Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HSBC Treetop Walk in MacRitchie Reservoir

The MacRitchie Reservoir is full of wonders. There are forests, walking trails and lots of nature to be explored around here. You may recall that I have written about the MacRitchie Reservoir earlier on last year which you can find out more here. However, in that post, it was missing something. That 'something' is the HSBC Treetop Walk, a suspension bridge that overlooks the MacRitchie forests and it's also a place for researchers to do their research due to the difficulties of accessing the forests. Want to find out more and see what the HSBC Treetop Walk has to offer? Find out more below.

Reaching the Treetop Walk

The HSBC Treetop Walk is actually quite difficult to get there and you have to wear certain kinds of clothing to access the area. Which means, it is necessary for you to wear covered shoes, equip yourself with important things like ponchos and water bottles and wear comfortable clothing. Unlike other bridges in Singapore, the Treetop Walk requires you to walk in the middle of the forests before actually getting there. For those of you who are not so adventurous, you may find coming here slightly uncomfortable. However, if you are willing to walk long distances and walk through the thick forests, everything will definitely be okay.

All you have to do is enter this small road off Upper Thomson Road called Venus Drive and you will find directions to enter the Treetop Walk. After that, just follow the trail that was already prepared for visitors and you will be on your way. Please stay safe and please do not feed the monkeys, eat in the forests and make noise because you may disturb the peace of the animals living in the forests. Not only that, you may also be exposed to lots of mud so be careful while walking and do not enter right before and after a heavy thunderstorm. The signboard above gives you a sneak preview of the HSBC Treetop Walk and some other interesting bits and pieces of information.

Maps Available for Everyone

Like what I have mentioned earlier on, you do not have to worry about getting lost in the middle of the forests, because there is a marked trail on the ground. If you want to know where you are, all you have to do is to just look at these map boards which are available almost everywhere around the MacRitchie Reservoir. Directional signs will also be available so do not worry so much about getting lost unless you wander off the trail which is something that I highly do not recommend you to do. On the bright side, what you should do is take a picture of a map board so you can look it up on your phone whenever you want to know where you are. Maps are also available online on the National Parks Board website.

Very Very Steep Hill

This is not for those people who get tired easily after walking a few metres. If you are heading to the Treetop Walk, not only will you have to walk lots of metres, you will also have to climb steep hills as seen from the picture above. It is very very steep and it's almost the equivalent of climbing the stairs. However, it is definitely worth it because once you have reached the top, you will be in for a big surprise.

The Entrance to Treetop Walk

Finally, after walking long distances and walking along steep hills, I have reached the star of the show which is the, you guessed it, HSBC Treetop Walk. Oh and do not mistake this for a ticket booth. The Treetop Walk is totally free and this is basically the entrance. Right over here, you get to find some benches for you to sit on and rest before continuing the journey. Sometimes, you may have to wait here when it is unsafe to enter the Treetop Walk during severe weather events like a thunderstorm. Once you enter the Treetop Walk, the park ranger will greet you and you can then proceed on by entering this awesome park attraction.

Hold On For A Second

I know I know. You really want to see how the bridge and the view looks like from up top. But, before I show all those to you, here is a signboard that basically shows some guidelines, otherwise known as 'rules', to adhere to when you are at the HSBC Treetop Walk. I advise you to click on the picture and read all of it before heading to the Treetop Walk itself. This is for your safety so it is wise for you to check this out first.

The HSBC Treetop Walk

Look at that gorgeous bridge. This is the suspension bridge that you should really check out if you are an adventurous sort of person and a nature lover. The bridge looks totally awesome and it's not really as scary as I originally thought. The feeling was like walking along a fully extended metal drain cover and if you look below, it feels very scary especially if you are afraid of heights. Despite the scary feeling, it's still fun looking at the lovely views along with the trees. Plus, it will make you feel more relaxed and it may even make you forget all your stresses temporarily. Oh and do not worry about the bridge swaying side to side like in the movies because it does not do that.

Views from Above

Here is the view from the Treetop Walk. Isn't it lovely? Looking at all these trees make me feel more relaxed because of the peaceful atmosphere and tranquility. I recommend you to stop for a while and take lots of pictures while you are here. If you have not been inside a forest, the HSBC Treetop Walk is a better way to explore the forests of MacRitchie. Also, on the second picture, you can see the suspension wires and a the maintenance access area. It's too bad that it cannot be entered because it is restricted to authorised personnel only otherwise you can have an even better view when you are up there.

More Beautiful Views from Above

Not only will you get to see the forests, you also get to see some water bodies like the one shown in the picture above. The water body above is actually Upper Pierce Reservoir (I cannot fully confirm that) and it just looks awesome. Oh and another warning. There will be other visitors entering the HSBC Treetop Walk so they will be walking behind you. If you are going to take pictures, I advise you to quickly take them otherwise you will hold up the line. Back to the picture, you will see that there are dark clouds above which meant that it was going to rain. Luckily, I managed to access the bridge before it rained otherwise I had to wait at the Ranger station for a while before entering.

Staircases Everywhere

After you have accessed the Treetop Walk, you will have to climb the stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. It's okay if you get tired because climbing them can be great exercise for you if you do not regularly exercise. Once you have reached all the way to the top, you can then take a break at the shelter. Remember the dark clouds you saw in the earlier picture? It did rain when I was there but thankfully, I managed to enter the shelter a few seconds before it started to rain. It is always recommended for you to check the weather forecast before coming here because it will be dangerous and risky if you enter the forests when it is raining. Some of these dangers include falling tree branches and the risk of getting strike by lightning. Do be safe and always check the weather forecast or find the nearest shelter you can find. The MacRitchie Reservoir and forests has plenty of shelters so don't worry too much.

More Plants and Trees

Fortunately, the rain was just light rain which lasted for about 30 minutes and not a thunderstorm. After protecting myself from the rain, I decided to continue walking and enjoying the peace and nature all at the same time. Right over here, you can see all kinds of plants and trees. If you are walking in the forests, do take some time to enjoy the wonderful things that nature has to offer. I can assure you that you may forget your stress temporarily.

Cool Looking Puddle

Okay maybe it isn't very cool-looking but it is to me. While heading to the exit of the HSBC Treetop Walk, I walked along a small wooden bridge and saw this small puddle with flowing water. Sure, the water is dirty and all but it's still great to see such wonders of nature.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think the HSBC Treetop Walk is a great place for adventurous people, nature lovers and people who are always stuck in the concrete jungle. For adventurous people, you will definitely enjoy walking along the muddy ground, climbing steep hills and climbing lots of staircases. For nature lovers, you will love the various kinds of plants and trees, insects, animals and the views from the bridge itself. Last but not least, for the people who are always stuck in the concrete jungle, going to the HSBC Treetop Walk will take you out of your comfort zone which is always a great thing. Still, the HSBC Treetop Walk is a great place to enjoy natural forests with a great view. I certainly would like to come here again if I have the opportunity. Oh and don't forget, it's totally free and it's only open on certain days and at certain timings. Check out the website below for more details.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 132, 163, 165, 166, 167, 855, 980 (Bus stop along Upper Thomson Road opp. Flame Tree Pk)

Nearest MRT Station: Not available

Website: HSBC Treetop Walk Website

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