Saturday, February 18, 2012

Walking Along The Southern Ridges

I do hope that you have read my article on my recent trip to HortPark. (Check out article here). On that very same day, me and my friends decided to check out this bridge which led us to Harbourfront MRT Station on a walking trail called The Southern Ridges. Fancy name huh? The bridge you see above was where we started walking and if you're lucky enough, you can see monkeys walking around.

As you walk along the bridge, also known as Alexandra Arch, you get a nice view of cars and vehicles passing by Alexandra Road. Plus, how many bridges in Singapore with this design? It's a unique design and it's not like those typical pedestrian bridges in Singapore. So, definitely an interesting and eye-catching design.

After passing by the bridge, suddenly the concrete bridge changed to a narrow metal bridge. That means you're now going to enter the Forest Walk along The Southern Ridges. The Forest Walk is a trail within the thick forests of Telok Blangah. Sure, it may sound scary but I can assure you that it isn't. Go with a friend if you can. Oh, and don't go at night because who knows, something might pop up. (Not trying to scare you don't worry.)

The feeling of walking along the narrow metal bridges is quite scary especially if you're afraid of heights. (I know I am). Also, the feeling is like walking along a metal drain. You know those metal drains you find along the streets? Yeah like that. If you were to look down, you can actually see the ground a few metres up which is definitely scary, for me. If you're daring, you can climb down the stairs to the actual forest and explore the forest. Otherwise, you can just continue walking along the bridge to avoid any risks. If you're tired, you can rest at any of these weird looking triangular shelters.

You can also find special birds here as seen from this sign fixed onto the metal bridge. This information board is especially for you avid bird watchers. The Southern Ridges is a great place for bird watching. While walking along the bridge, you can even see HDB flats and several tall buildings at a distance. It's a beautiful sight indeed especially with the huge array of plants and trees in the foreground. Also, it's a great place for budding photographers.

Now this is an unusual sight. Doesn't it look like a huge concrete drain? Apparently, from a sign nearby, the reason why they made this is because of the constant landslides happening at this spot. They even closed this trail temporarily in early 2011 to build this. It's good that they did something to control the landslides so that visitors can continue walking along the trail without any risks.

Here are some more shots along the Forest Walk. Look at those amazing sights with trees and buildings. You get to explore nature in a forested area and also have a nice view of modern day buldings. It's like old and new coming together. Tiring, but awesome.

Here are even more photos of the Forest Walk on The Southern Ridges. The forests and trees are so beautiful, that I can't stop taking photos of them. This is something that I don't really see all the time since I live in an HDB estate and all I see is concrete. So, this trail is definitely for those people who want to explore nature without getting too close. Oh, and my favourite photo is the one with the bridge right above here.

At the end of the Forest Walk, you can take the stairs up to get to the next part of the trail which is Telok Blangah Hill but before that, have a seat at this rest stop.

When walking along the Telok Blangah Hill, you don't have to walk along the narrow metal bridge anymore. Now, you just have to walk along the pavement or on the road if you wish but do be careful of oncoming cars. Even though it may seem like you're on ground level, you're not. You're on top of a hill and the hill's gonna get higher and higher when you walk further. Don't worry though, there are plenty of rest stops and vending machines if you want to rest and have a drink.

When you walk further, you'll find a fitness corner. Just like those typical colourful fitness corners you find in HDB estates, these machines can help you with your work out. At the opposite side, you can have a picnic with friends as there are tables and chairs ready for you to use it.

The trail is going to get better and better as you walk. After walking up a steep hill, you are at the next part of the trail which is known as the Henderson Waves. The Henderson Waves is a pedestrian bridge but unlike other pedestrian bridges, it's Singapore's tallest and Singapore's most unique pedestrian bridge complete with panoramic views, seats and beautiful architecture. Walk further and be amazed at the beautiful sights.

Here are some of the photos that I took at the Henderson Waves which is around 70 over metres above sea level. The vehicles that are passing by underneath look like ants. They're so tiny from this bridge. This is one of the places you have to visit in Singapore. Who needs the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark when you have this? This is totally free. And it gets even better later on.

After the Henderson Waves, the next part of the Southern Ridges is Mount Faber Hill. If you think Telok Blangah Hill is already high and steep enough, oh it's gonna get even steeper and higher. Yes, Mount Faber is another hill closer to the end of the trail and it's higher. See those pictures with the high rise buildings? Those were taken at Mount Faber Hill near The Jewel Box. And this is the best view of buildings at a distance among all the views along the Southern Ridges. See if you can spot Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Raffles Place and Pinnacle@Duxton from the picture.

When you walk closer, eventually you'll hear music. The music actually comes from The Jewel Box also known as the Cable Car building. This is the place where you get to ride on a Cable Car all the way to Sentosa island. They look like the one in the picture above although the current generation ones look bigger and have a nicer interior. The one in the photo is the old model. It's good that they kept some of the old models of the Cable Car. You can actually open the door and go in. It's free and you won't get caught but it doesn't move. Although, you can pretend it's moving. That's what I did.

Here are some more pictures of The Jewel Box at Mount Faber Hill. Not only is this where you get to ride on the cable car to Sentosa, there are also several restaurants, bars and if you have to, there are toilets here. So, you can give yourself a break here after walking for so long.

Here is one last view of high rise buildings and houses at Mount Faber Hill before going downhill to the last part of the trail along the Southern Ridges, known as Marang Trail. If you hate walking down a flight of stairs, be warned, there are a lot of stairs along this trail.

After going through all the stairs downhill along the Marang Trail, that's the end of it. This is the end of the Southern Ridges (or beginning if you decide to start from here) and you get to go back to civilisation. Finally, you get to see cars, vehicles, roads, people and shopping malls. HarbourFront MRT Station is located nearby so if you're prepared to go back home, go ahead and board the MRT. Otherwise, you can continue walking to the shopping mall to rest and shop.

The Southern Ridges is located in the south of Singapore and contains several walking trails such as Alexandra Arch, Forest Walk, Telok Blangah Hill, Henderson Waves, Mount Faber Hill, Marang Trail and more. Great for explorers, photographers, bird watchers, joggers and everyday people. I recommend you to go during the day and go with some friends or family. I highly suggest you to visit this place as it's totally better than your typical neighbourhood parks plus you get to check out nature closer than ever.

Getting Here
From Alexandra Arch

Bus services available: 51, 61, 93, 97, 100, 166, 963 (Bus stop along Alexandra Road outside SP Jain)

Nearest MRT Station: CC27 Labrador Park MRT Station (Circle Line)

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From Marang Trail

Bus services available: 10, 30, 30e, 57, 61, 65, 80, 97, 97e, 100, 131, 143, 145, 166, 409 (Bus stop along Telok Blangah Road opposite VivoCity)

Nearest MRT Station: NE1/CC29 HarbourFront MRT Station (North East Line/Circle Line)


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