I visited the Southern Ridges with my mum one weekday morning. From the NParks website,”the Southern Ridges comprises 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.” It is quite an incredible effort to put aside 10 km of green spaces in one of the most expensive areas in Singapore. I wonder if such efforts will be compromised in the future given how the steadily increasing population numbers is bringing up the demand for housing.
We began from the Henderson Waves. Here is how we got there based on the advice given by Google: we took bus number 145 from Redhill MRT and stopped at Blk 1 (Bus stop code: 14249). I must say the entry point to the Henderson Waves was not clear at all and we had to use Google Maps again before we got our orientation right and saw the bridge:
Once we got here, it wasn’t difficult to orientate. Henderson Waves connect two parks together – Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. I really like the bridge, I don’t think it spoils the scenery but rather, it enhances the stark contrast between the natural and artificial spaces in Singapore. Although such beautiful creations draw crowds to the parks in Singapore, I am rather troubled by the low appeal of nature itself in this country. Does the success story of Henderson Waves means that we need to interject natural spaces with fake constructs in order to make the natural spaces attractive? There’s an irony in this. Singapore can do with one Henderson Waves but the authorities need to direct substantial effort towards making “nature” itself appealing to the public. Of course, the question is how? I don’t really have a concrete idea of how to do that but one way to begin approaching this issue is to re-construct the image of green spaces in the minds and hearts of Singapore. Rural holiday getaways or using some of the green spaces as educational classrooms are possible ways to make nature more appealing here.
From Henderson Waves, we followed the signs and walked the Forest Walk. Forest Walk “meanders through some 50 metres through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill and connects to Alexandra Arch”. We took the “Elevated Walkway” which is easier as compared to the “Earth Trail”. Maybe I will attempt the “Earth Trail” one day. I saw quite a number of squirrels there on the trees. It was a nice, easy walk and I thought it would be great if I knew more about the flora and fauna in Singapore. But again, the issue of artificial constructs in natural spaces.
The last bridge we saw was the Henderson Arch. It connects the Forest Walk to HortPark. It’s less fanciful comparatively but still beautiful in its own way.