Monday, 9 April 2012

Exploring Singapore for dog-friendly places - Bukit Batok Nature Park

Back when we were living in the UK, the dogs had a good life. We had a huge garden that was around 3 times the size of the dog run at Bishan Park, which means my Goldies could get a run around in the garden. Furthermore, we were only 5 minutes drive to Ampton racecourse in Ingham which covers 80 acres and is only used several times a year. Rest of the time, it is just a dog and dog's owner heaven where they can run free, chase pheasants, quails, rabbits and squirrels to their hearts delight. At the bottom of the field, there is a little church, a stream and more fields. Very picturesque and here are the pictures to proof that.

Dogs at the Ampton Racecourse
Doggies racing past
Come on- let's go

Happy doggies running everywhere
Playing ball in the field
You can't catch me
Then 10 minutes drive the other way, we have the Thetford forest reserve, which is my favourite. Part of it is a pine forest and the grounds are covered with pine needles which is super soft to walk on. Even after a heavy rain, it is still dry and will not get muddy at all.  There is also a little pond where the dogs can swim in too. Sometimes we will meet other dogs and their owners, and even horses and riders come through the forest.

Nice pond for a swim

Thetford forest reserve

Now in Singapore, there are only very few places that the dogs can go free - and that is at the dog runs. We have only been to the one in West Coast, Bishan and Katong but they are wholly inadequate compared to what Quinton and Reegan are used to.

We live in Bukit Timah now, which makes it very convenient to go to Botanical Gardens for a walk. They are always excited when they sense that they are going out in the car. The gardens are beautiful but it doesn't even come close to what we had in the UK. So what I do is to make up for the lack of space, I give them variety!! I always like to bring the duo to new places as it provides an extra excitement for them as different places provide different sights, sounds and smells. Since it's the easter weekend, I thought it would be a great idea for the family plus doggies to go explore another area of Singapore.

Bukit Batok Nature Park is located in the west of Singapore. According to the national parks Singapore website, it described the park as serene and peaceful. There is a high cliff wall with a picturesque pond - a relic from the mining days of the region. Apparently, there are footpaths and trails through the lush secondary forest leading to look-out points 10 storeys high to give you a breahtaking views. There is also a World War II memorial for Japanese soldiers who died. All in all, from the description, it sounds like a good place to explore. I am sure the dogs will be excited with the new sights, sounds and smell for them.

It was a nice escape from the rest of busy Singapore as when we got there around 1030am, it was quiet. We passed a few joggers and families, but on the whole, the ambience was as stated on the npark website, serene and peaceful. The walk started down a bricked path. Care has to be taken as the path can get rather slippery. Going downhill, we passed a family of monkeys watching us as we walked past them. Quinton was ready to chase them, but luckily the hubby had a firm hold on his lead.

Down a slippery path towards the pond in Bukit Batok Nature Park
More path ahead

There were lots of monkeys watching us go past

It took us around 5-10 minutes before reaching midway where there were look-out points and pavilion for the dogs and us to rest. 

View as we were walking down the path

A further 10 minutes walk downhill, we reached the pond surrounded on one side by a high cliff wall. It is actually rather nice and quiet. The dogs got to pose for a picture before we left the place.

Deserted and quiet
Quarry that became a pond

Time for a lovely picture

I would recommend the place to others who are looking for a quiet place to walk their dogs. We went on a sunday and yet it was rather quiet. This is brilliant if you want to get away from the hustle bustle of the city. I shall leave you with last pair of pictures of the duo, taken in the car while we were waiting to get lunch from the nearby Bukit Timah Market.

Thanks Mummy for taking us out
Where to next?

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