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Adventure Asia Destinations Lifestyle Singapore

Undiscovered Hiking Trails in Singapore for Your Next Weekend Adventure

What plans do you have for the upcoming weekend? If, like us, you’ve spent most of the week in an office chair in front of a computer screen, there’s no better time to stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air.

Hiking has become one of the most popular things to do in Singapore, with some hotspots seeing high footfall over the weekends. If you’re looking for something a little quieter, head to these undiscovered trails in Singapore for some well-deserved nature lovin’ — sans the crowds! 

1. Kranji Marshes 

Kranji Marshes is Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland, containing 57 hectares worth of natural and green habitats. Home to three unique biomes, the area is home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of butterflies, and more. You might also chance upon an estuarine crocodile or monitor lizard along the way!

Head up the Raptor Tower for a panoramic view of the area. Bird enthusiasts will also be delighted to discover species like the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Purple Heron and Changeable Hawk Eagle. If you’d like to learn more, join the free ‘Evening Chorus at Kranji Marshes’ guided tour through the core conservation area, which is usually not open to the public.

How to get there: Take the Kranji Express Bus from Kranji MRT Station to the D’Kranji Farm Resort, followed by a short walk to Kranji Gate.

2. Bukit Batok Nature Park

Witness a slice of history at Bukit Batok Nature Park, which was developed on an abandoned quarry back in 1988. During the Japanese invasion, one of the most vehement battles took place at the Bukit Timah area. Bukit Batok Nature Park is home to a hill that overlooks the battleground; a WWII memorial was hence constructed on this very hilltop to commemorate the lives lost during the battle.

In addition, the park offers multiple hiking trails that offer magnificent views of the lakes and granite quarry. 

How to get there: Take buses 61, 66, 157, 178, 852 and 985 to Bukit Batok East Avenue 6.

3. Tampines Eco Green

Hidden away between the Tampines Expressway, Tampines Avenue 12, and Sungei Tampines, Tampines Eco Green is a secret park that pays homage to all things natural. True to its theme, the park has no lights or pavements. It doesn’t even have a flushing toilet; instead, its toilet is a compost-based one! The park’s signboards and benches are also made from recycled and environmentally-friendly materials.

Take your pick from three trails — Diversity Trail, Forest Trail and Marsh Trail — through secondary forests, vegetated swales, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for any of the park’s 75 species of birds and 35 species of butterflies! The park is also home to the Hanguana Rubinea, a native flower that’s found only in Singapore.

How to get there: 20-minute walk from Tampines MRT Station.

4. Thomson Nature Park

Be spoilt for choice at Thomson Nature Park, which boasts five trails that span a total of 3.8 kilometres. Previously a Hainan Village, bits of its heritage have been preserved in the form of old village houses, old street signs and the remains of a rambutan plantation.

Check out the Run and Figs Trail, as well as the Stream and Ferns Trail. If you’re lucky, you might even chance upon a Raffles’ Banded Langur, an endangered primate; or the Sunda Pangolin and Malayan Porcupine, both of which are highly elusive.

How to get there: Take buses 138, 138A, 167, 169, 860 and 980 to Upper Thomson Road.

5. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Comprising the first ASEAN Heritage Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a haven for nature and wildlife lovers. Home to some of the island’s richest biodiversity, the swamps of Sungei Buloh are home to 140 species of birds, mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, mud lobsters monkeys, otter, civet cats, monitor lizards, and even the occasional estuarine crocodile! 

The Migratory Bird Walk’s Aerie Tower is a prime spot for bird-watching, especially during the migratory season. To find out more, there are free guided walks available every Saturday at 9.30am.

How to get there: Take Bus 925 from Kranji MRT Station to Kranji Reservoir Carpark B.

If you’re raring for an adventure of bigger proportions, tackle the Coast to Coast Trail, a mega 36-kilometre route that stretches all the way from Coney Island to Jurong Lake Gardens. Along the way, you’ll also pass through Punggol Waterway Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Macritchie Reservoir Park, the Rail Corridor, and Bukit Batok Nature Park. 

