With a population of almost 150,000 and straddling an area of a little over 4 square miles, Bukit Batok is ranked as the 25th largest region by area, and the 12th highest populated region in Singapore. Its location on the eastern edge of the nation’s West Region, means it is ideally located for those looking for a place to live slightly away from the main heart of Singapore, but still close enough to commute. It has very much its own identity and character however, and provides residents with a rich variety of leisure, education, retail and dining options.
The region came into prominence in the middle of the last century, when due to the large quantities of the hard igneous rock – Gombak norite in the area, it became the centre of Singapore’s quarrying industry. After a gap during the war years (a time which Bt Batok also played a significant role, being the site of the Japanese defeat of the British), this quarrying carried on well into the 1990’s. Bukit Batok New Town was born in 1975, and ten years later had become a fully-fledged self-sustained town, a town that hasn’t forgotten its past – several preserved Gombak norite ridges remain and are a feature of the area.
One of the standout features of the area are its parks. Little Guilin or Xiao Guilin is what the locals call Bukit Batok Town Park after the granite surrounded lake in China. Small but perfectly formed, the tranquil and picturesque lake is formed in the remains of a quarry, and is now a popular destination for picnickers and wedding couples alike.
The grander, but no less striking Bukit Batok Nature Park was also created from the remains of a quarry. It is an ideal setting for a stroll around the deep pond, or through the lush greenery, and for those feeling more energetic, the 10 storey high lookout points offer fabulous views of the park and surrounding area.
Nearby is Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Its 163 hectares are home to a vast array of flora and fauna, has one of the few areas of primary rainforest left in Singapore, and is of course where you will find the islands highest peak – Bukit Timah Hill.
Located over six storeys, West Mall is the area’s largest and premier shopping destination. As well as a wide variety of retailers and food outlets, it also houses a food court, library and cinema complex. The region boasts six primary and six secondary schools, as well as the Millennia Institute. Sporting facility-wise, the area is home to a popular outdoor swimming complex, and the Bukit Gombak Stadium – a centre of excellence for the Singapore Athletic Association.
The area is served by two MRT stations, Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak, both on the North South Line, and has a bus interchange – next to West Mall, where Bukit Batok MRT station is also located. Car owners are well catered for, with the PIE, BKE and Bukit Timah Road all in close proximity and affording quick and easy access to all parts of the island.
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