Sunday, April 16, 2017

[SG] Guided Walk: What's in my mangrove? @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

15 April 2017

It has been some time since we go for nature walks. Hence, for year 2017, we are committed to bring the family back to the nature and learn more about biodiversity once again. Yesterday, we joined the free guided walk by NParks - What's in my mangrove? There are many free activities organised by NParks and you can check them out and sign up for the various events at the following link -

Outdoor shot at one of the Dragonfly Pod overlooking the wetland reserve.  

Our guide for the day is Mr Yap - a volunteer guide with NParks. We started our walk with an introductory tour at Mangrove Gallery at Kranji Way Entrance @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

This section is part of the new extension of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve since 2014. Visitors can take on three new nature trails namely, Forest Trail, Mid-Canopy Walk and Coastal Trail.

Mr Yap shared many information about mangroves and the importance of its existence in the ecosystem. Mangroves can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide that help to control greenhouse gases. Mangrove trees filter out harmful pollutants in the water and improve water quality and nothing in the mangrove forest is wasted as the parts of the mangrove trees are food for creatures.

Currently, the main mangrove sites in Singaproe includes Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Admiralty Park, Chek Jawa, Pulau Semakau, Pasir Ris Park and Berlayer Creek near Labrador Nature Reserve.

Learn more about mangroves through the exhibits at the gallery

Identify the various types of mudskippers and observe how the roots of mangrove trees differ from the other trees.  

Upon exiting the gallery, you will find gigantic sculptures of Mudskippers. Moving further ahead is the Little Heron Deck for birds observation and a lookout point over the sea. 

We took on the Coastal Trail and Mr Yap introduces us to the various plants that are commonly found in Singapore. One of which is the Elephant Ear Plant with leaves that are big and wide like the elephant's ear.

We spotted another interesting plant and our guide shares that its fruits are used to make Po Chai Pills commonly used in TCM to treat indigestion and stomach discomfort.

Apart from floral plants, keep a look out for dragonflies, spiders and crabs! We spotted many big spiders within the wetland reserve and I could only go so 'near' to take a close shot of the 8-legged creature. Thankfully, I brought along Canon G9X camera to spare me the ordeal and managed to get a pretty clear shot.

I must say taking photographs with Canon G9X definitely makes a difference compared to those taken with my mobile phone. I was able to capture clearer and brighter pictures and upload it online still! Plus Canon G9X is small and compact, making it easy and convenient for me to put inside my bag and even pocket.

This is indeed a spider lair as we spotted 6 - 8 big spiders at one spot!

It is pretty dim in the mangrove and not easy to spot crabs but we managed to find a couple and I was able to take pretty clear shots of the crabs with Canon G9X. :)

Moving out to the coastal boardwalk is a welcoming view of the Kranji waterfront overlooking Johor Bahru (Danga Bay) at the opposite end. 

The tide is fairly low and we spotted shore birds along the way.

A clear view of the roots of the mangrove trees. 

After the guided walk, we continued exploring the wetland reserve by taking on the Mid-canopy walk through an elevated, 120m-long boardwalk. Visitors will be immersed in the understory of a secondary forest and if you are lucky, you can spot birds and insects that reside in the mid-canopy region and forest floor.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve resides on the northwestern end of Singapore and it is the first ASEAN Heritage Park in Singapore and one of the two first Nature Reserves to be gazetted. We will be back again to explore the other zones @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Visitor Centre: 
60 Kranji Way, #01-00, Singapore 739453

Wetland Centre:
301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925

Opening Hours: 7am to 7pm daily
Park Size: 202 hectares

Photographs taken by Canon G9X

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Honey Toast @ Chapter 1 (Mount Austin) - CLOSED - [JB]

We like to travel in to Johor Bahru to makan. Interestingly, we also started cafe hopping since then. Last December, Hubby and I chanced upon Chapter 1 and was introduced to their signature Honey Toast

The delicious combo of fruits, ice-cream and toast is awesome! Once you slice the toast, there are 6 smaller toasts within and the outer crust and inner crust have a different taste. Its a great dessert to share among a few friends. 

We are glad that we brought the children to try out the Honey Toast as I just learnt that Chapter 1 has closed for business since end February 2017 from their Facebook page! Its a shame as we were planning to go back again to try out their other desserts. Time to look out for other great eats on our next trip.