10 local places to visit that’ll satisfy your wanderlust before travelling is allowed in Singapore
Can’t wait for the day when you’re able to travel freely like pre-COVID days? Us too! Good news, there is a way to trick your mind into thinking that you’re out of this little red dot, besides looking wistfully at past vacation photos. No, it’s not taking VR tours or watching travel vlogs on YouTube. We’re talking about visiting local hangouts that do not look like Singapore!
Get ready for a 4D “travelling” experience that gets your heart pumping and muscles moving!
1. Little Guilin
Photo credits: Singapore Trivia
Address: Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, Singapore 650242
How did little Guilin get its name? Just like the Guilin in China, this scenic quarry in Bukit Batok Town Park has a majestic granite rock sitting grandly in the lake. In fact, it used to be a granite quarry in the 1950s.
When the water is still in midday, you can catch the reflection of the stately granite cliff in the lake. Simply picturesque. For the best view, head to any of the two dome-shaped shelters that offer a stunning view of the lake.
Fun fact, this was also where the hit drama serial “The Return of the Condor Heroes”, starring Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, was filmed! Wu Xia fans simply can’t miss this one.
2. Green Corridor
Photo credits: TODAYonline
Address: From Woodlands Rd to Kg Bahru
Looking to get lost in lush greenery? Trees with thick canopies, dressed in bright, verdant green at the Green Corridor is the respite you’re looking for. This walking trail, spanning 24km, connects Clementi Forest, Truss Bridge and the Old Bukit Timah Railway Station.
There are no signs of civilisation in this vast expanse of plants save for the now-defunct old railway line that used to connect Singapore to Malaysia.
In fact, the long, empty railway track is reminiscent of that at Shifen in Taiwan, where tourists flock to draw and launch sky lanterns, in hopes of getting their wishes granted.
You’ll be glad to know that the central 4km of the trail has been recently upgraded, with strengthened trails and the planting of over 1,500 trees.
3. Sengkang Floating Wetland
Photo credits: Time Out
Address: Sengkang Floating Wetland
Looking for a place to hide away from the hustle and bustle of city life? We recommend The Sengkang Floating Wetland, Singapore’s 2nd largest man-made wetland, located on Punggol Reservoir. A stroll along this boardwalk allows visitors to enjoy a mesmerising view of the glistening lake, as well as the plants and animals in the wetland ecosystem. Mangrove birds soaring overhead and red-eared sliders swimming beneath your feet creates an experience of oneness with nature.
A popular hangout for joggers and cyclists alike, the park also has a fruit-themed Broadwalk with cutest mangosteen shelter and giant orange structures, making it a fun destination for families with young children.
4. Kampong Lorong Buangkok
Photo credits: 8 DAYS
Address: 7 Lorong Buangkok, Singapore 547557
Want a blast from the past? Or perhaps you’ve heard stories from your grandparents, and are curious about the kampong they fondly remember. Take a trip down to the rustic Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the last surviving kampong in Singapore in the 21st century. Here, it is as if time has stood still since the 1960s. Clusters of squat bungalows with wooden walls and tin roofs are a refreshing contrast against the shiny skyscrapers springing up in most other parts of Singapore.
Walking through the kampong, one can literally feel time slowing down, just by observing the elderly sitting out leisurely in the patio, chickens roaming free in the yard, and lush trees swaying in the breeze. It’s no wonder that such an idyllic, welcoming environment gave rise to the “kampong spirit”.
5. Bukit Timah Saddle Club
Photo credits: The Smart Local
Address: Bukit Timah Saddle Club, 51 Fairways Drive, (off Eng Neo Avenue), Singapore 286965.
Ever wanted to gallop into the glorious sunset on your trusty steed? At Bukit Timah’s Saddle Club, you can make that dream a reality!
First-timers and those familiar with the equestrian sports alike are welcome to enjoy a 45-minute guided, lead-rein trek on one of the riding school horses.
For those serious about taking horse-riding classes, assessment rides are available to assess new riders and allocate them to the appropriate classes and horses.
