A lot of people are convinced that the tiny island nation of Singapore is just one giant concrete jungle inhabited by over 5 million people, shrouded in the shadows of skyscrapers by day and awash with light pollution at night. These people forget that much of the country is threaded with towering evergreen trees and is home to lush forests rife with wildlife.
Sungei Buloh is one of Singapore’s best kept secrets. As a wetland reserve, it is a place truly off the beaten track and actually quite hard to get to for most locals. Seriously, it is so far northwest of the country that it is probably easier for people living across the sea in Malaysia to get there (Johor Bahru is so very clearly visible from the shoreline near Sungei Buloh that you can make out the cars driving along the roads there).
Those who come to visit the sprawling mangrove and coastal forests of Sungei Buloh usually do so to observe the diverse species of flora and fauna that inhabit the area. You may be lucky enough to spot lumbering monitor lizards, white-collared kingfishers, adorable sandpipers, silent water snakes, odd-looking mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs and even frolicking otters! The boardwalks and clearly marked walking trails make navigating the reserve a breeze.
Quick tip: There will be lots of insects and creepy crawlies around (it is swampland, after all), so bring along some insect repellent if you’re heading into the reserve. Try to wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. Don’t be silly and wear shorts and a loose-fitting t-shirt or you’ll end up getting bitten by a spider (yes, this happened to me and it hurt).
SUNGEI BULOH WETLAND RESERVE
301 Neo Tiew Crescent
Opening hours: 7.30am – 7pm (weekdays), 7am – 7pm (weekends)