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14 Hidden Gems In Singapore That Look Like They Are Overseas (Near Halal Food!)

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Faruq Senin  •  Jul 21, 2020

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[UPDATED 22 Nov 2020] It feels like Singapore has been in Phase 2 for many months now and while it has been fun revisiting our awesome attractions and enjoying staycations, one thing we still can't do is to travel. So, why not take this time to rediscover Singapore by exploring its hidden gems this 2020? We've rounded up 14 hidden gems in Singapore that'll make you feel like you're overseas! This way, you can feed your wanderlust for a little while 😊 We've also provided halal eateries nearby so you can go for a makan session with your buddies after exploring Singapore.
1. Little Guilin
Those living in the West side of Singapore might be familiar with this not so hidden gem called Little Guilin (or Xiao Guilin in Mandarin). Located at Bukit Batok Town Park, this granite rock within a lake was named after the city of Guilin in China, best known for its majestic limestone karst hills! This area also used to be a granite quarry back in the day. While Little Guilin is a much smaller scale of the real Guilin, you'll still be able to admire the scenic views here 😍 Check out the stunning reflection of the granitehill from the lake!Opening hours: 24/7 Address: Along Bukit Batok East Ave 5, Singapore 650242 Website Halal food nearby: Habib Family Restaurant Halal status: Muslim-owned Cuisine: Malay/Indian/Chinese (Halal Bak Kut Teh) Opening hours: Daily, 6AM-1AM Address: 374 Bukit Batok Street 31, HDB, Singapore 650374 Dajie Halal Chicken Rice & Niang Dou Fu Halal status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Chinese (Halal Yong Tau Fu, Chicken Rice, Wanton Noodles) Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-9.30PM Address: 372 Bukit Batok Street 31, #01-374, Singapore 650372 Website | Facebook P.S. Love nature spots? Check out these 11 hiking and walking trails in Singapore!
2. Sang Nila Utama Garden, Fort Canning
At first glance, you'd think that this picture was taken in Bali! But this is actually at the Sang Nila Utama Garden at Fort Canning. Named after Sang Nila Utama, the legendary founder and first King of ancient Singapore, this garden was modelled after ancient royal gardens back in the day. This might explain why the architecture here is reminiscent of Bali's famous Empul Tirta Bali and Pura Lempuyang temples (the one with the famous gates of heaven)! When you take a stroll here, you can immediately feel its peace and serenity. Opening hours: 24/7 Address:1 Canning Rise, Singapore 179868 (nearRegistry of Marriages and National Archives Singapore)Halal food nearby: Dutch Colony Coffee Co. Halal status: We spoke to a Director in the company who confirmed that the company is partially Muslim-owned, and all espresso brands are halal-certified by MUIS. All ingredients used across all outlets are halal-certified, and items including cakes and pastries are from halal-certified kitchens and/or halal-certified sources. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. Cuisine: Western/Brunch/Cafe Opening hours: Daily, 8AM-6PM Address: 81 Clemenceau Ave, #01-21, Singapore 239917 Website | Facebook | Instagram P.S. Check out the top 30 halal eateries in Singapore's Civic District!
3. Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
Need a breather from your hectic life? Upper Seletar Reservoir Park is just where you need to be! The view of the wide green spaces here with the reservoir in the background is gorgeous and is therapeutic for your mind. Though not as majestic, this is probably Singapore's answer to New Zealand's famous That Wanaka Tree, the Instagrammable lone tree in Lake Wanaka. In case you're wondering where this spot is located, it's just a short walk away from the Seletar Rocket Tower. Opening hours: 24/7 Address: Mandai Rd Track 7 Halal food nearby: Springleaf Prata Place Halal status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Indian/Fusion Opening hours: Daily, 8AM-12AM Address: 1 Thong Soon Ave, Singapore 787431 Website | Facebook Top 73+1 Fishball Legacy Halal status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Chinese Opening hours: Mon-Sat; 7AM-8.30PM (closed on Sun) Address: 914 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 787114 Facebook P.S. Looking for things to do with your kids? Check out these 9 outdoor activities in Singapore!
