Wonderful craftsmanship and artistry reveal themselves on the tombstones and stone-carvings at Bukit Brown Cemetery. As Singapore faces the challenges of rapid urban development, Bukit Brown Cemetery is one of the rare places in this urbanized country where one can get a glimpse of the traditional Chinese practices of remembering one's ancestors.
This is a fabulous place for the Nature-lovers. The cemetery was closed for burial in 1973. Somehow, Nature thrived in this cemetery. Rare animals such as the pangolin, and many forest bird species such as the Asian Fairy Bluebird, White-bellied woodpecker and thick-billed green pigeon have been sighted at the Bukit Brown Cemetery. The cemetery is just stone-throw away from MacRitchie Reservoir, which is one of the four reservoirs that bound the nature reserves and serve as a water catchment area. Be sure to catch the sight of the large old rain-tree near the round-about of the Cemetery. It somehow gave a protective and magnificent aura. Enjoy it while it still exist.
For history-lovers who are interested to learn about battles that had taken place in Singapore, you may like to know that there were battles fought at parts of the Bukit Brown Cemetery (previously known as Cemetery Hill) and the nearby areas in the year 1942, e.g. Adam Park and Adam Road, in efforts to defend Singapore against the Japanese invaders.
Bukit Brown is a hidden gem in Singapore. It is a place to experience heritage and to learn about a glimpse of Singapore's history. In addition, it is a habitat for living things. I simply love the untouched beauty of the place.
Admittedly, the Bukit Brown Cemetery is the resting place of many well-known pioneers of Singapore (e.g. Cheang Hong Lim, Chew Joo Chiat, Chew Boon Lay, Gan Eng Seng, etc.) and even more unsung heroes. As such, it is greatly appreciated that all visitors be very respectful and mindful when visiting the cemetery. Be very mindful where you step, and do not step on the tombs. Walk around the tombs.
While the Bukit Brown Cemetery may not be the usual tourist attraction, it is a place to visit for everyone who would like a respite from the urban city life. I love the untouched beauty of the place and each time I visit it, I will learn at least one new thing related to Singapore. It is also the very place to remember the many pioneers and unsung heroes who have helped contributed to Singapore's growth and development.
TIPS FOR VISITORS
1) Attending one of the guided tours, organised by volunteers, are one of the best ways to explore the cemetery. It helps to pay attention during the pre-tour briefing so as to learn about how to be respectful of the graves when one is at the cemetery. Special thanks to the wonderful volunteers who contribute their time for the cause of raising awareness and more.
For information on the guided tour, please visit: http://bukitbrown.com/main/ and look under "Events".
2) There is a free map put up generously by Asia Paranormal Investigators for people who would like to explore Bukit Brown Cemetery on their own. Here's the link: http://api.sg/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150:free-map-for-diy-tours-to-bukit-brown-chinese-cemetery&catid=69:saving-bukit-brown-chinese-cemetery&Itemid=113
Honestly, if you ask me, attend one of the guided tours. These would be more informative. It is also safer to join one of the guided tours so that members of the tour group can look out for one another.
3) Please wear good walking shoes. Bring insect repellent. Bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. Check out the directions to get to the Bukit Brown Cemetery before hand. Please do NOT expect any toilet amenity at the Bukit Brown Cemetery. More tips for the visitors can be found here: http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347
4) Visitors need to be alarmed that the Urban Redevelopment Authority has gazetted Bukit Brown as a site for development. There are plans to build a new dual four-land road across Bukit Brown Cemetery from early 2013 to alleviate traffic congestion. As such, if you wish to see the original Bukit Brown that is untouched by development, please visit soon enough.
Nearest MRT stations: Marymount, Botanic Gardens, Farrer Road. (Circle Line)
Bus services available: 52, 74,93, 157, 165, 852, 855. (alight near Sime Road, at either bus-stop 41149 or 41141 depending on your direction of travel.)
If you are driving: From Adam/Lornie Road, turn into Sime Road, and then turn left into Lorong Halwa. There is a carpark within the grounds of the cemetery.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC