Singapore nature trek & the reason why I travel alone

Having only limited time in Singapore, time optimization is key… and it’s what I try to do with everything, it often drains some of my energy with short nights of sleep but hey :)… I just have to remind myself to eat from time to time (that is not a joke, yesterday I noticed not have eaten for 14 hours).

The macRitchie reservoir is a huge domain with several nature treks. The nature trail is the most famous one. Sidenote: google maps wrongly indicates the trail. Get off at the named busstation (you cannot get there with the subway) & follow the signs.

It’s also a very popular spot for runners and one of the closest places to go kayaking (as adviced.

Armed with one small bottle of water and a ticking watch, I was in a hurry to complete the ‘mission’. What mission? I did not know yet…

At first, I thought… it’s just a nice walking trail.







Example of the nature trek, surrounded by jungle

Example of the nature trek, surrounded by jungle

Sign warning for snakes on the trail

Sign warning for snakes on the trail

At some point, it became clear, you can find the very famous treetop walk I’ve seen pictures of. However, it closes at 5 pm (with last entry at 4:45).

It was already past 5pm but as you might know me, that will not stop me… Worst case it would just have been a nice walk (in the dark). I’m often carrying some survival tools with me just in case, such as a battery pack & petzl light with charged batteries. To avoid them being drained, I reverse the batteries in the casing. Putting batteries just like that in your backpack can go badly wrong, if they make contact they can become hot / melt / discharge.

After a good hour and stunning nature walk (note you remain in the forest) and cool jungle sounds (I have a recording, but cannot do the upload yet), sun was already set and I arrived at the starting point of the trail. I was out of luck, a cabine blocked the entrance. I was still very determined to see what this was all about, so tried to find a way around.



Ranger cabin blocking the entrance

Getting down, I found a cable going up several metres to get past the cabin. As we are still in Singapore, it’s very humid and the cable was a bit slippery.


Cable running past the cabin

However, bad luck. After getting right after the cabin, another fence was blocking the entrace. It was very dangerous and tricky, but I climbed across. I would NOT recommend doing this by yourself without any safety belt. If you bring one, you can ‘easily’ do it.


After the second fence. You can see the lock at the other side

Finally I got one the bridge, and it’s pretty awesome but very small.



I did not expect any more challenges, but had unexpected some visitors. Monkeys! Cute you would think? Not really, I was alone on this bridge, it was almost dark and it was a difficult way back. These type of monkeys are known to ‘steal’ from visitors and are not afraid at all. They have very sharp teeth and sometimes attack humans in groups. I did not want to loose any of my material (such as my phone) so tightly put everything away and moved confident to the other side.



unexpected visitors: killer monkeys!



By the end of the bridge, it was already too dark to get down without any lights.

Getting back on the trail, I was hoping to find a shortcut to avoid going all the way back in the dark. After some time, I was lucky to find a concrete road going crossed the domain, and even more lucky to find a tourist bus (no idea what it was doing there, I believe maybe for the golf resort nearby). I flashed several times with my torch and the driver realized I was not supposed to be there. He did not speak any english, but offered me a ride back to the ‘real world’. Now I had some time left to get into the city by night!

The story above is maybe not that ‘extreme’ but it demonstrates my need for some adventure. I don’t like taking people on risky and impulsive trips of this kind, and that is one of the reasons why I prefer to do this alone 🙂