Student Feature: A Travel “Enthu” in RI

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We see buses every day, and perhaps take them to school. But some people don’t just take buses for commuting. Some take them to enjoy the melodious bus engine sounds. Some take them to enjoy the scenery as the bus passes through scenic sights around Singapore. Some take buses on the day of the vehicle’s debut to record a historic moment in the bus industry.

Meet Nay Wun Thant from Class 2K’23. Nay Wun is a transport enthusiast, a very passionate “enthu” (lingo for “enthusiast”), who is currently writing an interesting book about the bus industry in Singapore.

When did he become an Enthu

Like many “enthus”, Nay Wun began his interest at a young age (4 years old to be exact). He first started by collecting bus guides and now has a whole cabinet dedicated to his collection of nearly 5,000 such guides, averaging at about 40 per bus route. Each guide is a treasure trove into the past of Singapore’s bus industry as it showcases the history of each route, including Service 700 which was controversially removed in the DTL2 Bus Rationalisation (a government scheme in which routes running parallel to the Downtown line were withdrawn). He also began his passion by snapping pictures of buses at bus interchanges and terminals.

Nay Wun’s collection of bus guides

Devoted to his passion

Nay Wun still is a very passionate bus “enthu”  and he is currently working on a book about the bus industry in Singapore.

He intends the book to be written from the authentic view of a local bus enthusiast and he wishes to raise awareness about the preservation of Singapore buses as each bus has a significant place in our local history. For example, the Volvo Olympian was a very common SBS double decker in Singapore and he shared that the bus has a greater “feel” to it as it is more “manual” compared to the modern automated buses. In addition, the book also covers how such buses should be preserved, in the form of projects like the Bus Resort that is currently being planned by the Woodlands Transport Service. He intends to share ideas on how buses can be preserved, such as having designated corners at bus interchanges to display the buses. Something similar has been done at Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub. He also suggests that such attractions can be a means of collecting revenue as accessing the buses could require a small payment to cover the preservation costs. 

Nay Wun also intends to encourage more people to join the bus enthusiast community in Singapore and hopes to shed light on how there are people interested in a topic that few know actually exists. 

How many people actually like buses?

More than you think.

There have been many events in Singapore that attract transport enthusiasts like Nay Wun, such as the launch of the private A&S transit Volvo B8L, which is an ex-SBST bus converted into a private bus. As many as 200 people can turn up for such events. It is sad to see, as such, that there are people who do scorn or mock those who enjoy everything about buses.

One co-author of this article, Gregory Ng, is also a passionate travel enthusiast himself and was personally surprised to see Nay Wun’s love for buses. It is always wonderful to meet somebody who shares similar passions and hobbies do indeed bring like-minded people together.

Photo credits: Nay Wun Thant