walk

“Mount” Faber and Henderson Waves

I was testing out a few things on my Canon T2i (550D) so I thought I’d make something of it. The self-recorded footage was filmed on my iPhone 4S. Read more below.

 

Singapore is not known for its green areas. This is quite obvious. Do a simple image search for Singapore and you’ll find skyline after skyline of tall, fancy buildings or a Merlion vomiting water into Marina Bay. With an entire country’s landmass roughly 3.5 times the size of Washington D.C., almost all the land has been converted from lush rainforests and thriving mangroves into the concrete and steel playgrounds of 21st century robot-people. In fact, according to the all knowing source, Wikipedia,  Singapore has grown in size from 581.5 square km in the 1960s, to 723.2 square km today. That means over  one fifth of Singapore’s current land has been stolen from the ocean! Within twenty years that figure may grow further by another 100 square km. Just give it thousand years or so and you’ll have kangaroos hopping over from Australia.

With only 5% of island remaining forest and woodlands, I decided to check out one of the few areas I haven’t seen yet. Ironically, it’s perhaps the easiest to get to.

MOUNT FABER

Why this is even called a “mount”, I don’t know. Comparing it with some others that are justly given the title of Mount make it seem quite insignificant. Mount Everest, Mount Fuji, Mount McKinley, Mount Kilimanjaro: All awesome mountains you would be lucky to climb. Mount Faber however, is barely a hill stretching a measly 105 meters (344 ft) into the sky. Calling Mount Faber a mountain is kinda like saying McDonalds has healthy options or Lindsey Lohan is an upstanding member of society.

I started from the VivoCity side, and not being very tall, it took me less than twenty minutes to get to the top. While that sounds quite easy, the term “no sweat” belongs nowhere near Singapore. It looked as if I had just decided to walk through a sprinkler with my clothes on. Faber Point had some decent views, but trees blocked a majority of what could have been seen. Of all the times to not chop down a few trees, this is it?

From there I ran into some giant demon spider that was apparently on vacation from guarding King Tut’s tomb and quickly head down to Henderson Waves.  Connecting Mount Faber to Telok Blangah Hill, over Henderson road a hundred or so feet below, the footbridge is perhaps more impressive than the mountain itself. One side of the bridge moves up and down with its metal supports to create some sort of wave that Mr. LeVan, my high school calculus teacher, would be very disappointed I didn’t know. Unfortunately, to get the best angle to view the actual wave pattern you would have to go deep into the bushes and undergrowth where there was probably a family of monkeys and their pet spiders all too eager to make real good friends with my body.

On the other side of the waves, you can check out the Stream Garden, the Terrace Garden, and then the Forest Walk. The Forest Walk is over a kilometer of metal walkways which carry you above the forest floor into the canopy. These take you all the way down to Alexandra Arch, where you can either hop on a bus, or continue the Southern Ridges trail through Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park.

While not very remote, and hardly a hike, it was a nice break from the rest of the city, and extremely easy to get to. If you don’t feel like sweating up the million stairs to the top, you can grab the cable car from Sentosa Island or HarbourFront up to Mount Faber. You can even stuff your face on top at a restaurant to reward your lazy ass.

However, If you’re looking for something a bit wilder or  authentic feeling you may not be very impressed. Instead, I would check out Pulau Ubun, MacRitchie Reservoir, or Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Even better yet, get the hell out of Singapore.

Want to go?

  • How to get there: The Merang Trail to Mount Faber starts at the bus station opposite VivoCity. There’s an exit from the HarbourFront MRT station that puts you in the exact right spot. You can also start from Alexandra Road. Find Alexandra Arch and head up the metal walkways.
  • Distance: 2.98 km (1-1.5 hours depending on how fast you are and how many ants you take pictures of.)
  • Hours: 24/7. It’s even lit up from 7PM to 7AM if you’ve got a bad case of “It’s 3AM and I want to go for a walk”.
  • More Info: Download a Map (PDF), or check out the official site for more info.