Thursday, June 29, 2017

11 Places to hike in Singapore to lose weight

I gained weight after quitting gym last year and that extra load of fats refused to shake off no matter what I did 😑. So after Chinese New Year, I made a resolution to shed that 4kg (so I can eat more later) by doing yoga almost everyday and hiking once a week. I also stopped eating cakes (my favorite, sob...) for 2 months and ate salad almost every day.

Over the next 3 months, the hard work and determination paid off and my body fat percentage dropped! I also found myself not getting a cold/flu as often and recovered faster even when I got one 😎

Together with my good friend, we went around to explore the nature parks in Singapore on weekday mornings and here are the places we went so you can try them out too!

1) Macritchie Reservoir (treetop walk)

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: Around 10km (including walk to Thomson Plaza for lunch 😝)
Time: 2-3 hours

I stay in the northeast so I would take a bus directly to Tree Top Walk (Venus Entrance), which is now known as Windsor Nature Park. If you live at the Northeast, you can also alight at Marymount mrt and enter Macritchie Reservoir from there.

Be careful of monkeys climbing on the hand rails as they have grabbed my sister's boyfriend's shirt and my friend's cap before!

After finishing Tree Top, you can walk all the way to Thomson Plaza to enjoy a delicious but affordable kaisen don (raw seafood on rice) at Sushiro! The ricebowl only costs $12.80 and top up $5 for additional 3 piece sashimi, salad and miso soup! But be prepared for a 30min queue! (The food here serves motivational purpose to work out 😝)

2) Windsor Nature Park

Difficulty: Super Easy
Distance: Around 1km?
Time: 30min?

Initially when NEA first announced this new park, I thought it was a new patch of land, but it was actually renovated from part of Macritchie Reservoir Park. Nevertheless, it was still nice to walk through and there was a big shelter for people to do taichi, yoga or just to seek shelter from rain. 

3) Bukit Timah Hill

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 3-4km
Time: 30min-1 hour

The hill entrance starts with a short killer slope so if you have bad knees, it is better to skip this hill. After that, you will reach a divide (shown in photo) where you can choose to continue up by stairs or slope.

Because the overall distance is quite short, you can choose to go up by stairs, down by slope, and up again by stairs, yes reaching the summit twice!

If you have some time, you can try other routes like the Dairy Farm loop or even trek all the way to Macritchie (wow, I would salute you if you do one round at the other side too). Alternatively you can do the green corridor trail below.

4) Green Corridor

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3-4km?
Time: 1 hour?

This trail was largely sunny and not sheltered because it was converted from old railway track.

You can walk all the way to Rail Mall for lunch or to HillV2, a mall that will make you feel like you are in some foreign country.

5) Labrador Park

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3-5km?
Time: 1 hour?

This park is at the coast so it is really super hot and sunny during the day. I recommend going at night to enjoy the sea breeze instead. Wild jungle fowl is common.

Do you see a few heads popping up in the sea?

We caught sight of our otters, family of four, swimming at the coast. All the suntan is worth it, they are so cute!

6) Southern Ridges

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 10+km
Time: 3-4 hours

The Southern Ridges consists of a number of parks and I prefer going through in this order: Kent Ridge Park, HortPark,  Alexandra Arch, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Henderson Waves, Mount Fabor Park and then down to Vivocity for lunch.

The first two parks do not offer that much shelter but still nice to walk through.

If you can't walk for too long, you can start at Henderson Waves too, which will give you a nice view of the city.

The view on Mount Fabor top is very nice. To my foreign friends, this is actually a small hill, not a real mountain. From here, you can also take a cable car down to Vivocity or Sentosa. If you still have energy, try to locate a flight of stairs on the right side of path that leads down to HarbourFront MRT.

This is actually one of my favourite hikes because it will occupy almost half a day with varying difficulties.


7) 
Botanic Garden

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: Around 10km if you walk into almost every free feature and all the way to Orchard to eat
Time: 2-3 hours

I inserted Botanic Garden because of its central location and some people have bad knees. The route here is generally flat.

Botanic Garden is famous for its swans and jungle wild fowl too.

There is a new area at the garden called "The Learning Forest".

It has this very interesting feature called SPH Walk of Giants.


You can walk on the net, sit there or lie down for a nap! It's very comfortable, almost like a hammock 😴💤

8) Sengkang Riverside Park

Difficulty: Super Easy
Distance: 3-5km?
Time: 1 hour

Since I live at Seng Kang, I should explore what's near me. There are many cycling paths but it is boring if you are walking...

9) Punggol Waterway Park

Difficulty: Super Easy
Distance: Depends on how long you want to walk along the river.
Time: 1 hour?

Actually there is nothing much to see but we managed to spot a family of otters swimming opposite us. I would recommend starting from Waterway Point (Punggol mrt) to somewhere past Safra Punggol and take bus 84 to Punggol Promenade Nature Walk and crossover the bridge to Coney Island.

10) Coney Island

Difficulty: Super Easy
Distance: 5-6km
Time: 1-2 hours

Coney Island is one of my favourite, as it makes you feel like you are in another country. In fact, my telco sent me an auto-roaming message welcoming me to Malaysia...

There used to be more sand and beach but I guess people complained about the sandflies so the beaches are now reduced to Beach A~E, each in a small pathetic state seen above.

Trails are generally quiet and nice. There were plenty of paved cycling trails as well, perfect for whole family.

Spotted a baby bird here, probably fallen from a nest?

For lunch, you can walk back to Punggol Settlement and eat the famous Sembawang White Bee hoon at White Restaurant, yummy :P

11) Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Difficulty: Super Easy
Distance: 5-6km
Time: 1-2 hours (with some bird and reptile watching)

The reserve is far for most people but you can take a train to Kranji mrt, then transfer to bus 925 or pay $3 for the Kranji Countryside Express bus ticket that can be used for the whole day.

Can you see the crocodile in the photo? (hint: near middle)

The crocodile warnings you see all over the wetland reserve is real...

Monitor lizard! (at the middle)

Can you spot the hornbill?

For lunch, we took uber down to Bollywood Veggies to enjoy their great food using fresh organic vegetables and fruits harvested from their own farm! The trip was worth it 😋

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Although yoga doesn't burn a lot of calories compared to jogging and dancing, it does tone my muscles a lot (especially arms) and lose some belly fat along the way. It also brings awareness to my body (fats) so I became determined enough to cut down the sugar and exercise more.

With that, I hope my guide had been useful and I look forward to exploring more places like Bukit Timah quarries, Pulau Ubin and the other reservoirs! We usually hike on Thursdays and you can watch my Instagram stories for updates (though we sometimes swap days or skip, hehe)! Wishing all readers good health!

4 comments:

  1. Try the eastern park connector too. Also pretty easy n interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't cycle very well, is it ok to walk?

      Delete
  2. Awesome story. You looks so good, and Your smile is awesome :D <3

    I like that part where You explains how to get weight back after hiking :D

    ewwww ...

    ReplyDelete

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