Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
I’m sure most of us have heard about the endless debate between the West and East-siders on which area reigns supreme. But maybe it’s time that Singaporeans consider the possibility of “North side, best side”. Meet Upper Seletar Reservoir Park, a hidden gem located in the North off Mandai Road – yes, the same area as Singapore Zoo.
The ulu-ness of this park makes it a tranquil escape from our hectic city lives and is a worthy competitor to other famous parks in Singapore. Whether you plan on going for a cycle or simply having a picnic, here are some things you should look out for while you’re there so you don’t miss anything.
Check out our other nature guides:
- Nature reserves in Singapore
- Hiking trails in Bukit Timah
- Undiscovered hiking trails
- Lesser-known nature spots in North-East Singapore
Take photos with some of the park’s iconic landmarks
A quick scroll through the park’s hashtag on Instagram will bring up 3 main attractions – the lone tree, Rocket Tower, and of course, the reservoir itself. While there are regular park and reservoir facilities like walking paths and a pier, these 3 landmarks are the must-sees.
Image credit: @weiweibun via Instagram
Perhaps the most Instagrammed landmark in this park, the lone Casuarina tree is set against the reservoir, providing a stunning view – especially at dawn and dusk. There are 2 benches symmetrically placed on each side of the tree, making this a lovely spot to watch the sunset, or even take some aesthetic shots that’ll have your DMs flooded with “Where is this?” from friends.
Please do not damage the tree – or hurt yourselves – while you’re there, this shot is an optical illusion.
Pro tip: Get creative with your poses as you take your photographs. Making use of the symmetry as we did is a great way to get some interesting shots.
Besides the very famous tree, another iconic landmark to see is none other than the Rocket Tower. While it does look pretty out of this world, this tall building is the only one in sight for miles and makes for the perfect lookout tower once you make your way to the top.
The rocket tower was officially opened in 1969 and stands at 18M above ground, so be prepared to climb up quite a few steps.
There aren’t very many landings along the spiral staircase, but you’re rewarded with a 360-degree view of the reservoir and park that are worth the sore calves the next day.
View from the top.
Image credit: @felucca2010 via Instagram
Not forgetting the main attraction, the reservoir stretches throughout the entire length of the park and makes for a beautiful waterfront stroll, especially in the evenings or early mornings with the sunrise or sunset.
Image credit: @shubhendu.kmr via Instagram
While to real evidence of crocodiles has been found, there are eyewitnesses who claim to have seen these reptiles roaming in the water and on the banks. Do keep a lookout as you walk along the reservoir and remember not to stray too close or fall into the water.
Keep an eye out for the wildlife at the park
Spanning only 15 hectares, the Upper Seletar Reservoir Park definitely isn’t as ecologically diverse as its MacRitchie counterpart. However, you’ll still be able to bask in the abundance of flora and fauna, and even see a couple of macaques if you’re lucky.
Remember not to feed the long-tailed macaques as they might get aggressive.
Image credit: @sgnature_ via Instagram
While cycling and jogging are obvious activity choices for this park, fishing is also allowed at selected parts of the park. There’s even a pier that stretches out onto the reservoir so you can cast your fishing line out further and increase your chances of reeling in a big catch.
Image credit: @vincekth via Instagram
Getting to Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
The remoteness of the North may be a turn-off for those who don’t live close by, but if you’re looking for something new to do or enjoy places that are more tranquil, Upper Seletar Reservoir Park is a great place to check out.
Image credit: NParks
Getting there: Hop on bus 138 from Ang Mo Kio Interchange and alight at the Upper Seletar Reservoir bus stop. If you’re coming by car, turn into Mandai road from Upper Thomson Road and make a turn at Mandai Road Track 7.
Address: Along Mandai Road Track 7, off Mandai Road
Lighting hours: 7pm-7am
For more outdoor activities, check out:
- Outdoor activities for the whole family
- Outdoor couple activities
- Heartland running trails
- “Undeclared” hiking trails in Singapore
Article originally published on 4th July 2021. Last updated on 10th July 2023.
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