Friday, November 08, 2013

Sembawang Hot Spring (三巴旺溫泉) - Yishun Sembawang Heritage Trail @ Yishun [Singapore]

Despite living in Yishun my entire life (including the village), it's utter embarrassing to tell people that i have never stepped foot into the natural jewel of Yishun; the Sembawang Hot Spring!

Until a month ago that is; when i put my foot down and insisted "enough is enough"! I have been ridiculed long enough and it doesn't appear fair when i talk about other places yet draw a blank when it comes to the hot spring that is so close to where i stay.

The location was not difficult to find. What's more troublesome and inconvenient were that the nearest bus stop was a few hundred meters and there was no car park facility! For motorists, you can only park your vehicle at block 114 and then proceed to the hot spring on foot. 

From the entrance, it was a leisure walk of another hundred over meters.  

Sembawang Hot Spring; the one and only natural hot spring in mainland Singapore. Well, it was definitely not your typical image of a hot spring where there is a big pool of steaming water surrounded by manicured trees and beautified by cascading waterfalls. 

I wasn't disappointed since the national news would occasionally run a story on the hot spring and i am already aware by the pictures placed next to the article that it was just a concrete structure with taps all over the place.

For a Sunday, it wasn't as crowded as i expected since the spring water was said to contain powerful medicinal properties that can treat ailments such as rheumatism, arthritis and cure skin conditions like acne and psoriasis! 

Due to its isolated spot, there were also rumours of paranormal encounters; one of which was of a Malay boy who fell into the hot spring and literally scalded to death. Unlike plain water that boils at 100 degrees celcius, the spring water in Sembawang would only do so at 131 degrees celcius!

The faint words actually said Gambas Hot Spring which sounded more appropriate since the entry to the spring was from Gambas Road. Another name that was frequently used in the past was Salitar Hot Spring (Seletar Hot Spring).

Housing the well of the hot spring which you can gleaned through the metal gate; it was locked with dried leaves strewn all over the tiled floor. Bet this would be more scary at night although i would never get to know as the hot spring closed by 7pm everyday!

Woah; an evil curse written in Chinese! For the benefits of my non-Chinese speaking friends and readers, the content was as follows: "Attention! Anyone who vandalises the properties of the hot spring shall be the recipient of this curse. Your closed friends and relatives who are alive will all die of horrible accidents! Those dead will never get reincarnated!" 

Source of the spring water! Hmmmm, not exactly the real source even though for commoners like me and you, this would be the place for you to get a few buckets of sulphur and mineral enriched water.

Evidence of its rich mineral content.

Storage area for the caretaker. Chairs and plastic containers were found all over the vicinity but if you could not find any, i believe you can ask for them from the caretaker (if he is around).

A religious altar - i could not quite make out the words so i am unsure who was being worshiped. 

A note of caution here; the high temperature means you have to wait for the water to cool before soaking your feet! There was a widely reported case of a man who lost six toes because of gangrene after a session in the hot spring.

Bottles of vinegar; guess this would be added to the water for additional "power".


Just a few photographs of visitors enjoying themselves. I thought it was a great day to spend the Sunday with a group of friends or family members. 

There was one problem though; no washroom!


Time to leave! I didn't try out the spring water as i was poor equipped - covered shoes, no towel and brought along a new DSLR camera that i am afraid would be accidentally dunked into the hot water. 

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Location
Next to Chong Pang Camp, along Gambas Road. You may refer to the streetdirectory map i have appended above. The blue flower denotes the location of Sembawang Hot Spring.

For those who prefer a more "real" picture, you notice the bus somewhere in the middle? That is the approximate location of the spring's entrance.

Additional Information
Rules and regulations as above. Admission is free and the spring is open daily from 7am to 7pm.

Given the proximity to the military camp, please keep in mind that the soldiers have the statutory permission to shoot you if you climb over the fence.


2 comments:

  1. Great entry and photo Cavin. I don't think any other towns can claim a hotspring! We have a website that captures wonderful things about Yishun at www.wheregot.sg, we'll be featuring your blog there as well! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feature on your website! You may also wish to check out other yishun related posts i have in my blog; use the google search function i have embedded. :)

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