One thing to note, the club is closed on Mondays, and public riders will need to book an appointment as public visitors and walk-ins are not allowed.
6. Central Perk Café
Photo credits: Quandoo
Address: Magazine Road, #01-01, Central Mall 1, 059567 Singapore
Fans of the widely-acclaimed sitcom, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, might already know of this one. Zip down to New York with this unique themed café, that serves special dishes that appeared in the show!
Central Perk Singapore is the only outlet licensed to operate outside the US. You’ll be glad to know that the café is modelled right after the gang’s favourite hangout, down to the furniture and iconic items crucial to the plot development.
Spot replicas of Rachel’s runaway wedding dress and Joey and Chandler’s football table. Monica’s kitchen and a retro game machine are also star features in the intricately designed set-up.
The main menu is inspired by references in the show, something that fans will definitely appreciate. Try Monica’s Garlicky French Fries, Phoebe’s sauteed mushrooms, and Ross’ Thanksgiving Sandwich, while recreating your own version of the iconic scenes.
We’ve got something for those looking for a little hands-on activity – join the F.R.I.E.N.D.S Coffee Barista Workshop and learn about the 6 different coffee roasts, each named after a character. The workshop consists of both theory and practical aspects, with a delectable sensory coffee tasting.
7. Tudor Court
Photo credits: roots.sg
Address: 131 Tanglin Road Singapore 247924
Have you been to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the famed poet, Shakespeare?
Experience a similar medieval market town charm here in Singapore’s Tudor Court!
Transport yourself back to the early 20th century, as you survey these black and white houses along Tanglin and the nearby Nassim Road constructed in a mock Tudor-Elizabethan.
With its dark timber beams framing white walls, Tudor Court is an epitome of colonial-era architecture. In fact, its roots trace back to an early as the 1920s, as it was once quarters for civil servants.
8. Sang Nila Utama Garden
Photo credits: Walking Singapore
Address: 1 Canning Rise, Singapore 179868
Bali is calling but you can’t go?
No matter, here’s an alternative for you. Visit The Sang Nila Utama Garden at The Fort Canning, a historical garden named after the Palembang prince, which recreates the Southeast Asian gardens from the 14th century.
The garden’s stone frogs, fish and ducks welcome visitors into a tranquil space, complete with a glistening pool with lily pads floating. Immerse yourself in this rejuvenating hideaway that was aimed to restore the possible landscapes of days of yore.
Don’t forget to take a photo between the striking Javanese split gates standing tall amidst the lush greenery– it’s a mandatory shot for visiting this “Little Bali”!
9. Raffles Marina Lighthouse
Photo credits: Have Halal Will Travel
Address: 10 Tuas West Dr, Singapore 638404
Overlooking Singapore’s Tuas causeway to Malaysia, this scenic lighthouse built in 1994 is reminiscent of the Cape Otway Lighthouse in Australia. Did you know, that this is the only lighthouse that lies outside the ownership and operations of the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore? Rather, it’s a property of the Raffles Marina Club.
With this stately tower in the foreground, soft, lapping waves against the setting sun in the background, and the salt-tinged breeze blowing in your hair, it’s easy to imagine yourself relaxing at the coasts of Down Under.
Stay a little longer and you might see the lighthouse flashing a beam every 10 seconds that reaches up to a radius of 15 meters.
10. Coney Island
Photo credits: Time Out
Address: 500 New Punggol Rd, Singapore 828617
Known also as “Pulau Serangoon”, Coney Island Park is literally teeming with life, as it’s home to a wide of habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves, and casuarina woodlands. Various plants and creatures, some of which are facing extinction, are thriving on this safe haven as well. What’s more, some plants at the park are said to be extinct in other parts of the country!
To maintain the rustic quality of the park, there is no electricity or piped water on the island. As such, remember to go for your toilet break before heading down, and bring a water bottle as well.
The park is closed from 7pm to 7am though, so be sure to factor in enough time to wander in the woods before the park closes at dusk.
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