From Singapore Hotels & Singapore Lifestyle
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the only area of primary forest remaining in Singapore, this 164-hectare nature reserve offers a range of nature walks, testing jungle treks and even mountain-bike trails. It's a haven for plants (one naturalist estimated there are more species here than in the whole of North America) and 160 species of animals. It also boasts the highest point on the island, Bukit Timah (163m), though the dense foliage doesn't afford much of a view.
The most popular and easiest walk in the park is along a paved road to the top of Bukit Timah. Even during the week it attracts a number of walkers, but few venture off the pavement to expore the side trails, which are more interesting. For a distinctly out-of-Singapore experience, try the North View, South View or Fern Valley paths. These involve some scrambling over rocks and tree roots and can be quite testing in parts.
Pick up a map of the park's trails from the Visitor Centre (Opening Hours: 8.30am-6pm), where an exhibition details the various flora and fauna that can be found in the reserve. A small shop here sells drinks, snacks, guidebooks and the all-important mosquito repellent.
Guided walks at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve take you along the short South View trail for a quick introduction of the rainforest, where an amazing range of plants and wildlife co-exist. Look out for a flying lemur in action as you walk under the canopy of leaves formed by 100-year-old trees. There are four trails to discover: the effortless Blue and Red trails take just 35 and 45 minutes respectively, while the more challenging Green trail takes an hour and 40 minutes. The Yellow trail will give you a real workout in a space of two hours. Those who want to get around on wheels can also opt for the Mountain Biking trail, a 6km route which takes at least 30 minutes to complete.
Bukit Timah has two challenging mountain-bike trails, 6kmin all, runing around the edge of the nature reserve between Chestnut Avenue and Rifle Range Road. The trails cut through jungle and abandoned quarry sites and are hilly in parts. There's also a bike trail running through the neighbouring Central Catchment Nature Reserve to the MacRitchie Reservoir, 6km east.
- Phone: (+65) 1800 468 5736 (information desk)
- Opening Hours: 8.30am to 6.00pm
- Bus: Bus nos 65, 170, 75 or 171
- Getting There: Several buses run close to the park, including buses 65 and 170 from Newton MRT Station, bus 75 form the Central Business District (CBD) and Chinatown, and bus 171 from the YMCA on Orchard Road or from Scotts Road. Get off at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre; the entrance to the park is about 1km north along Hindhede Drive.