#CityAdventures: Singapore for Nature Lovers

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#CityAdventures: Singapore for Nature Lovers

Yes, you read it right. Singapore is a great destination for nature lovers. This island city is often mistaken as nothing but a concrete jungle, but there are so much greenery if you look at the right place. Singapore’s petite size and well-established public transport is beneficial for us travelers, since we can stay any Singapore Hotels to enjoy all the walks, hiking paths, and cycling trails. There are many (believe me!), but here are five highlights.

The Southern Ridges

Go on a hike in the great outdoors and enjoy the serenity on offer at the Southern Ridges. Comprising 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve, these ridges are an alternative for hikers, history buffs, photographers, bird watchers, and overall nature lovers.

The Southern Ridges

Especially, Henderson Waves, is not to be missed. This bridge connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. Standing 36 metres above Henderson Road, it is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, and is frequently visited for its artistic, distinctive wave-like structure consisting of a series of undulating curved ‘ribs’. Don’t miss Forest Walk and Canopy Walk – bridges cutting through the Adinandra Belukar, a distinct type of secondary forest. Here, you can see a rich variety of flora and fauna and observe birds in their natural habitat. Explore Berlayer Creek at the newly launched Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk, which is home to myriad flora and fauna, another great getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

How to get there (Marang trail starting point):

By MRT

Take the Circle Line or North East Line to HarbourFront MRT Station (NE1/CC29).

By bus

Take bus service numbers 10, 30, 57, 61, 65, 80, 93, 97, 100, 131, 143, 145, 166, 300, 408* and 855 to HarbourFront MRT Station.

 

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Discover the beauty and wonders of nature at Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. Uncover a world filled with rich biodiversity as you wander through the wetlands with an extensive mangrove forest of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Sungei Buloh was first opened as a Nature Park in 1993. In 2002, 130 hectares were officially gazetted as a Nature Reserve and renamed Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to better reflect its status. In the same year, it was recognised as a site of international importance for migratory birds and awarded a certificate by Wetlands International, marking the reserve’s formal entry into the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network, which includes Australia’s Kakadu National Park, China’s Mai Po – Inner Deep Bay and Japan’s Yatsu Tidal Flats. And in 2003, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve became Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park.

Observation Pod

Since then Sungei Buloh has expanded to include 202ha of mangroves, mudflats, ponds and forests, providing an even larger sanctuary for the flora and fauna that call it home. This includes the newest extension that houses a brand new Visitor Centre and new trails for visitors to explore and enjoy. This new extension is situated along Kranji Way, and is easily accessible by public transport.

Seasonal from September to March: During the migratory season, catch sight of the diverse flocks of shorebirds or waders including plovers and sandpipers.

Opening hours:

7 am to 7 pm daily

How to get there:

By bus:

Mondays to Saturdays

Board SMRT Bus 925 from Kranji MRT Station. Alight at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B. Walk across the road to the Visitor Centre.

Sundays and Public Holidays

Board SMRT Bus 925 from Kranji MRT Station. The bus stops at the Wetland Centre entrance. Please note that SMRT Bus 925 operates only from Woodlands Interchange on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Kranji Express:

Kranji Express operates daily starting from 8.30 am and ending at 5.45 pm from Kranji MRT Station (Details)

 

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to around 40% of Singapore’s flora and fauna and has been a favourite spot for those looking to get close to nature. You can visit the Reserve and journey back in time to the days before Sir Stamford Raffles arrived as you trek among the original vegetation and undisturbed tropical forest. Push yourself to the limits as you climb Singapore’s tallest hill on trails that wind through pockets of hill dipterocarp forest, not found anywhere else on the island.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was officially declared an ASEAN Heritage Park on 18 October 2011. Together with Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, it is now part of the prestigious regional network of 30 protected areas, forming the complete spectrum of representative ecosystems in ASEAN. It is also protected by the Parks & Trees Act 2005 for the conservation of our native biodiversity.

From 4 April 2015, the public can access the Summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) through the Main Road on weekends. The Main Road leading to the Summit will be open to visitors from 7am to 6pm (with last entry to the Reserve at 5pm) on Saturdays and Sundays only. The Reserve will remain closed on weekdays and public holidays that do not fall on weekends.

Opening hours:

Saturdays and Sundays only

7am to 6pm (Last entry 5pm)

How to get there:

Bus

To reach the Reserve by bus, alight at Upper Bukit Timah Road, opposite Bukit Timah Shopping Centre for a 10-minute walk to the Reserve. Buses serving Upper Bukit Timah Road are 67, 75, 170, 173, 184, 852 and 961.

That's right; there are many hiking trails in Singapore! Surprise!Click To Tweet

TreeTop Walk

The TreeTop Walk (TTW) is the highlight of several long hiking routes in MacRitchie that brings you through the different stages of a mature secondary forest. The first of its kind in Singapore and in the region, this free-standing suspension bridge connects the two highest points (Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang) in MacRitchie and offers a bird’s eye view of the community of plants and animals that live in the forest canopy. The total length of the walkway is about 250 m and its height from the forest floor varies, with the highest point at 25 m.

TreeTop Walk

Besides providing another avenue for nature recreation for Singaporeans, the TTW also plays an important role in forest canopy research, an area many researchers were not able to get into because of lack of access. This bridge will help to facilitate surveys and plant identification work and further our understanding of how forest ecosystems work.

The TreeTop Walk gate closes at 5pm sharp. Visitors are advised to start hiking towards the bridge by 4.45pm from Ranger Station to avoid disappointment. Please note that the walkway only allows for one-direction traffic. The entrance to the bridge is from the Ranger Station via Peirce track.

Map of the MacRitchie Trails here.

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 8.30 am – 5pm

*Closed on Mondays, except on Public Holidays

How to get there:

Take bus number 52, 132, 163, 166, 167, 855 and 980 and alight just outside ESSO station before the junction of Venus Drive, Upper Thomson Roadand Sin Ming Avenue.

 

Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park, an iconic hilltop landmark has witnessed many of Singapore’s historical milestones. The hill once sited the palaces of 14th century Malay Kings and served as the Headquarters of the Far East Command Centre and British Army Barracks. The decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 was also made on the hill, in the Underground Far East Command Centre, commonly known as Battle Box.

Fort Canning Park

Today, Fort Canning Park is a venue for celebrations. Its expansive, sprawling lawns play host to concerts, theatre productions and festivals such as Shakespeare in the Park, Ballet Under the Stars, Shakespeare in the Park and Films at the Fort, while weddings, parties and gatherings are a regular sight in the park’s venue spaces. Its ancient artefacts are a must-see for history buffs, and its lush greenery and expansive lawns offer a variety of arts, heritage and nature experiences. Whether you are drawn by the park’s ancient artefacts and rich heritage or simply its tranquillity, this hilltop park offers something for the whole family.

Park lighting hours: 7.00pm to 7.00am

How to get there:

By MRT, alight at Clarke Quay or Dhoby Ghaut, and walk about 10 minutes to get to the park

 

●Runaway Juno Media is running #cityAdventures campaign with Marriott International! We’re going to explore 12 iconic cities around the world with 12 different themed articles. This is the fourth post of the campaign: Singapore.
●Photo: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

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