Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Trip Start Dec 27, 2012
1
9
Trip End Jan 07, 2013


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Flag of Singapore  , Singapore,
Saturday, January 5, 2013

All week Rufio and I debated back and forth about where to day trip for our last Saturday together. I had my heart set on Malacca, Malaysia until Rufio found out information about ferries to islands in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia. We eventually decided against Malacca because it would require an overnight stay, so then tried turned our focus on Indonesia. As Saturday morning dawned, we scrambled to clarify ferry schedules and prices. When the morning grew later and the sky darker, we finally decided against a boat trip in forecasted scattered thunderstorms. Although I was disappointed to not add a new country to my passport, there was one lingering point of interest I hadn't yet experienced in this country: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Bukit Timah is the highest point in Singapore. The lush tropical rainforest surrounding the hill has luckily been preserved in all its glory for hikers, bikers and the occasional monkey to enjoy. Although I already had a nice outdoor excursion and a run in with a wild monkey during my weekday adventures, I decided this little piece of jungle paradise needed to be conquered as well. After a short shopping trip on Orchard Road to secure a new pair of athletic shorts, we hailed a cab in the direction of the jungle.

When we couldn't locate anyone at the visitor center to provide us a map, Rufio snapped a picture of the posted park guide and we set out on the most difficult trail. Within 15 minutes a spry monkey darted out of the trees toward us. At this point we were still on the paved path leading to the forked trails, and were excited to see more creatures along the way. As it happened, we didn't see any more mammals along the way. However, we spent the next two hours exploring the Jungle Fall Valley, admiring the lush flora as we made our way to the summit and back down. The hike was challenging but not excruciating, and I thoroughly enjoyed having to trek through muck and over sprawling root systems along the way.

When we returned to the foot of the hill we were adequately famished, so we hailed a cab for the nearby Newton Circus hawker center. I ordered one of Rufio's favorite dishes, while he grabbed an order of cockels and white carrot cake, with Tiger beers to wash it all down. We spent the next few hours poolside before the nightly happy hour with Rufio's colleagues. We grabbed drinks at the Cable Car before heading in for the night.

As luck would have it, I wasn't able to make the flight home the next morning. Rufio and I decided to take advantage of the one day of full sun I had seen all week and spent hours by the pool working on our equitorial tans and spending quality time relaxing with one another before my departure. Since I had a final chance to taste a favorite Singaporean dish, we sought out arguably the best fish head curry restaurant in the city. With a line out the door at 9:30 pm on a Sunday, we knew we were in for a treat. After dinner we retired early, and soon I said goodbye to Rufio and the Lion City.


 Bukit Timah
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