Singapore is known for its ultra-luxurious malls and Michelin-starred restaurants and is one of the most expensive cities in the entire world. But that’s just a small part of what makes Singapore so unique. It’s also home to wildlife preserves, beautiful landscapes, rich history, and of course, arguably the best food in the world.
Luckily, because of its size, getting around the garden city is easy. You can stay at one of the hotels near the Singapore Airport if you’re in town for just a couple of days. The airport is an excellent place to get a ride to any destinations in and around the island.
While visiting Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands, and Boat Quay is all well and good, tourists should also try and go off the beaten path and check out these three amazing destinations in Singapore:
Located northwest of Singapore, this site offers a glimpse of Singapore’s natural landscape sans urban development. The island is a stark contrast to the glamorous side of the country and is a much more casual and laid back locale, a throwback to the “Old Singapore” of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Pulau Ubin is home to some amazing beaches, beautiful traditional villages like Kampong, diverse flora and fauna, wetlands, boardwalks, and forests. Many people consider Pulau Ubin to be the “lungs” of Singapore.
To get to Pulau Ubin, take a ferry from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal and hop on a 15-minute bumboat to the island. It shouldn’t cost you more than SG$3.
Haw Par Villa
Located on 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, this place is a strange and wonderful theme park that opened back in 1937, during the height of Singapore’s colonial heritage. It boasts of overwhelmingly eccentric representations of various Chinese, Malay, and Hindi mythologies, complete with life-sized figurines and huge dioramas.
In modern times, however, Haw Par Villa has become a less-than-popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, with some urban legends claiming that the park is haunted. Of course, for some people, that adds to the charm!
To get to the site, take the MTR (the local subway) to Haw Par Villa Station by using the CC25, or Orange line. You could also take the 10, 30, 30e, 51, 143, 188, and 200 bus to Bus Stop 16019. The entrance to the place is free of charge.
Not exactly off-the-beaten-path, Haji Lane is now famous for being one of the city’s nightlife centers, with plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants that play live music and feature outdoor seating.
In the mornings, Haji Lane comes alive with vibrant colors from its numerous murals and alternative artworks created by locals. Grab a coffee from any of the several hipster coffee shops in the area or go to one of the local “hawker centers.” These centers are food parks that offer all kinds of food from all over Southeast Asia.
It’s a cheap place to get dinner, drinks, and entertainment in the city, and to get there, you can take the MTR to Bugis Station and walk towards Kampong Glam.
With these choices in mind, you can experience more of what Singapore has to offer in its different aspects.