This challenging 6 mile hike beginning at Mount Faber Park, traipses through Singapore’s secondary rainforest, and across the famous Henderson Waves bridge.
Your hike can potentially end all the way down at the coast near Labrador Park, or across the Alexandra Arch and into Kent Ridge Park (depending on which route you choose). It is not necessary to hike the entire length of either trail, and there are plenty of exit points along the way for people who have had enough of the heat and humidity and want to return to their accommodation.
I took a taxi to Mount Faber Park. From here, you can catch a cable car to Sentosa Island, but today I was going to hike the Southern Ridges, beginning in earnest at the Marang Trail. I did not know for how long I could walk this trail, but I thought it would be good exercise nonetheless! The good thing with Singapore is that you won’t ever get lost because there are MRT stations pretty much everywhere, and flagging down a taxi on the road is easy, so wherever I ended up on this trail I knew my hotel would only be a 20 minutes ride away!
All along the trail there are signs warning you of impending dangers ahead. In particular, you are warned there may be wild monkeys and that you shouldn’t feed them or make eye contact with them (they see this as a sign of aggression). Amusingly, I was also warned to be careful of falling branches from the trees above. Soon, I saw something large slithering in the undergrowth during my trek down the Marang Trail, which I feared could have been a python (more likely a monitor lizard), and this made me turn back to the Faber Walk – which seemed a good idea as I can see from the map above (which I did not have at the time) that I was heading for VivoCity shopping centre!
That said, Faber Walk was the most standard part of the trail for me, with amazing scenery and lots of places to sit down and rest, but it was not challenging in the slightest (apart from the humidity). I negotiated Mount Faber Loop and then made my way up to Telok Blangah Way. All this and I had not yet seen any monkeys – which was a good thing! It must be said that the trail in Mount Faber Park is not through dense jungle, rather along manicured pathways and gardens, and even around winding roads with buses and taxis plying their trade. However, the unmistakable sound of the Singapore cicada let me know that despite the tour groups and the joggers passing nearby, we were still in the middle of secondary rainforest!
Not long after the Faber Walk, we came to the architectural splendour that is the Henderson Waves Bridge. This bridge connects Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Park over Henderson Road. It is a popular place to hang out and recuperate during the trail, and if you are planning to hike the whole trail, then the Henderson Waves is roughly the half way point. I saw a small family of monkeys here, but luckily they were not much interested in me and went about their own monkey business.
The Forest Walk through to Telok Blangah Park was another highlight of the Southern Ridges Walk. This allows you to have a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below. I guess in a tropical monsoon it would be quite dangerous to walk along here with no shelter from the elements, but fortunately for me there was no such inclement weather. The mile-long Forest Walk connects both to Labrador Park, which is near the coast, and to the Alexandra Arch, which links Kent Ridge Park and HortPark.
Although I had a little look at the Canopy Walk, I figured I’d had enough of the trail by now, as I was getting very hot and dizzy. I turned back and went down to Labrador MRT Station and bought myself another bottle of water. I plan to trek the remainder of the trail when I am back in Singapore next, including a visit to the museum at Bukit Chandu. All in all, I spent around 3 hours hiking the Southern Ridges Walk up to the Alexandra Arch, and it is not exactly an easy feat! You are never alone on the trek, as obviously other people are doing the same thing as you, but it is never busy and you can always a enjoy a little solitude in the tropical setting.