Last week we found out that our residence hall was organizing a 10km hike through various nature trails in Singapore. We were super excited to get involved, however so many people signed up that we didn’t make the final list 😦 Nonetheless, we decided to explore Singapore’s MacRitchie Nature Trail after reading great reviews about it.
Getting to the park
We woke up early on Saturday morning and snacked on some fruit at the canteen before heading to the MRT. The park is conveniently located just a few stops away from us! We had to walk about 15 minutes to the park entrance from the station, but we passed a lot of pretty flower shops and plant nurseries along the way.
The trail starts near the MacRitchie reservoir where lots of people were canoeing and kayaking. Once we entered the thick jungle, the city just melted away. It’s hard to believe that this trail is actually right in the middle of a huge city! We hiked the medium level trail for about 30 minutes before coming across monkeys! I heard some rustling in the trees and we were greeted by a mother and a brood of younger monkeys. They were so adorable! After about 25 minutes of watching in awe, we continued on.
We reached the highlight of our hike, the TreeTop Walk, after about an hour and a half of hiking. The TreeTop Walk is a suspension bridge that connects Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang, the two highest points in the park. You really do feel like you are walking among the treetops! The lush tropical forest is a big change from the pines and oaks we were used to seeing back in Indiana. G said that the forest was so green that you could even smell the different plants.
After getting down what seemed like a million stairs, we were ready to complete the trail but we had to turn back and retrace our steps since the last part of the of the trail was closed for maintenance. The dead end set us back another 30 minutes of hiking but we saw a huge millipede on way back. It looked like it had a billion legs! Ugh, I wish I had taken a picture. As we were walking we heard a big crack above us. I jumped back as a blur of brown fell between A, G and me. A large, dead palm frond fell from high up and almost hit us. It was a good lesson in always being aware on a hike!
On our way back we stopped for a rest and a snack. Across from us was a German couple with an adorable toddler who was eating some bread. The family had some more snacks in the stroller as well. Why am I telling you this? Well, suddenly out of nowhere a monkey ran at top speed towards the stroller! I screamed and tried to warn the family, but it was too late- the monkey had grabbed the bread from the stroller and jumped behind the railing. We were in total shock! Then we saw that the monkey was a mother carrying a newborn baby with her!We were warned about these little thieves but we didn’t expect to watch a robbery right in front of us. I quickly hid my chocolate and we left after watching the mom gobble down the bread.
We were trying to get a move on as ominous clouds were rolling in. We were almost at the end of the trail before the sky started pouring buckets on us. We ran to a shelter and waited for the rain to stop which took about an hour. Finally, we made it back to the train station, wet and weary.
Overall, the MacRitchie trail was an amazing get away in the middle of Singapore. Even though we got rained on, we considered the day a success! We hope to explore some more of Singapore’s natural wonders soon.