Looking for another nature reserve in Singapore? That destination will be at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. This sanctuary of bird and marine animals in a lush vegetation is a beautiful retreat for those who are seeking for a day to escape.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve sits snugly on the northern side of Singapore. It’s quite far off the busy streets and towering skyscrapers of developed areas. So when travelling on the bus, we thought of merely going to a province in the Philippines. At some point, we passed by several factories along the industrial sections on this part of Singapore.
The bus made a long U-turn on the road after a while, giving us a tour on this remote place. I was surprised to see that plant and vegetable farms are also located here. On the front yards of the farms are signboards welcoming everyone to visit the farms.
Then the bus halted at a quiet place.
The greenery of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is calming to the senses. Here, you get the feel of fresh air and serene environment. An effect of abrupt change in scenery and atmosphere.
From the reception area of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, we went inside the gallery where we gaped on the framed photos of inhabitants scattered on the four walls of the room. There, we learned about the diverse species of animals dwelling in this wetland and the curt history of this nature reserve.
When we examined the map of the brochure given at the visitors’ desk, we found the whole place is really big. The entire land area spans to 130 hectares so it would be a long walk. That afternoon, though, our time was not enough to see all the designated spots.
We headed to the Mangrove Boardwalk. While walking, we were swiftly amazed by the thick verdant trees thriving in this land rich with biodiversity. The afternoon was already warm, the threat of rainfall intangible. And so we smiled, happy once more to commune with nature and free ourselves of everyday stress.
A common sight, definitely, in this nature reserve is a photographer. At one spot on the boardwalk, we spied a guy gingerly pointing the telephoto of his camera to a subject (most probably a bird) somewhere up on a branch of the big tree. This is home to many kinds of attractive birds and an ideal place for photo-shooting.
The Mangrove Boardwalk took us to different routes on the wetland. Several shelters are put up for visitors, letting us observe the ponds and surroundings more closely. There, we looked at the photographs with some information about the living beings found in the swamp and freshwater like the tiny crustaceans.
The mangrove trees, of course, are the ones that really fascinated us. They grow grandly on the soft ground. Staring at them made me wonder how they grow in such majestic forms.
On the map, there are other longer routes penciled in three different colors (yellow, orange, purple). We moved on to the 1st route, the yellow.
On our way, we came across many wooden flat structures raised beside the tracks. These are the Observation Screens where anyone can take his/her time spotting through the rectangular holes any living creatures such as birds flying around or fish exposing on the water surface.
Our hike led us to two platforms constructed right at the edges of the ponds. There, we joined couples and families enjoying the sights, sitting on the benches, taking pictures. The most memorable was on the second platform. A father was telling his small son about the squirrel scampering from the bark of the tree down to the swamp and disappearing deep into the mangroves.
For those who love birdwatching, the Observation Hide is for you. A few of these can be found along the routes. The one we settled in is like a hallway. We sat comfortably on the long stretch of a timbered bench. While peeking through the gap, we were quite excited to name what kind of birds we just saw on the distant pond. They looked like a flock of Heron birds, nimbly walking and darting their pointed beaks into the ground.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, by the way, is also a site where migratory birds stop over seasonally.
The Aerie, a tower overlooking the wide expanse of the pond, is another means to see the verdant canopy of mangroves and trees. On 18 meters above the ground, we could even see the white fish jumping off the surface of freshwater.
Other things to see on the 2nd and 3rd routes are Aquatic Plant Pond, Outdoor Classrom, Mangrove Arboretum, Prawn Pond, Freshwater Ponds, the bigger boardwalk.
We only explored around the route 1 of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. So the best time to come here is early in the morning. Bring your water bottle to quench the thirst. You’ll sweat, pump up your lungs and surely enjoy the mother nature.
Going to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve?
From Mondays to Saturdays, take SMRT bus 925 at Kranji MRT station. Alight at Kranji Reservoir Carpark, then walk about 15-20 min to the Reserve.
The SMRT bus 925 stops near the Reserve’s entrance from Sundays to Holidays.
7:30 am to 7:00 pm, Mondays to Saturdays
7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sundays and Public Holidays
Free entrance except on Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and School Holidays (8:30 am to 6:00 pm) with S$1.00 per adult/S$0.50 per child, student and senior citizen.
They have cafeteria and vending machine at the Visitor Centre.
For more info and updates, please click this Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.