Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve or Nature Reserve located in the north-west of Singapore is dominated by tidal mudflats and mangrove systems. It is likely that bamboo once existed in this area, hence the name Sungei Buloh (in Malay Sungei means River and Buloh mean Bamboo).
My first visit to Sungei Buloh was in 2010, accompanied by a friend who is into wildlife photography in the urban city, Singapore. That’s when I have my first encounter with wildlife crocodiles and smooth-coated otter pups. To spot both in one visit is uncommon, perhaps it was “beginners luck”. Though I was glad the encounters with the crocodiles were not up closed.
Due to past busy business travel schedule, the last I visited the place was in 2014 when Sungei Buloh launched its new wing. Glad to be back. As I always said, nice to be with nature after spending five days in a week in the concrete jungle.
Upon entering, I was welcomed by a spider resting on the web weaved across two trees.
While walking along the Main Bridge, I was hoping to spot a baby crocodile or two. Unfortunately, no crocodile nor otter in sight except monitor lizard.
We walked to trail one and saw two persons, one standing and another lying down with a camera. She was taking close up shots of the monitor lizard that stayed very still like striking a post for her. Guess there is no crocodile in sight so she was making sure she gets a few good shots of the monitor lizard.
We continued our walk and noticed that low fences are erected at certain parts of the trail. Perhaps to deter crocodiles from climbing onto the trail path endangering park visitors. With the low fences erected, I felt a little safer roaming the park. Unlike in the past, I stayed close behind my friend as he is good at spotting crocodile or wildlife for that matter even from far.
Unfortunately, two out of the three trails are closed to public access. In the past, we will walk about 5 km to complete covering the park. With the closure of the other two trails, after walking less than 2 km, we are already done exploring the park.
I am always very fascinated by the mangrove’s stilt roots. Their ability to grow into the air to again run into the ground to develop an underground root system and to also grow underwater toward the soil in the ocean or a reef or some corals is fascinating.
Mangroves play an important role in protecting coastal areas from eroding, storm surge and tsunamis. They have their own unique ecosystem found in the mangrove roots hosting algae, oysters, shrimps, mud lobsters, mudskippers and other organisms.
While exploring the park, I received a text message from my mobile telco provider informing me about their data roaming bundle. That’s when I realised my mobile phone’s network was switched to Malaysia’s mobile telco network.
When visiting Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, our mobile network may switch to the Malaysia network as the Malaysia network signal is stronger than the mobile telco network in Singapore at a certain part of the park. Therefore, do check your mobile network before making any calls to avoid incurring unnecessary roaming charges.
We walked towards the lily pond which used to be closed from public access as a crocodile was sighted in the pond. Good to know that the lily pond is now safe for public access.
When we were about to leave the main wing to the new wing, my friend spotted a crocodile from the Main Bridge. The crocodile was resting on the wetland coastal area very far from where we were. Glad it was not a wasted trip as we were here to sight a crocodile or two.
After taking a few shots of the crocodile, we left the old wing and walked to the new wing.
Near the Kingfisher Pod, we spotted a kingfisher and a green snake. The kingfisher flew away rather quickly. We only managed to capture pictures of the green snake wriggling slowly on the tree trunk.
Then we walked towards the Eagle Point, hoping to catch a glimpse of an eagle or two. Unfortunately, we have no luck. We also didn’t see any migratory birds, perhaps we were too late into the migratory season.
After spending about two hours at the wetland reserve, we made our way out and saw another Crocodile Warning Signage. Seem to me that the park management is putting up more crocodile warning signages. Perhaps more crocodiles were being sighted.
Do take the signages seriously as there are crocodiles around and we have seen a few big ones in the past. If you bring your children along, do hold on to them and not let them run around on their own. Do not attempt to climb down to the swamp area.
We left the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and drove to Bukit Timah for lunch. Instead of going to the usual eatery that serves Peranakan food, we went to a Japanese restaurant and had their speciality, Mizutaki Chicken Hot Pot, for lunch.
We started the meal tasting the signature high collagen chicken soup from the pot using a small soba cup, adding a pinch of salt and spring onion to taste. We gathered that the soup was cooked for eight hours before serving. Next, we were served the cooked chicken with the restaurant’s homemade ponzu sauce. The chicken was tender and went well with the ponzu sauce.
While we were eating the chicken, the server formed the minced chicken into balls and adding them into the soup to cook. Next, she added the cabbage, mushroom, carrots and tofu into the high collagen chicken soup.
After we were done with the chicken and vegetables, rice and egg were added into the soup to make porridge, no soup go to waste. We were given two options, either rice or ramen. The restaurant manager recommended us to go with rice as the soup goes better with rice.
It was a good and satisfying meal, not forgetting healthy too. Would definitely be back.
The Lowdown – Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves
Address: Wetland Centre – 301 Neo Tiew Crescent Singapore 718925
Getting 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 operates daily starting from 8.30 am and ending at 5.45 pm from Kranji MRT Station.
Opening Hours: 7 am to 7 pm daily
Park Size: 202 hectares
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Time Taken: Two hours
Photographs: The photographs of me, spider, crocodile and snake were taken by my friend. The rest of the photographs were taken by me using iPhone.
For more information on the park, go to www.nparks.gov.sg.
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