Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bukit Batok Town Park

I bet you thought that Bryan and I had already been to every park and nature reserve in Singapore by now...but we haven't! There are still a few places we haven't visited yet. Bukit Batok Town Park was on our list of places to go (I also had to go there for work, to look for monkeys). So we headed over there one day. I hadn't heard much about the park, except that it's always confused with Bukit Batok Nature Park (clarification: BBNP is in Bukit Batok, near Bukit Timah. BBTP is near Bukit Gombak MRT station). I was pleasantly surprised by this little park. It's beautiful!!

These dramatic cliffs descend right into the water. The park is also called Little Guilin, apparently because the scenery is similar to Guilin, China. But it reminded me a little of Phang Nga Bay in Thailand. It's not as huge and breathtaking, but it's lovely nonetheless...and it's right here, right by the MRT!
Surprising scenery for Singapore

The park had lots of little alcoves and benches and places to hang out. It seemed like a nice place to relax or have a picnic (but watch out...there are reports of food-snatching monkeys hanging around!)
Cozy little nook
Someone left this cute little elephant behind

There was some wildlife in the park too. As I sat along the water, I heard some movement along the shore. It was a huge water monitor in the process of catching and eating a huge silver fish! And of course Bryan was off on his own with the camera, so we totally missed the photo op. But while he was off looking around, he got some cool shots of a bold green crested lizard that was hanging out right by his feet.
Hey, man. Got any bugs I can eat?

We also caught some butterflies in a private moment! We snapped a photo and left them to their business. I'm pretty sure these butterflies are a type called "Common Mormons," which is one of the more unusual butterfly monikers I've heard.
Common Mormon butterflies

My colleague recently introduced me to a neat plant called a touch-me-not (aka sensitive plant, humble plant, or sleeping grass). Once she showed it to me, I saw that it's super common and occurs all over Singapore: along sidewalks, in nature reserves, all over the place. The plants are fascinating. When you touch the leaves, they quickly fold in on themselves. If you leave them alone for awhile, the leaves slowly open up again. It seems to be a type of defense mechanism. I think this is awesome and I have developed a bit of an obsession with these plants!!!
The touch-me-not, my second favorite plant (after pitcher plants, of course)
After I touched it, it closed up on itself!!

If you step on the plant when you're walking, the whole plant closes up. The plant becomes so much more compact that it can be hard to even see it!
Open touch-me-not
Same exact spot after stepping on the can hardly even see it!

OK, that's the end of my rant on the awesomeness of the touch-me-not. If you get a chance, I recommend heading over to Bukit Batok Town Park to check out the scenery, the fun plants, and (if you're lucky) a little wildlife!


  1. Oh I'm so glad to see you are still livin it up in Singapore! I miss you terribly! Drop me a line sometime and let me know how everything is going!


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