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.
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.
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.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Southern ridges (Singapore). 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 Southern ridges. Read more about this site.