Parks in Singapore – Part 1: MacRitchie Reservoir

In October 2015 we vacationed to Singapore and this is a long overdue post about that vacation. Within one week we had the chance to explore the parks there. For many people Singapore is merely about shopping and luxurious items. As the matter of fact, the city offers so much more than that. For the first four days, husband worked from nine to five, so there were only me and the kids exploring the city and visiting the parks. I looked up on internet to find some kinds of parks and/or playgrounds for the kids. I enjoy going window-shopping with my daughter, but taking my son to a mall is quite challenging. He likes to disappear and he’s friendly with new people. His chance of getting missing is high, so it’s better to avoid shopping mall altogether.

The first park that piqued my interest was MacRitchie Reservoir. The reservoir is said to be the oldest reservoir in Singapore. It was completed in 1868 and it was a relatively quiet place. There was forest, man-made lake, and lots and lots of greeneries. The trails looked awesome on the pictures on internet, and it was said to be famous among the Singaporeans for running and jogging in the afternoon. We took the bus from our hotel and arrived there in about fifteen minutes. At first we were confused because there was no sign of the reservoir from the place where we got off. We walked for a while and asked for directions from a passer-by. He told us to climb the steep trail and in no time we arrived on the wall of the reservoir.

The day was humid and the sun was blazingly hot. We didn’t bring stroller so I had to carry my toddler son every time he was tired. We walked along the wall of the reservoir for about two kilometers before we reached a vast field with shades. You can see the wall behind my son on the picture below. The wall was wide and comfortable enough, but the concrete we walked on had made the hot weather quite unbearable. Once we got to the field, my daughter quickly took a seat and ate the snacks we brought from the hotel. It was eerily quiet. At almost noon there were only the three of us plus a family of six. We didn’t see anyone else around, even the people who worked at the reservoir.

While wandering around the reservoir we saw two restaurants, but they were unfortunately closed. I didn’t find any information on the opening hour either. There were water taps everywhere so we had no trouble refilling our water bottles; we didn’t need to go to the restaurants to buy some drinks. After the closed restaurants we found the trail leading to a tree house. We followed it for about twenty minutes before my daughter begged me to go back to the beginning of the trail. The trail was crowded with tall trees, dark and spooky. There were plenty of shades so it wasn’t hot at all. I wondered why the breeze caused me to have goosebumps. Considering we still didn’t see anyone around while we’re kind of deep into the woods, I decided to take the kids to another trail. On our way back we saw a small sign that said the tree house was closed every Monday. We did go there on Monday and we’re lucky that we decided to return and not to insist on walking down the trail.

After the trail leading to the tree house we tried to find the way to reach the water. We passed maze-like bridges and the kids were happy running around in this area. Finally, we found the wooden trail along the water and we followed it for some time. The water was opening up to the horizon. It was beautiful and the feeling of looking at the vast water was just thrilling. The forest surrounded the water and we could hear a lot of chirping sound from the birds nesting on the tall trees. There were also wooden benches along the way, and the kids took advantage of them whenever they’re tired. We brought lots of Beng-beng from back home for their energy supply during the long walk and hike. While they’re eating their chocolates my daughter saw some monkeys hanging on the trees, waiting for them to finish their snack. She always felt scared near monkeys (just like me), and she asked me to turn around and explore different part of the reservoir. So ended our little adventure along the water. When I told my husband about the trail, he said it’d be nice to walk/run down the trail until we reached the end of it. I was thinking the same thing. I’d really like to go back to this reservoir once the kids got older.

On our way back we passed a sandy area with many simple, but powerful, fitness equipments. The area was called fitness corner, and the kids spent about thirty minutes climbing up and down the metals, testing their balance and strength of their biceps and triceps. On our way out we took pictures of the kids with cute frame in the shape of water droplet. Too bad the frame displayed no information about the location we’re at (MacRitchie Reservoir), only about their Facebook account. We got on the bus around four o’clock and when we arrived at the hotel we straightly went to the hotel lounge for afternoon tea. We might have looked frazzled considering that day’s hotness and humidity, that the lounge staff cheerily asked us where we had been. I told her about our nice trip to MacRitchie Reservoir and she was surprised that I would even consider going there. She then complimented us for going to a place not many tourists knew of. Ha-ha!

When we traveled with Misael we always went out of the hotel at ten AM and returned about twelve hours later. We’d learned from our traveling to Chiang Mai though, that traveling with two kids would be much different, especially with little Sky who hadn’t had the proven stamina his sister had. So we decided to take each journey a bit slower by not coming back to hotel that late, and making time for snack every now and then. We managed to have dinner together with my husband as well that evening. So all in all our exploration on Day 1 had been relaxing and fun for all of us. Stay tuned for Park Exploration Part 2!


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