This story is by our Tribes by HHWT contributor, Rau Ak.
Each time I drive by a jungle along the expressway, I wished we had access to go in for a hike. You know that untouched piece of green, where everything grows wild? So when I saw people writing and posting about Clementi Forest
, I knew I HAD to go.
But, I have two kids, so in my head, will they be able to go through it? I wasn't too worried for my 9-year old girl. But for my 5-year old girl, I worry it may be too tiring for her. So many 'buts' when I think about it.. eventually, I went ahead with the info I could find online. I mean how bad can it be right? At most I have grumpy kids the whole trip (eeks).
It is a really short hike, which made the hike suitable for my 5yr old. To my surprise, she went through the whole hike happily and told me she wanted to go again! (Definitely my daughter lol) She enjoyed getting her shoes muddy, getting wet and walking in longkang (lol).
You will get dirty. It's a forest, with no man-made tracks. Only trails left by other hikers.
Where to enter Clementi Forest?Entrance to the forest. Credit: Rau Ak.
Unlike Macritchie or Bukit Timah Hill, Clementi Forest does not have a proper entrance - It's behind a bus stop. The bus stop is opposite Ngee Ann Poly (bus stop 12109). Behind the bus stop, you will see the forest already - there's a trail by the longkang.
You can see from my marking, where I parked and where we entered. Credit: Rau Ak.
We arrived at the so-called entrance at 7.20 am. By then, we saw a few groups of hikers arrived by grab/bus. We drove and planned to park at SUSS or Ngee Ann Poly but the gates were closed as it was too early. So we parked at King Albert Park Mall and walked 650m (8min) to reach the entrance.
You will be greeted by this glorious view of the forest. Credit: Rau Ak.
We wanted to catch the morning mist (it's gorgeous!), so 7.20 am at the entrance is a good time. Anything later, there will be more groups of hikers coming in, and there will be a bit of human traffic on the trail. And by 8 am, you won't see any more morning mist.
5 minutes into the hike, I fell twice and got dirty. Credit: Rau Ak.Tip:
Wear proper hiking shoes
. Don't wear slippers or sandals. I didn't have any hiking shoe and the soles of my running shoes weren't made for the terrain. I fell many times.
Credit: Rau Ak
So can kids go through the hike? I would say for 5-year olds, it's appropriate. Any younger won't be easy. Parents can assist when they are crossing a stream or a seriously muddy patch.
Credit: Rau Ak
In my opinion, this should not be your child's first hike. You might want to expose them to Bukit Timah Hill for a start.
Credit: Rau AkIn total it was 3.27km from KAP mall and back. Credit: Rau Ak
When I say the experience in the forest was short, it really is. Within 45 minutes, we were already out of the forest and we were on the Rail Corridor. And since we have 2 kids with us, we didn't proceed to find other trails and walked on the Rail corridor instead and make a loop to where we parked. (Look at our Strava map).
We ended our hike early. We came out of the Rail corridor and made our way back to the KAP mall. Credit: Rau Ak.
I would definitely go again, and probably go for a longer route and try out other trails in the forest cos it's nothing like the other hikes I've tried - more challenging and exciting! The fresh air and gorgeous greens everywhere was definitely welcoming for me! After the hike, there are few food options that you can look forward to. There's Al-Azhar opposite Beauty World open in the morning. Or if you start your hike much later, the new Boleh Boleh food court
in Clementi Mall has a wide variety of halal food to choose from.
Credit: Nazira Dz
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