Exploring Jalan Kukoh and York Hill estates. Singapore’s version of a hilltop town.
I’m cheating a little here. This wasn’t a walk by itself. Instead, it was where I went after my recent Fort Canning Hill visit.
At the same time, it’s also a continuation of my September Robertson Quay walk. My original intention that evening was to hike up to the estates after cutting through Robertson Quay. But midway, I changed my mind and headed in the direction of Great World City i.e. Zion Road instead.
About Jalan Kukoh and York Hill estates – I haven’t been here since, I don’t know, four? Or five years old? A distant relative of mine used to live here but she shifted away when I was still in kindergarten. Ever since, I had no reason to come here.
Funny thing too: I lived for three years in River Valley and Chinatown. During then, I regularly passed by these venerable HDB blocks during my evening jogs. I also used to think, hmm, one day I’ll hike up for a look-see.
Well, didn’t happen. Not until now. My summary for this visit – wow, what a unique HDB precinct, markedly different from most other HDB estates especially the new ones. In a way, the clustered blocks, particularly those at York Hill estate, also feel Hong Kong like. With the hilly terrain and all.
With these being two of the oldest estates in the country, there’s naturally a … weathered feel to the area too. The revitalisation efforts performed on the blocks kept the area clean and pleasant, but one doesn’t miss the fact that this is an area that has almost finished its time in Singapore’s history. I wonder how long it’d be before these blocks are torn down.
Cutting Through Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay
As I mentioned, I walked over from Fort Canning Hill. Here are two pictures of evening-time Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, an overhead bridge connects the fringe of Robertson Quay with Jalan Kukoh estate.
Jalan Kukoh Estate
Over the years, there have been various online talk and write-ups about Jalan Kukoh being a “slum,” an “old-people” area, etc. The estate does feel aged, put it that way. But oh please, there are no real slums in Singapore; the PAP government will never tolerate that.
Homeless people from other countries will also flip over backwards to live in Jalan Kukoh.
York Hill Estate
To be honest, the two estates are so close together, they feel like they are different parts of the same one.
I’ll highlight too that York Hill Estate is positively mountainous, by Singaporean standards. Steps are everywhere, EVERYWHERE!
With most blocks also connected by sheltered walkways or covered bridges, the impression I had was that every structure was actually a part of a larger, massive one. In other words, the whole area would be perfect for a, errr, survival horror game?
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Back to Jalan Kukoh Estate
After crossing over busy Chin Swee Road …
All pictures were shot with my LG V40.