An Epitome of Urban Tropical Ecology

Awakened by the blaring iPhone alarm, I slowly crawl out of bed to get ready for our second day in Singapore. My roommate and I begin to get ready for our day before meeting the rest of the group at 8 am in front of the hotel. We quickly realize the importance of waking up earlier as we run out of time for a full breakfast. We settle for peanut butter sandwiches from 7/11 and decide that our future mornings will need to be earlier.


















We meet up with our classmates and professor outside the hotel before making our way over to the bus station. We finally arrive at Kent Ridge Park and I quickly forget about our rushed morning upon seeing the dense flora surrounding us.

Kent Ridge Park showcases the country’s natural vegetation and wildlife within its 47 hectares. The park is filled with birds, reptiles, insects, turtles, fish, and more; so of course, our group of 22 nature enthusiasts were pleased.



















Our hike totaled 7 miles (thank you Strava for recording it) or about 11.3 km. My favorite part of our route was a Canopy Walk, which is an elevated walkway under the trees with perfect views of the urban life.



















After enjoying the scenic views, we hopped on a train to Chinatown for lunch. We entered the large eating area and were met with countless stalls of different food. The group split up to enjoy their food of choice, but a group of us stayed at one stall in particular. This stall offered dumplings, bao buns, and more. I chose the leek steamed dumplings and can confidently say they will be hard to beat.





















Once finishing our food, some of us stayed in the area to shop at the souvenir shops, while others immediately walked to the nearby temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is named after the left canine tooth of Buddha and is designed after the Buddhist Mandala for inspiration. Each floor was filled with beautiful artifacts, Buddhas, and history. Experiencing another religion and being able to immerse myself within the temple was captivating and overall, this was an extremely rewarding day.