A trip to nature

[Image : GoogleEarth]

A recent work assignment and job pitch brought us to this place right in the heart of our city state, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Its hard to believe such nature existed amid our urbanised environment. Its 1.64 sqkm of area accounts for just 0.2% of Singapore's approximate total land area of 699.1 sqkm. Yet it is only 12 kilometres away and some 15 mins drive from the downtown core and financial district.

This is one of the largest areas of primary rainforest remaining today. Just imagine what the natural and geological characteristic of our island was more than 100 years ago. Today it is the site for popular hiking trails and considered one of the nation's 'attractions'. It is home to various spieces of flora and fauna, protected by the National Parks Act and managed by the National Parks Board.

Our impromptu site visit was obliged by the resident officer who led the way via a service road into the deep confines of the primary rainforest. Interestingly, what we experienced was none of that untouchable nature, but one that revealed the impact of urban intervention.

Arriving at the new carpark that was still under construction. Guess this place will be receiving quite a number of visitors.

Making our way into the forest in a way that we are used to.

Can't ride your motorcycle in here.

And finally arriving at the site for the project in question.

We were intriqued by what we saw to say the least. It was just amazing, a 'contemporary' styled barnhouse restored and completely modernised with new whitewashed interior walls and a brand new roof. Now all it needs is just some greenery so that it doesn't feel so out of place in the middle of a nature reserve.

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