Alternatively, the North Eastern Riverine Loop is a 26-kilometre trail that runs through Buangkok, Sengkang and Punggol — including Punggol Promenade and Lorong Halus Wetland. This trail is also suitable for cycling if you don’t wish to go entirely on foot! Another option is the Western Adventure Loop, which connects the five parks of Bukit Batok Nature Park, Jurong Lake Park, Zhenghua Park Dairy Farm Nature Park, and Choa Chu Kang Park.

That’s exactly what we love about Singapore — it may be a metropolitan city but, look close enough, and you’ll find little pockets of green space scattered all around that are the perfect escape from all that hustle and bustle.

So, which of these hiking trails will you explore first?

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Adventure Asia Destinations Lifestyle Malaysia

Top Mountains to Climb in Malaysia that’re Suitable for All Fitness Levels

Singapore is home to various hiking trails as well as our beloved Bukit Timah Hill, but for those that are raring to climb an actual mountain — our little red dot regrettably doesn’t have much to offer. However, why not make a quick trip across the causeway to our neighbouring country of Malaysia, who has plenty of mountains for you to choose from?

Here are four mountains in Malaysia — that aren’t located too far from Singapore! — that are a great starting point for beginners:

1. Gunung Datuk

E-lyn Tham

Tucked away in Negeri Sembilan, Gunung Datuk is a mountain that’s perfect for beginners. Standing at just 885 metres tall, trekking up and down Datuk will take up about two and a half and two hours respectively. To get to the starting point, descend a path from the carpark, and cross a stream via a bridge. The climb up is a pure test of stamina, comprising a rather steep incline with not much flat ground!

Once you emerge from the jungle, you’ll be faced with a couple of gigantic rocks with steel ladders along their sides. Make your way up and be treated to a panoramic view at the top, which is particularly magnificent at sunrise. 

Distance from Singapore: Approximately three to four hours.

2. Mount Ophir

Stan, Flickr Creative Commons

With a height of 1, 276 metres, Mount Ophir (or Gunung Ledang) is the highest mountain in Johor. There are four trails available; the Lagenda/Sagil trail is the most popular, taking about four to five hours one-way. The trail starts with a gradual incline but gets more exciting towards the top; you’ll encounter the KFC (Killing Fitness Center) that comprises a number of ropes and ladders, as well as a rock face, which you’d have to scale with ropes. 

A limited number of climbing permits are issued each day — do register for yours in advance. For a day climb, the cut-off point for reaching the summit is 2pm; any later, and your (mandatory) guide will have to turn you back. Fun fact: Many climbers use Ophir as their training ground for Mount Kinabalu!

Distance from Singapore: Approximately four hours.

3. Gunung Lambak

With a height of 510 metres, the hike up and down Gunung Lambak will take an approximate total of three to four hours. The trail starts off easy via concrete road, followed by a jungle trek clearly demarcated by steps and railings, and finally, a steep last section, where you’ll be making your way up steps made out of soil and a tangle of tree roots. 

Catch a breather at the summit, enjoy the view, and make your way down the same way you came up. Alternatively, you can continue towards the second twin peak and descend via another route. 

Distance from Singapore: Approximately two to three hours.

4. Gunung Angsi

Ravenblack7575, Flickr Creative Commons

Located not too far from Gunung Datuk, Gunung Angsi is an 824-metre high mountain that’s perfect for a day trip. You can ascend the mountain via Bukit Putus or Ulu Pendul, with the latter being more challenging. 

Both trails are clearly marked, with gorgeous views of the town of Seremban at the top. It’d take about two and a half hours on average to reach the summit, with another two hours to descend to the base. The way up consists of a series of inclines, with stretches of flat ground in between. There’s a viewpoint approximately 10 minutes before the summit, followed by a root-lined slope that you’d have to climb using ropes.

Distance from Singapore: Approximately four hours.

Amanda Quek

If you’d like, you can combine your mountain adventure with a trip to Malacca, where you can spend a night at Jonker Street; or with a night in Kuala Lumpur, depending on which mountain you’ve set your sights on. For adrenaline junkies, head to Gopeng in Perak, Ipoh, where you can explore the Tempurung Caves and try your hand at Waterfall Abseiling. Alternatively, head to the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls for a splashing good time!

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Some tips to keep in mind: always dress appropriately, with long socks to prevent leech bites if your route includes river crossings. These will also help to prevent mosquito bites! Bring at least one and a half to two litres of water with you, as well as a trash bag for all your rubbish. Arm yourselves with proper hiking shoes that have a good grip, and bring along some snacks (we call this ‘happy food’; avoid chocolates, sweets or gummies are preferred) to motivate you — and others around you! — along the way. 

