Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Sunday Trek in Singapore


As small as this island is, there are many nice places to go exploring and hiking. Dense rain forest still covers most of the center of the island and surrounds the natural reservoirs that stay full due to the abundance of rain. So with lunch and plenty of water in our backpacks, Pearl and I mounted up on the Honda 200 and set out to see a few sites and maybe meet a few new friends along the way. (click to enlarge)

We started out at Pierce reservoir, a beautiful, quiet and serene area known for it's crystal clear water and wildlife. Signs along the narrow road leading into the area warn against feeding the monkeys or even letting them see that you might have food. They can be very aggressive.

The modern meets the primitive in the backgound of the first shot showing a golf course butting up to the jungle. And this is not a "man made" or even visitor friendly jungle. There are few if any trails and much of it is impenetrable without a machete. On the near side however, is a nice little park where one might net a few shrimp or catch a few fish. The lake is also teeming with turtles.

Along the road I came across this not so friendly male macaque. He bared his teeth at me so I kept my distance. There are thousands of these in the thick trees and they usually hang around in family groups of as many as 20. A few more of this guy's brood were sunning and grooming across the road. Unfortunately, some end up as road kill.

We stopped for a bite, looking for a shady spot in the grass but found it full of very large, very nasty looking black ants. We also spotted this monitor scrounging in the grass for a meal. He was about16 inches and a little weary of this old man.

Later, on our way out of the park, we found his big brother, right out in the open, digging in the grass for his own lunch. He allowed me to get within a few feet before sauntering up the hill. He climbs much better than I do.

Pearl was startled when she almost stepped on this little guy. But he got away clean before we could do him any harm.

From Pierce we drove over to East Coast park. This is a long stretch of beach that extends for several kilometers along the southeast coast of the island. It is from here that you can watch the hundreds of ships that line up each day to come into port. Unfortunately, the air was a little misty so they are hard to see.

This is also an ideal spot for windsurfing and they have a launch area and even lessons for newbies. You can rent boards or bring your own.

After a tough day fighting the snakes and the monitors and fending off the monkeys, we were famished and so we stopped for a little of Singapore's famous Steamboat. Here you pay for a plate and its all you can eat. You select meats, veges, fish and whatever else they have from long counters of raw food. Each table has a round platter with a bowl in the middle. Its all over an open fire and you simply boil or cook what you want right at your table. Nice way to end the day.

Cross posted at World Gone Mad

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Blogger rockync said...

That was an amazing little tour. I had no idea Singapore had such biodiversity. I imagine myself, along with many other Americans who have never been to Asia, think of Asia as being crowded cities with lights and garish signs like Hong Kong. I've never really thought about visiting the Far East but perhaps I'm missing something magical...

1:38:00 AM  
Blogger expatbrian said...

Between the cities in southeast asian countries is vast areas of jungle, forest and farms. The cities are few and far between. China has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

Singapore is growing fast but the government here is dedicated to preserving the rain forests and the creatures. Less than 100 years ago this island was home to so many tigers that they had to be eliminated to save the farmers and their livestock. King cobras are native also and, although they may be gone now, I'm not going into the unexplored jungle areas to find out.

2:32:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

What a great tour. If you keep this up we're all going to show up on your doorstep some day.

7:19:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Being an aficionado of and partially a resident in a jungle, I enjoyed that. No monkeys here of course, although monitor lizards and Burmese pythons are here, thanks to exotic pet dealers and careless owners.

I watched a large snake kill and swallow a rabbit Sunday - it actually ruined my day.

8:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm no fan of snakes, large or small, either. I do enjoy the slow but confident monitors and have seen them frequently. And the birds are beautiful.

6:50:00 PM  
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