Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – A Primary Forest in the Heart of Singapore

by | 07/04/18 | Asia, Singapore, Traveling | 2 comments

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Only 12 km from the busy center of Singapore is the nature reserve Bukit Timah, that was founded in 1883 and was one of the first wild life reserves of the country. It boasts a vast eco-system, that offers countless regional plants and animals to visitors. You basically walk through pristine tropical vegetation and you can experience Singapore, how it presumably was many decades ago.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

The area spans 163 hectare and is situated on the Bukit Timah Hill, the highest mountain in Singapore with 163 m, that offers an untouched tropical forest. For more than a hundred years, it’s been a botanical collection, that includes and preserved numerous Malaysian plant species.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to 40% of the domestic flora and fauna and a popular spot for nature lovers – strollers, wanderers and joggers find their way here all the same.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – This is what you can do!

In the visitor center directly at the entrance you can inform yourself thoroughly about the history, ecology, flora and fauna. This is what they the emphasize on.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

First of all, this nature reserve is made for taking a walk. This is the perfect spot if you want to go for a long stroll, an energetic walk or simply a small hike. There are several paths that take you across the hillside.

Furthermore, there are ways suitable for mountain bikes. Should the steep incline and the many pedestrians not scare you, you can expect an arduous tour.

Lastly, Bukit Timah offers various tours. With a guide, you can explore the plants and animals of the park. Sadly, during my trip, the monkeys have apparently been hiding.  But luckily, I saw a lot on my trip to Pulau Ubin.  Nonetheless, my guide tried to give me as much input and background as possible.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – How to get there!

The entrance to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is close to MRT-Station Beauty World (Mass Rapid Transit – the local metro). There is also a bus station and, of course, you can take a cab or Uber.

The best way is to go to the Beauty World Mall, with the same name as the bus station, and use the bridge at the top of the mall. It’s only a few 100 m to the entrance of Bukit Timah.

My advice: When you are already in the Beauty World Mall, you can check out the Hawker Center as well. These are food courts, where you can get local cuisine for small money.

Hawker Center Singapore Beauty World


The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is ideal if you want to escape the big city hassle and discover a new side of Singapore. I took the trip together with Bernice – a local guide that I met through Airbnb* as Experience. This is a new feature of the platform, that enables you to not only book accommodations but also tours and other sorts of experiences such as cooking classes.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Tour Guide

Of course, you can make the trip without a guide as well. But I think it is wonderful, to have a local young woman that is motivated and tells me about the historical background and the flora and fauna.

Altogether, I think Bukit Timah Nature Reserve’s proximity to the city is perfect, to help you take your mind off and improve your work-life balance. Especially for us digital nomads… During my first stay in Singapore, my House Sitting apartment was right next to Bukit Timah!

Have you been to any nature reserve or national park in Singapore? Tell me about it in the comments!


PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

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