There are plenty of hidden gems and untold stories in Singapore and the best way to uncover these are by going on neighbourhood tours! As you explore More to Singapore during this period, tours are a great way to discover the country’s underrated spots. You’ll also get to hear anecdotes from a local expert which will make you see Singapore from a different perspective. From tours of heritage spots to the heartlands, we’ve rounded up these 8 awesome neighbourhood tours in Singapore!
Tours of Singapore’s heritage neighbourhoods:
1. Peranakan Heritage Tour at Blair Plain
Take a walk down memory lane with the Picturesque Peranakan Heritage Tour at Blair Plain, a conservation area made up of charming and gorgeous Peranakan traditional shophouses. During the tour, you’ll get to visit the National University of Singapore (NUS) Baba House which was once home to a prominent Peranakan family and experience what life was like in a 1920s Peranakan terrace house.
Credit: Visit Singapore website
Some shophouses in the area have received awards for their distinctive Peranakan architecture, exquisite tiles and motifs that highlight the rich heritage of Babas and Nyonyas. Besides that, the tour will also bring you to the IG-worthy murals at Everton Road and Spottiswoode Park Road!
2. Kampong Gelam Historical Tour
You might be familiar with Kampong Gelam for its hipster cafes and boutique shops but the next time you’re there, explore the neighbourhood from a different viewpoint. With actors playing different roles, the Kampong Gelam Historical Tour is not just any ordinary tour.
Credit: Klook (This photo was taken before COVID-19.)
You’ll get to walk with a fictional character, Aminah and hear about her childhood while staying in Kampong Gelam. Delve into the stories of others who used to live here, some of whom were war heroes who sacrificed their lives to help others.
Revisit famous landmarks like the Sultan Mosque and Alsagoff Arab School. You’ll also get to learn lesser-known facts like how Kampong Gelam got its name. The tour is a fun and engaging way to understand more about the history and hidden sights of Kampong Gelam!
3. Bicycle Tour in Downtown Singapore
Credit: Klook (Disclaimer: This photo was taken before COVID-19.)
Head on a unique bicycle tour around downtown Singapore with the Trails of Tan Ah Huat. Based on a fictional character, the tour follows a crafted story of Tan Ah Huat in 1920s Singapore and explores his life as an entrepreneur, his passions as well as his friends. Covering various sights like Kampong Gelam, Raffles Hotel, Singapore River and Chinatown, this immersive tour tells the story of Singapore’s immigrants back in the day. It shows how their efforts have contributed to Singapore’s success.
Tours that show a rural side of Singapore:
4. Kampong Lorong Buangkok Tour
Kampong Lorong Buangkok is Singapore’s last surviving kampong and in this tour, get a glimpse of what life was like in rural Singapore in the 1950s. What’s interesting is that the kampong is still home to more than 20 families! Guided by a landlady, hear insider stories by residents themselves and enjoy the “kampong spirit” as they treat you to yummy traditional kuih and drinks as part of the tour experience. You’ll also get to learn more about the architecture and plantations in the kampong as well as a few natural remedy tips from the villagers!
5. Seletar and Chong Pang Tour
Tucked away in the northeastern part of Singapore, the Seletar neighbourhood is a great respite from the bustling city. One of the things you can look forward to in this tour is a visit to Seletar Fishing Village, Singapore’s last fishing village. There, you’ll find kampong-like huts along the shore with wooden boardwalks extending out to the waters. You’ll also get to bring home a live catch of the day (included in the tour)!
What’s great about this tour is that it brings you to hidden gems in the area like the Hampstead Wetlands Park! Resembling an English garden with a pond and lily pads, this park is a quiet and rustic spot for a leisure walk. Another interesting stop is Chong Pang City in Yishun. Named after a village that once stood in the area, get to know more about Chong Pang’s history and how it has transformed over the years.
6. Alexandra Park Tour
Take a nostalgic journey at Alexandra Park, a neighbourhood in Singapore which is dotted with black and white colonial houses. These houses were built in the 1930s for British officers back in the day. During the tour, what’s unique is that you’ll be escorted by an architecture guide who will tell you all about the distinct features of the houses as well as their history and the lifestyle of those who had lived there.
Some of the highlights you can expect are the art-deco style of the Old Institute of Dental Health Building and a Plantation House among others. You’ll also get to take a stroll along the roads named after places in the United Kingdom (UK) like Wincester, Russel, York and more.
Tours of Singapore’s heartland neighbourhoods:
7. Queenstown and Tanglin Halt Tour
Credit: X-Trekkers on Facebook
Go off the beaten track with a tour of the Queenstown neighbourhood and the green spaces around it. The tour will bring you back in time as you explore the old world charm of Tanglin Halt, one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates. The highlight of the tour is a hike through a secret forest which will lead you to a huge fallen tree trunk that has been converted into a deck with chairs and steps! The tour will also bring you to the Rail Corridor and colonial buildings at Canterbury Road which will make you feel like you’re in a countryside overseas.
8. Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh Tour
Credit: Klook (Disclaimer: This photo was taken before COVID-19)
There are lots of stories and places to discover in Singapore’s heartlands and this tour of Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh Central will bring you to 2 very interesting neighbourhoods. One of the highlights is the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club where you can admire the iconic sight of birds in cages hung on flagpoles and listen to their melodic sounds! Meet the bird owners who will tell you all about this kampong tradition that’s still very much alive as well as interesting stories of their own.
The tour will also bring you to a community garden, a wet market and more. While these are part of everyday life for Singaporeans, this tour will enable you to revisit these places and see them in a different light. You’ll also get to meet the people behind them and learn more about spots that are only known to those living in the area.
If you’ve been wanting to discover more spots in Singapore, sign up for these amazing tours for a deeper look into Singapore’s neighbourhoods and hidden gems. To help you out with planning your activities, head over to Klook as it is the perfect platformwith over 1,000 activities - from staycations to tours, workshops and more. Plus, as part of theMore to Singapore campaign, you can enjoy up to an additional 10% for all Singapore activities. Let your loved ones know and explore more of what Singapore has to offer!
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