While many people visit Singapore only for a few days as a stopover for another destination, most visitors head straight to hotspots like Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown and Little India. However, as Singapore aims to be a city in a park, your stay is not complete without a visit to one of the many lush greeneries. I wrote about Pulau Ubin before, here are five other green activities that will prove Singapore’s status as ‘The Garden City’. Tip: In all cases, consider wearing sports wear as you are likely to sweat a lot.
MacRitchie Reservoir is a unique well-preserved tropical rainforest in the heart of the city and is part of a rain water catchment system. Many citizens head to the 12-hectare park during the weekends for a run, water sports or for a hike. The 11-KM nature trail loop is the best way to explore MacRitchie, including the Treetop Walks. As this walk offers you a great view over the forest, it is hard to believe you are still in the city. During your hike, you are likely to experience several species of wildlife like macaque monkeys, squirrels and monitor lizards. You can also opt to rent a kayak or a paddle board.
The Southern Ridges Trail
The Southern Ridges is a 10-kilometre trail that connects five national parks along the southern ridge of Singapore. This trail enables you to enjoy panoramic views of the city, the harbour and the Southern Islands. One of the highlights is the Henderson Waves bridge, which has an iconic wave-like structure and is known as the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. As the Southern Ridges is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, you are likely to spot some wildlife like exotic birds species, butterflies and monkey’s.
The Southern Ridges starts at Mount Faber, easy accessible via MRT station Harbourfront.
Hike from Botanic Gardens to Dempsey Hill
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 158-year-old tropical garden, honoured as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in central Singapore and just five minutes away from shopping paradise Orchard Road. The Botanic Gardens shows off an abundance of tropical flowers, showing you why is has been ranked one of Asia’s top park attractions. Take some time to explore the Evolution Garden and the Rain Forest Trail, two theme trails that are definitely worth a visit.
Walk all the way up to Dempsey Hill for a lunch at one of the many fine restaurants. Jones the Grocer and PS Cafe are personal favorites.
The Botanic Gardens can easily be reached from the Botanic Garden MRT station.
Biking in East Coast Park
The East Coast Park is a beach park stretching from Marina East to planning areas in the southeastern coast of Singapore. Every Sunday many Singaporean families head to the park to gather for BBQ’s, picknicks or to relax at the beach. A 15-km cycling and inline skating track runs along the perimeter of the park, which makes the East Coast Park the perfect occasion to rent a bike and have some exercise while exploring the area. Along the way there are many nice beach spots from where you can experience a beautiful sunset.
Gardens by the Bay
Little explanation is needed when it comes to the Supertree Grove, as these artificial vertical gardens are world famous. But you might plan some extra time to visit the Flower Dome and/or the Cloud Forest, two indoor gardens in glass greenhouses. My personal favourite is the Cloud Forest, as this dome has a unique 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation and an extended information programme about the challenges of global warming.
Start at the domes at 06.00 PM to be in time for the Supertree light show at 7.45 PM.
Read my previous blogs to find out more about my personal hotspots and the best vegan and vegetarian eateries in Singapore.