Bt. Timah Hill, standing at approx. 164 metres, is the highest point in Singapore, and I was deadbeat halfway up the hill…
The weather was kind to us that day, though there was a slight passing shower just as we arrived at our destination. The hike was a joint activity between the Girl Guides and the Scouts. It was quite surprising to find out that quite a number of us have not scaled the hill before, despite it being one of the iconic places in Singapore. It was a good opportunity for both Scouts and Guides then to experience the flora and fauna of the place while getting to the highest natural point in Singapore. However, we almost did not get a chance to climb the hill as NParks, the organization in charge of all the parks and nature reserves in Singapore, requires a group of 40 or more to apply for a permit in advance. We had 48 people and no permit. It’s a good thing that the NParks officer was kind enough to overlook this and issue us a permit on the spot; not to mention that it was a friday and not many people were climbing the hill at that hour as well.
The route up the first part of the hill was quite steep, and most of us were panting and pespiring like crazy by the time we got over the steep section, which was about 50 metres or so. From there, taking Route 4, we entered a jungle path to reach the summit. Unfortunately, most of us were too tired to fully enjoy the scenery, and besides, we have to keep our eyes on the ground most of the time as the footpath was quite narrow and if not careful, one can roll down the ravine beside. Halfway through, Mr. Yap, an ex-Unity teacher as well as our former teacher-in-charge of Scouts (he is now still with Unity as a VAL) met us during our hike through the jungle path. Route 4 took us about an hour of climbing before we reached the summit. There weren’t much people up at the hut then so we virtually had the place to ourselves.
We headed down the hill after a short period of rest and not forgetting a few group photos to remember our time spent there. The next part of the programme got everyone excited. It was like a 2nd childhood for all of us, including me. Bt. Timah almost boast a very fun playground situated within the Reserve. There were long winding slides, tyre swings, rope obstacles, a mini flying fox and many more. I had a go at the slide and it was quite fun zooming down at a fast speed. We spent the rest of our time there before the bus arrived to pick us up by 6pm.
I hope this is an enjoyable experience to all of us. It also serves as a reminder that despite living within a concrete jungle of tall buildings, Singapore still does have many pockets of natural and fun places for all to enjoy. Check out the photos that were taken on that day!
Yours in Scouting,