Organised by AA Singapore, the Round Island Sunday Drive* had AA Singapore Members and their guests becoming backyard tourists for a day!
No overseas travel? No problem!
On 25 April 2021, AA Singapore organised the Round Island Sunday Drive, a 188-km route that promised a fun day out for AA Members and their guests, who got to check out scenic and interesting locations around Singapore while completing challenges at checkpoints to win prizes.
The first checkpoint was at AA Centre, where participants gathered for the flag-off by AA Singapore’s president, Mr Bernard Tay. Prior to that, he gave a welcome address, describing the event as an opportunity to understand Singapore better, as well as a chance to wind down with loved ones. He also reminded participants on the importance of road safety, observing traffic rules, and keeping within speed limits.
Similar to the Autoventure trips organised frequently by AA Singapore — now on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic — the Round Island Sunday Drive was filled with discovery and surprises. The cars, identifiable by pasted decals, were all guided by GPS navigators distributed earlier at AA Centre.
The first highlight of the excursion was a stretch of road on South Buona Vista Road, popularly known as 99 Bends for its many turns and bends. After that, it was onwards to another checkpoint, the Jurong Hill Lookout Tower. After completing that location’s challenge, which was to snap a selfie or wefie with the tower, participants relished the opportunity to head to the top of the tower to take in sweeping views of the west coast of Singapore. Some participants were surprised to find out that the place is home to a Garden of Fame, where trees planted by visiting dignitaries, such as the late Prince Phillip, are showcased.
On the way to lunch at Bollywood Veggies in Neo Tiew Road, the convoy drove past two more checkpoints: a flat stretch of road that can be converted into a runway, and Bahtera Track, Singapore’s last unpaved and unlit road. The Bahtera Track leads to Sarimbun Beach, a pristine area with a dark past — it was the very spot where Japanese soldiers first landed in Singapore in World War II, thus leading to the Japanese Occupation of Singapore.
While the participants had hoped for fair weather, they weren’t expecting it to be that fair — the sun was scorching that day! Relief came in the form of lunch at the rustic Poison Ivy bistro located within Bollywood Veggies. Participants explored the farm and looked for pomelos to take a photo with — their sixth challenge! — while waiting for their food to be served.
After lunch, it was a leisurely drive for a quick look at Beauty World Centre, home to one of the few privately owned hawker centres in Singapore, and then onwards to Old Upper Thomson Road, part of the old Singapore Grand Prix Circuit, which was held between 1961 to 1973.
At Upper Seletar Reservoir Park, the ninth checkpoint, participants were welcomed with a refreshing snack: ice cream! The icy treats were very much appreciated in the tropical heat, and some even went for seconds. In between bites of his ice cream, one participant, Jia Hao, commented that the highlight for him so far was the chance to explore parts of Singapore he had only heard about. “Also, it’s just fun to drive around and hang out with my friends,” he added.
The last checkpoint was at Hangar 66 cafe, located in Seletar. Behind the unassuming entrance is every aviation enthusiast’s dream come true. Not only is the cafe located in an airport hangar, but there is also a small helicopter on display in the cafe! After completing their last challenge — taking a selfie with the flying machine, of course — it was time for the participants to collect their certificates of participation.
While it had been a long day, it was clear that everyone had enjoyed themselves. One such happy participant was Anita Tang, who felt that the event was very well organised, and was looking forward to being part of the next event. Mary Cheong, another participant, agreed. “I’m giving today’s Round Island Sunday Drive two thumbs up,” she enthused.
* As Singapore is currently in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), the Association is closely monitoring the situation. AA Singapore is looking forward to welcoming you back to our Autoventure drives as soon as it is safe to resume these activities. In the meantime, we urge our readers to get vaccinated against the virus to protect yourself and your loved ones, and join us at our activities soon.
While it’s not possible at the moment to gather physically, the Association is organising a few online courses so that you can learn and mingle safely with like-minded people.
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