Singapore’s oldest reservoir is MacRitchie Reservoir, and is located in the Upper Thomson area. This reservoir is easily accessible from the city and it takes less than 30 minutes to reach from the CBD if you’re taking public transport.
The area is of natural and historical significance, as it contains significant swaths of primary forest as well as remnants of 19th-century rubber plantations. Exploring MacRitchie is easy, with several walking trails that vary in length and difficulty, boardwalks that provide contemplative views of the water, and a number of iconic bridges and lookout points for photo-worthy moments. MacRitchie Reservoir is beautiful at any time of the day, but is particularly peaceful during the sunrise and sunset hours.
Kranji Reservoir, located in northern Singapore, offers visitors an escape into nature, as well as views of the Johor Bahru (Malaysia) skyline across the Straits of Johor. And it is well worth the trip if you’d like to immerse yourself in World War Two history.
The 1942 Battle of Kranji, one of the turning points in the Japanese invasion of Singapore, took place where the reservoir park stands. Despite heavy losses, the Japanese forces won the battle because Allied forces made a series of mistakes and withdrawals due to miscommunicated orders, which left the line undefended. Singapore fell to the Imperial Japanese Army soon after, marking the beginning of the Japanese Occupation.
Some of the other well-known reservoirs in Singapore include Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoirs, Bedok Reservoir, Punggol Reservoir, Upper and Lower Seletar Reservoirs. The more recent Marina Reservoir near Marina Bay Sands is easily accessible from the CBD.
Some reservoirs, particularly those in more forested areas, are home to monkeys which have become increasingly bold with humans. It’s a good idea to stash any food you're carrying in zippered bags; remember not to feed the monkeys so that they don’t associate humans with food. Other useful tips are to wear light clothing and good comfortable shoes, and to bring along a water bottle and a hat. You'll need them all if walking in the heat and humidity of the tropics.