Singapore River

For the past couple of months the Brothers who are based in Scotland have been getting out to the hills whenever they can. At times the weather hasn’t been kind, yet those of us in exile have watched on enviously. We enjoy seeing the photos of the stark beauty of the Highlands, yet wonder if we’ll ever be fit enough to cope.

One of our “Brothers in Exile” has found a very different way to improve his fitness. His environment couldn’t be more different from the West Highland Way. Gordon has the unenviable task of trying to get fit for The 1,000 Years Hike by walking in 33 degree heat in the concrete jungle that is downtown Singapore.

By Gordon
28th February 2022

Viewing the photographs in the various training blogs of the Brothers back in Scotland, I feel the anticipation rising. I find myself looking forward our walk on the West Highland Way even more. My own training ground by the Singapore River is beautiful in its own way, but very different.

My training needs to be stepped up somewhat in terms of distance and frequency. However, here in Singapore, I have been enjoying a slightly different climate and vista. No hills and very few trails result in me striding out along the concrete pavements and other manmade paths. For the moment it definitely suits me as I am avoiding the hills and accompanying snow and strong winds of bonnie Scotland. 

I prefer to walk from home whenever possible. The most convenient walk for me is to simply leave my apartment, walk through the old area of Tiong Bahru and head for the Singapore River. In under ten minutes, I am walking along the side of the river through the Quays; Robertson, Clarke and Boat.

Marina Bay Sands

At the furthermost point, I walk around the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) complex with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel as the focal point.The casino hotel, commonly known as the Ship for obvious reasons, was opened in 2010 at a cost of close to $7bn. With 2,561 rooms it is now about to go through a $1bn upgrade. The Marina Bay Sands recently announced a $3.3bn expansion and investment for the area including a rather large arena. 

It takes a little over 40 minutes to walk the 4km around MBS. I shouldn’t be surprised, but the level of investment constantly amazes me. 

I walk up one side of the river and back down the other. The old warehouses around the Quays used to store goods arriving into the old port of Singapore. Now they serve as restaurants, bars and shops. Well done to Singapore for retaining these old buildings and maintaining the character of the area.

The Quays are normally bustling with tourists and locals enjoying food and entertainment. Sadly that has not been the case for the past two years due to Covid-19.

Depending on my return route from the river, I will normally cover 12km to 14 km in about two hours. The Singapore River walk is flat but the 33 degree climate does make the walk a little more of a challenge, as do the tempting beers from the many bars as I approach home!