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Singapore is famous as a contemporary, modern alpha world city; from the small fishing town of Temasuk to the sprawling metropolis that it is today. It’s not just one small island as is the common misconception, it consists of 63 islands in total and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The Singapore Tourism Board has done a fantastic job of establishing the island nation as a premium holiday destination.

Whoever knew that there were 2 million trees in Singapore. The Bukit Timah nature reserve has a wider variety of trees than all of North America. It’s one of the places to visit  in Singapore that’s off the popular tourist trail. It is a mostly undisturbed natural reserve, in contrast to the rest of Singapore’s urban chaos. Covering an area of approximately 3,043 hectares, this is one of the country’s oldest established reserve areas; a precious enclave of primary rainforest.

The Bukit Timah reserve is home to a abundance of flora and fauna like nowhere else in the country; there are almost 500 species of animals and more 840 flowering plants recorded. Although the forest contains only 0.2 percent of the islands total 163 hectares, its rich biodiversity accounts for 40 percent of the nation’s flora and fauna. Earlier on, somewhere in the mid-nineteenth century, there was an active rock quarrying site inside the reserve. Although it is no more functional, the abandoned site has been developed as the Hindhede Nature Park, which features rock climbing activities.

You can take a walk through the reserve, you can go hiking or hire a bike and ride through. The atmosphere is quiet and serene and perfect for spending time with friends and family; it can also serve as great introspection time to spend with yourself. It is open from 6am in the morning to 7pm at night. Night walking after 7pm within the nature reserves is not encouraged. The Visitor Centre remains open from 8.30am to 5pm.

Also keep in mind that protecting the forest’s native biodiversity is a very serious and sensitive issue due to which certain activities are prohibited inside its confines. Hiking in groups of more than 30 without a permit and feeding the animals are not allowed. It’s best to come in smaller groups to enjoy the park responsibly in its entirety.

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As the newest member of the content team, Shivangi Rajendran comes from the world of professional dancing. With a passion for travel and a flair for writing, the Masters in Mass Communication is just an added advantage. A gypsy at heart, she doesn’t believe in planning and is always ready to pack her bags and leave.

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