Thursday, February 9, 2012

Singapore - MacRitchie Reservoir Park

During my last December vacation in Singapore, I stayed at Tree in Lodge hostel at Bugis. The two "green minded" and young caretakers/managers/receptionists con cleaners are very fond of nature. I write "green-minded" because I have never met any guy at their age, I believe they are within 20 to 30 years old, who are very concern about the environment; they are bikers, as well. Stay tuned for my late review of Tree in Lodge.

Anyway, one of them asked me why I opted to stay most of the time in the hostel unlike the other guests. I replied that everything was expensive in Singapore and I have visited its touristy places. He asked me if I have tried some of Singapore's "green trail." We had interesting discussions about Mount Faber, Sentosa Island hikers/bikers trail, Zoo, Botanic Gardens, and so on. We discussed mostly about nature or parks. However, when he mentioned MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Tree Top Walk, I got a little bit jumpy for I have never been to any reservoir park in Singapore, except the Singapore river. After receiving instruction from him on how to get to MacRitchie, I immediately left and took bus 980 from Bugis. Yes, you can visit this place by bus or taxi and the best thing is the free entrance.

Upon alighting at Upper Thomson bus stop, I walked towards Lornie road before I saw the park entrance. The water pump house/station was located at the entrance. You need to go around this pump station/house before you can see the actual reservoir.

The place was awesome and picturesque. I didn't imagine that Singapore would have this kind of place considering its pretty small size and being highly urbanized place.

At the entrance of this reservoir, you can do kayaking and fishing except swimming

Strolling along the bank, I reached the MacRitchie Nature Trail start point. It was a great place to start your hiking because aside from several monkeys that were lurking around the area you can do some stretching and light works at an outdoor mini-gym.

It is time to get serious. If you intend to reach Tree Top Walk from here you should be aware that it is almost 5 km away from this point. Thus, expect around 10 km of hiking on uneven and sometimes slippery ground hence a comfortable and rigid rubber shoes is necessary. You've been forewarned. On top of that, take note of these precautions for your own safety. Basing on my experience, for the entire 10 km walk, I have met fewer than 20 persons. Not to mention the "residents" of the lush forest. I heard that during weekend, you'd be able to meet a lot of hikers.


I was lucky the sky was clear. Otherwise, I would definitely soak in rainwater because I didn't bring any umbrella or raincoat. However, I would not recommend to anybody to visit this place or hike along this trail whenever you have doubt about the weather. The place could be dangerous due to slippery trail and who knows what would be the forest's "residents" reaction whenever it rains. Our safety should be our main priority always. At any rate, you will find in some areas a covered huts or shades.

Actually, if you intend to go to Tree Top Walk and don't want or not capable for long hike, I believe you can come to this area by car. Around 1 km before the Tree Top Walk, there is an asphalt road. I was disappointed initially because my excitement disappeared when I saw this paved road cutting across the forest trail but considering that not all of us can do long hiking such as children then I learned to appreciate this road later. In fact, I saw a sign that the inner road was for emergency use only.

Before reaching the Tree Top Walk, you will pass at a Ranger Station.

        Where are the rangers?

Surprisingly enough, you will find a clean and decent toilet at the back side of this ranger station. Aside from that, you can refill your water bottle from here as well. From here, you need to traverse a paved toad to reach Tree Top Walk entrance where another ranger post is located.

A few hundred meters of sloping wooden planks will greet you first before the actual Tree Top Walk.


am I in Singapore?

While traversing the Tree Top Walk hanging bridge, I was amazed for I didn't see any building or any structure. Where did they hide those buildings?

From this point, I decided to continue my journey around the reservoir. On my way here I had that feeling that a tiger could be lurking for an ambush On the other hand the path from here was totally different. It seemed that a croc would be the one waiting for an ambush. It was more frightening and creepy due to most of the paths were along swampy area. Not to mention that I was walking alone for quite some time. It was a good decision to install several kilometers of elevated wooden planks. I saw one concrete tower manned by several military guys, I waved my hand and they reciprocated. Singapore was truly tourist-friendly place, even at the middle of the forest.

Near the reservoir entrance was a golf course. I was relived upon reaching this place for I was sure that no crocs would dare approach this place, LOL. Just don't stroll inside the private golf course to avoid being hit by stray golf balls.

It was very unfortunate that my cam battery went dead. My DSLR was borrowed by my daughter hence I was stuck with an old PNS cam. During my entire hiking, I saw several squirrels and lizards. Though precautionary signs about snake abound I was lucky not to see one.

The experience was definitely unforgettable. My hiking trail experience at Sentosa Island and Mount Faber pale in comparison with this one. I was able to complete the 10 km trail without encountering any problem but the unforgiving trail caused my old Sketchers cross-training shoes to give way.

After reaching the reservoir entrance, I took a quick snack at the restaurant and re-filled my bottled water. Another surprise was that the lady at the counter was a "kabayan" so as the other ladies strolling around the park or reservoir entrance.

I returned back to Bugis by taking the same bus at the opposite street. It took me more than 4 hours before I was able to come back to hostel.

The hostel guy upon learning that I have completed the MacRitchie Natures Trail in few hours without any preparation dared me to visit Singapore's Southern Ridges. I told him, no thanks, I need to have at least 2 days rest to recuperate. It was not easy for me to hike for 10 km inside a forest. Actually my feet and legs were sore after the hike. Moreover, I almost completed the Southern Ridges hike from Mount Faber earlier. I was at the middle of Henderson Waves bridge going to Forest Walk at Telok Hill Park, part of Southern Ridges, when I decided to quit and return back to civilization. I was not afraid of heights but the Henderson Waves bridge was too much for me; it was a creative and scary designed pedestrian bridge. Google it and you will know what I am saying. Although supported by concrete and metals, its wooden plank deck gives the impression of weakness and seems to me the highest bridge in Singapore. During that time, it was raining intermittently and the wind was blowing hard. Anyway, just wait for my Mount Faber post to have a glimpse of Henderson Waves Bridge.


Merlion Park
Clarke Quay
Botanic Gardens
Jurong Bird Park
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Sri Mariamman Temple
Sentosa Island for 1 S$
Waterloo Street
Orchard Road
Mustafa Center (open for 24 hrs)
Little India
The 5 Merlions 
Marina Bay Sands
Lucky Plaza
Haw Par Villa (The Tiger Balm Gardens)
Mount Faber
Kampong Glam


  1. we will be in sg by april.... magkano po ung entrance fee dito?

    1. no admission or entrance fee.. it is like a public park.

  2. hi, I'm going here on November, how do I get back to Bugis from the Tree top walk? Thanks!

    1. Cross the street and locate the bus station. Wait for the same bus number.