For many people who think of Singapore, images of a majestic skyline may come to their mind – a concrete jungle, really. In actuality, I was relieved to find out that Singapore has a great deal of green space. I grew up in the Hudson Valley region of the U.S. and once in Singapore, I found myself craving to be outside and active. Throughout my time in the city, I found some really excellent places to get some exercise or just take a deep breath. Here are some of my favorites:
If you are going to do just one walk, this is an easy one! You could spend 30 minutes or all day walking through the orchid gardens, children’s garden or rainforest. There are also some great restaurants to stop and grab a coffee or lunch. Try the Bee’s Knees for healthy, delicious food – if you have guests in town, this is the place to take them!
The Southern Ridges
This is also a great hike for visitors since there is an easy way to get on and off the trail in the event that it starts raining or they are not used to the heat. Enter off Alexandra road and follow the windy pathway that lifts you above the trees. Eventually you’ll come across the Henderson Waves which is a 274-meter curved bridge and architectural dream. If you’re feeling ambitious, once across the bridge you can follow the trail to Mount Faber and climb to the summit. At the top you can reward yourself with a lunch at the restaurant that overlooks the cable cars.
Bukit Timah Nature Preserve
Feeling like you’re up for a physical challenge? Head straight to Bukit Timah Nature Preserve, Singapore’s highest hill. On this hike keep an eye out for monkeys and snakes (I’ve personally seen both!). From the beginning you will walk up an extremely steep hill into the forest. Once you think you have a chance to catch your breath, you then embark on a staircase that will seem to never end. Once at the 163-meter-high summit, you can finally rest and take some photos of your feat. But don’t get too comfortable, the return hike is just as challenging. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Coney Island Park
A favorite outing for TEAN students is heading to Pulau Ubin, an island northeast of mainland Singapore where you can enjoy plenty of green spaces, a more relaxed pace and trails to walk to cycle. Coney Island offers a lot of the same features but is a lot more accessible since it can be reached by car. Before you go, download the Mobike app and rent a bicycle. Cruise through the forest for some shade and follow the trails that take you along the water.
A few tips when out and about in Singapore:
- Always have water, bug spray, sunscreen, a hat and battery backup for your cell phone with you.
- You will likely run into monkeys outside the city and they can be very curious. If you bring food, make sure that it’s not fruit as they can smell it and will even jump on your back to try to take it from you.
- There are poisonous snakes in Singapore. Watch your footing and if you see one, STAY BACK. This guide covers 15 of the venomous snakes found in Singapore.
- Download a few different bike apps such as oBike and ofo for more transportation options while you’re out.