Singapore: MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Following an early start due to a bit of jet-lag, we walked from Marymount MRT station (the MRT is Singapore’s version of the underground/tube/subway/metro) for about 10 minutes to find MacRitchie Reservoir Park. If you’re new to Singapore you will have noticed how clean the whole country is. This is particularly noticeable walking through an underpass towards the park. No graffiti, no grey blobs of old discarded chewing gum and a distinct lack of that musty smell of wee, so often associated with underpasses in other large cities across the world.

As we walked in to the park, we were greeted by a pair of local geese with red heads. There was an outdoor gym on the right, being well used by locals of all ages, from kids with their parents to more senior citizens all starting their day enjoying the equipment, the rainforest and the tropical climate.

MacRitchie was Singapore’s first ever reservoir. The water was turquoise but clear, we could see terrapins swimming under the surface. The locals were unfazed by these beautiful creatures and were more interested in the excitement of my wife and me and our photographing of the local nature!

A clean and smooth pathway traces the outline of the reservoir, making it easy for parents with buggies and, keeping with the fitness theme, runners enjoying a scenic place to keep fit. There is a wonderful synergy between people and nature with kayakers on the water too. We followed the pathway, enjoying the different plants and flowers. The grass in Singapore is different to the grass in the UK – it’s a much fatter leaf.

We crossed a brick bridge and noticed it was actually a dam – there we controls for opening it in a little secured area. There were two juvenile monkeys playing in a shrub – we stayed to watch them for a little while and my 3 year old son had the time of his life giggling at these playful animals. The smooth pathway became wooden boards and a lovely boardwalk crossed a section of the reservoir and gave us the chance to look over into the water. More terrapins and large fish, perhaps Koi, were enjoying the fresh water which looked inviting, but no-one seemed to be swimming.

The pathway eventually turns in to a nature trail with steps and inclines and Rainforest hike, but as we had the buggy and the little ones we had to call it quits at that point but I would love to return and explore one of their 3.5km or 5km TreeTops trails.

My son found one of the largest leaves I’ve ever seen, nearly as big as him and he carried it around for the rest of our walk. We were grateful to see a sheltered outdoor restaurant equipped with ceiling fans! We had a local breakfast, Nasi Lemak, which consists of coconut rice, fried chicken, fish and a full-flavoured sambal chilli sauce.

As we left we could hear the trees rustling more than the wind was causing and looked to see a family of monkeys playing around in the tree! They were very playful, jumping from branch to branch. Again, the locals were completely unfazed, the only acknowledgement from a man who encouraged us to keep any child snacks away as the monkeys have a reputation for taking food from toddlers. Fortunately for my son and his apple, they kept their distance, but were a real treat to finish our visit.

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