When I went to Singapore, I got the chance to bike around East Coast Park a day before I left for the Philippines. It was a wonderful experience – feeling the wind whip against my skin as I breathed in the salty tang of seawater. Laughter would waft from the different groups of people in the park, and I closed my eyes for a brief moment to savour all the sensations my body was receiving. There were people doing water sports, camping, in-line skating, biking, jogging, walking, playing on the grass, eating, and even just lying around not doing anything. For such a busy city, Singapore’s East Coast Park was a haven of relaxed individuals taking a break from the hustle and the bustle of everyday life.
At 185 hectares with a 15km cycling and inline skating track, East Coast Park (东海岸公园) serves various neighborhood communities such as Tanjong Rhu, Marine Parade, Bedok and Tampines. East Coast Park is built entirely on reclaimed land with a man-made beach that offers people an easy getaway place. It opened in the 1970s when the government finished reclaiming land from Changi to Tanjong Rhu.
East Coast Park offers an avenue for a myriad of activities such as cycling, inline skating, cable skiing and water sports, among others. Families or friends may also camp and enjoy a barbecue in some zones. Restaurants and food kiosks are also scattered in the area.
The East Coast Park is connected to Changi Beach Park through an 8km park connector. The Park Connector Network is under the management of the National Parks Board of Singapore. It serves as a connector between parks, gardens and neighborhood playgrounds. The network was approved in 1991 and started with the Kallang Park Connector in 1995. By January 2012, 200km of the network has been completed. Park hopping may be done on foot, on bicycles or on rollerblades, passing through canals, rivers and other greenery.
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