Visiting a pristine rainforest does not necessarily involve arduous treks or long boat-rides. You can also take a taxi from Orchard Road in the shopping heart of Singapore, and be dropped off the entrance of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in fifteen minutes. A radical change of scenery unfolds when you enter the reserve, hear the noises of the city disappear behind you, being replaced by the calls of birds. At Bukit Timah, you can choose to hike several trails, and I opted for a combination of the Green and Yellow trail, making an extra loop on the northern side of the reserve. The Green trail took me down to the South View Hut. On the way, I saw a snake and an iguana amidst the impenetrable forest.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a surprisingly rich area, albeit not even that large. It counts over 800 plants and 500 animals, and new discoveries are made even nowadays. Of course, it is difficult to spot animals in this environment, even though I did manage to see beautiful butterflies, playful monkeys (long-tailed macaques), several iguanas, a snake, and a flying lemur, but also the biggest ant I ever saw. Apart from the plants and animals, Bukit Timah also contains the highest point of Singapore at 163 metres. This probably is one of the very few remaining parts of Singapore that has never been changed - apart from the building of some shacks, and the paths leading through the reserve.
Bukit Timah was established as a nature reserve in 1883, aiming to protect the rich flora and fauna found in this area. The name translates to Tin Hill, even though tin was never found in this area. After continuing all the way up to the summit, from which the trees obstruct any view you could imagine, I walked down the Dairy Farm loop and returned over the North View and the Seraya Loop after which I joined the Yellow Trail to the exit. I watched several groups of monkeys play, had a close look upon colourful fungi, and marveled at so much nature so close to Singapore city.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
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