Hainan Village Ruins At Thomson Nature Park Offer Glimpse Of Kampung Life From The 1930s
Living in a little red dot, many of us may think that we’ve scoured every nook and cranny in Singapore. However, hawk-eyed nature lovers may occasionally stumble upon wonders that serve as relics of our past.
For instance, this little-known trail in Thomson Nature Park leads to a former Hainan village with dilapidated building structures, abandoned wells, and old roads from the 1930s.
On 2 Apr 2021, MP Amrin Amin shared photos of the historic kampung to give a glimpse of the old-world charm of our city. If you plan to see it for yourself, here’s what you’ll find.
Trekking at Thomson Nature Park
Thomson Nature Park has a total of 5 trails.
For those who want to discover abandoned places rich in history, consider opting for their Ruins & Figs Trail which leads to a Hainan village.
2 original roads named Lorong Pelita and Jalan Belang connect the Hainan village to the main road. Once you spot the signage, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Exploring the Hainan village
Upon reaching your destination, you’ll find the remnants of an old community that give a brief look at kampung life.
According to TODAY, the area was established by Hainanese immigrants in the 1930s.
In the 1960s, close to 100 residents with diverse ethnicities and dialects lived here together.
While it may have been a lively community in the past, its structures are now shrouded in trees after years of being left uninhabited.
Walk around the historic structures and you’ll find old toilets and rusted fences.
Despite being abandoned for decades, you’ll make out signages that show it was once a rich fruit orchard, pig, and poultry farm, as well as a rambutan and coconut plantation.
Perhaps the villagers even enjoyed munching on some jackfruit after a long day spent on the field.
Marvel at the peaceful stream that will let you take a break from the hectic urban life. Just like the flow of water, the passage of time is inconspicuous yet inevitable.
Nature is often bursting with life as evidenced by these small weeds bursting between pavers.
Life at Hainan village
The kampung has been abandoned since the 80s when its last resident left because of housing development plans.
TODAY reports that one of the former residents of the kampung was the family of Mr Han Choon Fook. The family business began with their first outlet at Upper Thomson Road, and grew to become the popular Han’s cafe chain.
While the kampung is no longer around, remnants of its existence tell the story of the a Chinese community in Singapore, one former resident told TODAY.
If you’d like to travel to the past and catch a glimpse of history, here’s how to get there:
Thomson Nature Park
Address: Upper Thomson Rd
Opening hours: 7am – 7pm daily
Nearest MRT: Yio Chu Kang Station
A reminder of our past
Our local parks may not be vast swathes of jungles, but you can still find historic relics if you know where to look.
The Hainan Village serves as a vivid reminder of kampung life which may foster an appreciation for the past and present Singapore.
If you want to see it for yourself, don’t forget to carry a bottle of insect repellent and trek with a friend.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.