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MacRitchie Park case of the Mondays in Singapore

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.


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18 Responses to MacRitchie Park case of the Mondays in Singapore

  1. Tawny of Captain and Clark December 12, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Aw, Ted. I’m sorry that the park was closed for you but it seems like you made the best of it. I guess you’ll just have to make another trip back to Singapore and take us with you!
    Tawny of Captain and Clark recently posted..Korean Bullfights

    • Ted Nelson December 12, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      It was just one section of the park that was closed. It was still a great experience. One of the nice things about blogging is you can make the best of negative experiences by writing about it and warning others, so at least something positive comes out of it. Plus, it is always great to mention the Bangles, Boomtown Rats, Mamas and Papas, and especially John Candy in a post.

  2. Mary Anne December 12, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    Complete bummer. I am sure the walk would have been exactly as you had hoped. But, as a traveler you know you will be back to see it again and NOT ON A MONDAY.

    • Ted Nelson December 12, 2013 at 6:18 am #

      I have learned my lesson Mary Anne, and I hope have warned some other travelers/hikers not to walk in my Monday footsteps.

  3. @mrsoaroundworld December 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Oh no. And why Monday? I’m so sorry you didn’t get to go on this walk – esp as you were so looking forward to it. Will you go back? That is the question
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Eating my way around Palm Springs, California

    • Ted Nelson December 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Not on this trip Mrs O. I would love to return to Singapore and this park sometime in the future, but not on a Monday.

  4. Trips By Lance December 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    You made me so happy to open the post with that “Office Space” scene. In my newsroom we play scenes from that movie constantly. And of course John Candy. I should have known all the video happiness would just lead me to disappointment. That does suck for you, but you have to take the bad with the good on travels.
    Trips By Lance recently posted..Winter Weather Road Trip Guidelines

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 12:07 am #

      I am glad you are a fan of Office Space and John Candy. Yep, stuff happens while traveling. Many times it is great unexpected surprises, but sometimes it is deflating disappointments. You cannot dwell on the bad though and move on.

  5. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) December 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Oh, Tedward… I probably would have cried. I can’t imagine waiting so long to see/do something on the other side of the world, finally get there, and then WHAM. Not gonna happen. Seems you made the most of it, though, and kept your sense of humor. But, yeah, Mondays kinda suck.

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      At least they had a tower to climb, which made up for it, but I definitely would have like to walk on the canopy. I will return and not on a Monday.

  6. Raul (@ilivetotravel) December 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Well, no matter what, I am glad you got to be there to begin with!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..The Walls of the Wadi Mujib

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      Yea, it was still a wonderful day in the jungles of Singapore.

  7. lola December 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    that stinks for sure. well it’s just a good excuse to go back.
    lola recently posted..#VisitPhilly – Beyond the Liberty Bell

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 12:09 am #


      I loved Singapore, and I should have allotted an extra day or two to see more things.

  8. Escapist January 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    It must be a great place for a walk. Must be full of insects and curious apes trying to grab your belongings…

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 12:10 am #

      They do have some troublesome monkeys, but they were not too obnoxious. I also saw a giant ant and a few other interesting insects.

  9. longfeng January 28, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    The destination is not the purpose. The journey is.

    I sincerely hope the 5×2 walk will not discourage you to try again on non-Monday. Cheers.

    • Ted Nelson January 28, 2014 at 4:54 am #

      I enjoyed my day in Singapore despite the disappointment. I wrote this post to warn others about the Monday closing not as an outlet to whine. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to revisit on my current trip, but I hope to return soon on a non-Monday.

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