After the amazing Half-Day Southern Islands Tour with TLC Adventure Tours, I joined them on hiking in Bukit Batok. This hike promises “torii gates” and “bamboo forest” which I never knew existed in Singapore.
We visited 3 places on this hiking trip: Seng Chew Quarry, Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park and Greenwood Park.
Hiking in Bukit Batok: Seng Chew Granite Quarry
We exited Bukit Gombak MRT station in the direction of Bukit Gombak Sports Hall. We then walked towards Block 383 Bukit Batok West Avenue 5. Once we saw the first block of flats, we turned right and we were greeted with an open green slope. The slope was not steep and it was pretty easy to climb.
We chanced upon a private vegetable farm in the woods. It is actually illegal to farm without authorization, but no one will actually come to check so I guess it should be alright.
We walked along the drain and after trekking for about 50 meters, we arrived at Seng Chew Quarry.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, granite was widely used in construction of public housing and roads in Singapore. Granite was mined from quarries in Singapore, one of which was Gombak Norite. Little Guilin was the more famous quarry in Gombak Norite, while Seng Chew Quarry was largely unknown.
After visiting Seng Chew Quarry, we hiked up to the top of the hill overlooking Little Guilin which gave us a bird-eye view of the quarry below.
Hiking in Bukit Batok: Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park
I didn’t know the place that promised “tori gates” and “bamboo forest” was called Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park, I only found out after the hike.
Bukit Batok Hillside Nature Park had been abandoned for year and overgrown with plants. These stone steps make exploring the place slightly easier.
Ta-da! This was the “torii gates” that this hike promised. With a bit of imagination, it does resemble the red torii gates in Japan, doesn’t it?
This round wooden table reminded me of King Arthur’s Round Table.
This “bamboo forest” is definitely not as beautiful as Arashimaya Bamboo Forest but beautiful in a messy rustic way.
We also encountered an old couple’s “summer retreat” in the forest. Apparently, this place used to be a restaurant that served zi char dishes but it had stopped operation for many years.
Seriously, if they reopen for business, I will be the first to patronize. Imagine dining in the middle of a forest, it’ll definitely be an unforgettable dining experience.
There was an abandoned well nearby and a water pipe which supposedly pumps out spring water. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try drinking the spring water. I did that and I didn’t have any diarrhea so I believe the water was clean. Alternatively, you could take some home in a bottle and boil it before drinking.
Hiking in Bukit Batok: Greenwood Park
There wasn’t anything special to see at Greenwood Park except for a small vegetable garden tended by a guy.
Greenwood Park’s steep terrain gave me the chance to try abseiling or rappling. Bear Grylls (British adventurer) makes it looks so easy on television. It was definitely much harder than I imagined but I felt great for having tried that.
Since we can’t travel overseas, this is a good time to rediscover Singapore. There are actually much more to Singapore than you think you know. If you are into exploring forests and hiking, TLC Adventure Tours regularly conducts hiking expeditions. You can find their activists on either their Meetup group or Facebook Page.