Rarely do recruits get the opportunity to explore Tekong Island in its entirety – not even the perm staff.
Surprisingly, Tekong Island – after we did some research for this article – could just be the coolest island we’ve ever been to, and for good reason.
Here are 11 little known facts about Tekong Island that you probably didn’t know, even if you’ve done your BMT on that island. We didn’t know these facts till we went to dig a little bit online.
It Was Named “Tekong” Because…
Tekong is Malay for obstacle, and because the island was believed to be named this because it blocks the mouth of the Johore River.
And not, it has nothing to do with SOC (Standard Obstacle Course).
People Could Be Staying There As Far Back As 3,000 Years Ago
It’s said that back in 1987, archeologists found pieces of earthenware at what used to be Kampong Permatang, now a field campsite, and were believed to have been left from the prehistoric-Neolithic era. Remnants of the 15th and 16th centuries were also found, leading many to believe that Pulau Tekong could have been a thriving trade area back in the days.
It Used To Have A Thriving Population
In the 1980s, the population of people living in Tekong was almost 8,000 and back in the 1950s, the resident number was in the 4,000 range. The island used to be a producer of fruits like durian, mangosteens, coconuts, vegetables, and fishes.
They were all moved out in 1987.
It Has A Tobacco Plantation
When NJC held their school camp on the island in 1969, the students came across a tobacco plantation when they were exploring the island.
It Has Singapore’s Only Other Hot Spring
One hot spring is located in Sembawang, but if you’re looking for a hot spring surrounded by nature, this may just be the perfect place for you to go.
The FIBUA Village Was Used As The Backdrop For A Movie
Granted, it’s Ah Boys to Men, but still, if you’re from Tekong, you’ve trained in an area that was used for a movie that was a box office hit. Just how cool is that?
You Get To See Bridges And Buildings With Historic Value
In bustling Singapore, these are sights you’ll probably never be able to see, as even buildings and other infrastructures preserved from the past are renovated and zhng-ed to feel like new. It’s only in places like Tekong that you’re able to see infrastructures wearing and tearing as time passes by like this. River-crossing, anyone?
The Night Sky Is Absolutely Breathtaking
If you’ve trained in Tekong for BMT and you had the chance to lie down in your shell scrape and look up into the clear, night sky, you’ll know what we mean. While plenty of islands offer beautiful views of the night sky with stars sparkling overhead, I’ll never forget the view of the night sky in Tekong while lying in my shell scrape. Because the view just got so much better when you worked your ass off for it.
Tekong Is Home To Many Leopard Cats, One Of The Rarest Cats Found In Singapore
Now, this isn’t fascinating until you see how kawaii these cats are.
Tekong holds the world record of an area with the most number of leopard cat per surface area: there’re 89 of these cute gems per 100 sq km. In comparison, there’re less than 20 of these cats in mainland Singapore, which has a surface area of 710 sq km.
Yeah, this little island that most Singaporean males have been to holds a world record – though I’m pretty sure not many have seen them before.
You Enter A Boy And Leave A Man
Not all islands do that to you, do they? Isn’t it cool how you’ll mature and grow when you’re on the island?
Well, at least most of us do that. Some go in a boy and come out a girl.
The Chilling Legends Of The Island
From the third door to the no-training rule on Thursday nights, the island is full of ghost stories, scary encounters and terrifying legends that’ll give you the chills when you hear about them.
One thing that scares recruits more than the prospect of adjusting to military life, would be an encounter with the paranormal. It doesn’t help that there are so many Tekong ghost stories floating around the net.