No stranger to locals, the Bukit Brown Cemetery has become a cultural heritage site to learn about Singapore’s history and pioneers. However, to the dismay of many nature enthusiasts and conservationists, over 3000 graves have been exhumed to pave way for the construction of Lornie Highway, which opened to traffic late 2018. The disturbance of the dead for the sake of development has been very much frowned upon.
Somewhere in the deep and lush forests between Old Upper Thomson Road and the current Upper Thomson Road lies the ruins of a former Hainan village, which was established in the 1800s and abandoned in 1975. Strewn with broken pieces of the past, such as old cassette tapes, traditional teapots, plastic water scoops and light bulbs, the evidence that people once inhabited this area is apparent. Having been there personally, the place is particularly peculiar because many of the moss-covered concrete structures are still intact. There were wells and a washroom with a broken toilet bowl from which a Bird’s Nest Fern grew. In a bid to conserve the area which is home to the critically endangered banded leaf monkey and located near Casuarina Curry Restaurant, the vicinity will be developed as Thomson Nature Park and slated to open in 2019.
Along the busy tourist-centric Orchard Road are the malls of Ngee Ann City and ION Orchard, both of which are sitting on the sites of former graveyards where Teochew communities were buried. In recent years, there have also been cases of unnatural death further down Orchard Road at Orchard Central mall where a teenager and a man have both fallen to their deaths.
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