The tiny city-state of Singapore isn’t known for its nature. If, like me, Sentosa island (basically a theme park) is not your idea of an escape, and you’ve done Gardens by the Bay and Botanic Gardens, what else is there? Well, there’s plenty! Here are five great options to escape the city.
1 – CHILL OUT ON A FLOATING FISH FARM
“Kelongs” are small hand-made floating fish-farms, usually inhabited by a family. There aren’t too many left but around Pulau Ubin you can find one or two that will put you and a group of mates up for a day, including a barbecue lunch/dinner, for a small fee per person. They’ll usually pick you up from Changi Village and take you over for free, and it’s a great place to chill out for a day with some mates and a few drinks before watching the sun go down.
2 – GO ISLAND HOPPING
Escape the little island of Singapore altogether by jumping on a ferry! There are several small islands around Singapore that are worth a visit – Lazarus is one of the most popular ones – and if you have a group of friends or a family, you could even hire a small yacht and explore Singapore’s waters on your own time. Seeing the sunset behind the Singapore CBD from the water is a pretty cool sight. Check the ferry times here and you can rent a yacht or small boat from Singapore Yacht Club.
3 – EXPLORE SOME TRAILS ON TWO WHEELS
In the West of Singapore, Chestnut Nature Park, connected to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, is a fairly new park that has a bunch of well maintained mountain bike trails for all levels. You can rent a bike from a small shop at the park itself or at Bukit Timah and then cycle up. It’s a far better setup than Pulau Ubin (an island in the North of Singapore that also has a mountain bike trail) if you’re a remotely serious rider.
4 – HAVE A COLD BEER AT A HIDDEN AWAY BEACH-SIDE BAR
This is one of my favourite places in Singapore and it’s little known, so don’t tell too many people! Just under Changi Airport’s flight path, right by the water, a small and very unpretentious group of restaurants and bars offer cheap beers and food which you can enjoy in the shade of palm trees right next to the ocean. It really doesn’t feel like you’re in Singapore – yet it’s just 5 minutes to the airport and 20 mins from the city.
5 – GO BACK IN TIME ON PULAU UBIN
One of the better-known places on this list, Pulau Ubin is a short “bum boat” (rickety old wooden fishing boat) ride from Changi Village in the North East of Singapore. It’s quite unlike the rest of the city and feels far more like rural Malaysia, with it’s overgrown jungle spilling onto the roads and a few small shacks selling drinks and food. Rent one the worst bikes in the world and take a bumpy ride around the island, or if you’re more adventurous, have a go at the mountain bike trails – it’s a great ride but I would recommend borrowing a decent bike as the one’s they rent on Ubin are fine for an easy jaunt but absolutely not for a proper trail ride.
Please share this article, and if you love nature as much as I do and would like to recommend anything I’ve missed to fellow travelers, make a comment below!