Monday, March 12, 2012

Serangoon Tidal Gates (Serangoon East Dam) - A Sweaty Walk @ Lorong Halus [Singapore]

Lorong Halus - an area so forsaken; it used to be designated as the landfill for Singapore. Times have changed now with the strong focus on environment and development is in place to revitalise the area.

This dilemma hit me two weekends ago; Lorong Halus Wetland or Serangoon Tidal Gates. Hm.... since i have never been to the tidal gates, i figured it would be a good exploration without pampered Alex.

There's no way for my car to go any further! It's alright; a true adventurer would not mind walking a few steps down the road to see what lies beyond.

A danger sign is usually a signal to stop and turn back. But i had walked two to three hundred meters and the stubborn Taurean was not willing to give up after all the 'hard work'!

Since the gate was unlocked.. *evil thoughts* I am no trespasser! There was a worker in the compound and he gave his blessing for me to proceed when i asked him.

To my right was this view.

Some barriers were in place and i don't think they should be termed as gates per se.

To my left were stones, stones and more stones. Oh and a white building.

Wait - that looked like a freaky dam to me! Tidal gates serve almost the same purpose as a dam - albeit in this case to serve the additional purpose to prevent water from going into the reservoir during high tide and to release excess water during low tide.

With pointers from the nice worker (the same one who let me in), i found a small mud path right outside the gate with the danger sign. Snakes alert was sounded in my brain although curiousity got the better of me.

I could only hope at that time that curiousity doesn't kill the cat. It didn't of course or i would not likely be able to share this with you.

Anyway, continue walking down the path and you would eventually come to this. It's like the secret place for anglers and i could count around four of them patiently waiting for a catch.

Technically, this was a short stretch of sandy beach. Historically, i wonder if the water is safe given that the place used to be a place storing Singaporeans' rubbish.

Regardless of its unhygenic past, it was a rustic corner and such unsafe installation just add to the charm.

Anyone has an idea what is the purpose of these blue barrels?

The perimeter is quite big and stretches quite a few hundred meters out into the sea. I would have presumed that there are fishing nets right below but the picture before this seems to have refuted that presumption.

For that split second, i could have imagined a horse galloping down this grassland. It's more likely to see a cyclist than a horse even though nearby Pasir Ris houses a stable for horse riding.

What caught my attention were these bushes with blooming yellow flowers.

They were a pretty sight and i could not believe that this is the same plant most locals would have no problem in identifying; touch-me-nots.

With over four hundred species, this particular one was not the grass like species Singaporeans are better accustomed to. From my very basic google search, it should be the neptunia species (as mentioned here).

Reaching the tidal gates!! Like finally!! My perspiration had already soaked through my white shirt and i wished i have a six-pack body to walk around topless! Bloody weather.

As compared to Yishun dam, Serangoon tidal gates is "neater"; not shocking since the area is newly constructed to form the Serangoon reservoir.

Bloody.... there is a road?!?!!? However, the lack of any private car can only mean one thing - the road is closed to the public.

The only official indication that this is the Serangoon Tidal Gates.

Close-up view of the white building. It would be amazing if i could gain access to have an elevated view of the reservoir on one side and the sea on the other.

A perfect place to hold a BBQ with the Gang of Four! Our favourite location in Yishun is meeting its end soon with the announcement by the government that the road would be widened for a more convenient access to Tampines Expressway (TPE) from Yishun.

Six or seven tidal gates hold the fort here.

Panels in four different languages warning visitors of the rapid water flow when the gates open.

You might think such warnings are redundant but there have been quite a few cases of drowning in other dams like Kranji and Yishun. Even if we are strong swimmers, we might not have the stamina to keep our head above water when water keeps pounding on us!

The important siren that shrills before the flood gates open. I should check out the timing as i am interested to see how the tidal gates work.

Panoramic picture! I thought right opposite the tidal gates was Malaysia but google map proves me wrong! Pulau Ubin should be the island right across the Serangoon harbour.

That explains the existence of these sailboats!

Fishing enthusiasts obviously love this place and there were many other anglers who trekked to the side of Coney Island which is now connected to the mainland via Serangoon tidal gates.

Serangoon reservoir with the Punggol town as the backdrop. Notice the bridge? That's the linkway for Lorong Halus wetland and Punggol Promenade.

A last look at the mimosa neptunia before i left the place; this time using the safer main road. 

The leisure walk took around three to four hundred meters.

Professional looking photographers spotted and it was obvious they were more interested in the surrounding nature. Despite the polluted tag for landfills, nature seems to thrive in these areas.

Surprisingly, even i managed to spot something!

Especially these four beautiful birds!
Yes, yellow just like the mimosa flowers.


Red star and the easiest way is to exit at Lorong Halus from Tampines Expressway (towards Pan Island Expressway).

Drive all the way till you reach this fork road. The path on the right was the original route i took!

The grand forbidding entrance to Serangoon Tidal Gates. Parked your car by the roadside, as many have done before you.


  1. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Thanks for sharing! I'd probably have done the same type of exploration you did :)

  2. Welcome! :) So where have you done your exploration? Please share!

  3. Anonymous4:57 AM

    Thank goodness for your blog. This post is really informative. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you so much! :) for more of Singapore attractions, remember to check out


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