Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Alright, this is for sharing of your observation experience. Or, if you are arranging gatherings, star-gazing expeditions or just want some company to go observing together, you can shout it out here.
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Gary
 
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Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby Gary » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:45 am

Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Official Park Website --> http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php? ... &Itemid=73
River Plains Bishan Park official map --> http://goo.gl/kP1oi
Pond Gardens Bishan Park official map --> http://goo.gl/a60mo

"At 62 hectares, Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park, with its ponds and bridges, colourful shrubs and lush greenery, is one of the largest and most popular parks in Singapore. Divided by Marymount Road into two plots, Pond Gardens (formerly Bishan Park 1) and River Plains (formerly Bishan Park 2)"

Exact location of the observation spot:
Latitude --> 1 21.633 North
Longitude --> 103 50.855 East

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How to get to the observation site when you are already inside the park:

Image
Image Credit: Modified image from official Nparks map.

The observation spot where the deck chairs are located in this photo. Notice absence of big tall street lamps nearby. Only lit by small, waist-level lights. Behind the deck chairs is Grand Lawn I as indicated in the map above.
Image

(1) Make sure you are in River Plains portion of the park (formerly Bishan Park 2).
(2) Look for the McDonald's restaurant. It is near one end of a bridge. It has a big red McDonald's balloon floating above it which is lit at night.
(3) Imagine you are at Mcdonald's, cross the bridge to the other side, turn right immediately, walk along the path. Walk pass a set of 3 wooden deck chairs. Continue down the path and you will reach the observation spot which is at the next set of 3 wooden deck chairs.
(4) If you are coming from the carpark, walk through the main entrance into the park and turn left immediately at the first T junction. Walk straight down and turn right at the first available junction. You should see Mcdonald's restaurant and the bridge. Walk towards it. When you reach the bridge, turn left instead of crossing it. Walk along the path and pass a set of 3 wooden deck chairs. Continue down the path and you will reach the observation spot which is at the next set of 3 wooden deck chairs.
(5) You may use your phone GPS to find the exact location if you get lost.

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How to get to River Plains Bishan Park:

Google Map of the Park --> http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?hl=en&ll ... 7&t=m&z=17
As this is a newly renovated park, the new design will not show up on the satellite imagery found in Google Map/Earth now.

Nearby Bus-stops:

(1) Bus-stop along Bishan Street 22

Bus Stop ID: 53381
Name: Bishan North Shopping Mall‎
Buses from this station: 13 52 54 88 162 162M 410 NR1
Google Street View --> http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?hl=en&ll ... ,4.85&z=17

After alighting at this bus-stop. Continue to walk in the same direction as the bus is moving until you see a T junction and see the "Bishan Street 25" signboard. Cross the road and walk towards the end of Street 25 and you will see the park.

If you miss this bus-stop, just alight at the next one which is nearby and is equal walking distance from the bus-stop to this T junction.

The junction of Bishan Street 22 and 25.
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Walking down Bishan Street 25. The red ball at the right of the photo is the McDonald's balloon.
Image

Google Street View of the entrance to the park from Bishan Street 22 turning into Street 25:
http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?hl=en&ll ... .87,,0,7.5

NR1 is a weekend night rider bus and it stops at this bus-stop. The significance of this is that those without private transport may be able to take this bus to the park and/or back home -- i.e. able to stay up late in the park for stargazing or join the star party after a late evening party at Orchard.

This is the official website of the NR1 service showing the full route:
http://www.smrtbuses.com.sg/busguide/bu ... ?BusNo=NR1

Flat fare is $4.50 (cheaper than taking a taxi after midnight).
Friday & Saturday & Eve of Public Holidays --> First bus = 2330 hr, Last bus = 0425 hr

(2) Bus-stop along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1

Bustop Stop ID: 54089
Name: Opposite Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex‎
Buses from this station: 133 136 262

Google Street View --> http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?hl=en&ll ... 03,,0,1.87

After alighting from at the bus-stop, walk towards the direction of the bus and you will see the park's carpark to your left.

Parking

Car Park No.: BIBE17
Night Parking: 10:30 PM - 7:00 AM
Coupon Parking Whole Day
Vehicle: 50 cents per 1/2 hour or $4 per night (10:30pm- 7:00am).
Motorcycle: 65 cents per day (7:00am-10:30pm) or 65 cents per night (10:30pm- 7:00am).

