Friday, 15 May 2009

Singapore Site Guide

Central Catchment Area Reserve, Macritchie Reservoir.

This is the largest expanse of forest on Singapore. It is contigious with Bukit Timah after a long walk. Easy to reach in a cab or MRT/cab. Facilities only at Ranger Station and at Main Entrance.
Birds; In the forest, look for Chestnut-bellied Malkoha,Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush. On the golf course, Collared Kingfisher, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Asian Koel, Asian Glossy Starling and Black-naped Oriole are all common. From the tower bulbuls, sunbirds and flowerpeckers are frequently seen.
Also look for Plantain Squirrels and Long-tailed Macaques.

Cab from Swissotel, The Stamford, takes approx 15-20 mins $15.
Or, take the MRT to Braddell on the Northern Line. From Braddell take a cab, 5 mins $4.

Golf Link Trail

Ask for the Sime Rd entrance to Singapore Island Country Club off Lornie Rd.

The main entrance to Macritchie Reservoir is on Lornie Rd. There are facilities with toilets, parking and a visitor’s centre. Continue along Lornie Rd a further 2 Kms to Singapore Island Country Club at Sime Rd. The Golf Link Trail begins 100m back along Lornie Rd from here. There are no facilities for toilets or refreshments. Bring plenty of water. A ranger station at the far end one branch of the trail has a drinking fountain and toilets. Short sections of the trail are rough with rocks and mud and can be treacherous when wet. There are scant opportunities for sheltering from the rain.
It is possible to make a full circle around the reservoir, time permitting.

The first part of the trail to Jetulung Tower, is 2.7 Kms. There are distinct sections to this path. It starts with dense forest with a rich and varied understorey. Then it opens out with the banks of the reservoir on the right and the sculpted golf course on the left. Then a boardwalk passes through a damp area before re-entering the forest at the tower. Jetulung Tower has 6 storeys, but no shade on the top section. From here it is forest all the way.

Map detail showing Golf Link Trail entrance at bottom right.
Rifle Range Link leads off to the left.

Beyond the tower there is a fork in the path.
The right fork leads towards the Treetop Walk and the Ranger Station. Nearby, a road leads out of the park and back to Upper Thompson Rd where a cab or a bus might be found. Alternatively, one can continue around the reservoir ending at the main entrance on Lornie Rd.
The left fork, after approx 1.5 Kms leads onto Rifle Range Road. It is a long walk out along Rifle Range Rd, but the road is good and lined with forest. There is a lot of Singapore Army activity along this stretch so consider how they will react to someone in camouflage gear with binoculars and a long lens.

Re-tracing your steps to Lornie road is often the best guarantee of finding transport back home.
Consider walking the trail backwards, starting from the end of Rifle Range Road.