Between Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park, Henderson Road, Singapore
Open 24 hours
Washroom On Site: No
When I looked up the enigmatically named Henderson Waves on the Singapore tourism website, it looked SO COOL. Images of a voluptuous squiggly bridge suspended high above the treeline, but I tried not to look too closely at them because I didn’t want to have it spoiled for me. From the vague image I gathered, it reminded me of those wavy fun bridges at theme parks and playgrounds that children are inevitably screaming and running across. Yes, I wanted the same experience despite being far too old for it.
This is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore at 36m and is just 274m long spanning across the busy Henderson Road below. The Henderson Waves are located along the Southern Ridges trail. There will be idiot-proof signs (a common fixture in Singapore) directing you to it from either direction on the trail and how many kilometres away it is from your current point.
My expectations for this were for some reason stratospherically high. I was expecting the actual bridge to be… you know… really wavy. I had a premonition that I would get an amazing photo of myself and Mark walking over the raised humps, hand in hand. My insistence to see it was so great that Mark had to carefully schedule our final day in Singapore so that we definitely would not miss it.
This is what happens when you don’t look carefully at photos… kind of like on Tinder. If I had let myself look at pictures, I would’ve known that the only illusion of depth on the Henderson Waves is that the handrail and wooden slats look like they’re on a decline, like gentle steps. Whether they actually are is dubious. There was not a single bump, hill or even a protuberance that I had to step over the entire way! Worse, there was construction going on at the “waves” – the three bandshell shaped segments – where a steel fence prevented us from sitting in the half-tube. Only the last one was open for its intended purpose of sitting and staring at the cityscape. However, the view from the waves, which they never show you in photos, is of government housing apartments.
I realised very quickly that this is called the Henderson Waves not because the actual path is wavy – that would likely a dangerous architectural hazard – but because the exterior is curved like a giant steel caterpillar. The bandshells, which from the inside just look like a covered place to sit, are the apex of the wave, after which it dips below bridge level then repeats again. You can only perceive this pleasing design from the outside… and even then only from the North. This is the sort of thing that looks much cooler from afar – if you’re on the highway below, for example, or looking back at it like this. When you’re actually walking on the thing, it’s just a wooden bridge.