Walking in urban nature

The best way to get to know any place is walking. Since we moved to Singapore we have walked frequently nearby, but also a bit farther from our home. At the beginning we explored more our neighborhood to locate grocery stores, restaurants, food courts, markets, walking trails, medical clinics, pharmacy etc. After managed to positioning them quite clearly, we started to hop in mrt and hop off somewhere to walk around. What we truly love is walking on nature trails, and luckily Singapore is full of them. And it amazes a bit – Singapore is regarded as financial hub, urban and filled with skyscrapers, but also there is huge amount of nature to explore.

Banana tree
Banana tree
Funnily under the banana tree.
Funnily under the banana tree.

A little while ago my Danish friend, who organizes Walk & talk-tours in Singapore, took us, three ladies to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. At the moment nature park is under renovation, but there is still some possibilities to hike and walk, but one must be aware of mountain bikers, who cycle extremely fast. We had perfect weather to walk, some clouds, no direct sun shine and it started to rain just after our walk. We walked approximately 7-7.5 km. For me Singaporean nature is very fascinating. I used to walk a lot also in Finland, but the nature there is not this exciting, Finnish flora and fauna is not multiform than here in Singapore. World of sound is intriguing – birds and macaques and locusts and so many other voices I cannot even recognize. Well, I am not able to recognize specific birds to be honest, just it is a bird. Some plants I can identify, but not many.

Ant having sweet lucnh.
Ant having sweet lucnh.

To learn more I bought a couple of guide books of Singaporean flora. Although the books are well located in my bookshelf, not in use, yet. Next time I will take guidebook with me! Fortunately our Danish guide is expert of plants, trees and flowers, so we had a lovely tour in Bukit Timah. We saw for instance banana trees, prehistoric ferns, so many blossoming trees and bushes that I cannot remember the names any more. We heard many concerts, but saw not so many animals. One medium size lizard clumped to the forest and some birds flying quickly. Two of us saw also nature drama. Snake has caught a baby frog or it might have been a baby turtle. Noise was awful – I thought first it was sort of bird in distress and when going closer to bush I saw near my feet a snake. A frog or turtle baby in its mouth. Noise was coming from that poor creature in snake’s mouth. Very sad, but in the other hand snake was fed that day. I love to watch wildlife documentary, and it has been fantastic to experience wildlife alive.

Always much of interesting to see.
Always much of interesting to see.
Mangrove, low tide.
Mangrove, low tide.

About a week ago we traveled to Changi Village with my spouse. Our first time there. We had a lovely stroll on seashore. We started from Changi Beach Club (Changi Boardwalk), and ended up to Changi Ferry Terminal. Trail was about 7km, and weather was again excellent. After harsh sunshine it was cloudy and rain was lurking, but didn’t start before we got home. There are plenty to do in Changi Village including swimming, grilling, sailing, boating, just relaxing. We saw many families and groups having fun playing different kinds of ball games, listening to music, having picnic. IMG_6358Lots of fishermen with their hooks and lines, some even throwing fishnets to gather little clams, perhaps fish and crabs as well. We had no picnic food with us, but even it was Sunday we found many places open to feed us. SAF has its own resort there for its employees, but fortunately Beach walk is open to everyone. And if you are plane watcher it is just your place to spend spare time. From Changi Ferry Point Terminal it is possible to take a ferry boat to Pulau Ubin, a lovely Northern island, where you can find mangrove trail, historic relics of past time, good food (as in everywhere in Singapore) and a lot of fauna and flora, what is not found anywhere else in Singapore. My recommendation is first to head to Pulau Ubin, and after the trip to have a lunch in Changi Village.

IMG_6342

No for littering.
No for littering.

Walking is my passion, I love nature and I have found it especially fascinating and beautiful in Singapore. What I am concerned about, how we residents can be cautious and aware to protect and conserve the exquisite nature. It is so heart breaking on trails to observe plastic bags, bottles, even oil cans, buckets etc. in sea, but unfortunately also on mangrove roots, inside the forest. We should know better.

Even though it can be quite pretty on the sand.
Even though it can be quite pretty on the sand.

My recommendations of the week:

FOOD: Many good dishes @ Ding Dong

BOOK: Anthony Doerr: All the Light We Cannot See

PLACE: Nature, anywhere

SOMETHING ELSE: No littering.

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