The Top 10 Things To See And Do In Bukit Timah, Singapore
Singapore is known for being a metropolis, but sitting in the middle of the island is Bukit Timah. The highest natural point in Singapore, this lush hill, covered with native tropical rainforest greenery, is the site of many hiking trails, nature reserves, and lots of other cool activities. The nearby town and high-class residential district also offers many fun things to do for those who prefer to be out of the tropical climate.
This nature reserve spans most of Bukit Timah, the hill that gives its name to the surrounding district. Regarded as one of the most valuable natural places in Asia, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is one of the only remaining pockets of natural rainforest left in Singapore, and contains a highly diverse ecology, with over 500 species of fauna and 800 species of flowering plants. Trails for hiking, jogging or cycling spread throughout the reserve, and it is a popular spot for rock-climbing. Hike to the top of the hill and enjoy the view from the summit.
There’s hiking through the forest, and then there’s walking through the trees. At Tree Top Walk, you can traverse the tropical rainforest’s canopy, sharing the view with the monkeys and macaques that hang out on the top floor of the rainforest community. A narrow suspension bridge that takes you among the treetops, the Tree Top Walk is a point that can be reached by several different hiking trails in the MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
Riding at Gallop Stables | Courtesy of Gallop Stables
If you prefer to explore Bukit Timah on horseback, you’re in luck, Gallop Stables offers trail rides led by an instructor around the natural environment of Bukit Timah. Unlike most stables in Singapore, you can join their activities without the hassle of membership, monthly subscription, or multiple-session courses. Instead, you can simply enjoy any of the activities offered at Gallop Stables, from hour-long trail rides, to pony rides for kids.
A sprawling space of 30,000 square feet, this market is a gathering place for local and international traders and food-lovers. While not exactly a farmer’s market in the sense that everything is grown locally, due to Singapore’s rather lacking agricultural industry, PasarBella is an ambient environment filled with exciting sounds, exotic smells, and intriguing sights. From authentic Italian food, to fresh homemade bread and pastries, to craft beer, this place is a foodie’s paradise. It gets packed at the weekends.
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Singapore has a delightfully varied food scene, from local South-east Asian tastes, to Chinese food inherited from early immigrants, to European cuisines brought over by colonials and expats. ToTT offers cooking classes in various styles. Cheesecakes, Peranakan food, authentic Thai fare, and even the green Pandan cake that is unique to Singapore, learn all these and more at the cooking workshops offered at ToTT.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are one of the most popular spots for visitors to the country, and it’s not hard to see why. This 74 hectare garden is one of the only three gardens in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are home to over 10,000 different species of plants, making it a must-visit place for plant and nature lovers. The various parts of the garden showcase different kinds of plants, and there is even a small rainforest in the garden grounds that pre-dates the gardens, a remnant of the tropical rainforest that used to cover the island. With free admission to the gardens, you can come back for an extra lazy afternoon.
Part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden is the crowning jewel of the beautiful park and the only part of the gardens where you have to pay an admission fee. The garden houses over 60,000 plants, which include over 1000 species and 2000 hybrid species. Both native and foreign species are housed in the garden, and the three-hectare garden, with carefully landscaped trails, is a great place for flower-lovers to walk and admire one of the largest display of orchids in the world.
Room escapes are gaining popularity across the world, and little wonder, these real-life puzzles are fun, intellectually challenging, and are great for team building. Players are physically locked in a room, and to escape they must solve puzzles based on clues in the room. The Escape Artist is a fun place to try this great activity at a relatively low cost. They have several rooms that are designed with themes such as finding a hidden treasure or escaping from an apocalyptic landscape.
Formerly one of a series of railway stations stretching from Tanjong Pagar, Singapore to Malaysia, the Bukit Timah Railway Station has been closed for a number of years. Now, it is a stop in the middle of the Green Corridor, a 26km walking route that makes use of the abandoned railway tracks. The trail is surrounded by greenery and connects several green spaces in Singapore, including the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. You can enter the Corridor at any time and leave at any time, and as the trail is on fairly flat ground, it makes for a relaxing hike through the natural foliage.
In the prestigious residential district of Bukit Timah, which is home to expats and rich locals, you can be sure that you can find some great-quality golf courses. While many golf courses are for members only, Champions Golf is open to the public. This club has a 9-hole golf course that stretches over 2km, as well as a driving range for less experienced golfers to try their hand at the game. They are also the only place in Singapore to offer mini golf, which is ideal for a casual game with friends or for fun with younger children. You can simply turn up, or book in advance to guarantee a time slot.