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“Oasis of Wildlife”

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Ranked #83 of 829 things to do in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
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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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
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 :-)!

Thank N K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 - 107 of 301 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2014

Rainforests are, as you know, diminishing and there can't be many primary rain forests left in South East Asia, let alone the world. So this place is special. As you approach you will be greeted by tropical flowers and butterflies near the visitor centre, where you can fill up with water before heading off up the path. At the right time of day you may even see the long tailed macaques here, who spend the day moving around. On our first visit, we chose to do the classic 'summit path' which I believe is the shortest. It is very steep so take it slowly, and enjoy the experience. Just before the summit there are some really steep steps, and at the top is like a little clearing where you may spot some interesting insects if you're patient. I was surprised that you don't actually see more of the wildlife when you consider how concentrated it is. Presumably a lot of the smaller creatures live high up in the tree canopy, and everything else knows how to stay hidden.
At the summit there is a hut and a patch of grass, but that is all- don't assume there is any view to speak of. When we went, a huge storm came in while we were resting, and we didn't know whether to try heading back down, or stay put. We took a chance heading back and a bolt of lightning struck a tree a few hundred yards in front of us! This was terrifying at the time, but in when we got back we found out that the taller trees have conductors fitted to prevent people being electrocuted in the forest. I would still heed the advice though that tells you not to start your walk if there is stormy weather. On heading back down, the noise of the cicadas was incredible! The change in conditions must have altered their behaviour, and from afar some of them sounded like electrical equipment and machinery- truly bizarre. We saw a couple of monitors as well, although not well enough to get pictures.
On our second visit, we tried the rock path- huge mistake! This was extremely dangerous, literally strewn with boulders and tangled tree roots, with a steep slope on one side and lots of thorny plants. After a really slow 'walk' the path becomes impassable, unless you fancy climbing up a rocky wall which one extremely ambitious family tried. You don't really see too much wildlife along this trail as it is under thick canopy most of the way.
Heading back to the visitor centre, we took the boardwalk to the Hindhede Nature Park area- where the disused quarry is. This is also where we saw the most wildlife- monkeys, a colourful snake, bizarre insects, geckos and birds. The lake where the quarry was is beautiful, very peaceful with clear turquoise water which you can see turtles/terrapins swimming in and climbing onto the logs. There is also a grassy area and a kids play area and its a nice loop that is probably most appropriate for families- not too long and not as hostile as the ancient dense rainforest.
Bring some mosquito repellant, loads of water and comfortable shoes. To get there, we got the MRT to Orchard, then bus 171 which stops across the road from the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. Here there are a few hawker centres and a McDonalds where you can eat before setting off into the reserve.

Thank RJBetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

We enjoyed our walk here - lovely forest, and monkeys around the housing area near the main road were fun to watch (maybe less fun for the local residents, who have to put up with them jumping on their cars, trying to open their windows, and rooting about in their rubbish bins!) However, we only did the short paved trail to the summit, and we were a bit disappointed that from the highest point in Singapore there was no view at all, as large trees grow all around the top of the hill. So enjoy the walk, but don't expect a vista!

1  Thank Tallchap_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014

In my opinion the best thing about the reserve is the monkeys. For those sheltered people like me who have only seen monkeys in the zoo it was a great hike with good opportunities for monkey photos. Long tailed Macaques if I'm not mistaken.

Downsides are that for those without a car you'll either have to take a cab (probably pricey) or take the bus. The 171 is pretty convenient, but you'll have to keep an eye out or you may miss your stop.
Also the views are mostly blocked on the paths near the main summit path, seems like you have to do some serious hiking to get to any good views.

Overall great hiking, and monkeys!

Thank LeeB1273
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

Good place to go for a bit of greenery and nature, and get away from the urban jungle. Walking tracks are well marked and even the hardest ones are quite short and easy. Entrance is free.

1  Thank Emmanuel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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