Dec 17, 2020

Hiking to the abandoned Seng Chew Quarry in Bt Gombak (Map included!)

Did you know that back in the 1970s and early eighties, a huge part of the construction of public housing and roads in Singapore involved granite? And the granite used was mined from the quarries located around the island. Of which, Singapore’s strongest rock formation is found at the Gombak Norite, where its rock is tested to be more than ten times stronger than concrete!


One of the more famous locations where Gombak Norite was is present-day Little Guilin but a lesser known quarry which was part of Gombak Norite is Seng Chew Quarry, an abandoned granite quarry located near Bukit Gombak MRT.



Comapred to the nearby Singapore Quarry, Diary Farm Quarry and Hindhede Quarry which are more accessible and part of NParks' nature trails, Seng Chew Quarry is not part of any trail and is unmarked... which makes the journey to the ulu quarry all the more exciting!


Getting to Seng Chew Quarry


If you are driving, you can park at the multi-strey carpark near Block 383 Bt Batok West Ave 5. From there, walk towards the back the flats to the open green slope.



For public transport, the nearest MRT station is Bukit Gombak. From the station, exit in the direction of Bukit Gombak Sports Hall and follow the park connector under the train tracks towards Block 383 Bt Batok West Ave 5. Once you see the first block of flats, turn right and you will also come face to face with the open green slope.


Trekking to Seng Chew Quarry



And this is where the adventure begins. Begin to scale the grass slope and once at the top, locate the longkang which carries water from the quarry lake. (It's believed the water has magical properties 🤷‍♂️)  



Simply follow the longkang towards the vegetation.


If you look backwards from the top of the slope, this is what you should see.


There is no proper pathway but the side of the drain is wide enough to walk along and go deeper into the forested area.


Along the way, you will come across a fallen tree trunk lying across the path - just go under (or over) it and continue your way inwards.



After about 50m - yes, the trek is extremely short! - you will see a fence and beyond it lies the tranquil body of water.



Don't worry, there is an opening to the left of the fence so you can get closer to the water.


It was like stepping into another world, surreal even. Not a soul, away from civilisation, and only the sounds of birds and insects all around us.




Granted that the entire area may be smaller than that of other quarries or even that of Keppel Hill Reservoir but it is still a piece of uninterrupted nature.



If you are looking to bring the kids for their first outdoor unmarked trail adventure, hiking to Seng Chew Quarry will be a good start. The trail is fairly simple and short but yet, there is the added excitement of  ascending the slope, trudging by the drain and a short trek through the forest.


Just remember to wear shoes with a good grip, and take care not to fall into the longkang (it's not that deep anyway) and bring along a sense of adventure!




Seng Chew Quarry Walking Map




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