Google Street view of the entrance to the car park --> http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?hl=en&ll ... 73,,0,4.66

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NOTES:

Park related:

(1) Park is open 24 hours. No locking of gates to entrance.
(2) Npark officers will be patrolling the area on bicycles.
(3) McDonald's restaurant is NOT open for 24 hours. Open up to midnight on weekdays, 2am on weekends. There is a restroom inside this McDonald's.
(4) Park toilet is open 24 hours.
(5) The aircon indoor area of McDonald's is quite small and cramped. More seats and tables are available just outside the restuarant.
(6) There is a big 24-hour provision store at bus-stop in front of Bishan North Shopping Mall along Bishan Street 22. Nice place to get some snacks and chilled drinks after McDonald's closes.

Stargazing Related:

(1) Almost 360 degrees of open sky. Surrounding buildings are relatively far away at North and nearer at the South but does not block too much of the view. The tallest building blocking the southern view is the Clover by the Park condominium. Great relatively unobstructed views of East and West.
(2) Some newly planted trees are not fully grown yet and thus not creating too much view obstruction.
(3) The nearby lawn (Grand Lawn I) is big. Those who are keen may consider observing at the center of this field which is relatively darker.
(4) Nearby shelter is some distance away from observation spot. Bring a rain cover for your equipment if it is not portable in case of sudden rain.
(5) Nice deck chairs at observation spot great for binocular astronomy, using it as temporary table for setting up and tearing down of equipment and taking a break.
(6) The pathway lights are low enough to be temporary covered with red plastic bag to reduce nearby glare. Please check with park officers if this is allowed.
(7) The observation spot can be slightly dewy in the early morning hours so bring some dew protection accessories for your equipment if you intend to stay for a long period.
(8) Some mosquitoes may appear depending on weather. Wear long pants if you are concern about mosquito bites.
(9) As always, use your green laser pointer with caution. DO NOT shine it at anyone, especially the residents at the nearby condomimium whose balcony is facing the park.
(10) Human traffic will not be as heavy compared to other urban areas. But because of the scenic mood in the park, visitors will most probably be more receptive and better enjoy sidewalk astronomy sessions.
(11) If it is not for the sake of a darker spot, other areas in the park may be more suitable for sidewalk astronomy, e.g. higher human traffic and visibility areas near junctions and prominent park attractions.
(12) One advantage of going to the park by dropping at the bus stop along Bishan Street 22 is the promixity of the shopping mall and coffeeshop. One can dine before visiting the park or buy some food and bring them into the park to enjoy.
(13) For tracking GOTO telescope mounts, one may enter and save the GPS coordinates given above for higher accuracy and slightly lowering setup time.
(14) The bridge near McDonald's is made of wood and not stable enough to depoly telescopes. May obstruct traffic for big telescopes. But it is a good spot to take photos with a tripod. Just make sure nobody is walking or running on the bridge when you are shooting else your shots may be blurry, especially when you are doing night photography.
(15) Telescope volunteers conducting astronomy session in this park can bring their friends, family and love ones along -- even if they are not into stargazing. They can make use of and enjoy the facilities in the park while waiting for the stargazing session to be over - e.g. SPA sessions, cycling, roller blading, photography, foot reflexology, pet dogs to the dog run area, birding, picnic, night kite flying ... etc.

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View of McDonald's and the bridge after crossing it and turning right. South facing.
Image

Image

The tallest buildings in the area - Clover by the Park condominium. Red McDonald's balloon on the right and restaurant underneath the balloon.
Image

Scorpius constellation rising above the condominium.
Image

Long and wide wooden deck chairs:
Image

Height of pathway lights. Brilliant idea by Dave and friends!
Image
Image

Invitation signboard to all big telescope owners :) :
Image

This is the main entrance into the park from the carpark. Turn left at the junction where the man is standing at in the photo:
Image

Grand Lawn I as seen from the edge of it. Egg yolk at right of photo is the rising Moon. Actual field darker than photographed. North east facing.
Image

Shot on the bridge near McDonald's facing north west. There's a big shelter there but too light polluted. Perhaps suitable as shade for solar astronomy.
Image

Shot on the bridge near McDonald's facing south east. The red light at the leftmost edge is from the nearby Bishan Stadium.
Image

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Feel free to join the Bishan Park Sidewalk Astronomy group for the latest sidewalk happenings at the park!
http://www.facebook.com/BishanParkSideWalkAstronomy
http://www.twitter.com/bishanparkastro


This video shows the view from outside McDonald's. This is our usual *SIDEWALK* observation spot. Though it is brighter than the observation spot mentioned above, the human traffic flow is better and the shelter is useful for sudden downpours or solar astronomy under the hot weather. Not to mentioned close proximity to food, drinks and a restroom.

