A bit of scenic China in the west

Some of Singapore's oldest rock formations can be found in Xiao Guilin (above). The park's wildlife also draws anglers and shutterbugs (left).
Some of Singapore's oldest rock formations can be found in Xiao Guilin (above). The park's wildlife also draws anglers and shutterbugs.ST FILE PHOTOS
Some of Singapore's oldest rock formations can be found in Xiao Guilin (above). The park's wildlife also draws anglers and shutterbugs (left).
Some of Singapore's oldest rock formations can be found in Xiao Guilin. The park's wildlife also draws anglers and shutterbugs (above).ST FILE PHOTOS

Ms Dipna Lim-Prasad frequently competes in track and field events at the Bukit Gombak Stadium - a stone's throw from Bukit Batok Town Park, more commonly known as Xiao Guilin.

Its name comes from its resemblance to Guilin in China, where there are similar lakes and craggy hills.

Xiao Guilin, where the former Gammon quarry was located, contains some of Singapore's oldest rock formations. By 1984, the quarry was no longer in use, and there were proposals to fill it up and build a road across it.

It was converted into a pond instead because the quarry had rugged granite outcrops and a contrasting backdrop of green hills that made the view scenic. Granite blocks were added to the retaining walls, and footpaths, lights and seating were included too.

Now, two dome-shaped shelters provide a popular view of a large quarry pool. The towering rock cliffs make for a majestic backdrop, making the park a popular spot for couples on wedding shoots.

There is also high biodiversity in the park due to the myriad habitats that co-exist, such as the secondary forest and quarry pool. A floating island of wetland vegetation has been placed at the quarry pool to create additional habitats suitable for birds like the grey-headed fish eagle and straw-headed bulbuls.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'A bit of scenic China in the west'. Print Edition | Subscribe