On the 8th of April, ODAC 30 and 31 visited the colloquially known “Pipe-a-Pipe Trek”, a stretch of grassy slopes and forested paths that followed the water pipe lines leading to our northern neighbor.
For ODAC 30, it was our second time visiting this secluded route, and we were all very excited on being here again. With fond memories on our minds, we nostalgically recalled our anticipation and curiosity on visiting this trek and we could tell our juniors were feeling the same way too.
We were dropped off at Marsiling MRT by a chartered bus at around 3pm and had to take a short walk over to the HDB blocks opposite to reach the trail head. The start of the trail is traditionally at block 402 Woodlands Street 41, and we all sat down at the void deck for a quick briefing by our “tall, dark and handsome” trail guide.
Once the briefing was over, we were off! We followed the fence by the side of the block and it wasn’t long before we saw some familiar white pipes…
These pipes are purportedly responsible for carrying water all the way from Malaysia to our homes, so it was understandably with some nervousness that we stepped onto them – afraid that the pipes may just collapse and everyone would die of thirst cause of us.
For the first half of the trail, we followed the pipes and slopes. It was a very scenic walk and is one of those beautiful places in Singapore where you can’t see any high rise buildings or roads. Instead, you are given a chance to appreciate the pretty plant life and listen to the sounds of nature that surrounds you.
One thing we noticed this year, to our dismay, was huge piles of garbage and waste lying about. We weren’t sure if this was something we didn’t notice last year or was a recent phenomenon, but the amount of garbage was absolutely astounding! It was amazing how there could be so much rubbish in a place that was so secluded, and this probably also compounded the issue, as there was no one to clean up after those that littered here. Fortunately, some of us had spare trash bags, and we quickly set about picking up as much litter as we could.
After walking (and enjoying the scenery) for about two plus hours, we reached Mandai road. From there, we crossed over and continued the second half or our journey, the forested trail. This part of the journey involved us walking along the fringes of central catchment, mostly following the BKE. And though there were no more pipes for us to see, it was a nice chance for us to be completely immersed in a tropical forest environment, the dense forest feeling completely at odds with the open plains earlier.
Eventually, after about a total of 4 hours of walking, we reached the end of the trail, Block 276 Bangkit Road.
Feeling proud and accomplished of our hike and also amazed and in awe of all we had seen and experienced that day, we reflected that such a beautiful trail could exist in Singapore without us knowing. It was an eye-opening experience for all of us. Many of us didn’t even know that it was possible to even see, let alone walk, on these pipes and actually being able to see and walk on them is a really unique experience. The beautiful scenery and peaceful walk we just finished was made all the more amazing by the fact that we had been next to a busy road and highway the whole time, yet another reminder of how nature in Singapore will forever be surrounded by the marks of the busy city.
All in all, it was a great trek and wonderful experience for both ODAC 30 and 31, and we hope that you may one day get the chance to experience it yourself!