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“Tallest Hill in Singapore” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
177 Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333, Singapore
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Ranked #72 of 564 things to do in Singapore
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Attraction details
Owner description: This protected rainforest, just 12km away from the city's high-rises, offers hiking and bike trails for observing some of the rarest insect, bird and mammal species in the world.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Singapore, Singapore
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389 reviews 389 reviews
155 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“Tallest Hill in Singapore”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

This is the tallest hill in Singapore...but you can get to the peak in less than an hour with leisure walking!

There are various trails to explore. Some leading quarries and lovely views.

Remember to bring a hat, water and insect repellent!

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110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Monkey Business at Bukit Timah”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Due to my unnatural wariness of monkeys, I had always put off visiting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore, due to its infamous reputation for having curious macaques inhabiting the place. However, now that I have finally plucked up the courage to experience this trek, I can say it was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done in Singapore!

The ascent was very difficult. One of the most challenging things I have ever tried in regular footwear, in fact. I did not take too many photos, either, as I was too busy trying to deal with the relative lack of oxygen and navigating the extremely steep slope upward. It was certainly the closest I had ever got the untamed jungle in Singapore, more so than at Labrador Park. You have the loud screeching of cicadas and crickets in the foliage which remind you that you’re in the jungle, plus the ever-present monkeys are always no more than a few hundred metres away. On the way up Bukit Timah, you are also reminded that this indeed a nature reserve, as there are informative and educational signs scattered around the hiking trails at regular intervals, which teach you of the agricultural heritage of the area, as well as giving tips on how to spot the omnipresent flora and fauna.

At one point, even though I was following other hikers in front of me, I thought I had taken the wrong turn or something, as it looked like I was heading away from the main paths and further into the rainforest. I now realise there must in fact be two routes to the summit. Yet, immediately after thinking I was heading in the wrong direction, I found myself at the summit! This was a lucky relief! There is not much up here, and you should be warned of this before you embark on the hike uphill. There is a small shelter, which presumably may shield you from the tropical monsoons that occur here daily, and give you a little chance to sit down and recoup your energy before the descent. In fact, I saw many small groups of people sitting on the grass at the summit, so in good weather you could also just lounge around wherever you want (watch out for ants, though!). There is a red and white radio tower, although I have no idea if this is still in use or not. I did not see any drinks vending machines up here, so make sure you bring enough bottled water with you for the return journey.

On the way back down from the summit, I had a chance to finally take in some of the natural wonders and beauty of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. I was still dripping with sweat at this point, yet, believe me, walking downhill is infinitely easier than walking upwards. As such, I began to take more photographs to give me a visual memory of my arduous assault on Bukit Timah. As I was looking through all the dense jungle foliage, I suddenly remembered a message on a sign that I observed up at the summit, which claimed “…Bukit Timah was considered to be a horrid, forested, tiger-infested blob to the early Colonials, where tiger’s roars could be heard in the twilight”. I was kind of glad that tigers have long since been extinct in Singapore, as there would be nowhere to hide around here! Nevertheless, even without tigers, I did need to watch out for snakes. I always had my eyes looking on the ground to see what I was walking past, although it must be said that if a python or cobra has swiped at me, I probably wouldn’t have had time to move out of the way. The forested floor is covered in leaves, and I suppose it is perfect camouflage to some of the jungle’s resident predators.

Many people walk backwards down the main slope back the road. This is said to be much easier on the calves and Achilles muscles, although it does look a little silly. The dedicated hikers and athletes in training were all using this method, although I walked down in the standard fashion, continuing to marvel at the strange and coiled rainforest foliage enroute. When finally back down at the bottom of the Bukit Timah, I again saw another monkey, and in addition heard many others in the trees all around me, but luckily they were not interested in the people this time. I saw many other hikers hop on their bikes to ride off home, but I had to find a taxi to take me back to Marina Bay. Now the real challenge began!

Visited March 2014
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Boston, Massachusetts
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52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“What a beautiful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

I loved Bukit Timah. I'm not a big city person and was just in Singapore to visit a friend and so wanted to get out of the city feel. Now Singapore is hot and humid and so you feel that here so make sure you bring plenty of water and maybe even a snack.
You could spend a short or a long time here, there is a main path (mostly paved) up to the "summit". The summit is just that the top but no views from it as there are trees all around.
The best part is all the little paths off this main path. There are small paths that lead down from the summit and sort of go along the main path. Then you really get into the forest and see lots of birds and butterflies (and a monkey if you're lucky). Its not an easy walk but its a nice hike.
There are also lots of other paths that lead off in different directions if you really want to go exploring.
I didn't see monkeys in Bukit Timah but saw some on the road leading up to it. like 10 monkeys just hanging out so that was cool.

The only negative is its not the easiest place to find. I had read directions carefully ahead of time and the bus driver also told me where to get off. But getting there from the bus stop is not obvious but there are signs so just be prepared with how to get there as you may not be able to figure it out if you just show up.

But overall a beautiful place and nice getaway from the city.

Note there are no bathrooms at the top only at the bottom so go ahead of time!

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
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12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Lovely nature”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Steep hill. Bring lots of water and no scooters etc for kids. Buggy ok - but no bikes, scooters etc as it's too hilly.
Concrete path all the way to the top.

Beautiful nature

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rishon Lezion, Israel
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67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Oasis of Wildlife”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

It's a beautiful oasis of wildlife in the middle of Singapore. Take a relaxing stroll and pay attention to the sights and sounds around you. And don't miss the monkeys :-)!

Visited April 2014
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