Stroll through hundreds of years of history at Bukit Brown Cemetery, a public Chinese cemetery--the biggest outside of China. It first opened in 1922, and since then has become the final resting spot for more than 1,000,000 people. Though eventually closed and essentially abandoned, the cemetery remains in existence. Follow a paved path on a journey past humble graves and delicate statues. The abandoned cemetery is brought back to life by the overgrown jungle and healthy bird and monkey population. Plan your Bukit Brown Cemetery visit and explore what else you can see and do in Singapore using our Singapore trip planner .
Bukit Brown Cemetery Reviews
Darren had done a wonderful job in guiding us through the lives and stories of many prominent people in the 19th to 20th centuries of Singapore buried in Bukit Brown. One of the experiences inspiring ... more »
I recently spent 8 hours in Changi airport but it wasn't painful at all! the mall with the indoor forest and waterfall feature is an attraction in it's own right, Singaporeans go just to visit the mal... more »
Bukit Brown Cemetery isn’t a place where one would expect to learn more about Singapore’s past. However, this place pleasantly surprises with its richness of Chinese culture, Singapore history, and na... more »
I joined an introductory walk with "Singapore Heritage - Bukit Brown Cemetery" (Google for the fb group!). Very informative and walking in a bigger group makes it less "scary". Highly recommended! Remember to bring an umbrella for the unpredictable rainfall, if it doesn't rain, you can still use it as a walking stick to make your way through the undergrowth. Wear long pants and long sleeves and apply mozzie spray to any exposed area too!
Taking a look at the various graves with interesting features & history
The talks (conducted by All Things Bukit Brown and can be found on Peatix) were very nice (I attended the ones by Darren and Fabian). The research material is meticulous and thorough. The stories shared are not only about the history of this cemetery and its residents, but what connections they had with Singapore at a time when the island-nation was very much in a state of flux. In addition, also shared were architectural features, concepts of Chinese tombs and the social stories of those buried here, which really helped form an intimate picture of Singapore, that goes much beyond the glitzy skyscrapers and air-conditioned malls that most visitors tend to associate Singapore with. A few pointers about the cemetery. It can easily be accessed by public transport and taxi. There is significant construction activity, so it might take a while to get oriented. The place itself can be slippery after overnight rains, so visitors do need to keep an eye out for where they step. Although it is not exactly physically challenging, it should be noted that there is considerable undergrowth at some places and the tours are usually three hours long, which could be a bit draining under hot and humid conditions. Also there are no benches, drinks vending machines and washrooms nearby. So it is better to not attempt these walks on days when one may not be feeling up to his/her normal self. Do dress up in long sleeved clothing, reliable footwear and perhaps bring along a cap and mosquito repellant.
Getting here is a little interesting what with construction going on nearby but it is worth it. Step into a long lost forest of this nearly a century old cemetery and pay your respects to the forefathers, foremothers and their descendants as you learn more about Singapore's dynamic and fascinating history. Wear sturdy shoes, bug repellent, and carry your own water. Also remember to pack out any trash you bring and maybe pick up any trash you see (though there's not a lot of it laying around, thankfulky). This cemetery is full of art, stories, spirits, love and loss and the circle of life. You're surrounded by vines upon vines entwined amongst the barrel trunks of trees, wrapped along the facades of gravestones, trailing all, reminding us of our own roots, our own twisted journeys. A place for discovery of ancestors, of wildlife and wild woods. Highly recommended.
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