How many times have you sighed in exasperation at the seeming lack of adventure in safe, stable, strict Singapore? Despite being a bustling young city with much to offer, Singapore’s urbanised landscape leaves much to be desired for wanderlust-stricken souls. I don’t know about you, but I’m always cooped up at home with nowhere to go.
Thankfully, here at HHWT, we’ve put together a list of places you can visit to live out your own little fantasy adventure! So, slap on some sunblock and bring along lots of bug repellent! You’ll need to protect yourself from the harsh, natural elements of the outside world.
1. Marsiling Tunnels
Credit: Asia Paranormal Investigators
If you’re a bit of a daredevil, you can try your luck exploring the abandoned Marsiling Tunnels hidden deep in the jungle of Marsiling Cresent. Built during World War II, the tunnels served as a former fuel reserve depot for the British Royal Airforce. It was then rediscovered in 2007 by a team of local paranormal investigators (spooky!).
The reasoning behind the abandonment of the depot is still shrouded in mystery and continues to intrigue many other curious explorers. Not for the fainthearted, I’d say😨
Credit: Asia Paranormal Investigators
According to recent reports, 3 of the 4 entrances have been sealed, with the last remaining entranceway deemed too dangerous to enter. Now, I wouldn’t recommend breaking into the depot unless you want to prematurely end your adventure (in life). But it’d still be interesting to witness the crumbling, eerie remnants of our country’s history.
How to go: From Marsiling MRT, take bus 856 from the opposite side of the station and alight at the stop before R.M.N. Barracks. Walk towards the forest and you’ll find a pathway. Look out for a black and yellow marker. Continue down the path till you reach the depot.
2. MacRitchie Treetop Walk
Unless you have an irrational fear of heights, you’d forever live in shameful regret for not ticking MacRitchie Treetop Walk off your adventure bucket list! Nestled in the middle of the reservoir, the Treetop Walk is a 250 meter suspended pathway. At its’ highest point, you’ll be 25 meters above the ground (which is around 7 storeys high!).
Getting to the top is a bit of a hike. But trust me, the magnificent view of the treetops? So. Worth. It. While on the bridge, you can even have a little Titanic moment; eyes closed, with the wind gently caressing your face, arms stretched out as though you’re embracing nature… No? Just me? Okay😔
Credit: Lavanya Prakash
On your descent, you might even be lucky enough (or unlucky in certain circumstances) to spot a monkey or two! Be warned, the monkeys are known to steal visitors’ food so make sure to keep your snacks on lockdown! This isn’t Pokemon Go everyone, so try not to lure any creature with morsels of food😂
For legs that need resting, the area does have rest stops (not Pokestops mind you, alright I’ll stop now) or small sheltered huts for you to just sit back and enjoy nature in its’ purest form.
#HHWT Tip: As it is a nature trail, be prepared to hike at least 6km! Wear comfortable clothing and bring along a bottle of water since you’ll get a little thirsty.
How to go: Take bus number 52, 132, 163, 166, 167, 855 and 980 and alight just outside ESSO station before the junction of Venus Drive, Upper Thomson Road and Sin Ming Avenue.
3. Sungei Khatib Bongsu
Credit: Nature Society (Singapore)
One of Singapore’s last undammed rivers, Sungei Khatib Bongsu definitely sets itself apart from the urbanised landscape our country is known for today. The peaceful tranquillity the mangrove has to offer attracts nature-lovers, birdwatchers, cyclists and fishing enthusiasts from all over the country.
Credit: Nature Society (Singapore)
If you’re up for a more adventurous way of exploring the mangrove, why not trying kayaking? Paddling through the still waters, you’ll lose yourself in the lush greenery whilst accompanied by the peaceful chirping of birds. A wonderful escape from civilisation, for sure! Just try not to fall overboard😜
#HHWT Tip: To kayak, you’ll need to join ad-hoc kayaking groups such as the ones on Singapore Adventurous & Nature-Lovers.
How to go: From Yishun MRT, walk to block 151 and take bus 811. Alight opposite block 288. Unless you have a car, you’ll have to walk to the mangrove so be prepared!
