MacRitchie Nature Reserve, Singapore
Singapore is known throughout the world as the Garden City. It rightly deserves this name. But more than that, the locals know that there are many pockets of primary and secondary rainforests flourishing in the Central Nature Reserve zone. MacRitchie is located within this zone.
There are several well established trails in MacRitchie. One of them is a 4-km boardwalk that skirts the edge of the reservoir. This is my favorite trail so far. It's easy to forget that we live in one of the most crowded cities in the world here. Just the forests sounds, birds and lively fishes in the lake. You can spot giant iguanas basking in the sun.
Another trail, 11 km long, brings you counter-clockwise around the reservoir and features a tree top boardwalk. I will go to this one this weekend.
The trails are well marked. But if you intend to get off the track, then it's best to contact the rangers office. There were cases of hikers getting lost in there.
You are never really far away from the rainforests in busy Singapore. The MacRitchie Reservoir is a mere 15 minute drive from downtown Orchard Road. It is located within the huge Central Reserve Catchment area.
One of my favourite trails is the Prunus Trail on the northern shore of the reservoir. You can enter from either the Braddell Road-Thomson Rd junction, or from the Little Sisters of the Poor entrance. There are lots to see along the trail. Good signage and information boards are provided along the trail to point out various interesting bits of info about the fauna and flora.
If you go a little slower along the trail, you can hear the birds (kingfishes, eagles, bulbuls) and maybe spot a Chameleon or a sun skink or even a Whip Snake along the way. Just remember that you should not feed the monkeys (the Long-Tail Macaques). They can forage for food (fruits and insects) in the forests, and not become pests by seeking out humans for food.
NParks hold monthly public walks. Check their website for information about these nature appreciation walks. The walks are conducted by volunteer guides who will gladly share with you their knowledge of the nature reserves.