Mount Faber, or Telok Blangah Hill, ranks up there with Singapore's tallest peaks. Well, that is if one uses the word 'peak' liberally. After all, there are no mountains in Singapore – only hills; and at 105 meters in height, Mount Faber breaks the 'three digit barrier' and makes into the country's top ten list!
In 1823, the foot of Telok Blangah Hill was the site of the local Malay Chief (Temenggong) Abdul Rahman's settlement. It was not until 1845 that the hill was renamed after Captain Charles Faber. Using mainly Indian convict labor, Faber built the narrow, winding road to the summit of Mount Faber. In those days, the colonial authorities had a flagstaff and signal station at the top of the hill. Both remained active until the 1970s.
|The entrance to the Marang Trail which takes one to the top of Mount Faber|
Today, Mount Faber is a popular sightseeing and relaxation spot for locals and foreigners alike. The more adventurous take the Marang Trail from 'ground level' up 70 meters, or the equivalent of 24 floors to Mount Faber Peak. The trail covers a distance of almost one kilometer.
At the top of Mount Faber, one can enjoy a nice panoramic view of the city, including Singapore's ubiquitous Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment buildings. Looking south, one finds the resort island of Sentosa and industrial facilities at Pulau Brani (Isle of the Brave).
|A view from Mount Faber's peak. Note the yellow and white HDB public housing apartment buildings in the foreground|
A visit to Mount Faber takes in more than just scenery. One can chill out with a beer or over a meal at one of several food outlets located at the Peak. Additionally, the Peak is also the starting point for the Singapore Cable Car journey to Sentosa Island. A round-trip cable car 'joyride' lasts about 30 minutes and takes in aerial views of Universal Studios, Sentosa and Harbourfront.
Mount Faber is most associated with its contemporary modern face, i.e. the cable car to Sentosa. However, dig a little below the surface and the rich history of Telok Blangah Hill starts to appear. Like many places in this Little Red Dot, Singapore's modernity blends seamlessly with a diverse history ... and one hasn't even mentioned Radin Mas' name!
Imran is a licensed Singapore Tour Guide. If you wish to arrange customized tours in Singapore, including walking tours of sites such as Mount Faber or the Singapore River trail, please contact Imran at firstname.lastname@example.org.