Sunday 22 May 2011

Singapore: MacRitchie Park run

MacRitchie Park trail mapMacRitchie Reservoir car park was full of runners preparing for their early morning jog around the lake. With a slightly overloaded belly of water, I set off in the anti-clockwise direction on the 11.5km route with Coldplay playing gently in my ears. Sunlight had yet to penetrate the dense tree cover adding to the wonderful state of solitude in the park.

One and a half albums later, I arrived back at the visitor centre with sore (but happy) nipples and very soggy socks. A superb morning.


Oliver said...

Dear Steve
I enjoy reading your blog! And since we are also about to move from Dubai to Singapore, I wanted to ask for your advice: is a car needed in Singapore to get around conveniently or would you say one can do with MRT?
And condo or house?
Would appreciate your feedback.

Mr. Steve said...


Thanks for your comment - delighted to help.

A car is not essential in Singapore as public transport (MRT and buses) is efficient, air-conditioned, clean, safe, reliable and affordable. Taxis are cheap and exceedingly easy to use. You can order a taxi from your home or mobile phone, the system sends a message to the cabs in the area and a response time will be sent to your phone. You can also hail a taxi anywhere on the streets. Although occasionally there can be a problem getting a taxi at certain times of the day or week (such as Friday evenings) or when there is heavy rain, they are very efficient.

The other thing to consider is that cars are very expensive to buy and maintain in Singapore - a deliberate ploy by the government to restrict the number of cars on the road. Insurance is not cheap either – we had considerable problems getting a no claims statement from our insurers in Oman, so it’s worth arranging this now before you leave Dubai, whether or not you decide to buy in Singapore.

Unlike the Middle East, exercise is a part of daily life on the island. I walk to work on most days. Apart from the major motorways, all roads have pavements, footbridges and pedestrian crossings. There are a small number of cyclists (mostly serious expats) but otherwise bikes are not that common. Motor bikes and scooters are very popular.

I can’t provide too much advice on housing as we were allocated our accommodation. Houses are ludicrously expensive. Private apartments are cheaper and usually include facilities such as pools and gyms.

Hope that helps!