Totally worth the trek, sweat, and mosquito bites!
1. It’s all about balance
It is rare to go to a nature spot in Singapore without any buildings or signs of modernity in sight — eventually. (There are a few exceptions, of course. Changi Beach Park near Changi Village, for example.) But I guess this is a testament to Singapore’s good urban planning where we can still find pockets of nature within the city-state.
Some of the green sites even used to serve a different purpose, like the Rumah Tinggi Eco Park in Alexandra.
2. Wear good walking shoes
While it is convenient to go anywhere in Singapore in a pair of slippers or sandals, the right footwear will enhance your trail and your feet will thank you for it. And although most of the public parks and paved, some of the rustic and rugged ones, like Pulau Serangoon (also known as Coney Island, pictured) are not.
If you are not sure which nature walk would be suitable for you and your family, the NParks has an excellent resource of walking trail guides here. It tells you what to expect at each park or reserve, and how long it will take. If you prefer a guided walk, sign up for one here.
3. Never forget the insect repellent
You might think this does not need a reminder but it happens to the best of us. If you are prone to insect bites, always spray insect repellent BEFORE entering the nature reserve or park (because it might cause some insect species which are important to the eco system there to die out), and avoid insect repellent patches because they contribute to litter when they come off your clothes. The best way is to wear long pants or shirts with long sleeves.
4. Learn their names
With the amazing range of flora and fauna found on the island, I feel like I need to be more knowledgeable about them and learn to identify and put a name to the familiar plants and trees here, especially those that are native to Singapore. (Perhaps I’ll start with the pretty flowers.)
5. There are surprises to be discovered
For ideas on where to go to get your nature fix in Singapore, check out our suggestions.
By Muneerah Bee, October 2016
Photos by Muneerah Bee