Singapore is full of surprises, from exotic street art to secret places where time has almost stood still, there’s much to discover. Among them, a hidden park in Singapore actually resembles the city of Guilin in China.
The 42-hectares Bukit Batok Town Park has been dubbed by locals as Little Guilin or Xio Guilin for its similarity to the city in Southern China. The park’s granite rock formations adjacent to the lake mirrors the striking landscape of limestone karst hills, surrounding two lakes, in Guilin.
History of Bukit Batok Town Park – slice of China in Singapore
Many parks in Singapore were built on former quarries in the 1980s. Particularly, Bukit Batok Town Park originated on an abandoned granite quarry in 1984. The Housing and Development Board (HBD) let rainwater fill it over time which created the lake. After, they added concrete footpaths, lights, and seats to improve the surroundings.
Likewise, park connectors built in 1996 linked both Bukit Batok Town Park and Nature Park to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Sungei Pandan – connecting residential zones.
Meanwhile, the name Bukit Batok means coughing hills. This comes from the sounds of quarry activities prior to this. While Chinese people named the park Little Guilin because of the granite rocks resemblance to the mountains in Guilin.
Bukit Batok Town Park (Little Guilin) today
Today, the oasis of Little Guilin is located just five minutes walk from Bukit Gombak MRT station. Situated among towering rock cliffs made from quarry stones, it offers a range of scenic sights to make you feel as if you’re abroad.
The picturesque park boasts dome-shaped shelters covered in greenery, instagrammable viewpoints along the lake, a gorgeous forest walk, stone staircases, wildlife spotting like lizards, turtles, and monkeys, and more within a 30-minute route.
Interestingly, the beautiful park attracts wedding photographers and sunset or sunrise catchers. Plus, it has hosted Chinese music performances. Wonderfully, it’s opened 24/7. So, you can go for a peaceful walk in a little slice of China in Singapore – no matter the time of day.
Additionally, it’s located 15 minutes walk from one of the most popular parks in Singapore – Bukit Batok Nature Park – which was also built on a former quarry.
This particular park features trails that lead to 10-storey high viewpoints, a lush pond, playgrounds, and a World War II Memorial Site. In addition, it leads to various hiking trails such as the relatively new Riffles Range Nature Park just 9 minutes away.
📍Along Bukit Batok East Ave 5, Singapore 659761