Not many people know Singapore has a natural hot spring except maybe those who lives in the Sembawang/Gambas area. I heard about it long ago but never did find the time to go there look see look see. And anyway the photos that I saw of the place on the web didn’t look very inviting. But after a visit to the Muar Hot Spring, I decided that it is finally time to go and take a look and compare how miserably Singapore fails in this area.
This is the Muar Hot Spring. Bear this photo in mind. Within the Hot Spring Park, there is this big dual tier hot pool. There are 3 – 4 separate toilets and changing room as well as the usual prayer room, cafe and restaurants although all these were not opened at the time of our visit.
On the other hand, the Singapore version, the Sembawang Hot Spring is located inside an army camp but thanks to the “generosity” of Mindef, it is open to the public but not before the public are treated to a slew of warning signs pasted all over the place right from the main gate to the hot spring itself.
To get to the Hot Spring, one must first enter from this little inconspicuous side gate along Gambas Avenue.
Then one got to walk about 100 metres along this little track while reading all the aforesaid warning signs.
And finally volia the Sembawang Hot Spring [drum roll]
Did I make a mistake? This looks like a vacant piece of land. But I kid you not. This is the famous Sembawang Hot Spring. And where is the Hot Spring? Here:
Errr isn’t this like the communal water collection point in some 3rd world countries?
No while other hot spring in the world is either a pond or a stream, our version here is just a series of pipes and taps. Whatever “spring” is all hidden from view underground or somewhere else.
Most people go to a hot spring to soak their body or legs in it. In Muar, this is how everybody do it.
And this is how it is done at our Sembawang Hot Spring:
But before you can soak your feet in the little pails, you got to carry your own water
If small little Muar can afford to spruce up their hot spring, I wonder why we here in prosperous and proud Singapore cannot? What on earth possess our government to leave something that has so much potential economic value lying around like a water point at some squatter’s colony. I know it is located within an army camp. But the fact that one just need to walk a short distance from the main road to it means that there is much possibility for the authorities to hive it off from the camp and develop it into something that if not world class, is at least more pleasant to look at. Until than, maybe it is better to just close it off and not be the laughing stock of the hot spring world.