Don’t be fooled by the hustle-bustle of the city centre and financial district with skyscrapers of Singapore; this island used to be a tropical jungle and wetlands where wild tribes ruled for millennia. Since its foundation as a major harbour in early 19th century, Singapore grew rapidly and approximately 5.5 million people live in less than 720 square km space. Despite this growth and rapid urbanisation, some of the central and northern parts of the city/island are wild life reservations, closed to development.
Right at the centre of the island, as part of the Central Water Catchment, you will find MacRitchie Reservoir, Upper Peirce Reservoirs (Upper and Lower) and Selatar Reservoirs (Upper and Lower). These are the fresh water sources of the city and all are well protected from industrial or residential contamination.
MacRitchie Reservoir is named after the engineer James MacRitchie who oversaw the building of the extension to the reservoir in early 20th century. Apparently there was no politician at the time whose name is deemed more worthy for this place or it was a different world altogether :)
Along the way, we rested few times, drank water and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It felt like an oasis in the desert, as an escape from the crowds of the ‘mega shopping mall’, aka Singapore.
One of the most well-known and visited features of the reservoir is the Tree Top Walk, a suspension bridge at the top of the trees where the trekkies can walk & enjoy the view from a different vantage point. The water body that is seen in the distance in the below video is the Upper Peirce Reservoir and Singapore Island Country Club (golf) is right next to it.
There are many trails in the reservoir at various lengths, 3 km to 11 km. During our last trip to the reservoir we attempted the longest 11 km trail and managed to complete in 3 hours. It was a tough trial but now we made it once, we want to go and complete the same trail again every couple of weeks.
Even though most of the Singaporeans do not frequently visit the Reservoir, some locals love it so much that they go every weekend and run the long trails. Yes, you heard right, I have a colleague who runs 11km trail every Sunday. :)
At the end of the trail (or the beginning), you arrive at a nice little park by the reservoir. It would surely be relaxing having a picnic at one of those nice spots, facing the water & jungle.
In short, MacRitchie Reservoir is one of our most favourite places on this island. It helps us to charge our batteries by literally going back to pre-colonial, tropical jungle times of Singapore, except for the golf clubs along the way and the tips of some skyscrapers on the horizon. :)