Did you know there used to be a small Hainan Village and rambutan plantation at Old Upper Thomson Road? We first read about it in the news and had to go see the site in its original condition for ourselves, before development works start and it is transformed into Thomson Nature Park.
The ruins are located between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road. According to NParks, development works start early 2017 and the nature park will be completed by end 2018.
Looking at a 1975 map, you can see two old small roads between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road. Jalan Belang, which was Malay for Stripes Road (for Mr Stripes, the tiger) and that it linked Old Upper Thomson Road with Upper Thomson road. There is also a newer road, Jalan Pelita (Light in Malay). Both roads are no longer there and have now been reclaimed by nature.
I wonder if these roads will become the new paths for the park. Aparently, apart from setting an area for the public to arrive and be introduced to the park, and have some basic amenities, much of the nature park will be left very rustic. Its former structures will be left intact.
When work on the 50ha Thomson Nature Park is complete, history buffs will be able to use the trails winding through the park for a glimpse of the ruins of the old Hainan village and rambutan plantation formerly located at the site – the first time that nature and history are meeting in plans for a nature park.
Other than viewing the old houses, staircases and village foundations from the same trails the villagers used to walk on, visitors can also get a taste of Singapore’s rich biodiversity. Mature trees and animals like the samba deer and leopard cat can be spotted in this area.