Home Diary Jalan Kukoh and York Hill Estates | Home Tourist Photo Essay 5

Jalan Kukoh and York Hill Estates | Home Tourist Photo Essay 5

Evening time Jalan Kukoh Estate.
Another view of the heart of the estate. It’s actually pretty atmospheric and non-slum-like, isn’t it?

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.

Blue hour Clarke Quay, with touristy bumboats.
Robertson Quay getting ready for another night of food, drinks, and music.
The above-mentioned overhead bridge (at Havelock Road) connecting Robertson Quay with Jalan Kukoh estate.
The view at the other end of the overhead bridge is stunning.

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.

The heart of Jalan Kukoh Estate. There’s a large food court/hawker centre hybrid at the ground level of Block 1 (Kukoh 21 Food Centre).
Full view of Kukoh 21 Food Centre. All stalls are closed.
Quiet passageway leading to the York Hill blocks.

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?

The Kin@11 welfare centre at the ground floor of one of the York Hill blocks.
Right opposite the welfare centre, a senior citizens’ exercise corner.
Elevated blocks on a hill.

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Back to Jalan Kukoh Estate

There’s a sprawling rooftop recreational area above a multi-story carpark.
A neighbourhood football group, I think, were preparing for their evening game.
The recreational area is directly connected to Block 8. Being on a hill, the view from just the fourth floor of this block is fantastic.

After crossing over busy Chin Swee Road …

Chin Swee Road estate. Another old HDB precinct/cluster.

All pictures were shot with my LG V40.

Read my other Home Tourist photo essays.

Article Name
Jalan Kukoh and York Hill Estates Evening Walk
Exploring Jalan Kukoh and York Hill estates. Two of the oldest HDB precincts and an early Singapore version of a hilltop town.


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