E-lyn Tham

If you’re attempting a sunrise hike, you’d have to make your way up the mountain in the dark. Do equip yourself with a good headlight and torchlight! If this is the first time you’re doing that particular hike, it’s best to do it in the day. Otherwise, make sure you have a guide or that you’re with someone who has done that particular hike before. 

So why not make a weekend out of it, and combine your mountain climb with a little R&R along the way? The climb up may be gruelling but once you’re at the summit, you’ll feel right on top of the world!

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Adventure Destinations Europe Lifestyle

Hello, Adventure: 5 Unique Things to Do in Iceland

Stepping into the landscapes of Iceland feels like tumbling headfirst into a rabbit hole — onto another planet altogether. Boasting otherworldly scenery filled with ethereal formations, Iceland is a destination fit for the history books. 

And in a country as incredible as this, Iceland is naturally bursting with unique activities for travellers seeking a generous dose of adventure. Check these off your bucket list the next time you’re in the country:

1. Snorkel between 2 tectonic plates

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Thingvellir National Park is one of the stops on the popular Golden Circle route, which can easily be covered on a day trip from Reykjavik. Nestled within the park is ‘Silfra’, a rift created between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in 1789. This fissure measures 600 by 200 metres, creating a passage that’s wide enough for divers and snorkelers to pass through.

That’s right, here’s your chance to actually dive or snorkel between two tectonic plates! Silfra is filled with water from the Langjokull glacier, which is said to be some of the clearest water in the world. This allows for underwater visibility of up to 100 metres, with water temperatures remaining between a comfortable two to four degrees celsius all year round. 

2. Hike across a massive glacier

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Did you know that more than 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers? A glacier forms when multiple layers of snow are compressed to form colossal blocks of ice — in a process that takes thousands of years. 

Strap on a pair of crampons, arm yourself with an ice axe, and make your way across sprawling blue fields and deep crevasses. If you wish, you can even sample some of the clear glacial water found in chasms along the surface of the ice. Don’t worry, this water is completely safe for consumption! Complete your adventure by venturing into the depths of an ice cave; however, do note that Ice Cave season only starts at the beginning of winter (start of November).

3. Walk amongst icebergs at the Diamond Beach

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In Iceland, diamonds are everyone’s best friend. And the country’s home to some of the best diamonds around — which come in the form of countless chunks of ice that sparkle in the sunlight! These ice pieces break off from a nearby glacier and land in the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, before floating out to sea and washing ashore at the Breioamerkursandur Black Beach. 

The beach is dotted with numerous wedges of ice in all shapes and sizes, colloquially earning it the nickname of the ‘Diamond Beach’. Take your time to wander amongst the pieces of ice and even clamber onto some huge ones — at your own risk! — for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. If you’d like, you can even head across the road to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, where you can take a boat ride around the lagoon.

4. Watch a geyser erupt 40 metres into the air

E-lyn Tham

Spanning an area of 3 square kilometres, the Geysir Geothermal Area is a fascinating hive of activity. Wander around and feast your eyes on numerous steaming pools and bubbling fumaroles, complete with jets of steam and a cloud of mist that envelops the area. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the Strokkur Geyser, which erupts in intervals of 10 minutes or so. When this happens, a large volume of water is thrown up into the air, reaching a staggering height of 40 metres! Do take caution not to stand too close, however; the temperature of the water ranges between 80 to 100 degrees celsius.

5. Explore an 8,000-year-old lava tube

E-lyn Tham

Conduct your very own ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ at Vatnshellir Cave, which inspired Jules Verne’s 1864 novel of the same name! Located within Snaefellsjokull National Park, the 8,000 year-old-Vatnshellir Cave invites visitors to explore its depths — a whopping 35 metres underground.

Arm yourself with a helmet and headlight, and follow your guide as he enthralls you with tales and information about the various lava formations. Spot all types of stalactites or stalagmites and, at one point of the tour, even experience what it’s like to be enveloped in sheer darkness. The tour does require clambering up and down a couple of metal staircases; a certain level of fitness is hence required for this experience. 

