Another week and I have finally done some more sightseeing in Singapore. Now, I’m not going to lie to you, a lot of my weekends this year have been taken up with being drunk, eating a lot of cheese and/ or singing karaoke and then generally being horribly hungover. But I managed to find time in my busy schedule of drinking and then regretting it massively afterwards to actually do something in Singapore, shocking, I know! This outing took Ashleigh and I to Sungei Buloh, the biggest wetland nature reserve in Singapore. As with the vast majority of my trips to anywhere it started with a bus ride that almost went wrong – we weren’t entirely sure where we were supposed to be going and ended up missing our stop, then having to get on another bus that went back the way we had just come, but eventually we made it. And I thought to myself again why, oh why can’t buses here just tell you where you are? I have been caught out by the mystery of the Singaporean bus journey more than once recently. But, minor detour aside, we made it eventually and got immediately very excited by the fact that we saw fish and dragonflies before even entering the reserve.
Sung Buloh is in the North West of Singapore, pretty much swimming distance from Malaysia, and is probably one of the greenest spaces left in the country. As always we managed to visit on a horribly hot day, and this combined with the humidity of the jungle setting made it a very sweaty afternoon. Of course there are no hills in the wetlands (Singapore has probably no more than 3 actual hills, so you’re generally always guaranteed a flat walk) but there were boardwalks and raised platforms to give a good view of the mangroves, the ocean and the Malaysian coast. Sungei Buloh, it turns out, is also the Singaporean home of terrifying wildlife. In our few hours there we had to gingerly walk under an absolutely massive spider twice, avoided some interesting looking bugs and got the cold shoulder from something I can only assume was a grasshopper that actually sidled away when it saw us. Sungei Buloh also boasts a natural habitat for crocodiles and, it’s safe to say, I got pretty paranoid about being confronted by a crocodile in the middle of the deserted mangroves – to the point where I actually googled ‘what to do if confronted by a crocodile’. Of course there is a wikihow for that very eventuality and even though I read it pretty thoroughly I’m not sure I like my chances if it ever happened. It didn’t help that the only crocodile signage we saw simply stated ‘watch it’. I have to say, I was pretty relieved when we made it out without having to test my newfound knowledge, but it may well come in handy one day (especially judging by my luck)!
I had never heard of Sungei Buloh until Ashleigh mentioned it to me a few days before we went, but compared to the rest of Singapore it’s a bit of a lost world – pretty much isolated from civilisation (fairly rare here) and an actual natural habitat for actual wildlife that’s not got an HDB estate in the middle of it. It was actually pretty eerie wandering around in the relative silence, we barely saw any other people (with the exception of a few Chinese tourists – naturally, and a school party) because, of course, it’s never visited by any Singaporeans, going outside just isn’t their style.
Leah Out X