I've once again enlisted the help of my fiance in writing a post for my blog. As before if you like what you read you can find him on Twitter @AskSirStamford - go on you know you want to follow!
In my last post on this fine blog I talked about places to go drinking, here I will highlight a range of cool places to recover from those chill out beers, wines or cocktails. Yes, I am going to talk about walks in Singapore again in no particular order my top three are :-
- East Coast Park
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- MacRitchie Reservoir
East Coast Park is a strip or sliver of land between the East Coast Parkway (ECP) and the sea in the east of the island, stretching from Kallang in the west, passed Changi Airport to the ferry terminal at Changi Village (trips to Palau Ubin can be taken from here). Essentially the park can be used for swimming, cycling (bikes can be hired at various points), walking or for the acknowledged insane, running. The park has a number of restaurant areas including the excellent German Thai brewery of Tawandang (great Thai snacks that can be washed down with a German pint), an Irish pub (of course), Maccas and many more. For the adventurous chefs there are also a number of BBQ pits available for use, although I suspect one would have to be very keen to secure one (the day I went all were in use by very large Indian families, the cooking food smelled divine). One word of warning, it can get very busy at weekends so if you decide to cycle extreme care needs to be taken.
The park starts at the bottom of Tanjong Katong Road (incidentally Tanjong Katong means Turtle View Bay and is named after the now extinct Katong Turtle) at the Big Splash Play Area (apparently this used to be a water park but is no longer in operation).
Singapore Botanic Gardens – I first went to the gardens as part of a work based conference / training exercise (we had booked a meeting room in the Botany Centre) and had the opportunity for an early morning walk through the park, passed the old ladies engaged in Tai Chi, as the taxi driver dropped me in the wrong place (well he was badly directed by me). I returned to the park a few days after my initial visit and walked around the lake (there is an enormous sculpture of a swan in the middle of the water) that teems with terrapins. Also of interest is the timeline of life on earth, doesn’t half make one feel small and insignificant when you are told that T-Rex is a relative youngster and he died out 65 million years ago.
Plus there are a fair few plants too.
There is a food court next to one of the entrances, excellent Singapore Mee (noodles) was served here, washed down with a cold coke (is there anything better on a hot day to quench one’s whistle).
The park is located a short walk from the hecticness of Orchard Road and is an oasis of calm. Although on the second day I went, a weekend, there was a party of noisy tourists shouting and taking endless pictures.
MacRitchie Reservoir – This is Singapore's closest thing to an area of wilderness, with wildlife including monkeys, snakes (I did not see any serpents), lizards and the very noisy Asian Koel (a crow like bird that makes an annoying screech from day-break to dusk). Upon arrival you pass by a canoe club (this seemed very popular with younger Singaporeans) and onwards to the broadwalk which skirts the edge of the lake (you may see the odd monitor lizard taking a dip) and into the deepest darkest recesses of the jungle. After awhile the broadwalk deck turns into the path of the nature walk. There are walks of varying lengths (up to 12 kms), with all being hot and sticky. The day we went it rained just after lunchtime, fortunately we were near one of the many shelters so managed to stay dryish (although the shelter was a little crowded). The monkeys didn’t seem to mind the rain though, all were very cute (especially the babies).
As well as the walks at ground level there is also the Treetop Walk which as the name suggests is up amongst the tree tops! You walk across a narrow bridge that does not feel safe at all (though they do carry out safety checks on it everyday)! Needless to say I did not enjoy that part much. We were so high up in fact that Laura's phone decided she was in Malaysia, changed on to a Malaysian network and she proceeded to receive the myriad of text messages welcoming her to Malaysia. One may be high up but as far as I know you are still in Singapore!