Bukit Timah Hill hike, the 163 m summit

Bukit Timah Hill is Singapore’s highest hill. At 163m, some might not associate the climb up as hiking.
But this hill will still make you breathless and your heart pounds faster.

The proper way to ascend a hill (same for mountain) is slow and easy, if our body cannot acclimatise to new heights even athletes will succumb to fatigue. Alas, the kids will always ignore parents’ advice and treat every adventure like a 100m sprint, quickly losing their reserve energy hee hee.
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Bukit Timah Hill is popular with nature lovers over the weekends (ie no more carpark space).

We reach the summit in 20 minutes (kids were a bit eager), you can do it comfortably in under 30 minutes.
Fitness buffs love to train on the hill’s steep inclines and steps.

Partial Bukit Timah Hill Park map.
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As restoration is in progress (till end 2016), only Summit Trail is open to public on weekends, from 7am to 6pm.
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Only one way to go, UP the steep incline ! The first two slopes are easily 40 to 50 degree incline, and they will sap up to 60% of your overall “hiking” energy. Distance is about 1.7km to the summit., go SLOW (haha) and everyone shall enjoy the greens.

Starting point is just next to the carpark.
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After the slope, the steps welcome us. Going up is tiring but relatively easier compare to coming down. Go slow when descending as you do not want your knee to absorb too much “jumps”.
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Some folks will be running up and down the steps, keep one side to avoid injury and falls to you or them. Kids are visibly tired after the steps :p
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Before you know it (or before the kids caught their breaths) we see the radio masts. There is quite a crowd at Bukit Timah Hill summit.
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Take a photo with the GPS stone, “been there done that”. Rest and enjoy some fresh air. Kids also ask me why the dustbin is so hard to open 🙂
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Video (link) : Hike Up Bukit Timah Hill summit

Going down slope, some of the kids follow fellow hikers and walk backwards haha.
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Learn about Bukit Timah Hill flora and fauna from the boards.
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We spotted the flying lemur on the tree too, it is only active in the night. Remains of the old railway along Green Corridor.
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Linked by Park Connector, the nature reserves around Bukit Timah are very popular with mountain bikes.
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Map of Bukit Timah hill and Hindhede Park.
(1 & 2)- you can park at this two locations
3) Bukit Timah Hill Summit (estimated)
4) Hindhede Park Quarry view (estimated), entry is behind carpark (point 2)
Bukit Timah hill map

More tips :
– GPS for start of Bukit Timah Hill – 1.347945, 103.776609
– Carpark is small, park along Hindhede Walk
– Keep to the left on the path
– Wear comfortable shoe, prepare mosquito patch
– Hydration, it can be humid under the canopy

– Spend 90 minutes max on Summit Trail (up and down), the kids will prefer Hindhede trail and lookout point! (path starts behind carpark).

More photos of Bukit Timah Hill summit and Hindhede Park uploaded on our Fanpage album.
Bukit Timah Hill photos

We believe that active lifestyle helps families to bond and stay healthy.
Follow our Running and Cycling pursuits, Hiking is next 🙂

Macritchie Tree Top walk 01.01.2016

We started 2016 with a trail to Macritchie Tree Top Walk.
This is Boon Yee(9) and Boon Xin(7) first attempt (Read our 2011 experience)

The climb in numbers.
7am start.
3 hours, 7 km trail.
38 floors (FitBit) and 12000 steps.

Trip can be challenging but great company encouraged the kids to soldier on. Proud of them!
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Directional signs and maps to guide visitors. Keep to the boardwalk and track and you should not get lost.
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New paths are being mapped across the terrain, more exploration for kids. Stop to enjoy nature, the ants, spiders, and squirrels.
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I remembered the path was more rugged, with exposed roots last time. I would prefer mud over boardwalks anytime, for a more authentic nature experience.
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Parents need to control kids from dashing down slope, as they might find it hard to “brake”.
Some surfaces are rocky, exposed rocks can be sharp.
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We reached the suspension bridge after 1 hour.
Macritchie tree top walk with family

A wefie with Tan family to shout “Happy 2016!
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We are supposed to enjoy the moment, the serenity and the tree top expanse, but kids dashed across the bridge!
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Video : Tree Top walk highlight!

For first timers, there are two challenging points.
1) The steep incline after ranger station, with gradient of 40 degrees!
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2) … the endless steps after suspension bridge.
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Some fishes and pond skaters populate this pond and natural stream.
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* Take note of incremental weather notice.
– We had a close shave when a tree crashed 2 minutes after we walked past.
– After rain, kids might slip on wet boardwalk’s fallen leaves

Fitbit report, not shabby at all. We managed to finish the 7km Tree Top trail in under 3 hours.
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Additional tips for families :
– Target 3 hours with 3 to 4 breaks for trail. Slow and Easy.
– Hydrate, rest every 20 to 30 minutes for water break
– Tree Top walk can be accomplished by families, recommended for kids 5 or 6 and above.
– The numerous steps are manageable, but I might recommend more stairs/steps to condition your calves and hamstrings
– Trail is not stroller friendly
– No U-turn on suspension bridge
– Ranger station (after 50 minutes) can be your first pit stop. Refill, toilet break.
– Bring Mosquito repellent
– Bring rain coat or cap, there are few shelters from rain
– No feeding of monkies. They will snatch any exposed plastic bag, which they have associate with food.
– Suspension bridge only open at 9am, but ranger allow guests to enter at 8.30am 🙂
– Wear proper shoes, not sandals

Map of our trail.
1)Start from Venus carpark, 2)Reach Ranger (after 50 minutes), 3)Suspension bridge, 4) Heading back to Venus Carpark
Macritchie Tree Top walk map

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album.
If Boon Xin can do it, your kids can do it too 🙂