What is it with Singapore calling hills, mountains? Perhaps it’s a mild case of Napoleon complex, but whatever it is, Mount Serapong is definitely an adventure that falls into the forgotten parts of Singapore; one of those less than perfect little crevices that we rarely see or hear of.
Mount Serapong (or hill) however, isn’t a destination like say… Bukit Timah Hill. If you dig some good ol’ exploring and grew up with National Geographic, I’ll say make this trek at your own discretion. The hill used to be the home of Fort Serapong, one of the many fortifications that used to protect Singapore under British rule — albeit ineffective as history proved.
The fortifications of Mount Serapong that once deterred marauding pirates and foreign invaders. Fast forward to present day, the now unstable foundations of the dilapitated fort and its accompanying warning signs deter would be explorers. But, we’re not the sort to be deterred easily. However, it’d be wise to tread cautiously if you intend to explore the ruins of Fort Serapong yourself.
Here’s how to get there:
To get to Mount Serapong and its decommissioned fortifications, you’ll have to get to Sentosa first. Easy enough.
Looking for historical ruins, let alone a fort would seem straightforward especially in Singapore. Or so we thought. Lucky for you, our loyal reader, we did the “getting lost” so that you don’t have to.
Head over to Beach Station and take Bus No.3 or the Beach Tram to Palawan Beach where you can take Bus No.3.
After some (frustrating) wandering, we finally made headway in our search for the fort of Mount Serapong. Look for Eton House at 33 Allanbrooke Road. No, the pre-schoolers aren’t going to point you in the right direction.
However, you’ll want to use this as a landmark — the route to Mount Serapong sits in between Eton House and the golf course.
As you walk down the path through a short tunnel and forested area, you’re on your way. Just keep walking for approximately 10 minutes and you’ll come upon a scene out of a sci-fi movie.
Radar dishes will flank you on your right, and the forest on your left. It’s impossible to miss it, or get lost at this point.
Once you see the sign directing you upwards to Serapong Hill Road you’ve arrived. All that’s left is to make the (very easy) climb.
A few points to take note as you ascend the hill:
Serapong Hill Road looks a lot like the tarmac road that runs up to the summit of Bukit Timah Hill. This road however, is used by vehicles heading up to the small protected Public Utilities Board (PUB) facility at the top of the hill.
We were (fortunately) only nearly run over by a car as we began our trek up the road.
Finally, you’ve reached Fort Serapong. The area looks post-apocalyptic, anarchists have made their mark on the once proud fortifications of the British Empire, and Mother Nature has wrestled dominion of the area back in her favour.
Doorways and structures that still stand are marked 1936, giving us a rough idea of just how far these fortifications date back to. However, after some (online) digging, Fort Serapong dates back to the year 1885.
The monstrous artillery pieces that the fort once bristled with however, were never put to any significant use as our history books have taught us time and time again.
From being pointed in the wrong direction, to serving in a glorified version of “who’s got the bigger stick” these ruins may have failed their intended purpose. And to add to the irony of it all, it now attracts the odd explorer as opposed to deterring.
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