Looking for new inspiration to start your 2021 fitness goals? Why not try out some of the best hiking trails in Singapore?
The Netherland’s Charity Association (NCA) offers a great collection of Singapore’s best hiking trails with their Book of Walks. Written by Sandra Delvers, Pleun Brevet and Patricia Boost, the book serves a detailed guide to 15 walking routes located in nearly every region of Singapore. With beautiful pictures, maps, fun-facts and snippets of history, it is the perfect guide to help you discover new areas of this little red dot. Not too bad right now given the travel restrictions, eh?
How it All Started
The inspiration behind this book? It all started with the group, Wandeldames Singapore, a Dutch-speaking walking group where individuals gather to do Thursday morning walks around the island. Authors Sandra and Pleun then decided to write a book of their favourite routes to commemorate the beauty of Singapore’s green landscape.
Now in its third edition, the Book of Walks is indeed a labour of love. The specificity of every instruction is down to each turn and road – and this did not come easy. “The first edition took about eight months from the first walk until the launch. The second edition took as long as it took to walk all the walks, which was about three weeks,” shared Pleun.
While re-walking routes and double-checking road names were a must, the ladies of the Wandeldames group helped out to make it a success. “We didn’t want people wandering or [getting] lost because of a poor description from our side. And for the pictures, we took a car and hopped on and off on different locations for every route,” shared co-author Sandra. “This book really was a team effort, our names are on the cover, but we did get a lot of help from a lot of people, without whom we never would have been able to make The Book of Walks.”
After the second edition, authors Sandra and Pleun had to move away from Singapore, so for the third version Patricia agreed to be the editor for the Book of Walks. “I walked all the walks and – as it was my first time – I talked all the changes through with Pleun in the early hours. Whenever a situation was not clear, I had to go back and check.” As the new editor, Patricia has added two of her own favourite routes to the book.
Making A Difference
As always, the proceeds of this edition will also be donated to charity. “We figured not everyone is as lucky as us,” said Pleun and Sandra, “and with the sales of the book we can help more people in need. We are super excited that the book became such a success!” All proceeds of the sale will go to charities supported by the NCA.
Check out this gallery for four highlights of some of the best hiking trails in Singapore!*
(*The write-ups here are meant to be an inspiration for each walk. Detailed instructions are found in the book.)
About the Book of Walks
Now in its third edition, The Book of Walks ($15) – put out by the Netherlands Charity Association (NCA) – is a handy guide to 15 unique routes around the Red Dot. Its authors and photographers, Pleun Brevet, Sandra Delvers and Patricia Boost, are donating all proceeds to the NCA. Get a copy at nca.org.sg/shop/book-of-walks!
Pleun Brevet has lived in Singapore for five years and loves the diversity and accessibility of the Singapore parks. “No matter what you are into, it can be found in Singapore, from the wild jungle to the perfectly maintained Botanical Gardens and everything in between.” She now resides on the Canadian Prairie, in a quaint and pastoral bunkhouse on a farm. “It’s like living in a tiny petting zoo!”
Sandra Delvers is a horse lover and worked as a volunteer at the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) Singapore. She lived in Singapore for almost three years before returning home to The Netherlands four years ago. Since then, she has started her own business as an equine therapist. One thing she misses about Singapore? “The delicious food on every corner of the street!”
Patricia Boost has been living in Singapore since 2014 after her youngest son (of 4) went off to University. “[My husband and I] felt free to make the move to Singapore to start a new adventure.” She loves the mix of modernity and old traditions, the diversity of [Singapore’s] people and the “always Summer” feeling here. “I just love the fact that you never have to worry about the weather, just take an umbrella and a shawl (for the aircon), and you are fine.”
By Willaine G. Tan, Issue 305 / Some text adapted from The Book of Walks by Pleun Brevet and Sandra Delvers. Photos: The Book of Walks, NParks Singapore + 123RF.com.
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