Other than the above, there’s plenty in Iceland to entice visitors of all ages — ride a horse through lava fields, pamper yourself by soaking in a geothermal lagoon, walk behind thundering waterfalls, and even go on a thrilling Northern Lights chase. 

The list goes on and on; all you need is a hunger for adventure, as well as the willingness to put yourself outside your comfort zone, and you’ll be all set!

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Adventure Asia Destinations Japan Lifestyle

5 Places in Japan with Free-Roaming Wildlife

Ah, kawaii!

Visit any islands with free-roaming wildlife in Japan and you’d hear incessant shrieks of this resonating through the air. ‘Kawaii’ translates to mean ‘cute’ in English, which adequately sums up any experience on these islands. The animals have free reign of the place and roam around freely — inadvertently creating multiple tourist attractions that allow travellers to observe (and interact!) with these creatures in their natural habitat. 

If you’re an animal lover, a visit to these places might be just up your alley:

1. Feed the deer at Nara or Miyajima

travelynns/Instagram

Yes, you read that right — you can actually frolic amongst free-roaming deer at Nara or Miyajima. Nara Park, in particular, is home to around 1,200 of these curious creatures. These deer are regarded as sacred creatures and enjoy continued protection as National Treasures. 

You’ll find the deer everywhere — along the sidewalks, in front of the shops (some of which even put out water for the animals), in front of the temples and lounging on the grass. If you’d like, you can purchase a packet of deer biscuits to feed the deer and if you bow to them, they’d bow right back! You’ll be able to find free-roaming deer at Miyajima Island as well, which is famous for its floating torii gate.

2. Cuddle with bunnies at Okunoshima

travelynns/Instagram

Credit: @travelynns, Instagram

It’s rabbits galore at Okunoshima, an island accessible via train and ferry from Hiroshima. The island is inhabited by hundreds of sniffly bunnies, all of which will come clamouring once you step off the ferry — especially if you arrive with a head of cabbage and a couple of carrots in hand. 

The rabbits usually congregate around the ferry terminal, hotel, shrine, observation platform, and the visitor’s centre, so do be sure to hit those spots if you want to be surrounded by all that bouncy cuteness! However, the island isn’t without a dark history; Okunoshima was previously used to manufacture poison gas for the war. No one knows how these rabbits came to be on the island; however, one theory is that they were brought to the island to be used as guinea pigs for the poison gas factories, and abandoned when the operations shut down.

3. Walk with foxes at Zao Fox Village

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Now, this is something that most travellers normally wouldn’t expect to do in Japan. Get up close and personal with 6 different fox species at the Zao Fox Village, a sanctuary that’s home to over 100 foxes. Till this day, wild foxes still approach the village in search of water and food — in turn finding a forever home where they’ll have a safe space to roam and play.

Take a stroll through the free-roaming area, where you’ll be wandering among multiple foxes! Watch as they play in the shade, stretch out on rocks, or take a nap on the grass. If you’d like, you can purchase some food to feed them from an elevated platform. If you’re lucky, you might even have the chance to hold a baby fox in your arms — at an additional cost, of course. 

4. Check out the monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park

Andrew Tan/Pixabay

Every winter, the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park make a prized appearance. These monkeys are of the Japanese Macaque variety, all of which normally reside in the Jigokudani Valley. The monkey park is home to one giant natural hot spring, which the monkeys flock to in search of some respite from the cold. Indeed, it’s quite a sight to watch these monkeys soaking in the waters of the hot spring!

Granted that you won’t be able to interact with the monkeys but they’re mostly accustomed to the presence of humans, so you’ll be able to observe them from up-close. Sightings of these monkeys are common all year round but the best time to visit is during winter, where the contrast of the monkeys in the steaming pools amidst the surrounding snow makes for an utterly unique scene.

5. Hang out with cats at Ainoshima Island

Kanon Serizawa, Flickr Creative Commons

Both aloof and affectionate, cats make for some of the world’s most beloved pets. However, for those that don’t have the privilege of having a pet of your own, you can head to Ainoshima Island to get your fill of all things furry and cute! Ainoshima Island can be easily visited from Hakata Station in Fukuoka and has a small area of just 1.25 square kilometres. The island is home to around 500 fishermen and, you guessed it, plenty of cats.