4. Kampong Lorong Buangkok
You might have heard of kampungs on Pulau Ubin but a kampung on mainland Singapore? We kid you not! Built in 1956, Kampong Lorong Buangkok (or Kampong Selak Kain in Malay) is the last surviving kampung on mainland Singapore. Believe it or not, this is still home to less than 30 families. The entrance to kampung is quite inconspicuous except for a small signboard and it is surrounded by new HDB flats. There's even a small surau (prayer hall) here called Surau Al-Firdaus. If you're planning to visit this kampung, do note that it is still a residential area so do be very mindful. Address: Lorong Buangkok (enter from Gerald Dr or Buangkok Cres) Halal food nearby: Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang Halal status: Muslim-owned Cuisine: Indonesian Opening hours: Tue-Sat; 7.30AM-8PM, Sun; 7.30AM-7.30PM (closed on Mon) Address:51 Hougang Ave 9,Stall #01-40, Singapore 538776Facebook Arnold's Fried Chicken Halal status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Western Opening hours: Daily; 11AM-10PM Address: 21 Hougang Street 51, #01-49 Green Shopping Mall, Singapore 538719 Website
5. Seletar North Link Bridge
Seletar North Link bridge is a hidden gem for couples to take their wedding photos and we can definitely see why! The reflection of trees in the still waters and the gorgeous symmetry looks like it's straight out of a postcard. One look and you might mistake this for a nature spot in Canada or New Zealand 😍 To get here, you'll have to drive, cycle or walk/jog along Seletar North Link from Punggol or Yishun! Address: Seletar North Link (in between Punggol Barat Island and Punggol Timor Island) Halal food nearby: Al Habib Indian Muslim Food Halal Status: Muslim-owned Cuisine: Indian Opening hours: Daily; 6AM-11PM Address: Blk 312A Sumang Link, #01-05, Singapore 821312, Punggol Parcvista Website Waterway Point Halal eateries: Encik Tan, Jollibee Fried Chicken, Fish & Co., Bali Thai, Tuk Tuk Cha, PappaRich, So Pho, Stuff'd, Tenderfresh Classic, The Soup Spoon Find out more on their website P.S. Check out our halal food guide in Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol for more halal food options!
6. Southern Islands
No, this isn't Phuket, Krabi orLangkawi - it'sSingapore's very own Southern Islands! Comprising of Lazarus Island, St. John's Island and Kusu Island, the beaches on these islands are pristine, with gorgeous blue seas 😍 So put on your holiday sun hat and bring along your picnic basket for a relaxing time away from work and all else. If you can't travel to a beach getaway now, this is the closest you can get! Check out our guide to the Southern Islands for information on how to get there and more! Price: $15 Website | Facebook | Instagram Halal food nearby: There are no eateries on the Southern Islands so we recommend you to pack some food for your trip there. If you're looking for halal food near Marina South Pier, check these places out: Makan by the Bay (at Satay by the Bay) Halal status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Chinese/Seafood Opening hours: Daily; 10.30AM-10PM Address: Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, 01-19, 018953 Facebook #HHWT Tip: Find out more halal food options nearby with our Marina Bay halal food guide!
7. Lakeside Garden, Jurong Lake Gardens
Can't get enough of that "lone tree" from Upper Seletar Reservoir? Wait till you see this one at Lakeside Garden! From afar,you'd think that this is a real tree and but step closer to it and you'll find that it's actually made from recycled iron bars. With the lalang field (called the Grasslands) around it, this definitely makes for a great photo opportunity if you're going for that mystical look.Check out our guide to Jurong Lake Gardens for more! Opening hours: 24/7 Address: Yuan Ching Rd (near South Car Park) Halal food nearby: Fusion Spoon Halal status: Fusion Spoon is currently in the process of their halal certification renewal. We reached out to them and they have assured that all their ingredients are halal-certified. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. Cuisine: Western/Local/Japanese/Fusion Opening hours: Mon-Fri; 10AM-10PM, Sat-Sun/PH; 7AM-10PM Address: 102 Yuan Ching Rd, Singapore 618663 Contact: +6569691598 Facebook
8. Raffles Marina Lighthouse
Located all the way in the far West of Singapore in Tuas, the Raffles Marina Lighthouse feels like a world away. It's one of the 6 operating lighthouses in Singapore (yes, we do have that here 🤣) From here, you'd be able to see neighbouring Malaysia as well as the Second Link. Well, if you can't travel to Malaysia just yet, this is probably the closest you're goingto get. Visit the lighthouse during sunset and you'll be treated to dreamy views which feels like it's a scene out of a Hollywood film. The refreshing sea breeze and breathtaking sea view will be just what you need to take your mind away from busy Singapore.Opening hours: Daily; 7AM-12AM Address: 10 Tuas West Dr, 638404 (Located within Raffles Marina, Accessible via Tuas Link MRT Station - just a minute walk away) Halal food nearby: Check out our guide to halal food in Jurong for yummy halal food options!
9. Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Missed your trip to Japan because of the pandemic? Don't worry, you can still pay a visit to Sembawang Hot Spring Park, which houses mainland Singapore's only hot spring. Have a relaxing foot bath in the cascading pools or boil some eggs at the Egg Cooking station. There are even buckets and scoops which you are free to use! Besides the hot spring, the park also has natural streams and a floral walk where you can learn about fruit trees and edible plants usually found in kampungs. Opening hours: 7AM-7PM Address: Along Gambas Ave Website Halal food nearby: Check out our halal food guide of Sembawang, Marsiling and Woodlands!
10. Wessex Estate
Located near the iconic Tanglin Halt area, a walk into Wessex Estate will take you back in time. The estate's main draw is its black-and-white colonial houses. Built in the 1940s, these were once houses for non-commissioned British officers and soldiers when Singapore was still under colonial rule. Today, most of these buildings are still residential properties while a few of them have been converted to art studios and event spaces. With lush greenery and wide, open fields, the estate has a charming and tranquil vibe 😍 Check out our guide to Wessex Estate for more info! Halal food nearby: Edmond Chicken Rice Halal Status: Halal-certified Cuisine: Chinese (Chicken Rice) Average Price: $4 Address: 48A Tanglin Halt Rd, #01-028, Singapore 148813 Facebook Check out other amazing halal food options around Wessex Estate with our West Coast halal food guide!
11. Bollywood Veggies
Only a few places in Singapore can make you feel like you're away from the hustle and bustle of the city and Bollywood Veggies happens to be one of them! An organic farm located all the way in Kranji, you can sign up for a tour here where you'll get to touch, smell, and taste some of theirvegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. Our reader Ros actually visited and explored the farm a while ago -check out her visit to Bollywood Veggies! Halal food nearby: Check out our halal food guide to Jurong for halal food options near Bollywood Veggies. Address: 100 Neo Tiew Rd, Singapore 719026 Website | Facebook | Instagram
12. Hay Dairies
Also in Kranji, Hay Dairies has more than 800 goats of various breeds. Here, you can watch a goat milking session, observe the goats lazing around in the morning sun, or even purchase your own alfafa hay to hand-feed the curious creatures! Don't forget to check out their own fresh goat's milk (in Original and Chocolate flavours) too! Halal food nearby: Check out our halal food guide to Jurong for halal food options near Bollywood Veggies. Address: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718859 Opening hours: Wed-Mon; 9AM-4PM (closed on Tue) Website | Facebook | Instagram P.S. Want to visit Bollywood Veggies and Hay Dairies in one tour? Check out our article here!
13. Quayside Isle, Sentosa
It's not common to see views of yachts parked at a marina in Singapore but head over to Sentosa's Quayside Isle and you might just feel like you're in Australia.Located in the upscale Sentosa Cove, take a walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the panoramic views 😍Halal food nearby: Check out this article on Sentosa to find the halal food options nearby! Address: 31 Ocean Way, Singapore 098375
14. Japanese Cemetery Park
Established in 1891, the Japanese Cemetery is a fascinating spot located in the Kovan neighbourhood. As the biggest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia, this was the burial ground of the early Japanese community and there are about 1000 graves here. While you're here, you'll feel as though you're transported to Japan for a while. The spot is now a memorial park with graves of Japanese civilians, soldiers and more. As you walk around, do be very mindful as this is still a resting place for the dead. Halal food nearby: Check out our halal food guide to Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol! Address: 22 Chuan Hoe Ave, Singapore 549854 Bet you didn't know that our little red dot had these amazing hidden gems! So, if you feel trapped in Singapore and you want to do some sightseeing in your own country, set aside a day (or two!) to explore these awesome spots 😊