Monday, July 13, 2015


We visited the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Nature Reserve last week as we had planned for quite some time... earlier I was sick and we could not bring ourselves to hike in the current heatwave or wake up early enough. It was slightly cloudy so that helped with the heat but it was still muggy as always.

The Treetop Walk is a 250m suspension bridge that rises above the rainforest so you can get a nice bird's eye view of the forest's canopy. More info:
It is accessible by two trails at MacRitchie, you can take the trail from the main entrance of the MacRitchie Reservoir park and hike 4.5km around the reservoir (about 2 hours hike one-way), or the shorter trail at Venus Drive carpark about 2.5km long (1 hour's hike one-way).

We wanted the shorter hike so we took Bus 165 from the MacRitchie bus-stop and got off at Thomson View condo about 5 stops away, and then walk a few minutes towards Venus Drive. You can find the entrance of the trail with this huge sign about the monkeys (harbinger of things to come) and something about no flying drones allowed.

Oki. Not too worried about snakes. Only spiders. And leeches. And giant bugs. And wary of the monkeys.

There is a ranger station inside the forest with drinking fountains and toilets. My shoe broke just as I reached it, thank God anyway because I don't want to hike in the jungle barefoot!! Either way I needed to fix the shoe even if I gave up on the hike because we were closer to the bridge (300m away), than turning back.

About the stupid shoe, one of the sides gave way because the glue came loose from washing I guess, and the stony paths didn't help. Many thanks to the office staff who saved the day and gave a stapler, nylon wires and zipties to try to keep the darn shoe together. In the end the nylon strings worked haha.... This hiccup delayed us for about half hour.

I decided to continue the hike because the strings looked like they could hold up for 300m + 2.5km. I did walk barefoot for a bit to preserve the strings for as long as possible, on a paved road that was going uphill. It was algae-ish and looked relatively clean. Ok not quite, I've seen 'Monsters inside Me'.

This is the entrance to the bridge. It closes at 5pm sharp so you should start your hike a few hours before the doors are locked.

There were always monkeys sitting on the rails when I had researched other visitors' photos. We didn't want that (too vulnerable this high up!) and were thankful they were nowhere to be seen, so we could take our time to look around. The bridge is narrow and allows one-way traffic only. So no changing of minds once you step on it.

View overlooking the forest towards Lower Pierce Reservoir. It was slightly cloudy and some gentle gusts of wind on occasion. It was nice and recommended if you want some exercise.
At the end of the Treetop Walk, you had to climb lots of stairs to get on the one-way trail leading out. This part was not fun.
The stairway when looking back down where we came from.
And then we heard some commotion from people in front of us.
We finally saw our first monkey - kind of wanted to see a couple but didn't want to at the same time. We've seen how those monkeys are at Sentosa island and at the reservoir park's canteen. But yeah a few monkeys in our nature shots would be interesting, we thought.
Behold the monkey, aka big opportunist, heading for us. Monkey logic:

1. Corner human at face level at narrow trails, works best when humans are weak from climbing the stairs
2. Railings on both sides are the best for snatching bags
3. Humans can't chase us with rails in the way
4. Humans, even large men, seem to be afraid of us
5. We're quicker and we got teeth
6. Attack the females!

I had anticipated an attempted robbery because I know monkeys here harass people with plastic bags thinking they have food in them; mine was a large tote but this one was bold enough to try. While packing the bag at home, I was debating on whether a tote might attract monkeys but had no haversacks (which they usually ignore). Anyhow the thief was waiting for the right chance to spring at me, of course, all the time staring at my bag. We had a stand-off (sorta). Like: if I pass you, I know you'd jump across and grab at me or ON me! So I'm waiting for you to move but you ain't moving!

So finally I made my move and it tried a weak grab at my bag jumping across to the left rail but no, no monkey will ever bully me lol... We almost had another stand-off but the monkey noticed my bf who was starting to panic and swung his camera at it to scare it off. Because it was at eye level and we were vulnerable much lol. And it bared its teeth at him because because bf did a monkey hiss to communicate, which was a bad idea by the way.

The monkey shot was the last photo he took because bf was spooked by the encounter. I kept nagging "Just keep walking and don't stop. It'll eventually go away, don't show your fear". If only we had a video. Anyway the monkey realised we were too much work and left us alone and started to harass the people who were initially in front of us; they took a rest at the shelter while we walked on. We heard their screams lol.

There were more monkeys further down the trail out for lunch but bf had already kept his camera and took out an umbrella just in case there were more attempted attacks. Using a 7D to whack off monkeys isn't a good idea lol. So that was a pity as we only had that not-so-good shot of the monkey before it attacked. Anyhow with our umbrellas, the other monkeys scuttled off before we even came near. Like do the disciplinarian walk.

Going down another flight of stairs, he saw a giant hairy spider dangling, and a green coloured snake (some sort of viper) coiled up on the stairs. Somehow I missed them because I was walking too fast and not looking in general lol. So there's that blurry iphone shot of a monitor lizard running away from me lol.

We took bus 165 back to the MacRitchie Reservoir bus-stop, and thinking we had left the monkeys behind: