Singapore Sightseeing: Classics and Insider Tips for your ToDo List

Singapore Sightseeing: Classics and Insider Tips for your ToDo List

In my posts and on Instagram I already showed you countless times how fond I am of Singapore. Here comes my post about what you shouldn’t miss in this beautiful city!

 

#1 Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectare big national park close to downtown Singapore, that was build on land fills. Singapore aimed for offering its citizens more green landscape and some sort of recreational area.

The outer area of Gardens by the Bay is free to enter and you can take as many walks there as you desire.

The green houses, however, are 30 SGD, which is a lot but worth seeing once in my opinion.

Super Tree Grove

Scattered across the area are several so-called Super Trees. These metal tree constructions have a height of about 25 to 50 meters and are covered by rare plants. Each of them has a different name and topic. The most Super Trees are in Super Tree Grove, where there is a light show every evening (more on that further down).

Gardens by the Bay – Super Trees – Super Tree Grove – SkyWalk

They produce electricity through photovoltaics and, by collecting rain water, they assist the irrigation system and cooling systems of the green houses and the Super Trees itself.

Two of the Super Trees in Super Tree Grove are connected by a bridge – the SkyWalk.

Gardens by the Bay – Super Trees – Super Tree Grove – SkyWalk

Gardens by the Bay – Super Trees – Super Tree Grove – SkyWalk

Flower Dome and Cloud Forest

Also in this area you can find two green houses – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest – that host plants from Mediterranean / semi-dry climate zones and also display tropical vegetation.

Gardens by the Bay

Cloud Forest

Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage is a dam, but due to the nice park and green area on top of it, it became a favorite spot for picnics and kiting. Yes, kiting. The view of Garden by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands and also the skyline is breathtaking. If you can manage to be there on a clear day, you can see a beautiful sunset. Also, there are mostly locals here and less expats/tourists.

Marina Barrage

This is the view without the park in the foreground.

Marina Barrage

The Light Show in Gardens by the Bay

Every evening from 7.45pm to 8.45pm, you can see the light show in Super Tree Grove. Each time a different topic, the music gets accompanied by a 15 minute light show, coloring the trees in all varieties. This is a highlight for me and I try to include it at least once in every trip I take to Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay – Super Trees – Super Tree Grove – SkyWalk

Gardens by the Bay – Super Trees – Super Tree Grove – SkyWalk

This light show is free of charge.

 

 #2 Marina Bay

Even though Marina Bay is the youngest district of Singapore, it probably houses the most famous tourist attractions of the city. If this is your first time in this Asian metropolis or you just have a short layover, you will probably find your way here.

Marina Bay Panorama

The Merlion

The Merlion is a landmark in Singapore. Half fish, half lion, the legend says it protected Singapore’s people from enemies and violent storms. Therefore, they erected this 37 meter tall statue and the city got the nick name Lion City.

Marina Bay Merlion

 

The Helix Bridge

The Helix Bridge got its name from its design – it looks like a string of DNA.

Helix Bridge – Marina Bay

The ArtScience Museum

This museum in the shape of a lotus flower consists of 21 galleries. Three of them have permanent exhibitions with the topics curiosity, inspiration and expression. The other galleries are used for frequently changing exhibitions.

Museum of Artscience

Museum of Artscience – Helix Bridge – Marina Bay

Marina Bay Sands

The probably most famous hotel in the world is also a landmark of the city. Every time I see the gigantic rooftop terrace, it puts a smile on my face. To me it signifies the same as seeing the Frankfurt skyline – it means home.

Marina Bay Sands

On the rooftop you can find its world famous infinity pool, that is reserved for hotel guests only.

Located centrally on the terrace, you can find the bar C’est La Vie. Some kind of lounge during daytime, it turns into a restaurant in the evening. But be careful and respect the dress code! Shorts and bikinis are a not welcome here.

Marina Bay – Marina Bay Sands SkyPark

There is also a public area on the Marina Bay Sands terrace although it costs 23 SGD. However, I think this is money well spent as this is also the only place where you can watch the light shows in Gardens by the Bay and in Marina Bay from the top.

