Green lungs beyond the concrete

Green lungs beyond the concrete

Singapore, tiny island state is filled with skyscrapers and multistory flats and malls. There are green belts directly in the heart of Singapore.First spot would be Pulau Ubin. It is an offshore island especially for those who fancy nature reserve. It is a village like area with dusty tracks and bike trails. Going to the place reminds people of the 1960s Singapore landscape. It is a cycling haven filled with mangrove at ChekJawa. It is easily accessible by first taking MRT green line till Tanah Merah Station. Hop on a bus to reach Changi Village. From Changi Village proceed by walking to Changi Point Terminal for Ferry to catch one of the 15-minute boat ride to arrive at Pulau Ubin.

Another green lung is Canning Fort Park. It was once a British administration site and first ever Botanic Gardens launched by Sir Raffles. It was occupied by Sultans and British military. It is the perfect quiet getaway dotted with colonial era structures. Tours are free which runs every month. Getting to Fort Canning is easy, by just taking MRT to reach DhobyGhaut. From there walk towards Singapore National Museum and the park would be right behind.

Bukit Timah Reserve for Nature is the highest peak in all of Singapore. It has diverse flora species and fauna species, close to 40% for all of Singapore. Be sure to reach early for a leisure hike up to the peak. Beware of cheeky monkeys encounter where they might snatch away your food. It can be reached by taking the MRT train right to Orchard Station. Proceed to hop on Bus 75/171 heading Bukit Timah. The park will be right opposite BktTimah Shopping Complex at the road end towards Hindhede.

PasirRis Nature Park has green flora on the backdrop of a beach. It is tiny but filled with interesting sights. It has a mangrove forest accessible via boardwalk and a triple storey tower for birdwatching. Kids can ride on ponies at the Gallop Stables. Renting a bicycle to get around is a good choice as well. End your day with a drink at the breezy bars at the beachside. It can be reached via walking from PasirRis MRT Station across Drive 3.

Bishan and AngMoKio Park is another green belt worth mentioning. It is 62 hectare hug smacked in the middle of suburbs and is complete with beautiful green tracts, sparkling water streams, green flora and boardwalks for human access. Café bars are all strategically located within the walking trail. Grub is a hot spot for coffee and brunch. Aramsa Spa is highly recommended for massage seekers looking to wind down after a tiring walk. You can reach the park from Bishan MRT Station. Proceed to take the bus No. 53, 58 or 55 from the Bus Interchange and drop off at Bishan Park.

Kusu Island is located south from Singapore Island and has iconic blue lagoons for swimming enthusiasts. It has also one Chinese temple as well as one Malay shrine on a hilltop. Massive amount of visitors throng the island during September and October months every year for the annual 9th lunar calendar month pilgrimage. Other period will not see any visitors. Food and water are best self-prepared. If you want to reach Kusu Island, head to Marina Bay MRT Station and hop on bus 402. You will arrive at Marina Cruise Centre. You can then take any 2 ferry rides offered daily. 3 rides are available on Saturdays and 5 on Sundays.

Southern Ridges is another hot hiking spot encompassing Mt Faber, Kent Ridge, TelokBlangah and Hortpark. It has 10km long of lush greenery, with canopy walks across Henderson Waves. History buffs can visit the WWII info centre, Bukit Chandu Reflections right in the mid-point for Kent Ridge parks. It is to commemorate the PasirPanjang battle which saw 1400 Malays ethnic soldiers staving off 13,000 Japanese military men. Getting there is easy as you just need to arrive via MRT to reach Harbourfront station. The park would be right across an expressway with the trail beginning at the mountain leg.