Singapore is the second most densely populated country on the planet (see below for what is number 1*) but there is still some green space left, and it is well worth spending at least a couple of hours exploring it. In tropical jungle, green is very green indeed.
Singapore was once wild enough for Alfred Russel Wallace to spend time here, for people to avoid the area because of a tiger plague and, more recently, for Jane Goodall to get involved in a monkey protection project at Bukit Timah.
Bukit Timah Rd, at 25km the longest in Singapore, was the site of the final attempt by the British and Commonwealth troops to defend Singapore from the Japanese invasion in 1942. When it fell, the surrender took place in the Ford factory on the road.
Bukit Timah Reserve is a patch of jungle surrounding the highest mountain in the country, a towering 163 metres high. There may be apartment blocks taller than that.
Once we get behind the apartment blocks, the jungle really does become, well, jungly.
There are some delightfully Singaporean touches, like the Reflexology path.
A small museum teaches us about the fauna and flora of the park, and celebrates the work of Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin’s competitor and generous colleague, whose work on origin of species is less well-known although it deserves as much credit as Darwin’s efforts.
The walk around the reserve took us about two hours, including photo stops at scenic points. My companions tell me they whip round the loop in an hour when they need a strenuous workout.
Thanks Alice for being our guide, and Ron, Kate and John for having me along on the trip.
*Monaco is number one.