It's time for a big facelift
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to close from Monday to undergo major renovation works for about two years
He last visited the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve 10 years ago.
When he learnt it would be closed for about two years to undergo major renovation works, he decided to visit it one last time.
The 163ha reserve will be closed from Monday, the first time in its 22-year history.
Heavy rainfall and the increase in the number of visitors over the years have taken its toll on the reserve.
Half of its 9km trail will be repaired.
A visitor who wanted to be known only as Johnny, 73, said he last visited it a decade ago with his friends.
He went yesterday with a neighbour.
He said: "We both wanted to see this place before they close it down. Two years is a very long time to wait, and we didn't want to wait."
When The New Paper visited the nature reserve yesterday morning, nature enthusiasts had flocked there to spend time at the only hill dipterocarp (a family of hardwood trees) forest in Singapore.
A group of women aged between 50 and 65 were practising yoga as early as 7am at the Kruing Hut, which faces the Hindhede quarry.
They said they were sad about the closure.
The yoga instructor, Madam Joo Nguee, 50, said: "We met through yoga, and we've been coming here four times a week for four years now.
"But with the closing of the reserve, we might have to meet somewhere else."
On the other hand, Mr Mike Rehu, who was walking up the trek with two of his children, said the closure would not be affecting him as much.
Having made it a point to visit the reserve thrice a week for the past four years, Mr Rehu, in his 50s, said: "I will still be able to walk the dogs around the reserve, and my kids like going to the West Coast Park.
"Maybe we'll spend more time there before it (the reserve) reopens."
Three main areas will be repaired - from Simpang Hut to Police Repeater Station; from Quarry Road to TAS Station; and the main road between Kruing Hut and Simpang Hut.
VISITOR CENTRE UPGRADE
In addition to the upgrading of the visitor centre, a 1.3 km-long raised boardwalk at Dairy Farm Loop and Summit Path will be built for visitors.
At the summit, many nature lovers were seen taking a rest with their loved ones before heading down.
Mr Alan Chan, 56, was greeting everyone with a smile. The retiree has been visiting the nature reserve every Monday for the past two years, and would like the restoration works to be finished as soon as possible.
He will be going to Jurong Lake for walks in the meantime.
The trails will be open to the public during the weekends after six months.
Mr Chan said: "It gets too crowded on weekends, and I would like some peace after I reach the top of the hill.
"But I can't wait to see the reserve after its restoration works."