Hot Spring @ Sembawang Photo Report

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Senior Member
Jan 18, 2002

A kind volunteer trying to dislodge a metal protusion that might pose a danger along the slippery route


Long queue to one of the 2 taps, the ground is very soggy and wooden boards, doors or crates were placed on the ground to make the place more accessible. I overheard that at 8am, the crowd was much worse.


All kinds of containers were used to collect the piping hot water, it is so hot that some plastic bottles would deform if used to contain the water. Note the candle wax that is left over from the people who come in the night.


Families would bring their own stools & basins and gather a spot to soak their feet and bathe with the water


People of all ages & races visit this place, which has flourished with visitors within the last week. The brick structure houses the well


A little girl towelling herself with a warm hanky


The taps are so crowded that some would scoop the water from the drain. Mdm Pan (the lady in the middle) comes frequently with her mother, Mdm Kang who has been here since 36 years ago.


Malay kids enjoying themselves scooping water from the drain


The well... note the steam that is emitted from the well..


Mother and Son relaxing while soaking their feet in the water


Rashpal, Reshem & Shakeen making their way home

The impression that hit me the most was the kampong spirit which I hadn't experienced since I moved to the HDBs.

Though there were one or two people who were jostling to get the water the whole community seemed to be very friendly and warm with many volunteers who would help in various ways... like crowd control, pouring water, making sure old people don't slip and fall along the route.

Lugging along 2 cameras (Sony F707 & Coolpix 950), a toolbox, a monopod and a photographer's vest, I stuck out like a sore thumb, and got various reactions from people, from "Arghhh.. reporter!! Hide..." to "Ehh.. that guy taking our photo, quick smile".

Mdm Kang and her daughter, Mdm Pan has been coming to the hot spring for a long time already. Mdm Kang is 67 and she recalls coming to this place since she was 31. She echoed fears from the regulars here that the government will shut this place down and this is the only one in Singapore. (Hmm... this is reminding me of Chek Jawa). Mdm Kang also had a hot spring in her hometown back in China and attests for the health benefits that it provides for people, it's her hope that the government builds a pool for the public to ease the queues & jostling that people have to go through to get to the water.

Apparently, it's not only in the day that this place is active... people arrive with their torches & candles at night to avoid the crowd. The crowd starts pouring in at 8am and the publicity that the Hot Spring is getting will probably mean that the situation won't get any better. The authorities have already made their presence felt, the traffic police were taking photos of the cars which were illegally parked by the road (whew, luckily I arrived at the time I saw the police), and the Ministry of Health has already asked a gentleman who was selling canned drinks for $1 each to cease his 'business' on grounds of hygene concerns. He exclaimed that he was just trying to provide a service for those people who were thirsty.

This place is well worth a visit, but expect to get your feet dirty. I overheard someone cursing that he spoilt his $100+ sandals and another girl complaining to her boyfriend for bringing her to this 'filthy' place. Try it, but be warned, the water is very hot. A man claimed that the biscuit tin container that he was holding the water was left standing over an hour already and when I touched it, it was still hot. I tried to ask Mdm Pan if I could get some water from her to wash my feet but I realised that it scorched and I couldn't wash my feet properly. A kind gentleman offered his tub water soon afterward. It was still hot, but bearable.

If you want to go there... bring a small stool, a basin and a small towel. Go there in the weekdays if you want to aviod the crowd. Enjoy the kampong spirit there... I'm going there again ... without my cameras this time..

Willy, you'll make an Excellent Photojournalist.

Well Done ;)

I missed all the action!! Aww....anyway i couldnt do much either, didnt bring out my flash yesterday. Noticed its quite dark. Hehe, very interesting photos!

Im sure more people would be going there to shoot now, after Willy's coverage.

It's quite bright in the afternoon... go ahead and shoot there... it's kind of interesting to shoot and feel the kampong spirit there.

I'm going to go back there with lighter gear so I can shoot first... then enjoy the hot spring later... anyone wants to join me??

Originally posted by willyfoo
It's quite bright in the afternoon... go ahead and shoot there... it's kind of interesting to shoot and feel the kampong spirit there.

I'm going to go back there with lighter gear so I can shoot first... then enjoy the hot spring later... anyone wants to join me??

When will tat be? :)

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