Located off the main road of Jalan Kayu, Seletar West Farmway is one of the three remaining Farmways left in Singapore, the other two being Pasir Ris Farmway and Murai Farmway in Lim Chu Kang. It was once home to mainly pig farms but has since evolved to include Orchards and a wide array of fish farms that sell ornamental fish, of which Singapore is interestingly the number one exporter of in the world.
In the past, wide stretches of lands from Punggol to Jalan Kayu were lined with farms, and the roads that connected them to the main road hence came to be known as Farmways. Besides Seletar West, there was also the Seletar East Farmways (1 to 5) that made way about a decade ago for the new Fernvale area that is part of Sengkang New Town.
Cycling through the Farmways that number 1 to 10, I did get a sense of that authentic kampung spirit of yesteryear what with the horde of mosquitoes, stray dogs and unlocked gates of the many fish farms along the Farmways 1 to 3 welcoming visitors to view the array of tropical fish. There are also a number of dog kennels and unfortunately dog breeding centres located deeper in.
A short ride outside however reveals a large amount of construction going on, the goal being to extend Seletar Road for better access to the expressway and relieve pressure off the busy and narrow Jalan Kayu Road.
Further up the road are the Seletar West Farmways numbered 4 to 10. Once home to many a pig farm, the Farmways, which did not have either asphalt roads or street lights till the 80s, now house a wide array of organic farms, orchards and even a little animal/pet farm known as the Animal Resort , where one can pet and feed animals ranging from rabbits to ducks, to peacocks and even a horse.
Many of these places are located just off Farmway 6 and onto Farmway 5.
A little chat with the owner of the Animal Resort also revealed that the farm was only setup in 2002 and thankfully is not in danger of being forced to move out. Aside from feeding the animals, the farm also contains a German Shepard Training Area, a Dog run area as well as pet grooming services.
Further down the road the Myco Mushroom Farm is an organic mushroom farm that not only conducts tours of its facilities but also sells an excellent array of over 10 types of fresh mushrooms, together with organic pre-packed soups and even mushroom chips. Interestingly they moved in as recent as of 2008.
*A little note to cyclists or vehicles, Seletar West Farmway 4 is currently closed for renovation so it’s a pretty distant U-turn back out to Farmway 6.
Seletar Farmway 6 is also now home to a large number of dormitories for foreign workers, the most interesting of which being that of the former Seletar Flats that were built in the 1970s by the Housing Development Board (HDB) to help in the relocating of traditional farmers to more sanitised housing conditions.
Seletar West Farmway does indeed have that rural charm and a sense of unspoken secrets hidden beneath a large undergrowth of expanding vegetation. Hopefully all that construction won’t take too much away from this area.
Cycling Tip: If you are coming from anywhere in the East, you can reach Jalan Kayu via Sengkang West Avenue , a much more peaceful ride then trying to cycle in from Yio Chu Kang Road.