A Kranji Heritage Trail

10 11 2011

The name Kranji brings to mind many things. Kranji War Memorial is one, named after an area in the far north of the island that is also associated with the beginnings of the railway through Singapore at the start of the twentieth century. There is a lot more to Kranji than that – Kranji Dam is another landmark associated with the area – part of a scheme launched in the early 1970s to increase Singapore’s fresh water resources and probably the first dam to be constructed across a river in Singapore for that purpose. The greater Kranji area – which the Kranji Countryside Association (KCA) covers, does of course offer a lot more than that. Besides the area being one of the last areas accessible to the public in Singapore least affected by the rapid development of post independent Singapore where one can cycle or drive along country roads that once dominated much of rural Singapore, and the area which is now associated with re-establishing some level of self-sufficiency in food, the area is now the subject of the latest National Heritage Board (NHB) supported initiative to work with the private sector to develop the heritage industry – The Kranji Heritage Trail.

The Kranji Heritage Trail includes 14 markers which will each have a QR Code to access information on the spot via a smart phone.

The trail, developed under the NHB’s HI2P programme, and is the proud effort of the KCA with sponsorship by NTUC Fairprice Foundation, was launched at Yew Tee Point yesterday. The launch, which was graced by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, was led by the President of KCA, Mrs Ivy Singh-Lim, KCA Patron Howard Shaw, Mr Seah Kian Peng – the CEO of NTUC Fairprice, and Mr Alvin Tan – Director, NHB.

Present at the launch were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, President of KCA Mrs Ivy Singh-Lim, KCA Patron Howard Shaw, Mr Seah Kian Peng - the CEO of NTUC Fairprice, and Mr Alvin Tan - Director, NHB.

The Kranji Heritage Trail intends to bridge past and present through a history of early farming in the area, besides the developing interest in historical sites such as the first Japanese invasion sites on the north-western shoreline in the dark days of February 1942 that led to the eventual fall of Singapore. The trail will comprise 14 trail markers, each of which will incorporate a QR Code – the first of Singapore’s heritage trails to do so. This will enable instant access to information relating to the sites with a QR Code reader installed on any smart-phone.

The former Kranji Level Crossing is among the 14 landmarks on the Heritage Trail.

The landmarks that would feature in the Kranji Heritage Trail are:

  1. Kranji War Memorial
  2. WWII First Landing Site of the Japanese
  3. Kranji Army Barracks
  4. Kranji Railway Train Crossing
  5. Neo Tiew
  6. Bollywood Veggies
  7. Hay Dairies
  8. Hausmann Marketing Aquarium
  9. Jurong Frog Farm
  10. Kok Fah Technology
  11. Lian Wah Hang Quail & Poultry Farm
  12. Nye Phoe
  13. Sungei Buloh
  14. Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

The Pier, the house of the late Howard Cashin is on a World War II landing site where the Japanese invasion force suffered a number of casualties.

The Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is built around the Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln which the Tan family has operated since 1965 is another of the 14 sites.

For those interested in exploring the trail this weekend, complimentary shuttle bus services and guided tours will be offered on 12 and 13 November 2011. Members of the public can register for tickets at the Information Counter of Yew Tee Point. Pick up would be at Yew Tee Point at 9am and 1pm on both days.



18 responses

10 11 2011

Looks interesting. Will go for the 13 nov session. How long will the session take? How much will the ticket costs?

10 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Wenhu, the guided tours are free this weekend – I am not sure how long the tours would take and I am checking with the organisers on this.

10 11 2011

Hi there,

Sorry, I am Wenhua, Wenhu is m typo error.

Yeah, I have also dropped KCA an DMSO to enquire about the activity. The publicity they done is quite weak, although there is a formal launch ceremony. Even the straits times did not share anything about how public can take part. The website is not exactly informative about the latest activities.

In fact, I only know of this guided tour through your blog. 🙂

Thank you.


10 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Wenhua, the guided tour takes about three hours I am told and will include all sites. I am also told that the 9am tour on Saturday is already filled up and slots for the other three sessions are still available but going fast, and you are advised to pre-register at the Yew Tee Point Info Counter.

10 11 2011

Thanks a lot. I hv called yew tee point, still hv places on Sunday, but hv to go in person to register. Will try to do tt after work tml. Thank u for ur reference.

10 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

You’re most welcome Wenhua. Good luck and hope you enjoy the tour! 🙂

10 11 2011

Excellent article, as usual! But on the Kranji Countryside Association web page, it’s sad that no credit/attribution was given to any of the photographers.

10 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks Jim, proper attribution that I am given to understand is being sorted out at the moment.

28 11 2011

Hi Jerome,
It’s sad that, over two weeks later and still no attribution!

Anything that you can do?


10 11 2011

I bet it’s gonna be very crowded this weekend.. guess i will go on another day..

10 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

It could be Eileen, but there is a guided tour that leaves from Yew Tee that is complimentary and has limited places – so that shouldn’t be too bad.

10 11 2011

Hi Jerome!

I believe that I saw you at the launch of the trail at Yew Tee Point yesterday! Was pretty sure that it was you .. Darn,should have trusted my gut instinct! Anyway, I was there for work (am with FairPrice). What a small world! Am looking forward to explore the Kranji War sites though 🙂

14 11 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Blisschic, that would be the second time! Thought I spotted a face I recognize from somewhere in the crowd! Guess that might have been you – but can’t be sure. Are you with the Fairprice Corp Comms team? Anyway – the trail’s pretty interesting. There’s more to Kranji though, historically speaking, and would be nice to see some of the villages that were there listed as historical sites as they had a lot to do with the development of the area. 🙂

12 11 2011

set out to explore the historical sites on the kranji heritage trail, armed with my straits times map, and webpage stored on my iphone….. drove for hours and arrived at various deadends with simply the signs that that’s part of the trail and nothing else… no entry whatsoever…. is this a hoax or what… horrible directions or poor management… should take a leaf from well managed ones like balestier trail…. waste of my time at kranji..

2 12 2011

Looking at the list of landmarks featured in the KHT, it would be good to create awareness on the historical significance for students. I am wondering if there are any tour guides or facilitators for such a trail? Or do I simply sign up under NHB citing my interest for a guided trail?

23 07 2012

Hello, is the guided tour for this still going on?

23 07 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Rena, it was done only during the weekend of the launch of the trail.

20 08 2012

Oh, I see. Do you know if I can get any reviews from those who’d gone for the guided tours? ‘Cos I’m currently doing a project on this so it’ll be useful if I could get some reviews. Thank you! 🙂

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