Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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MacRitchi Park Tree Top Walk

All signs point to the Tree Top Walk in MacRitchie Park

On a Turkish Airlines flight from Chicago to Bangkok, one of the movies I watched during the almost 20 hour journey was Office Space. A favorite moment in this movie is the cheesy office worker saying “someone’s got a case of the Mondays.”

When on a long term travel that lasts more than a week, you forget the days. They all blend together and one day is similar to the next as they are all full of adventure. You never have a case of the Mondays while traveling.

You don’t sing “it is just another manic Monday, how I wish it was Sunday.” Nor do you opine, “tell me why, I don’t like Mondays.” You don’t even sing “Monday, Monday.” A Monday is just as awesome as Friday and Saturday when you are on the road traveling.

This fact or theory was put to the test while in Singapore. I once hosted a guest post about hiking in Singapore. The featured spot was MacRitchie Park and it appears the highlight of this park is the tree top walk. I posted this article a couple of years ago, and I had never been to this island country. I vowed that this would be the first place I would hike if I ever got to Singapore.

MacRitchie Park Singapore trail

Start of the hike in MacRitchie Park with high expectations

This reality just happened, and I am actually writing this post on a flight from Singapore to Bangkok. My first  day in Singapore was two days ago, and I made a beeline to MacRitchie Park. I was psyched to finally get the opportunity.

I was immediately impressed with the park. Once I got into the jungle I hardly saw anyone except a few other hikers and a runner or two. I saw more monkeys than people. Except for the occasional noise from an overhead flight and a helicopter, the only noise was birds, monkeys, and cicadas. It was hard to believe I was in Singapore – one of the most densely populated countries in the world. If you go by this list it is number 3.

MacRitchie Park monkey

There was more monkey business than human business in MacRitchie Park

As soon as I started the hike, there were signs for the tree top walk. It was about 5 kilometers from the beginning of the hike. With each sign to the walk I got more and more excited. I had done a canopy walkway in Guyana. They are a cool way to see above the jungle and spot birds.

Iwokrama Rainforest Canopy Walkway

Tree top walk in Guyana – This memory will have to suffice for my canopy jungle walkway experience for now

As much as I love hiking in the jungle, you don’t really see much scenery or birds and animals while in the thick canopy, so it is nice to get above the treeline for a different perspective.

About two kilometers from the walkway, I saw a sign that made my heart sink. The sign said the walkway was closed on Mondays. I was not dejected because at first I was not sure if it was Monday. I just arrived from Malaysian Borneo , and I was not exactly sure what day it was.

MacRitchie Park tree top walk

And to deny travelers from around the world who don’t do their homework and don’t know what day it is

It then dawned on me that it was indeed Monday as I remembered the cab driver mentioning Sunday traffic on the way to the airport in Kuching the day before. I hoped that there would still be a way to walk on the walkway, but I was pretty sure I would be denied.

I arrived at the walkway and there is a door you have to enter to get on to the platform. This door was securely locked and there was no other way to get on the canopy. I felt like Clark Griswold in the movie Vacation. John Candy should have been at the front of the walkway and said “sorry folks, tree top walk is closed.” The Mamas and the Papas were correct: Every other day of the week is fine.

MacRitchie Park tree top walk closed

Sorry folks – Tree top walk is closed

I am not sure why the powers that be in Singapore feel the need to close a jungle trail on a certain day. I have never seen a hiking trail closed on a particular day. This is the one problem with urban adventures. The city parks are sometimes constrained by city hours and days. For those who live in the city it is no big deal, but for travelers who come half way around the world, the closure is a big disappointment and let down.

Jelutong Tower MacRitchie Park Singapore

View from Jelutong Tower made up a little bit for missing out on the Tree top walk

Fortunately, after turning around and hiking back to the beginning, there is a tower that was open. I was able to get above the trees and take some pictures and see some birds and monkeys from above. Some redemption was found at the Jelutong tower.

Monkeys MacRitchie Park

On the Jelutong tower you are actually higher than the monkeys in the trees below

The Mamas and the Papas wrote:

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time

If you come to Singapore, and you want to see the treetop walk, make sure your day in MacRitchie Park is not a Monday, so you don’t end up like me cryin’ all the time. I would hate for your travel experience to be like mine and have a case of the Mondays.

TT

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