There are about 150 to 200 cats on the island, most of which usually congregate around the port, around the warehouses and at the shrine. Ainoshima may be the most famous cat island in Japan, but the cat islands of Aoshima and Tashirojima are well worth a visit as well — especially if you can’t get enough!

Arm yourself with some bribes in the form of food — yes, animals can be rather superficial creatures — and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an animal whisperer at any of the above locations. Are you ready for all that cuteness?

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Adventure Asia Lifestyle

Ready, Set, Temple Run: 5 Must-Visit Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Most travellers visit Siem Reap for one purpose, and one purpose only; and that is to visit the magnificent Angkor Wat. However, did you know that Angkor Wat is just one out of more than 50 temples in the entire Angkor complex? 

Sprawling over 400 square kilometres, the Angkor Archaeological Park is an enchanting labyrinth of temples, each more intricate than the next. It’s easy to feel intimidated when planning a trip but for a start, here are some must-visit temples: 

Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat is a temple of grandeur, and easily the most famous of the lot. Start your day early by heading to the small lake in front of Angkor Wat for a magnificent view of the sunrise, complete with a mesmerising reflection of the temple in the waters. 

Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, and is even pictured on the country’s national flag. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is a stone palace filled with bas-relief galleries, stone chambers, towers and courtyards — all of which are connected by a maze of staircases. Every visit to the temple is inexplicably laced with mystery and intrigue; choose to explore the temple by yourself or with a guide, who will regale you with tales about the history of the temple.

Ta Phrom

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At first glance, the area of Ta Prohm seems to be a messy tangle of overgrown tree roots, vines and ferns. However, look closely and you’ll discover a temple swallowed by the forces of nature, where its ruins have trees growing out of its walls, and roots snaking across every available surface. 

Exploring Ta Prohm feels like the start of an intrepid adventure; and rightly so, with the temple once acting as the filming location of the famous Hollywood movie, ‘Tomb Raider’. The temple dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, where it fell into disarray after the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century. There’s a curious symbiotic relationship between the temple and the trees — the trees are the very thing that caused the temple’s walls to collapse; yet, today they’re the only thing holding the ruins together!

Bayon

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Known as the temple with many faces, Bayon boasts a total of 216 stone faces that depict the image of Avalokiteshvara, Cambodia’s most revered king. Each stone face measures a height of 4 metres, and faces a particular cardinal direction. They all have the same expression; with their eyes closed and mouth curved up in a serene smile — which is said to be symbolic of the achievement of inner peace or the state of Nirvana. 

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Bayon is also decorated with multiple ornate bas-reliefs that can be found all around the temple. These illustrate everyday life back in 12th-century Cambodia, as well as the construction process of the temple. 

Do note that a visitor pass is required to visit the Angkor complex. A 1-, 3- and 7-day pass costs USD37 (~SGD50), USD62 (~SGD83) and USD72 (~SGD97) respectively. All 3 of the above temples can be visited on the same day; either rent an e-bike to explore them at your own leisure or choose to hire a tuk-tuk driver, who will bring you to each temple and patiently wait as you explore.

If you have the time, you can also venture out of Siem Reap on a day trip to the Prasat Thom and Beng Melea temples.

Prasat Thom

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Prasat Thom is a sight to behold; boasting a formidable seven-storey pyramid that rises majestically out of the forest. The pyramid is found within the ancient city of Koh Ker, which previously functioned as the capital of the Khmer Empire between 928 and 944 AD. The area of Koh Ker is peppered with more than 180 sanctuaries and smaller temples, of which about 40 are open to the public today. 

If you wish, you can even climb a narrow staircase to the top of Prasat Thom for a panoramic view of the area. 

Beng Melea

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Known as the less-touristy sister of Ta Prohm in the Angkor complex, Beng Melea is perhaps one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Gloriously overrun by the forces of nature, Beng Melea is a 12th-century maze of dark chambers and hushed walkways. 

Enclosed by a large moat, visitors should be prepared to clamber through narrow holes in the walls, scamper over giant pieces of sandstone, as well as skip over masses of roots and rubble. A wooden sidewalk is also available if you prefer, but where’s the fun in that?

A ticket is required for entry into both Prasat Thom and Beng Melea, which costs USD10 (~SGD13) and USD5 (~SGD7) respectively. 

