Thomson Nature Park was opened to the public recently (11 October 2019). This 50-hectare park used to be homes to a community of Hainanese settlers in the 1930s to 1980s before they were re-settled. Remnants of torn-down houses, perimeter walls, water wells, spiral staircase, outdoor stove, etc could be seen in this park. NParks had put up signboards with information of these ruins to tell the stories of families living there before.
Called the Hainan Village in the past, this Thomson Nature Park is bounded by Upper Thomson Road and Old Upper Thomson Road. The actual location is at the Upper Thomson Road with Tagore Drive directly opposite of the park. Inside this park are two disused minor roads called Lorong Pelita and Jalan Belang. The street sign of Lorong Pelita is still standing along the road.
NParks created five walking trails with ropes demarking the trails. The two longest trails are Ruins and Figs (1.5km) and Stream and Ferns (1.4km). The other smaller trails are Rambutan trail, Langur trail and Macaque trail. We covered all these trails in about one hour.
Rambutan trees, Cempedak trees and Weeping fig trees could be seen in the park. Animals include the Raffles’ banded langur, macaques (monkeys), Sunda pangolin.
One advice I can offer is that park goers should come prepared to face the mosquitoes on the trails. Wear long sleeve shirts/t-shirts (with collars) and long trouser pants to cover your skin areas. Apply mosquito repellant generously. Other than that, enjoy the walk in the Thomson Nature Park and imagine what lives were like for these people living here before they moved out. It was a rich heritage that we could appreciate for those Kampong days with pigs, chickens living in harmony with the residents.
You can enter this park off Upper Thomson Road where there is a new car park and toilet facilities (this is the main entrance). You can also enter from the Old Upper Thomson Road that is now a one-way road and a Park Connector.
We moved from the Main Entrance (along Upper Thomson Road) in the North and made our way down to the South (along Old Upper Thomson Road).