Want to get away from the shiny, built-up facades of Singapore’s cityscape? Bukit Batok Nature Park is the perfect escape. Located just within the western part of Singapore, Bukit Batok Nature Park is often overlooked by visitors but it houses a very different landscape from the rest of Singapore.
Bukit Batok Nature Park is located along Bukit Batok East Avenue 2 and Bukit Batok East Avenue 6. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus.
Bus numbers 61, 66, 157, 178, 852 and 985 will get you to Bukit Batok East Ave 6; check your current location to see if any of these buses are available. If not, use Google Maps or another navigational app such as Citymapper to find your way there.
Let’s face it – Bukit Batok is pretty out of the way. So why is it worth traipsing from your lodgings to Bukit Batok Nature Park?
Well, for one, part of it looks like it came straight out of a Chinese landscape painting. In fact, there’s a part of Bukit Batok that’s called Little Guilin after the picturesque city of Guilin in southern China known for its dramatic “mountains” made of limestone. In Bukit Batok, the rocky façade is made of granite instead. The area used to be a granite quarry, and due to quarrying activities carried out in the past, there is now a lake whose beauty belies the environmental impact of past activities. There is also a fitness corner and a playground nearby, as well as other amenities such as bathrooms, a drinking fountain, foot reflexology path and shelters in case of rain or blazing sun.
But that’s not all there is to the park. The 36-hectare park is home to a well-established secondary forest that houses a great number of fauna. Bird-watching and animal-spotting are popular pastimes here – squirrels, monkeys, monitor lizards, birds, dragonflies, butterflies and fish are just some of the regularly spotted animals. You can also spot durians – the famous love-it-or-hate-it king of fruits – growing in the wild here! Keep an eye out for orchids growing on Petai trees at the pond plaza; these are native species part of a national conservation programme for orchids.
This is also a spot of historical significance. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War II, the Japanese selected the Lorong Sesuai site that is currently within Bukit Batok Nature Park as a memorial for the soldiers who died. Now a designated memorial site, you can find out more by visiting the memorial plaque placed here.
The best part is, NParks (Singapore’s National Parks Board) have already planned out a walking trail for you! It includes all the highlights of the park, and has helpful pictures to help identify all the points of interest along the trail. The walking trail should take between 1 to 2 hours, and is of easy to moderate difficulty so it’s suitable for almost everyone. Download the free walking trail on the NParks’ website here.