The trick to discovering the beauty of Siem Reap’s temples is just to take it slow. Wake up early for the sunrise at Angkor Wat, return to your hotel for a siesta or swim (Siem Reap can get very hot around mid-day!), and have a leisurely lunch before returning to explore the other temples.

Take your time to soak in the full splendour of the ruins — there’s really nothing like it!

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Adventure Asia Bangkok Destinations Lifestyle Thailand

Squeal Your Heart Out at These Dog Cafés in Bangkok, Thailand

Dogs are truly man’s best friend. Where else can you find a pet that’s as unnervingly loyal? However, if you aren’t lucky enough to own one of your own, you can still get your fill of cuteness — right here at these dog cafés in Bangkok!

Take your pick and get ready to squeal with joy.

Big Dog Café

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As the name suggests, the dogs at the Big Dog Café are of the bigger variety. And boy, are they huge! Cuddle up with Alaskan Malamutes that, when standing, tower over the average human; Old English Sheepdogs with strings of hair in their eyes; gentle Central Asian Shepherds; eager Airedale Terriers; impossibly furry Chow Chows and more. The dogs are released in batches and are all incredibly friendly — they’ll run right up to you for a pat, sniff, or cuddle.

You might also chance upon some rare breeds, such as a Russian Wolfhound, an Afghan Hound, and a Komondor. Other smaller breeds are also present at the café, such as Pomeranians, Corgis, and Westie Terriers. 

Make your reservations via their Facebook page for the timings of 9.30-11.30am, 12-2pm, 2.30-4.30pm, 5-7pm, or 7.30-9.30pm. The entrance fee of THB199 (~SGD8.70) includes a welcome drink.

Address: 88 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Huai Khwang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10310, Thailand

Corgi in the Garden

If, however, your affections tend towards dogs of a smaller variety, the Corgi in the Garden café might be just the place for you. Surround yourself with 12 little bundles of fur that go by the adorable names of Porkchop, Salmon, Babycorn, Buttercup, and more! Watch as they bound up to you with goofy smiles on their faces, or bribe them for a selfie with treats that you can purchase from the café. 

So how did this corgi café come about? The owner used to own two corgis, who then gave birth to a litter of three puppies. Little did she know that one of her dogs would then go on to have a surprise litter of seven puppies, bringing the total to a whopping 12 corgis altogether! The owner wanted to keep all the dogs and hence decided to open Corgi in the Garden, where her beloved corgis can continue to bring joy to all who visit.

The entrance fee of THB250 (~SGD11) includes a drink; top up an additional THB100 (~SGD4) for a piece of cake as well. Make your reservations via their Facebook page for 1-hour slots at 10.30am (weekends only), 12.30pm, 2.30pm, and 4.30pm.

Address: 338/1 Kallapaphreuk Road Bang Wa, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok 10160, Thailand

True Love at Neverland

TrueLove at Neverland, Facebook

Huskies have a piercing blue gaze that can stop anyone in their tracks. Get up close and personal with these majestic creatures at True Love at Neverland, a café that’s home to over 25 huskies! The huskies are separated into three different pens — they belong to separate ‘clans’, so we were told — and visitors are free to rotate between the pens. The huskies are surprisingly endearing, with many willing to rub up close against your shoulders or plop down in front of you for a belly rub. 

The true highlight is at the end of the session, where you’ll get to watch the huskies being summoned for their meal. Besides the huskies, you’ll also get to play with a Japanese Akita, a Shih Tzu, and 2 Australian Shepherds. 

Slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, The ticket counter opens at 11.30am daily, for 2 sessions a day. The first starts at 12pm, with playtime from 1-2pm; the second starts at 3pm, with playtime from 4-5pm. The ticket costs THB500 (~SGD22), inclusive of a drink and choice of food or ice cream cake.

Address: 153 Soi Ari Samphan 2, Khwaeng Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Dog in Town – Dog Cafe, Facebook

Alternatively, if you prefer to just be surrounded by dogs, dogs and more dogs — no matter the breed! — you can also head to the Dog in Town or House of Paws cafés. Dog in Town has more than five different dog breeds, whilst House of Paws offers more than 10 different dog breeds. You’ll also be glad to know that House of Paws is the only dog café to be located in the heart of the city.

