I went to the latest local attraction which is also very suited to local taste (read: F.O.C), the Southern Ridges, with my family a couple of Sundays ago. I wanted to blog about this for the longest time since the trip but I was too lazy to/ because my sister hogged the camera and hence the SD card/ I couldn’t find the time to/ I was too occupied to do so. Well whatever the real reason was, be sure that I would have LOADS of excuses for it! LOL. But I really took the last hour to upload ALL the photos. Geez, we took a total of 173 photos in less than three hours over a stretch of nine kilometres! We ARE crazy.

Anyway in case you live in a hermit shell under the sea or some dilapidated wooden hut on top of some bloody hill and don’t know about the Southern Ridges (oh but how can you not know!), the Southern Ridges comprise a nine-kilometre chain of green, open spaces spanning the rolling hills of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park ans Kent Ridge Park before ending at West Coast Park. You can read more about it from the National Parks website. We ended our journey at HortPark though and didn’t proceed further to KR park because we succumbed to our growling stomachs which were threatening to chew up all our insides and headed for an early dinner since we kind of skipped lunch (nothing much to eat during the walk except for leaves, flowers and insects – ok we did spot wild yam, bananas and, get this, DURIANS!!!!).  

The Southern Ridges start from the Marang Trail (0.8km) which one can easily find after coming out from Exit D of Harbourfront MRT station. This trail extends all the way up Mount Faber, to the cable car station at the Jewel Box. I would say that there’s nothing much exciting to see. Just loads and loads of steps trying to induce an asthma attack or a heart attack.  

The Start of Southern Ridges: Marang Trail
Steps, steps, steps!!!
No more steps?
The Daddy and one of his plants

I think we took half an hour to complete the 800m path which will have taken a typical person less than 15 minutes. That was because my dad, who has a new-found love in gardening and anything green, touched/ felt/ sniffed/ plucked (!!!), I swear, almost every single plant he saw on the way up!!! While he and my mum stopped at every other different plant they spotted to indulge in some enthusiastic discussion about the royal plant, my sisters and I stood around kicking each other leaves, cursing the never-ending steps and taking photos. Sure, I love my trees, ferns, insect-eating plants and forests, but NOT every single living organism sprouting leaves and roots!   

Looks like a cat!
More freaking steps!

The last of the steps which I thought almost brought our whole family to the land of giants at the top of Jack’s giant beansprout finally took us to the top of Mount Faber! Hurrays!!! I didn’t think that the sight to behold was anything spectacular though but who cared! No more steps!!!

The cable cars
I love this photo

I really love this photo haha. It’s so colourful and happy. And of course, I love my sisters too. Most of the time anyway.

And who’s this weird ah-pek?

Wait, that was my dad haha.

Another reason why we took soooo long to complete the entire walk to HortPark was because my poor dad had to take a break and sit down to rest his poor knees now and then. I made him go on glucosamine starting from a year ago but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. Poor daddy.  

Coming up: Henderson Waves

Next up would be Henderson Waves. When we spotted this sign, we thought the bridge would be near. Damn, we were sooooo wrong. We ended up walking for ages (I think it was the Faber Trail) before reaching the said destination! Mostly along a stretch of tarred road emitting scorching heat, with no shade or shelter, and right under the burning sun! Not fun.    

This nice sheltered pathway only lasts like 100m.
New MRT station
Admiring the scenery

And yes, we took a longer time than expected to  reach Henderson Waves because the journey up to Jewel Box was quite pretty and we took several photos. We rushed through the road section though because it was so bloody hot. We did comtemplate rolling down the slopes since we figured that it would be faster.

Henderson Waves!!!

And FINALLY we reached! *flick off beads of sweat from forehead*

At 36 metres above Henderson Road, Henderson Waves is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and is built to connect the two hills of Mount Faber and Telok Blangah Hill. The bridge is beautiful! It has a unique wave-form made up of seven undulating curved steel “ribs” that alternately rise over and under its deck. The curved “ribs” form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within, which I love to sit in. My whole morbid family just kept looking over and down from the highest spot of the bridge and commenting how this has to be the latest hot spot to commit sucide by jumping down because it is so fucking high and roads run beneath. In our exact words, “跳下去如果lucky没有死,也会被车撞死。包死的啦!”

Like a snake!!
Crowded on a Sunday afternoon
A family portrait at the end of the Waves

After the Henderson Waves, we embarked on the Hilltop Walk which runs through the Telok Blangah Hill Park and connects the Henderson Waves and the Forest Walk. Again, there wasn’t much to see but we did spot some interesting flora and take a few photos. There was supposed to be some Terrace Garden at the top of the park which was said to offer a stunning 360-degree view of Singapore, but we missed that unintentionally.

Some lovely tiny white flowers by the roadside

Finally, the Forest Walk!!!

Which is my all-time favourite of the Southern Ridges!

Whoever invented this walkway is the ultimate genius!

Ok, you can tell how much I love this walkway, right haha. Basically, the Forest Walk is a steps-free (hurrays!!!) elevated walkway meandering through some 50 metres through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill. The raised walkway has heights ranging from 3 to 18 metres. You walk from the highest point, zigzag-style to the lowest point. It was a fantastic experience made of metal alloys.  

My sis is happy to start the Forest Walk.
The view from 18m
Gorgeous structure
Now don’t look down if you’re scared of heights!

Because the walkway is in a big zig-zag with each bend lower in gradient, we had the crazy idea of a couple of us running down to the next bend while the rest stayed put to take a photo! Behold!   

I made them run some 100m to the next bend below mine haha.
And then my turn some distance down the walkway.

We got so tired after two shots that we had to stop. We tried to make our parents run but they just shook their heads and walked away.  

Miles ahead

Did I say that while it is a lovely walkway, it was also a darn long walk (1.3km) under the sun?! 

There is actually also an Earth Trail that runs underneath the Forest Walk which visitors can easily access by the stairways from the metal walkway, but we gave that a miss as one could see for onself that there ain’t much to see. The ground is still pretty bare after all the works which made the Forest Walk.  

Soothing for the eyes
Wild yam

There were loads of wild yam around. These looked small because we took this photo from a height but the leaves were actually easily 1.5m long. I took this to show a colleague whom I had an “interesting” conversation a while back and she doesn’t believe that wild yam exists.

At the end of the Forest Walk, we had to do a M1 impersonation.
“Oh mighty tree!” A majestic old tree which I spotted along the way.

Yes, this is a very tall durian tree which my dad spotted along the way to Alexandra Arch. God knows how he noticed it, but it was loaded with durians!!! At least twenty were hanging from the tree! In case you misunderstand, I actually dislike the smell of durians, but I’ve never seen a durian tree before, so that got me very excited haha! Thanks to us, many visitors who passed us along the way and saw us looking at the tree noticed the durians too. 

Alexandra Arch

And finally we reached the very boring 80m Alexandra Arch. But it was still an occasion to celebrate because it meant that HortPark was near!

Yes, we arrived at HortPark!!!
Unfortunately, we were sooooo hungry by then (we only had breakfast and it was already well after lunchtime) that we seriously couldn’t find the energy and mood to explore the park fully. We swore to come back another day though. Here are some last photos to end this incredibly long blog entry which will take considerably longer to load as well:
I camouflaged into the orchids.
My sis loved the aquarium.

In short, it was an enjoyable trip. Not so much to the credit of the Southern Ridges but quality time spent with the family is always cool. Even though sometimes we feel like snapping at each other like ferocious crocodiles at home. I can’t even remember what we talked about exactly during the entire journey but we chit chatted non-stop about many random things which held no significance like banana tree spirits and spiders. To me, this is the beauty of family – feeling so at ease and comfortable with one another that you forget about everything that bothers you for the moment and just talk mindlessly about anything and yet nothing in particular. That’s what I can find in some friends too. 🙂