If you think a walk in a park in Singapore is simply, well, a walk in the park, wait till you challenge yourself to this: the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk. Located in MacRitchie Reservoir Park, there lies a typical park outside the nature reserve.
But once you enter the nature reserve, you’re in for a challenge. Here’s why. Unlike typical parks in Singapore that comprises seats, jogging tracks and playgrounds, this isn’t your typical Singapore park.
It’s a nature reserve, meaning the path to walk is made of sand, rocks or grass, and there are no seats around.
Firstly, it’s a one way route: once you walk in, you can’t take a detour to exit the area. The only way out is ether to complete the entire hike, or to turn back.
Secondly, there’re no seats for you to rest until you reach the designated rest points.
Thirdly, the terrain isn’t in the best condition—you can be going up a steep slope that comprises mainly small rocks and going down a sandy path that could sink if it’s wet. Throughout the journey, you will reach a few checkpoints, with one that even has a vending machine and a toilet.
But if you reach a rest point, it simply means that you’re deep into the forest—and it’s another long walk back to the familiar Singapore you know. However, after walking for about one or two hours (without rest, that is), you’ll reach the coveted area that everyone is there for: the TreeTop Walk.
It is a bridge that is so damn high that if you look down, you can’t see what is below at all. Surrounding the bridge are large-ass trees that are so tall, you’ll want to take a selfie with them.
After this, you’ll be faced with the daunting task of having to walk another one or two hours out of the woods.
Therefore, in totality, you have to spend around three to five hours for a round trip—according to the Nparks website, that’s about 7km to 10km. Not exactly easy for newbies, to be honest. So, if you’re really up to the challenge, what should you take note of?
- Make sure you’re fit to go for it. If you can climb stairs and run, then you’re good to go.
- The TreeTop Walk closes at 5:00 p.m. daily (it also closes on Monday except for public holidays), so make sure you start the hike at 3:00 p.m. to avoid seeing a “Closed” sign there!
- Wear light clothing with proper covered shoes. You need to be as comfortable as possible.
- Bring insect repellents. There are not just mosquitoes around, but other flying insects that might freak the hell out of you
- Bring food and water. The journey is long and you’ll sweat like crazy. There’s no water except for the rest point, so make sure you’re always hydrated.
- DO NOT feed the monkeys. They look friendly and cute, but once you throw a food at them, they’ll go apeshit and become violent. VERY VIOLENT.
- Avoid close contact with the monkeys. They’re smart enough to open your bags to look for food
- Carry some first-aid kit. It’s a hike, after all.
- Go with someone experienced, or someone who has been through the army. Their experience in surviving in the jungle comes in handy here.
And for your info, yes, I’ve conquered this before, which is why I’m writing this based on experience. All the best!
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