Subaraj Rajathurai takes us into the untamed areas of Singapore, to experience the ecosystems that he has fought to preserve.
In the morning, head over to MacRitchie Reservoir Park, a water catchment area in the heart of Singapore that’s home to lush rainforests. “Rainforests are synonymous to the equator, and the oldest rainforest in this region is here,” Subaraj says with pride.
“The diversity is amazing. A lot of visitors to Singapore from the West do not have access to rainforests so they may be seeing it for the first time,” says Subaraj. If you’re lucky, you’ll cross paths with long tailed macaque monkeys and flying lemurs.
Spend your afternoon with the birds: Subaraj recommends bird watching at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. We recommend that you spend at least half a day at this ASEAN Heritage site, home to diverse inhabitants such as watersnakes, herons and otters. The wetland reserve is also a stopover point for migratory birds travelling from Siberia to Australia. If you’re visiting in September to March, you might spot the rare Blacktailed Godwit migrating.
“Sungei Buloh is the last feeding ground on these birds’ migratory route,” Subaraj shares. “Some of these birds travel over twelve thousand kilometres to move between their winter and summer grounds.”
Spend your evening relaxing at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Home to a diverse variety of flora and birds, this UNESCO World Heritage site is located in the heart of Singapore is easily accessible to the public, and its colonial buildings now house top-notch restaurants. Make it a point to visit the Learning Forest, a lush habitat that’s home to some of the tallest tree species in Southeast Asia—Subaraj helped develop this area.