Singapore is one of two cities worldwide which are built in the jungle. Singapore is a highly urbanized city-state and one of the most modern cities in the world: Impressive and futuristic buildings wherever one looks, business districts with paned towers and sophisticated shopping malls, broad roads and highways crisscrossing the island, an efficient public transport system and numerous leisure facilities. Singapore has got everything that one expects from a metropole – but Singapore has even a bit more!
Wherever one goes and wherever one looks, the traces of the jungle are omnipresent. In order to preserve its jungle heritage there are 4 major natural reserves in Singapore: the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the Labrador Nature Reserve.
One of the attractions of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve is the Tree Top Walk with a 250 meter long Suspension Bridge as its main attraction.
Although it was a rainy Sunday morning we set out to do the tree top walk. In Singapore weather is very fickle. Raining in the morning and at one’s home doesn’t mean that 1.) the weather won’t turn for the better within the next hour and 2.) when it’s raining at one’s home that’s not to assume that it’s also raining in the place one is heading for in Singapore. But even when it’s raining and when one gets wet, that’s only half as bad. In Singapore it’s never cold and if one is not afraid of water you can just walk in the rain. You’ll never feel cold and one’s not in danger of catching a cold. Just keep on walking – as soon as it stops raining you’ll get dry within a short time.
By taxi we went to the Venus Road carpark, from where we started our tour. On well maintained paths we strolled towards our goal, the suspension bridge. Since it was still raining, many sections of the path were muddy and we worked hard to bypass the many puddles. For Savannah and Robin – of course, it was the greatest pleasure to trudge directly through the puddles: The more mud and puddles, the greater the joy for them.
The route itself is very well signposted, one cannot get lost. Moreover, since it was a Sunday a lot of people and families were doing the trail – almost too many.
The tree top walk is in one direction. The way to the suspension bridge is slightly sloping up and after a bit more than one hour we reached the entrance gate to the bridge. The bridge itself is surprisingly narrow. It is some 250 meters long and connects the two highest points in the nature reserve: the Bukit Peirce and the Bukit Kalan. Although the bridge is not higher than 25 meters, that’s comparable to a 7-storey house, the walk over the bridge offers stunning views over the jungle canopy and the MacRitchie Nature Reserve. To the great joy of the kids one even can feel the bridge swaying when crossing it. Time and again, we stopped in order to enjoy the great view.
Once having left the bridge behind, there’s a steady descent on a boardwalk with numerous steps. We returned to the starting point of our jungle walk at Venus Road earlier than expected. In total we had covered 7 kilometers in around three hours – big compliments to Savannah and Robin, who mastered the stretch without much difficulties. For Jacob, the walk was no challenge. It was more of a challenge to Claudia and me to keep him in a good mood, because we had just torn him out of an exciting online computer game with his friends for a “boring” jungle walk. Besides, it’s distressing to join the parents and smaller siblings on a staid Sunday family excursion when he could do much more exciting and challenging virtual online adventures with his mates! Puberty is catching up with him.
One has to admit that the Tree Top Walk cannot compete with our adventures in Borneo, neither can it with the breathtaking canopy walk in the Mulu National Reserve nor with our challenging and unique climb up to the Pinnacles.
There were even no animals to be seen along the Tree Top Walk in Singapore, which may be contributed to the bad and rainy weather: No intrusive monkeys like on Pulau Ubin, where fortunately we survived an unexpected assault by rather aggressive macaque monkeys, which were after our snacks. No exotic colorful birds flying around and warbling cheerfully. But also no mosquitoes which normally harrow the visitors. No butterflies or monitor lizards. And unfortunately, or should one say fortunately, no cobras or pit vipers; it seemed that all the animals preferred to pass the rainy day in their holes and nests.
Hence, we decided to be back once more on a sunny day. Then, hopefully the lush, dense and beautiful Singaporean jungle will reveal more of its exciting beauties to us!