4. Punggol Beach
Credit: Clon Bells Photography
Boulders of varying sizes scatter along the shores of Punggol Beach, the calming waves and pristine sands void of the usual rubbish found on most beaches. With its’ peaceful appearance, you’d never suspect the beach of having a dark history. This was the same spot where 300 to 400 civilians were gunned down during the Sook Ching massacre in World War II. Human remains are apparently still being found today😯
Credit: Jojo Crusado
Despite its’ history, many still flock to this beach to enjoy the picturesque view of the water. So why not make a trip down here, sit on a boulder and reflect on everything that’s going on in your life. Everyone needs to take a breather every once in a while, right? I know I do.
How to go: From Punggol MRT, take bus 84 and alight once you see the park.
5. Bidadari Park (Unfortunately, Bidadari Park is closed due to construction)
My best friend and I first stumbled upon this ethereal, expansive field when we were 14 on one of our many teenage expeditions. We were in complete awe of the towering, willowy trees and vibrant green fields that seem to go on forever. Don’t be fooled by the serenity this place exudes though! Formerly known as the Bidadari Cemetery, it was opened in 1908 as a multi-religious burial ground. No worries, the place was exhumed in 2006 and is a cemetery no more. Credit: Hozea Ngoh Back then, I had no idea of its’ history, though I did notice odd humps on the field here and there. Imagine my surprise years later, to find out that those humps were former graves! The area is now a playground for birdwatchers and aspiring photographers who wish to immortalise the beauty of this magical, untouched part of Singapore’s last remaining natural greenery. How to go: From Woodleigh MRT, exit and make your way to the field next to the station.
6. Bedok Reservoir
Credit: Muhammad Fareez Yahya
Completed in 1986, Bedok Reservoir gained quite a sinister reputation when not one, not two but six bodies were found floating in its’ waters in the later part of 2011. The streak of unexplainable deaths seems to have died down since, and the scenic reservoir continues to be popular amongst joggers and water sports enthusiasts alike.
Credit: Jake Wang
Aside from the witnessing the beautiful sunset, you can also participate in water sports like dragon boating, kayaking and wakeboarding on the open waters of the reservoir! With so many activities at your disposal, you can expect to spend the whole day there. Though, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t recommend staying there after dark – unless that’s the kind of adventure you’re looking for…
How to go: From Bedok Interchange, take bus number 66 and alight once you see the reservoir.
7. Abandoned Jurong Railway
Ever wondered how people in the ‘olden days’ survived without our lovely (though sometimes unreliable) MRT system? Why not take a trip down to Clementi and explore its’ abandoned railway tracks? Part of the now defunct Jurong Railway line, Singapore’s old railway line, the tracks runs all the way from Woodlands to Tanjong Pajar.
Affectionately known as The Green Corridor, the tracks are surrounded by greenery, with trees from both sides branching over and meeting to form a ‘corridor’. It’s not uncommon to see people having their wedding photoshoots there. The sharp contrast between the vibrancy of the surrounding greenery and the washed out gravel makes for a great backdrop! Definitely an Instagram worthy shot😉
How to go: Take bus numbers 52, 61, 154 or 184 and alight at Clementi Road (bus stop #12061).
8. Lazarus Island
Credit: @justravelwithus on Instagram
Prior to writing this, I had absolutely no idea such an island existed. A pristine white beach with clear waters in Singapore? Yup, you read that right! Tucked quietly between St John Island and Kusu Island, Lazarus Island is part of a group of 8 islets collectively known as Singapore’s Southern Islands.
Credit: @mariahxstar on Instagram
Unless most beaches in Singapore, Lazarus Island is unmarked by the rubbish. The clear, calm waters, a pristine sandy beach complete with palm trees swaying in the wind… The island is the closest thing we have to paradise. It also lacks infrastructure so it’s easy to imagine yourself on a deserted island, away from the bustling city life.
How to go: From Marina Bay MRT, use Exit B. Take bus number 402 and alight 2 stops later at Marina South Pier. At the pier, look for the Singapore Island Cruise and Services counter and take a ferry to St. John’s island. For the ferry schedule, click here. You can then walk over to Lazarus Island via a link bridge.
See? You don’t have to go on a trip around the world to quench your thirst for wanderlust! Let us know in the comments below if you’re thinking of paying any of the places above a visit or if you have any other off-the-beaten path site to share! Have fun adventuring😊