Gardens by the Bay – Marina Bay Sands SkyPark

 

The Light Show in Marina Bay

Same as in the Gardens by the Bay, there is also a light show in Marina Bay. Every day from 8pm and 9pm you can enjoy the show. And if you want to be especially close, just take a walk through The Shoppes. With the majestic skyline in the background, water fountains are painted in a multitude of colors by the lights, accompanied by music.

Marina Bay Lightshow

From the other side of the bay you may not see the water fountains but the laser show from Marina Bay Sands makes up for it.

Marina Bay Lightshow – Marina Bay Sands

 

#3 Arab Street

Contrary to the name, Arab Street is not only a street but a whole district. All around the Masjid Sultan Mosque you can find streets that make up the most hipster area of the town. Here you can find the creatives and the party people. Bright colors, hand-woven Persian carpets and aromatic Arabian teas – that’s the Arabian district in Singapore.

Sultan Mosque

The heart of the Arabian Street is the Masjid Sultan Mosque with nearly 200 years of history. This touristic highlight is perfect for learning about Muslim culture or simply enjoy the extraordinary atmosphere. Up to 5000 people can fit in the prayer room.

Arab Street

 

#4 Sentosa

In front of Singapore lies the small island Sentosa. It is an artificial island and basically a theme park. Numerous attractions are waiting for families and visitors that are looking to be entertained. I tried some of them but the only things that really convinced me were the beaches and beach bars. Even though you can see the huge container ships in the distance, I still found this to be an oasis.

Siloso Beach

Universal Studios

The Universal Studios are part of the theme park Resorts World on the island Sentosa. You can find 28 rides, shows, and attractions in seven different areas – each with a different topic.

Singapore Cable Car

I don’t know about you, but I love cable cars! And it’s also the best way to get to Sentosa. You can either walk over the pedestrian bridge, take a taxi, take the Sentosa Express, or said cable car. It is the most expensive way, but in my opinion worth at least doing once. You can take off from Harbourfront or Mount Faber.

Pro tip: The Henderson Waves are only a five minute walk away from Mount Faber station. So you can easily combine these two highlights.

Adventure Cove Waterpark

This theme park is all about water and offers fun for the whole family. There is an aquarium, water slide, a wave pool, you can go snorkeling and so on… I haven’t been there yet but I will surely go there!

S.E.A. Aquarium

Since I condemn imprisoning animals, I did not go the aquarium. Nevertheless, I don’t want to keep this information from you. Here you can find more than 100.000 sea animals from almost 1000 different species. 50 big pools offer you a glimpse into the underwater world.

The Crane Dance Light Show

The third and last light show of Singapore is on Sentosa. Each day you can find two mechanical cranes dancing and telling a story of love accompanied by water, light and music. I personally enjoy the other two light shows more but if you are already on Sentosa, why not have a look at the daily show at 8pm. After that, just take a stroll back to the Harbourfront.

The Beaches

Many people describe Singapore as a concrete block. I think that is a false depiction. Of course, the beaches are fake, at least on Sentosa, but still…. you can lie in the sand and enjoy a fresh coconut! What is there not to love about that?

There is a total of three beaches on the island – Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong.

On Palawan Beach there is a small suspension bridge, that leads to another smaller offshore island. Here you can find a lot of families with their children. A bit too crowded for my taste but at least the bridge is very photogenic.

Palawan Beach

Tanjong Beach is well suited for you, if you are looking for a quiet and relaxed time. It is relatively far from the metro station you probably arrive at. So you can take a taxi or a shuttle service, because it’s a 30 minute walk and that can be rather exhausting on a hot day.

But once you reach your destination, you can relax. At the Tanjong Beach Club, you can find refreshing cocktails and if you’re not in the mood for sand between your toes, just lie down at the pool.

Tanjong Beach Club

Tanjong Beach Club

 

#5 Chinatown

Even if that’s not a popular opinion – I am no fan of China Town. There’s no real reason, it’s more of a feeling. Although I feel at home in most parts of Singapore, I don’t have that same feeling in China Town. However, I still know my way around and can recommend you some nice spots.

