Starting from Marang Trail near Harbour Front Station
I was indeed fascinated by the creative connectors (bridges, walkways and trails) in linking the Southern parks all the way to the West Coast Park. This was beautifully reported with graphics and maps in "The Straits Times"dated May 11, 2008 by reporter Teo Cheng Wee. I even pasted this on the wall, waiting for an opportunity to explore this latest attraction in Singapore.
I didn't have to walk long, as Nature Trekker Singapore has organised such a walk on 21 Jun at 4pm. Unfortunately due to overwhelming response, my friend, Zen and I were not included. Anyway, Zen and I went ahead on our own, since I have the route in hand. So we met at 9am today at Exit D, HarbourFront MRT.
The Marang Trail (800m)
This newly completed trail of steps starting from behind Exit D, lead up to Mt Faber from Telok Blangah Road.
Going up Marang Trail to Mt Faber Park
Though many steps are uphill, it is well-shaded by trees on both sides.
Mt Faber Park
It was a pleasant walk through the Mt Faber Park, especially along the sheltered pathways, offering views of Telok Blangah HDB flats as well as distant views of well-known buildings in Orchard Road on one side and views of the Keppel Port, Southern Islands and cable cars on the other side. We walked past the Communication towers and Jewel Box (or Cable Car Station). After passing the Faber Walk, we came to the 1st highpoint of our walk - Henderson Waves Bridge
Henderson Waves Bridge
As reported in the article, "spanning 274m, this wave-pattern bridge connects Mt Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park.
Henderson Waves bridge connector
At 36m above Henderson Road, it is Singapore's highest pedestrian bridge and offers good views of the city and southern islands." You are also treated to different lights at night. I like the distinctive canopies along the bridge (see photos), the waves also provide some shade especially in the day from noon time onwards. The wooden panels filled the whole span of the bridge and railings as well as the seats in the resting spots. From the side at the end of bridge, we can see the curvy structures at regular intervals, going in and out above the walking decks - quite spectacular indeed.
The next highlight is the Zig-Zag Forest walk through the forest of Telok Blangah Hill Park. I thoroughly enjoy the walk, as it is a continuous walk starting from one end of Teloh Blangah Hill Park, slowly descending down a series of interlinked walkways down the hill, before it ends at Alexandra Road to the Alexandra Arch bridge.
Forest Walk, 1.3km, consists of elevated steel walkway, zig-zagging through the forestsof Telok Blangah Hill Park.
Information panels along the walkway show a variety of flowers and plant life in the forest. We managed to see some 'red-star' and yellow flowers. As the article said, we may see monkeys along the way - we did - 3 in fact! (see photo of 1 of them). Towards the end, we saw some beautiful black and while colonial houses in Preston Road, besides the walkway.
This arch spans 80m across Alexandra Road and connects the Forest Walk to HortPark. On one side, the arch looks like an open leaf, however, it does not shade from the hot sun. According to the article on 12 May 08, it is also lit with changing colours from 7pm to midnight daily.
Floral Walk and HortPark
At the other end of Alexandra Arch is a small public garden with interesting strange flowers and plants (see photos).
Inside Fantasy Garden in HortPark
Walking through the Visitors centre, sounds of running water welcome us, as we could see the HortPark's water gardens. I love the water reflection of the building in the still pond (see photo) and the huge koi fishes below it. On such hot weather, the water elements (in and outdoors) certainly provided some kind of relief, as we walked on to the Canopy Walk. According to the newspaper article, the HortPark is a 23ha gardening and lifestyle hub nesting some 20 theme gardens in a open park setting. We came across the Fantasy garden - quite amusing with the tin man, lion and a likeable scarecrow, as well as the glasshouses with many colourful plants and spice gardens.
Alongside the path up to Canopy Walk are a few plant nurseries.
The curving path to the Canopy Walk
There are 2 ways to the Canopy Walk - walking zig-zag paths or climbing the worn-out slopes up. Other than seeing the distant greenery and spotting 2 squirrels running from the tree trunks, the short walk was nothing spectacular as Henderson Waves or Forest Walk. This was the end of our 3hrs walk, covering almost 4.5km of the whole 9km. Walking to the carpark in the direction of Science Park 1, we hitched a ride from 2 nice folks in their car to the main road. They dropped us at the junction, from where we walked to South Bouna Vista Road for lunch at the famous Teochew Boneless duck rice/porridge !