Last edited by Gary on Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm, edited 11 times in total.
http://www.astro.sg
email: gary[at]astro.sg
twitter: @astrosg


"The importance of a telescope is not how big it is, how well made it is.
It is how many people, less fortunate than you, got to look through it."
-- John Dobson.

Davegn
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:12 pm
Location: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan Park
Favourite scope: 94" Ritchey Chrétien reflector telescope

Re: Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby Davegn » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:34 am

Hey Gray,

Thanks for your detailed report.

For pointers number:

3) The nearby lawn (Grand Lawn I) is big. Those who are keen may consider observing at the center of this field which is relatively darker.
Aware of bugs bites came back home with a lot is bugs bites few months back. OUCH!

6) The pathway lights are low enough to be temporary covered with red plastic bag to reduce nearby glare. Please check with park officers if this is allowed.
Will check again with the park officers. So far during the time that we views we have covered the lights with bags and a red trolley (LOL! We almost got named has red latten club LOL!). So far we do not have any complaints yet. But I would have to check since I would be doing that long term. (=

12) One advantage of going to the park by dropping at the bus stop along Bishan Street 22 is the promixity of the shopping mall and coffeeshop. One can dine before visiting the park or buy some food and bring them into the park to enjoy.
Quite a number of nice foods at the area. LOL! (=


Indeed Bishan Park 2 is really a nice place.
My friend and i would be most likely be volunteering to conduct side-walk events there.
So anybody is welcome to join us.
More info on event can be found @ our facebook page.
We are still thinking of a fun name for our twitter account.


Was recce-ing "Bishan park 1" AKA Bishan park garden ponds area during the weekend.
have found a few area where we can have a really nice and lovely views of the southern skies.
but for the downside, view to the north and west are mainly block by trees. eastern skies are still alright but if might only be better if they can cut mega the light pollion coming out from the golf course.

From my point of view and in. Bishan park area 2 would make a better place. very nice and lovely almost 360 view of the night skies.

Will provide more pictures of Bishan park 1 area.
Dave Ng
Bishan Park SideWalk Astronomy
http://www.facebook.com/SingaporeSidewalkAstronomy

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Gary
 
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Location: Toa Payoh

Re: Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby Gary » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Hi Dave. Thanks for the feedback! Added the Red Lantern photos. Enjoy! :)
http://www.astro.sg
email: gary[at]astro.sg
twitter: @astrosg


"The importance of a telescope is not how big it is, how well made it is.
It is how many people, less fortunate than you, got to look through it."
-- John Dobson.

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VinSnr
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Re: Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby VinSnr » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:33 am

I do my jogging at this park every weekend. I live just a stone throw away from that park.

Nice place.

I didn't know it was suitable for observing though.

Ok..time to unleash the Sumerian scope there one day..... [smilie=admire.gif]

To keep away insects and mosquitoes, there is always this. Works like a dream.

Image

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Gary
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:06 am
Location: Toa Payoh

Re: Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby Gary » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Hi Vincent. I hope that one day is this coming Saturday if the sky is clear. :)

We can deploy all our units of Thermacell and see if they can drive out mossie out of the whole Grand Lawn I. :P
http://www.astro.sg
email: gary[at]astro.sg
twitter: @astrosg


"The importance of a telescope is not how big it is, how well made it is.
It is how many people, less fortunate than you, got to look through it."
-- John Dobson.

User avatar
Gary
 
Posts: 3762
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:06 am
Location: Toa Payoh

Re: Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park Observation Site

Postby Gary » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:44 am

Added this note under "Park Related":

"(6) There is a big 24-hour provision store at bus-stop in front of Bishan North Shopping Mall along Bishan Street 22. Nice place to get some snacks and chilled drinks after McDonald's closes."
http://www.astro.sg
email: gary[at]astro.sg
twitter: @astrosg


"The importance of a telescope is not how big it is, how well made it is.
It is how many people, less fortunate than you, got to look through it."
-- John Dobson.


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