After two years of restoration works, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was reopened on 22nd October. The slopes and trails were repaired and enhanced to make it safer for the public. This 163-ha reserve includes Singapore’s highest hill, Bukit Timah Hill, which stands at 163 m and retains one of the few areas of primary rainforest in Singapore.
Bukit Timah Hill
Over the weekend, I checked out the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve together with my friend. We were rather late and arrived at around 10 o’clock. The carpark seemed to be full as there were many cars parking along the road. Anyhow, we tried our luck, drove into the carpark and found a few empty lots. Guess the people who came early have left.
The last time I visited this place was probably ten years ago, it looked different and not as crowded. It could be a different route as there are a few routes to hike to the summit. The route we were about to take is the easiest route to the summit.
The first quarter of the hike is rather steep which was a surprise to me. I caught my breath when I reached the Kruning Hut, the first resting point. Standing next to the hut, I saw people who look about my age or younger, catching their breath and a few sat down to catch their breath. The older folks were the fitter ones, they continued their hike without any rest. Perhaps they have been hiking up and down the Bukit Timah Hill every morning. Time to do some cardio workout to improve my stamina.
We took the easy route (in red) to the summit. Besides the easy route, there are two other routes. The moderate route (in green) is via the South View Path and Cave Path. Another route is the difficult route (in yellow) via the Dairy Farm which I gathered that it is pretty tough. There is also a mountain bike trail if you are into cycling.
After catching our breath, we continued our hike. The rest of the hike turned out to be a walk in the park. The slope was gentle, unlike the first section. We strolled, enjoyed the nature and took pictures along the way.
After a short walk, we reached the Simpang Hut, the second resting point. Next to the Simpang Hut is the Summit Stairs. There are two routes to the summit. We could either take the shorter route to the summit via the Summit Stairs (150 metres) or continue on the Main Road (540 metres) which is a longer route. We took the easy route, the Main Road.
We strolled our way up and reached the summit in just 5 minutes. We were surprised that it was such a short hike. The summit was crowded, most of the people were resting, chatting and taking photos. And a group was practising Chinese Wushu.
After taking some pictures at the Summit, we walked down via the Summit Stairs. Unfortunately, the walk down the Summit Stairs was bad on my knees as I injured my right knee years back hiking at Yosemite.
I should have taken the stairs up and walked down via the Main Road as walking up the stairs would have less impact on the knees. Next, the walk down the steep slope section (the first section) was also bad on my right knee. Anyhow, I endured the rest of the way down. Due to my past injury, I guess it is not advisable to hike. Sadly, I could not even manage a simple hike like Bukit Timah Hill.
Hindhede Nature Park
Before leaving, we headed to the Hindhede Nature Park, to check out the Quarry. Hindhede Nature Park is a very small park. Just a short walk, we reached the Quarry.
Quarrying is a rather destructive activity that results in habitat loss, soil erosion, altered hydrology and micro-climate changes to the forest environment. As a result, quarrying was ceased in 1990 and in 2001, Hindhede Quarry was transformed into a nature park with a lookout into the former quarry pool.
The view of the quarry was calming. The water is clear, we could see the fishes and terrapins swimming.
The ambience at Bukit Timah Nature Park and Hindhede Nature Park was a total contrast. One was filled with energy and the other was calm and peaceful. Glad to end our morning nature walk at Hindhede Quarry. I felt recharged.
After spending an hour and a half at the Nature Parks, we drove to Hillcrest for lunch. Feeling greedy, I had the Angus Burger for lunch. With a little help from my friend, I almost finished the whole burger. Check out what’s left.
The short hike up the Bukit Timah Hill was good except for my knee problem. Always nice to be with nature after spending five days in a week in the concrete jungle. Ending this post with the quote by Sir David Attenborough.
The Lowdown – Bukit Timah Nature Park
Location: End of Hindhede Drive
Getting There: By bus – 67, 75, 170, 171, 184, 852, 961, alight at Jalan Anak Bukit Road, opposite Beauty World Centre (Bus stop ID: 42109), or alight at Upper Bukit Timah Road, opposite Bukit Timah Shopping Centre (Bus stop ID: 42091). By MRT – Alight at Beauty World MRT Station, take Exit A
Opening Hours: Nature Park – 7 am to 7 pm daily, Exhibition Hall – 8 am to 5.30 pm daily, Carpark – 6.30 am to 7 pm daily (No overnight parking)
Accessibility info: Wheelchair accessible to Visitor Centre, no smoking, no pets allowed
Photography: All photos were taken using iPhone 6
For more information, go to www.nparks.gov.sg.
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