Don’t be fooled by its name. Mount Faber is not a mountain. But living in Singapore where the tallest thing we could climb is a high-rise building in the Central Business District, we have come to appreciate the little things that we have.
Mount Faber, standing modestly at 105 metres, is one of our favourite haunts for a thigh-blasting and lung-bursting workout and for panoramic views of the city.
Four car parks dotted around the park provide ample free parking.
There are several public transport options, including taking the train to Harbourfront MRT (circle line) and then hiking up Marang Trail from Marang Road.
Be prepared for lots of calf action while bounding up the slopes and stairs to get up to the peak.
Standing at the bow of one of the ship-shaped platforms, we are treated to lovely views of Sentosa, Keppel Harbour and the southern coast.
The mystical secondary forest that has metastasized all over the slopes of Mount Faber provides a luxurious home for the birds to invade and thrive in.
Dominating the scene are the White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) with their gregarious laughter as they congregate for their party in the trees.
Not to be outdone, a band of Blue-throated Bee-eaters (Merops viridis) can usually be seen flashing their conspicuous blue and green colours as they fly from tree to tree.
As we walk, the calls of the Lineated Barbet (Psilopogon lineatus) echo through the park, challenging us to a hide-and-seek game where he hides among the dense tree foliage and we try to spot him.
Easily spotted is the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans), who enjoys perching on a high branch and watching the world go by.
Also frequently seen, though more often heard, is the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), whose blue pinafore outfit never fails to put a smile on our faces.
At Faber Peak, we are presented with a host of activities, including fine dining with a view or a cable car ride to Sentosa.
Even if we can’t afford a cable car ride, we could console ourselves with a free photo op inside a cable car cabin.
More breathtaking views await us at Faber Point, the summit of Mount Faber.
There at the peak stands a small statue of the Merlion, a mythical sea creature and the official mascot of Singapore. This is one of five statues of the Merlion that can be found in Singapore, the original being the one at Merlion Park at the mouth of the Singapore River, while the largest is located in Sentosa.
Hidden below the Faber Point platform are a series of bas-relief panels lining the walls, where we can walk down the memory lane of Singapore’s history.
From Mount Faber Park, we could walk to Telok Blangah Hill Park via Henderson Waves, and then on to Kent Ridge Park for an epic 10-km hike along the Southern Ridges Trail – probably an expedition for another day.
At the Western end of Mount Faber Park is the Golden Bell Mansion, a heritage building that has been conferred conservation status. Once the private residence of the great-grandson of Tan Tock Seng, it is now occupied by the Danish Seamen’s Church.
While we were up on the peak of Mount Faber one rainy day appreciating nature’s brushstrokes across the blue canvas…
…a pair of lovebirds, the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), were there with us admiring the scenery as their feathered tails fluttered in the wind.