2D | Jalan Kayu Site Research I

Hi guys!

I’ve never been to Jalan Kayu EVER in my entire life, neither do I know which part of Singapore it’s located at. And to add on how 0 knowledge I have about Jalan Kayu (West Sider here), I’ve no idea that they are famous for their pratas. The only prata I know are the ones at Bukit Timah hahaha, Al Azhar all the way!!!

After Googling where in the world is Jalan Kayu, it is located near Seng Kang (WHAT), and near Seletar (WHAT) that is like super far and purple line is another foreign area for me.

I’m soooo lucky to have my usual partner in crime, my Dad, to drive me to this foreign place that I will NEVER go alone because I’m like… a direction idiot lol. I’ve never done any prior research of Jalan Kayu as I didn’t want to perceive a certain image of it in my head, and hope that I’ll be able to notice the interesting, special things there with my eye!

Fun Fact: My Dad’s old camp was located in Jalan Kayu.

He was really passionate and enthusiastic in sharing with me his army stories as his old camp was in Jalan Kayu, or was it Seletar? So he’s like 100% confident about the place as he said he often frequent there while he was a reservist.

Anyhow, here are some pictures that I’ve taken!

A random cat which was just chilling by the carpark.

The street of Jalan Kayu! When i first entered the area, I was like “O m g , is this Singapore?” It totally feels like a Malaysia old town because of its rustic shophouses, old lamppost (notice that the lamp post is different than the normal ones), old mailboxes and other nostalgic elements.

I did some research on this gravel pavement as I found it weird why they didn’t fix this part of the road? And actually… it comes with a history.

Did you know?
Jalan Kayu means “wooden road” in Malay. It is said that the muddy laterite roads leading to the rubber estates in the area were made passable due to logs of wood that used to cover the muddy roads, hence the term in Malay Jalan Kayu.

Isn’t it cool!!! If you look close enough, you can see some remains of the wooden logs embedded deep in the rocks. Since I’m talking about the heritage here, I might as well share with you guys a background info on Jalan Kayu itself.

Background of Jalan Kayu
Jalan Kayu was built in 1928, when the first Royal Air Force base outside the United Kingdom was established in Singapore.

And that means, Jalan Kayu was basically “built” for the military, and it is the only route that leads to Seletar Camp. Thus, Jalan kayu was always filled with servicemen, and that shows Jalan Kayu is not just about prata!

Anyway, here are more photos that I took of the shop houses. 

It’s interesting how on the opposite of the shophouses, lies modern terrace houses and this shows a contrast in the old and new of Singapore. I didn’t just explore the stretch of Jalan Kayu itself, I went further down to the end of Jalan Kayu which reaches the entrance of the Seletar Camp itself. This was where my Dad’s old camp is! Sadly, we couldn’t find it as it was demolished.

My dad kept bugging me to take a photo of this Church – The Epiphany, which apparently has quite a old history.

So here, is the entrance to the Seletar Military Base. As you can see below, it’s an old guard house which was from the past! How awesome that it’s still standing there in such a fine condition?

And the famous…. Piccadily Circus which houses 378 colonial bungalows. I did some research on this roundabout as the road names were unusually English. Apparently, this area is called “Little England”, as it houses colonial bungalows which were built for the Royal Air Force as residential areas. 

And since they are so far away from home, the government back then adopted London street names as the road names in this Piccadily Circus. For example, Edgware Rd, Lambeth Walk, Maida Vale and more. 

Thats the research for Jalan Kayu and Seletar Military Base. I guess I’m more drawn to the heritage of Jalan Kayu itself and it’s funny how the heritage revolves around the vicinity of Jalan Kayu.

Besides it being a military base, on the other end of Jalan Kayu, it lies a huge plot of land which is the agriculture area – Seletar West Farmway, which I will be talking about in the next post!