My husband had a day off during the week last week so we decided to try out the HSBC Treetop Walk without the children. To have a walk amongst the treetops sounds like an interesting prospect for me, so I was keen to dismiss the oppressive temperatures and humidity of the last few weeks to try something new.
We told our taxi to take us to the Singapore Island Country Club and jumped out at the first guard house. Apparently there is some car parking along Venus Drive, although I didn't notice it. The Treetop Walk is 2.5 km (45 mins - 1 hr walk) from the car park at Venus Drive.
There is a little sign to the left of the guard house pointing the way to the HSBC Treetop Walk, so you can't get lost. In fact, there are signs quite prominently positioned all along the path, this being Singapore. The path follows the road up past the new Club House (on your right) and then takes a left turn into the jungle and away from the golf course. From here it took us about half an hour,walking through secondary forest, to get to the Treetop Walk , with one steep climb and some steps.
The suspension bridge connects the two highest points in MacRitchie Reservoir Park and is about 250m long. The height from the forest floor varies, with the highest point at 25m. It is narrow, which is why it seems to be only for one way traffic. There is a guard at one end, and a gate which self locks when it closes behind you at the other end. This means that you can only enter from one end (unless you snuck through when someone on the bridge opened the gate for you). There are also signs telling you not to turn around, and to keep going. Does this mean that it gets congested at peak times?
There was no one around when we were there so it was lovely and peaceful. There was a refreshing breeze and it was very pleasant to be above the trees admiring the sounds from the forest and the view to the Upper Pierce Reservoir.
So once you have left the bridge, you cannot turn back and return the way you came. You must push on. From here there are a series of wooden steps and boardwalks. There are also a few options as to which direction you choose to go. There is a loop back to the Treetop Walk which would be the shortest walk (about 3kms in total). We decided to carry on into the MacRitchie Reservoir Park via the Jelutong Tower. This tower gives a great view, but watch out for the monkey who use the railings as 'monkey bars' in search of stray food. Don't have a snack here! It is worth climbing to the top though, no matter how tired and hot you are.
We continued along Golf Link which skirts the Golf Course (enticing glimpses of sprinklers and green lawns as you walk in the full sun here). Eventually we reached the shade of the forest, then the board walk along the edge of the reservoir which we have done before with the kids. By this time I was having visions of pouring ice-cold water over my head and collapsing in a freezing air conditioned taxi, but finishing off at the cafe with a 100Plus kept me alive.
This walk took us 3 hours, and was about 7 kms. It is not possible to do this with small children or the elderly. The actual walk is not difficult but the heat makes it tough going.
There is nowhere to buy water along the route and no rubbish bins, so come prepared to take everything out with you. There is a Rangers Station with toilets along the way, but no other facilities. Start early and take it easy. Enjoy the quiet, try to spot some wildlife (we saw a few iguanas, beautiful butterflies, birds), and drink plenty of water. Oh, and leave the kids at home with the aunty.
Tue to Fri: 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays: 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.