfort.
Cable Ski Park

Surfer shop and cafe
The ECP food center is just around the corner and is one of the favorite supper spot for Singaporeans. It is probably the only place along the entire stretch of ECP that offers cheap and decent food. The rest of the offerings you can find are either fast food or expensive restaurants. A short 500meters away is the extreme skate park for kids who are trying to break the bones on the various parts of their body on skateboards and rollerblades. Although I am a self professed advance free-style skater, I am getting too old to risk my butt on 75 degrees 3 meter high concrete slopes.
The ECP food center

Extreme Skate Park. Too early for the kids to workout.
One of the favorite fishing spot for Singaporean is at the Bedok Jetty. On weekends, you have to hustle for a fishing spot along the 400 meters long jetty. You can actually see the skyline of the CBD from a distance, if you travel all the way to the end of the jetty. The end of the jetty marks a 3.8km run and I figured that it is probably a good time to turn back and do a slow jog by to the starting point.

History of Bedok Jetty.
Its a long walk/jog to the end.
Singaporeans need to be told what to do by the government
on everything. Including how to fish....
Fishermen trying their luck to see if they can hook breakfast!
After the run, my conclusion is this: ECP is a good place for ladies, who appreciate a toned muscular naker torso of a sweaty alpha male, here is the place to do it. There are no other running spots that features as many half naked running man as ECP. There are quite a number of ladies doing their run, but my impression of half naked man out strips my impression of pretty ladies. And this this coming from a guy! So it must much better from the perspective of ladies. Other than the software, the hardware is as fantastic as it is reputed to be. BBG rated ECP as the best running spot we have done so far, with Labrador park coming in second. For those staying in the north and the west and seldom come by ECP, you will now know what you have been missing!
I wrote this article on Singapore's National Day!
Happy Birthday Singapore!

Prata to round up the day!


Location: 1206A E Coast Pkwy, Singapore 449891

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