The north-west of Singapore isn't exactly the first place you might think of when you're looking for something to do on the weekend. But venture into the coasts of Kranji and you'll come across Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve! If you're looking for a new nature spot to visit next, here's why this peaceful park in the north-west should be next on your to-do list. ?
Did you know that in 2003, this nature park was actually named Singapore's first ASEAN Heritage Park? ? Its mangrove forests are rich in biodiversity and there are even mudflats, ponds, and forests spread out across the park. Yup, you don't need to travel to Pulau Ubin or Chek Jawa to see some mangroves!
The entire Reserve is family-friendly, but there are also kid-friendly attractions like the Junior Adventure Trail - a huge pond with a stone path leading through it. The stones are a bit uneven so I recommend adult supervision if your child is still pretty young. ? However, it's a great chance to get a glimpse of the animals living in and around the pond - like small fishes and dragonflies!
Native animals like bats, butterflies, mudskippers, water snakes, and monitor lizards can be spotted amongst the greenery too! On my last visit there I saw a crowd of people who had supposedly spotted a crocodile. ? Unfortunately, it retreated before anyone could get a clearer look, but there's no shortage of wild fauna to keep an eye out for. There are also squirrels and monkeys - make sure not to offer them any food if they appear nearby!
P.S. If you're interested to have a more in-depth look at the Reserve's biodiversity, there are guided walks conducted every weekend. ? They take place every Saturday from 9.30AM-11AM and are family-friendly too.
Another animal you can easily spot at Sungei Buloh are the birds! ? From parakeets to herons to kingfishers, both native and migratory bird species flock to the Reserve throughout the year. September to March is actually the best time to visit to catch a glimpse of migratory birds such as plovers and sandpipers. Head to the Buloh Tidal Ponds part of the Reserve for a clearer look. There are dedicated Observation Screens where you can get a direct look at the landing spot for these avian visitors.
The Buloh Tidal Ponds is also home to the Aerie Tower which gives you a stunning view of the Wetlands from the top! There are about 3 flights of stairs to climb up, but the beautiful scenery is worth it. ?
While the Buloh Tidal Ponds are better for bird-spotting, the Coastal Trail part of the Reserve has nicer views of (as you can guess from the name) the coast of Singapore. ? You can see Johor Bahru from here, as well as visit the Observation Pods dotted along this part of the trail!
There are 5 of these onion-shaped pods in total, and they make a great place to enjoy some shade on a hot day, or grab some photos of your outdoor #OOTD. ?
Before you head to Sungei Buloh, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Arrive early if you really want to experience everything. Some attractions like the Mud Experience are dependent on the tidal levels - when the tide rises as the day goes on, the experience is submerged!
- Make sure to bring along a hat and sunblock - there isn't a lot of tree canopy along the Coastal Trail and it can get pretty hot.
- The most popular parking spot is probably the Neo Tiew Carpark located next to the Wetland Centre. However, I recommend using Kranji Carpark B or C at the southern end of the park instead! The Neo Tiew Carpark was completely packed, whereas the Kranji Carparks were so empty when I visited. ?Just remember to park your car under a tree if you can because the open carpark gets so hot in the middle of the day!
- Only 1 bus (service 925) goes to the Reserve so it can get very crowded when everyone's heading out for lunch. If you can, I recommend driving there or calling for a cab because the bus also takes ages to reach Sungei Buloh.
- From Mondays to Saturdays, you can take bus service 925 from Kranji MRT Station. Alight at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B, which is located next to the Visitor Centre.
- On Sundays and Public Holidays, you can take 925 from Kranji MRT Station to the Wetland Centre entrance.
- The Kranji Express shuttle bus also operates daily from Kranji MRT Station. The detailed schedule can be found here.
Halal food nearby
Unfortunately, there aren't any halal eateries located within or next to the Reserve. ? However, it's just a 20-minute drive to Woodlands/Sembawang/Marsiling, or a 30-minute drive to Jurong East/Jurong West. Both neighbourhoods have lots of halal options so you can sit down to a delicious meal to refuel after a long day. ?
If you're looking for a nature park that's family-friendly, educational, and relatively not-so-crowded then it's time to pay Sungei Buloh a visit!