SINGAPORE - The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will be celebrating its 21st birthday on Dec 6 with the opening of a new 31-hectare extension. Here are eight things you should not miss:
1. The Mid-Canopy Walk
This suspended bridge runs through the understory of a secondary forest in the reserve. If you look carefully you may be able to spot birds like pied fantails and insects such as cicadas that forage and reside in the forest.
2. The coastal boardwalk
This route offers a scenic and uninterrupted view of the Kranji waterfront, where you can even see some kelongs in Malaysian waters. A lookout point along the way is a good place to observe ospreys and white-bellied sea eagles hunting for prey.
3. The Mud Experience
During low tides, visitors can step onto mudflats to get up close with creatures living in the mud, like the tree climbing crab and the giant mudskipper. This part of the reserve also has a balancing bridge that lowers visitors down to a platform near the bottom of the mudflats.
4. Junior Adventure Trail
This feature for children includes prop roots and small platforms raised above the mud, so they can experience what is like to be a crab or mudskipper living among the mangroves. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied and supervised by adults while exploring the trail.
5. Little Heron Deck
Located beside the Visitor Centre, the deck features adorable sculptures of mudskippers and serves as a lookout point over the sea.
6. Dragonfly Pod
This is one of five pods - raised viewing platforms - constructed across the extension. While the others offer visitors an unobstructed view of the reserve and the sea, this pod overlooks a freshwater pond where one can glimpse dragonflies and damselflies.
7. Guided walks
The reserve will be offering six new guided walks with different themes, such as "What's in my mud" and "What's in my sky", bringing the total to seven walks. The free, one-and-a-half hour walks will be on Saturdays and rotated. People can sign up for them from Dec 7 at http://bit.ly/1mxncl7.
8. Visitor centre
This new centre houses toilets, a rest shelter, two multi-purpose rooms and a mangrove gallery. The gallery has multimedia games, a live camera feed that transmits real-time scenes from various parts of the reserve, and displays with information on the mangrove.