Finding Serenity in Singapore: Sungei Buloh

I need a quick break.

I wasn’t ready to go back to the fast-paced life of Singapore yet. The last one month has been both exciting and exhausting. My Chinese New Year trip to Jakarta evolved into a last-minute family vacation planning to Bali. And then the Lion Air delay fiasco happened to us. Twice.

In between stranded in airports with uncertainty, rush-planning the Bali itinerary while finalising the details for my upcoming Japan visit, it’s sort of a miracle everything went well. But I needed to recharge after all of that, and exploring Kranji countryside was surprisingly effective.

It’s a different sight, far from the hustle and bustle of a typical Singapore day.

I started the morning with a walk around the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

It was a bright, beautiful morning. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is the kind of place you wouldn’t expect to exist in Singapore: Full of lush greenery with occasional red leaves. Rich biodiversity abound. No concrete jungle anywhere in sight.

Okay, except for this beautiful view of Johor Bahru across the distant shore when I briefly passed the coastal trail.

Johor Bahru (Malaysia) as seen from Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Quietly, I walked through the trails and observed the surroundings. There are plenty of interesting animals to be found if you pay a close attention.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Spiders are literally everywhere, some with webs that span a few meters wide. Clearly, they’ve found themselves a comfy home here, where they are rarely disturbed.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Spiders aside, I saw this cute yellow grasshopper basking in the sun.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

In between mud and dirt, you can spot snails, horseshoe crabs, mudskippers and other interesting critters.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

And of course, there’s the mighty monitor lizards. Two of them were fighting when I first arrived, it’s an exciting sight to behold.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Sungei Buloh is particularly famous for the migratory birds. I spotted a few of them singing between the branches, but they were too small to photograph with my iPhone.

Animals aside, the plants can be amazingly diverse and unique too.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

I especially love the mangroves. Those roots are just wonderful.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

Climbing up the observation tower, the superb bird’s-eye view of the wetland revealed itself in its full glory. Still amazed, I questioned myself, “Is this really Singapore or am I in Laos?”

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore

All of a sudden, all the baggage from the last one month disappeared.

Sungei Buloh was an amazing mini-getaway. It’s an underrated attraction that most people do not bother to visit, but that’s precisely why I find it such a charming place. It’s peaceful and it allows you to get back in touch with nature.

My Kranji afternoon continued with a visit to Gardenasia, but that’s a story for another time.

What are your favorite places in Singapore to wind down?

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