Indeed, Bangkok doesn’t have to be all about shopping or eating. Fall in love with the dogs at these cafés, who will be all yours to love and cuddle — even if just for an hour or two!

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Adventure Asia Destinations Lifestyle Singapore

Popular Hiking Trails in Singapore

It’s easy to think of Singapore as a glittering metropolis, a city filled to the brim with gleaming skyscrapers and bustling air-conditioned malls. However, despite its conspicuous lack of mountains — with the 164-metre high Bukit Timah Hill being its sole claim of fame — Singapore turns out to be a city with more than just a few surprises up its sleeve!

Yes, it may be modern; and yes, it may be all shiny and new, but contrary to popular perception, there are actually plenty of opportunities to enjoy the wonders of nature right here in our little red dot. And what better therapy is there than to bask in the sunlight and breathe in all that fresh air? 

Here are a couple of top hiking hotspots in Singapore that are suitable for all ages:

Green Corridor

We support The Green Corridor in Singapore, Facebook

Previously functioning as a railway track, the Green Corridor has since been transformed into a scenic hiking trail. The route acts as a connector of sorts for multiple green spaces, such as Clementi Woodlands, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and the Kranji/Mandai Mangrove and Mudflats. 

The entire trail is 24-kilometres long, allowing you to take your time to appreciate the lush flora and fauna — with lots of scenic views to boot! — along the way.

How to get there: 7-minute walk from Hillview Station, with the starting point located next to the Rail Mall.

Southern Ridges

Yuan, Flickr Creative Commons

Stretching over a length of 10 kilometres, the Southern Ridges’ Marang trail starts at Mount Faber Park and weaves through Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Park. 

Look out for the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk, two elevated walkways that take you through a secondary forest canopy; the Sembcorp Forest of Giants, home to 600 giant trees that tower up to a height of 80 metres; as well as the iconic Henderson Waves Bridge, which is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. 

How to get there: 6-minute walk from Harbourfront Station, with the starting point located at the Seah IM carpark.

Macritchie Reservoir Park

travel oriented, Flickr Creative Commons

Boasting trails that range from 3 to 11 kilometres in length, Macritchie Reservoir Park has something for everyone. You’ll encounter all sorts of terrains here — take your pick from easy boardwalks, muddy routes, and rocky paths that snake through the trees. See you can spot any of the park’s teeming wildlife, such as long-tailed macaque monkeys, flying lemurs, and pangolins along the way!

One of the highlights is the HSBC Treetop Walk, which is the cherry on top of a long, rewarding hike through the park. The 250-metre long free-standing suspension bridge reaches a height of 25 metres — seven storeys high! — at its highest point, and offers stunning bird’s eye views. It’s best reached via a 1.5 to 2-hour hike from the Venus Drive Carpark or, if you’re feeling ambitious, a 3.5 to 4-hour hike from Lornie Walk. 

How to get there: 14-minute walk from Caldecott Station; or take buses 52, 132, 163, 166, 167, 855 and 980 to Venus Drive for the Treetop Walk.

Pulau Ubin

budak, Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoy a nostalgic blast to the past at Pulau Ubin, an island home to one of Singapore’s last surviving kampongs. Experience the rustic charm of little villages, wild greenery, and perhaps, even a wild boar or two!

Hike along the boardwalks of Chek Jawa Wetlands, which can be reached via a 40-minute hike from the jetty. The Wetlands boasts six different ecosystems, which are best seen at low tide. In addition, don’t underestimate the short but gruelling 15-minute hike up Puaka Hill, where you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of the Granite Quarry. 

How to get there: 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Ferry Point Terminal.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

E-lyn Tham

Bukit Timah Hill is Singapore’s highest natural hill, with the 1.4 kilometres journey to the top requiring about 40 minutes to complete. Be prepared for a good workout; the trail is a steep incline most of the way, topped off with a flight of uneven stairs just before the summit. 

The nature reserve itself contains approximately 40% of Singapore’s flora and fauna, and comprises one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. The hill has a historical significance to it as well, as it was once used as part of the British military’s defence against the Japanese Army in World War II.

How to get there: 10-minute walk from Beauty World Station.

Lace up your hiking shoes and cancel any weekend plans — there’s really no better time to get out there and start enjoying the great outdoors!