Space is a luxury in land-scarce Singapore, and the relentless advance of urban sprawl has seen the retreat of green spaces on the island. Fortunately, there are still oases of nature where you can momentarily leave the confines of the city behind and surround yourself with the great outdoors. Strap on your hiking kicks and unwind at the following, less-hyped nature spots.
Lorong Halus Wetlands
Image credits | techielobang.com
Many would probably be familiar with the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, but there is another more uncharted and idyllic wetland that takes you back into nature’s embrace. Unlike its more visited wetland counterpart, the Lorong Halus Wetlands, tucked away in a corner of Punggol, is actually not a bona fide marsh but a repurposed landfill in close proximity to the Punggol Promenade Riverside Park. With whimsical patches of lalang, wide pathways and a winding boardwalk, the wetlands provide a biodiversity haven for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Getting there: Alight at Punggol station and take the LRT to Kadaloor station. Follow the tracks along My Waterway@Punggol until you see a red bridge. Lorong Halus Wetlands is right across.
Image credits | Flickr
Residents of Bukit Gombak can boast having one of Singapore’s most beautifully landscaped parks in their neighbourhood. Little Guilin is the moniker for Bukit Batok Town Park, which is centred around the disused granite quarry. Take a stroll along the picturesque lake, or read a book as you take in the view from one of the two domed pavilions. With a view that closely resembles that of Guilin’s, you can find reprieve in this gem in the heartlands without spending on a plane ticket.
Address: Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, 659081
Springleaf Nature Park
Image credits | bca.gov.sg
Opened in 2014, this green lung in the North is perhaps only known to joggers and residents around Upper Thomson Road. Built to reduce the impact of human activity on our nature reserves, the park offers a vast expanse of greenery and a network of paths for recreational activities. It is also a bird-watching enthusiast’s hotspot, with a designated observatory deck to watch over 80 species of migratory and residential birds. A perfect place for a family outing or picnic by the river.
Address: 1230 Upper Thomson Rd, S787129
Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk
Image credits | Flickr
The green corridor at Telok Blangah is fast becoming a nature-lover’s haunt with sights like the Canopy Walk of the Southern Ridges, HortPark and Henderson Waves. But there is a more concealed location to experience the unspoilt beauty of nature in the form of the Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk. This tranquil hideout comprises of the Alexandra Garden Trail, Berlayer Creek mangrove trail and Bukit Chermin Boardwalk, and allows you to be immersed in an unadulterated mangrove habitat. During low tides, keep a lookout for Giant Mudskippers, or simply enjoy alternate views of Keppel Harbour, Sentosa and Labrador Nature Reserve.
Getting there: Take the train along the Circle Line to Labrador Park station, or take the direct Service Parks 408 that plies between HarbourFront Bus Interchange and Labrador Park.
Image credits | NParks
The construction of buildings and roads have seen the loss of precious flora and fauna (the elusive clouded leopard used to grace our shores). The Eco-Link@BKE is an ecological bridge that goes about correcting this. Straddling the Bukit Timah Expressway and connecting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with the Central Catchment Area, it offsets the disturbance to the natural habitat of the rainforest by allowing animals from either side to cross safely and plants to distribute unhindered. It’s not just the plants and animals that benefit. While the area is not open to the public, NParks does organise guided tours where you can enjoy this unique interaction with nature and learn about the impact this engineering feat has on their resident animals.
Check out www.nparks.gov.sg for more information on the guided tours.
Are you ready to head out to breathe in the freshness of nature while you enjoy the orchestration of onomatopoeia and the greenery that relaxes your sight?
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