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Singapore: Southern ridges

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Southern ridges > Singapore > Asia

[Visited: July 2018]

When I get off the Pasar Panjang MRT station, I first buy some water before I head up the hill directly north: Kent Ridge Park. When I arrive at the top of the hill, a light drizzle starts to come down from the grey sky. I walk down to a pool, surrounded by tropical trees, and seek protection in one of the many small shelters when the raindrops become thicker and I start being drenched. The advantage of these tropical rainshowers is that they pass quickly, and I am on my feet within twenty minutes. When I reach an open space on top of the hill, I have an overview of the endless rows of cranes at the harbourfront - Singapore is one of the biggest ports in the world. A little further up, in the forest, I pass a wedding couple with a photographer who take advantage of the natural surroundings for a photoshoot.

Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): View from Henderson Waves

Several minutes later, I step on the canopy walk, which meanders right through the roof of the treetops. I now hear birds, see enormous leaves, read the explanation boards, and realize that not even long ago, this island which is a sprawling city with close to seven million inhabitants, was covered by a thick rainforest. I descend at the end of the canopy walk, and walk through the Hortpark, where I find greenhouses with all kinds of plants, as well as neat small gardens with exotic flowers. Inevitably, orchids are well represented here, and also several pieces of sculptures. I now have to cross a busy road: the Alexandra arch provides a link to the next park on the Southern ridge. The white, arched bridge is a sight in itself, and I take my time to see it from different angles. Once on the other side, I continue the forest walk, another long elevated boardwalk through the treetops, with views of aparment blocks across the forest.

Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Trail in Kent Ridge Park

My walk through Telak Blangah Hill Park ends at the beginning of a most curious structure: the Henderson Waves, a pedestrian bridge high above Henderson Road, with a wooden surface made from Balau trees, and several niches big enough for a group to sit in while enjoying the views of southern Singapore. I descend to the road to have a look at the curious shapes - indeed: waves - of this link between Telak Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park. It is a short hike to the top of Mount Faber, with views of the skyscraper jungle of Singapore on the northern side, and Sentosa and Singapore Strait on the other. Arrows in the pavement point to distant cities, a big tree crowns the summit. This is the first spot where I see crowds: I had most of the trails on the Southern ridge to myself. From here, it is an easy walk downhill to the Harbourfront MRT station, back to the city life, back to efficiency and air conditioning.

Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Forest walk boardwalk running straight through the trees of Telok Blangah Hill Park
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Street level view of Alexandra Arch
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Sculpture of lion on the top of Mount Faber
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Trees and plants reflected in a sculpture in Hortpark
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): View of Alexandra Arch from below, connecting Hortpark and Telok Blangah Hill Park
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Kent Ridge Canopy Walk leads straight through the tops of trees
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Looking at the skyline of Singapore from Henderson Waves
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Leaf with shades of green on the Southern ridge
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): View of the skyline of Singapore from Mount Faber
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Forest and skyscraper seen from Henderson Wave
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): View of Henderson Waves from below
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): The summit of Mount Faber with huge tree
Picture of Southern ridges (Singapore): Elegant purple orchid in Hortpark

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