I initially submitted this as a guest post to The London Traceur’s blog six weeks ago, but they haven’t replied at all, nor have they had a new post since May. Ah well, here it is anyway.
This is Old Brunei Hostel, an abandoned location claimed back by nature’s grip. It may not be the first place you’d think of as a parkour spot in Singapore, but we make do with what we have. At least it’s out of the way of the disapproving eyes of most of the public.
This place caters to both nature lovers and people who prefer to navigate the concrete jungle. The grass is so overgrown that it provides a soft landing when you’re vaulting over railings and barriers and jumping down from higher levels. The dilapidated buildings provide much to explore, climb, run and jump about in.
It’s quite out of the way and I don’t go there very often myself. But it’s peaceful most of the time because barely anyone else goes. Even if there are others around, there’s always a spot to train at. You can leave your stuff in one part and explore the whole place at leisure without worrying too much about your things being stolen. I’m not saying you should do that, but you could if you wanted to.
Anyway, how to get there: It’s almost a straight walk up from Redhill MRT Station. It might be a bit far for some people to walk, but that does provide a nice warm up before you actually start training. Here’s a map.
Old Brunei Hostel is really big and there’s so much space to explore. You could even have a picnic or camp out there, though I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s no electricity, no running water and barely any life nearby. Also, it’s quite creepy if you stay there after the sun goes down.
My personal favourite things to practice there are pop vaults, wall climbs and generally just running around, being as creative as I can while I run. This wall is about 1.6m and has a nice run up. It’s where I do my pop vaults and wall movements, a la Assassin’s Creed.
There are also open air stair cases which allow you to practice climbs and drops, like this one.
You’ll probably want to go there in the earlier half of the year, before the monsoon season when it’s hot and dry, as this place can become a mosquito breeding ground. There aren’t any caretakers as far as I know, so no one clears any stagnant water.
If you do visit, remember to bring lots of liquids as there are no nearby stalls to buy drinks or snacks from. Also, I promise that you will get dirty if you train hard there, so do bring a spare change of clothes. Track pants or sweat pants are recommended even if it isn’t mosquito season, as the pants will give you at least some protection from grazes and cuts. There are lots of plants, wooden doors and planks to get splinters from, so do bring a pair of gloves as well.