Singapore past is filled with rather interesting history, from its founding by Sang Nila Utama in 1299 to Its independence in 1965. All of these were taught in school however there is also some topics in Singapore history that are left out in school that are not as ‘positive’. Triad Trails is a walking tour that will take participants through Chinatown’s not so great history of secret societies.
The tour will be guided by ex-gang members/convicts Mr Alvin Chiong and Mr Bruce Mathieu. They both lived lives that revolved around criminal activity from a young age. Mr Chiong has visited jail four times between 1998 and 2008 for offences such as drug abuse and possession of drug utensils. Both got hooked to drugs at the young age of 13 and even resorted to robbing and cheating just to support the addiction.
Now, both of them are earning a honest living with jobs as chefs at social enterprise M2 Café (Mr Chiong) and The Living Well Café (Mr Mathieu) respectively.
With the help of tour group Actxplorer Singapore and social enterprise Architects of Life, which supports ex-offenders, Triad Trails is now open for business. During the tour, Mr Chiong and Mr Mathieu will explain how secret societies came to be in Chinatown and what goes down ‘under the hood’. They will bring participants through 5 prominent landmarks and stops of that time, including Amoy and Sago street.
The guides will be sharing their personal experiences in gangs as well as their personal journey towards their reform. If participants are curious, they will be able to ask any questions they long to be answered in a no holds barred manner.
Some might see the Triad Trails as a medium to glamourise secret societies but, it is to allow people to understand what pushes people to join and what nasty thing goes unseen. Personally, for Mr Mathieu, he became a guide for the Triad Trail to not put his past behind him, but as a way to never forget the suffering and pain he caused his family and himself. To allow people to learn from it and for him to never go back. Even Architects of Life, encourages schools to join the tours as it’s great way and eye opener for youths to learn from the mistakes of others.
Mr Mathieu and Mr Chiong will take turns leading the Triad Trails which is carried out weekly only on Saturdays starting from the 15th of May.
According to Today, the first run is fully booked but subsequent tours will be available at $70 and can even be purchased with SingapoRediscovers vouchers. The portion of Singapore’s history when secret societies were thriving goes unheard of by many, this tour is a great way to learn untold secrets from the darker past of Singapore.
If you wish to be part of the next batch taken on this interesting journey, you can click here to learn more.