Monday, June 2, 2008

Exploring the Southern Ridges...

The Southern Ridges are a 9km chain of hills stretching from Mount Faber Park through Telok Blangah Hill Park to Kent Ridge Park ending at West Coast Park. 2 prominent connections (Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves) stand proudly along the Ridges today. Together with a series of other interesting trails, they provide a seamless link through a soothing sanctuary of greenery that was previously not accessible.

Marang Trail (Harbourfront MRT)
* Distance: 1.1km.
* Walking time: 15 min.
* This trail connects Harbourfront MRT Station to the cable car station at the Jewel Box on Mt Faber.
* A easy walk of 70m which consists of steps and shaded footpaths through secondary forests.
* If you start from HarbourFront MRT, look for exit D.

Faber Walk (Mt Faber Park)
* Distance: 1.0km.
* Walking Time: 15 min.
* This walk meanders through Mount Faber Park to the Henderson Waves.
* The 56-hectare Mt Faber Park is covered by a dense secondary rain forest.
* Best point to enjoy the panoramic view of the southern part of Singapore and the southern islands or to take a cable car to Sentosa Island.

Henderson Waves
* Distance: 300m.
* Walking time: 10 min.
* Spanning across Henderson Rd at 274m, this bridge connects Mt Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park.
* At 36m above Henderson Rd, it is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and offers good views of the city and the southern islands.
* Lit from 7pm to 2am daily.

Telok Balngah Hilltop Walk
* Distance: 1 km.
* Walking Time: 15 mins.
* This walk runs through the 34-hectare Telok Blangah Hill Park, once a gathering place for trading communities that flourished in the area in the early nineteenth century.
* The trail connects on one end with the Henderson Waves and the other with the Forest Walk leading to Alexandra Arch.
* The Terrace Garden at the top of the park offer a stunning 360-degree view of Singapore.

Forest Walk
* Distance: 1.3km.
* Walking Time: 20 min.
* A steps-free elevated walkway with earth trails meanders through some 50m through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill and connects to Alexandra Arch.
* The raised walkway with heights ranging from 3 to 18m brushes the canopy of trees and offers a bird’s eye view of the forest. The ground level earth trails offer a more rugged experience, bringing you closer to the wildlife found in the area.

Alexandra Arch
* Distance: 80m.
* Walking time: 10 min.
* Spanning across Alexandra Rd like an opened leaf swept over the road, this bridge leads to HortPark at Hyderabad Rd. * Near the bridge is Gillman Village, a former British military camp in the early 20the century, now house a mix of restaurants, pubs and art galleries.
* With colour-changing LED lights, this bridge is lit from 7pm to midnight daily.

HortPark - the gardening hub
* Distance: 1.1km.
* Walking time: 15 min.
* SEA’s first one-stop gardening hub for gardening-related, recreational, educational, research and retail activities under one big canopy in a park setting.
* It is a knowledge hub for plants and gardening and provides the platform for the industry to share best practices and showcase garden designs, products and services.
* It also serves as a part connector between Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge ParkOpen from 6am to 1pm daily.

Canopy Walk
* Distance: 0.3km.
* Walking Time: 5 min.
* Canopy Walk links the 47-hectare Kent Ridge Park to Reflections at Bukit Chandu - once known as Opium Hill and site of one of the last battles of Singapore in World War II.
* Elevated 16 metres at the centre, Canopy Walk takes you through secondary forest with groves of Tembusu and dominant trees of the adinandra belukar.

* Move quietly and you may just see some of the rich wildlife that lives there, such as squirrels, sunbirds, doves, lizards and white-crested laughing thrushes.

Getting ready to go...
1. There are limited car park lots, the bigger carparks are at HortPark, Seah Imm Food Centre and Kent Ridge carpark B.
2. Relax and walk at your own speed. Keep in mind that you may have to backtrack to your car or MRT station, unless you are willing to take a bus or taxi to your starting point.
3. Bring along water bottles, snacks, insect repellent, sun block and some first aid stuff (just in case)

4. Wear comfortably so that you can stretch to breath in the fresh air.

5. Advice for 1st timer, go for the more scenic walk, like Marang trail, HortPark. You will get pissed off if you keep seeing forest and nothing else.

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