TouRIsts: A Picture of Pasir Ris Park

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Clara Chai (22A01D), Faith Ho (22A01A) and See Man Teng (22S03A)

Photos courtesy of the writers and Mr Patrick Wong

While it was undoubtedly difficult to get to the park via public transport (one writer got lost on the way from the MRT), our trip to Pasir Ris Park can be summed up in a sentence: worth the walk. 

The rest of us began to venture into the park while waiting. We were certainly not alone, having been  accompanied by bird watchers and other park explorers. The park turned out to be an excellent place for bird spotting (for those with eagle eyes), among other things. 

Our first stop was the luscious, picturesque kitchen garden that offered a wide array of flowers, fruits, vegetables and spices. At first glance, it was admittedly difficult to decide where to start as there were simply too many things all clamouring for our attention at once. We eventually decided to go in a circle and observe the plants.

The garden, with its basil leaves, chilli, aloe vera, pineapples and a multitude of other plants, certainly did not disappoint. We especially had fun looking at the different kinds of mint that were planted there. 

After that short romp came arguably the highlight of the park: the mangrove boardwalk, featuring one of the few mangroves in Singapore. It was highly enjoyable to look for the different creatures along the boardwalk, or simply luxuriate in the shade of the trees. 

Examining the route!
At low tide, we could see the whole expanse of the tree roots. 
Can you spot the creature?
Here it is—up close and personal.
Don’t be crabby if you can’t spot it!

We ventured slowly along the boardwalk, keeping our eyes peeled for the slightest bits of movement. All the creatures at the mangrove are adapted to their habitats, being highly adept at camouflaging themselves in the mud or the trees. Still, we were fortunate enough to spy some of the animals hidden in the mud—and another along the path! 

Why did the monitor lizard cross the road? If you know the answer, please tell us…
This bird was so fast, we only got one shot before it shot off.
Talk about dressing for the situation: this parrot’s colour coordination game is strong.
A grasshopper… on the wrong colour of leaves.

As we approached from the mangrove forest, the three-storey bird watching tower loomed into view. Listed as one of the top 20 most haunted places in Singapore, this iconic site has been the subject of countless urban legends —with some alleging that a malevolent Pontianak (female vampire in Malay) resides there. Needless to say, we were somewhat apprehensive about scaling the tower.

Thankfully, the only hair-raising situation we encountered was the strong, cooling breeze nearly knocking us off our feet on the viewing deck. From the highest point, the tower provided us with a bird’s eye view of the park and the sea beyond.

The tower. 

Next, we ventured towards the lake, resting for a short while at the shelter right next to it. In the distance, we saw a bird skim across the water, and occasionally there would be ripples where fish or turtles swam near the surface. 

The lake – if you squint, you may be able to see bird watchers on the bridge.
The other side of the lake.
Are we following it or is it following us? Monitor lizard spotting, the sequel.
That was a nice swim!

Walking back to the park, we came across a smaller lake, framed by trees and strange (but quite wonderful) sculptures. It was fascinating to take a closer look at these wood-carved items: a harmony of nature and craftsmanship. 

Visiting the lake was a “ribbiting” experience.
The (partially hidden) lake. 
(Wo)man and nature. 
The chickens are certainly returning… and they’ve brought friends!

This park was quite literally bursting with places to explore: from the leafy main park to the kitchen garden, the mangrove to the lake, to the small surprises like the tower and the mini lake. The couple of hours we spent was hardly enough to cover the expanse of the place and fully appreciate it—this is definitely a spot worth coming back to!

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