Chinatown Complex Food Center

In Singapore, you can find so called Hawker Centers. Those are food centers where you can buy local cuisine for cheap prices. With 260 stands, the biggest and most famous Hawker Center is the Chinatown Complex Food Center. One of the stalls even has a Michelin Star. The most recommended dish is Chicken Rice and costs around one to two Euros. However, the cue in front of the stalls is sometimes extremely long, resulting in almost up to one hour of standing in line. 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was built in 2007. The rich interior architecture and the extensive exhibitions about Buddhist art and history tell a story of hundred of years of culture. In this temple you can find a shrine containing a tooth of Buddha (the left canine tooth allegedly). It was recovered from the pyre in Kushinagar, India, and brought here for exhibition and worshiping.

Sri Mariamman Temple

The oldest Hindu temple of Singapore is dedicated to the mother deity Mariamman and was built in 1827. This is the house of prayer for most Tamils and the Hindu population in Singapore. Due to its historical significance, it was declared a national monument in 1972.

 

#6 Nature Reserves & Parks

The reason why I love Singapore this much is that it combines all the advantages of a major city with a vast number of parks and nature reserves. They are within easy reach and you can escape the Hustle and Bustle of the city in a heartbeat. Let me list some of the most popular destinations. Sadly, I still haven’t managed to visit all of them but I will be in Singapore a lot more often and definitely explore further.

MacRitchie Reservoir

The MacRitchie Reservoir is Singapore’s oldest storage reservoir. It was built in 1868 in order to secure the supply of potable water. Nowadays, it is mostly used as a recreational area. Here you can go jogging, kayaking or simply relax.

MacRitchie Reservoire

MacRitchie Nature Trails

In the heart of Singapore you can find 11 km of trails around the MacRitchie Reservoir. It is easily possible to encounter several different animals on your journey such as macaques, monitor lizards, squirrels, flying lemurs, or owls.

You can choose between different paths to find the perfect distance for your walk. Road signs show you the way so you always know exactly where you are, how long it takes to your next destination and which alternative trails you can take. Remember to bring enough water as there is none to buy here.

MacRitchie Reservoire – MacRitchie Nature Trails

The highlight of the MacRitchie Nature Trail is the next point on this list.

 

TreeTop Walk

The TreeTop Walk is part of the MacRichie Trail. The whole circuit, including the TreeTop Walk at the center, is about 7 km long. Sadly, there are no MRT stations close to the starting point, so you have to take a bus to the parking area at the entrance Venus Drive or take a grab or cab. From there, you can follow the signs.

On this 250 meter long suspension bridge you will have a wonderful panorama view of the rain forest, walking 25 meters above ground.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Only 12 km from the busy city center is the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, founded in 1883 and one of the first forest reserves of the country. It has a rich ecosystem, offering the visitors the possibility of marveling at numerous plants and animals of the region. You basically walk through primordial, tropical vegetation and experience Singapore as it was several decades ago.

BUKIT TIMAH NATURE RESERVE

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is Malay and means “Granite Island” – and you can actually find old granite quarries on the island. It is mostly famous for being the last Kampong  (typical village in Singapore) that hasn’t completely been urbanised and modernised. It is a trip through time, as allegedly this is what Singapore looked like in 1960.

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Serangoon aka. Coney Island

Coney Island or Pulau Serangoon is a 133 hectare island on the northern coast of Singapore between the already mentioned Pulau Ubin in the north east and the mainland in the south west.

The 50 hectare nature reserve includes coastal woods, grass lands and mangroves. Many Singaporeans come here for hiking or mountain biking. Also camping is very popular here. Sadly, I haven’t visited the island yet, but it is still on my to-do list.

Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges are a nine kilometer walk through lush vegetation – but in the middle of the city! The paths are separated into smaller units and you can start and stop your tour anywhere and anytime.

I started at the Alexandra Arch and made my walk over the Forest Walk. You really have to remind yourself that you are still in an large city. Otherwise, you can easily get the feeling you were teleported to the next rain forest.

The Forest Walk connects to the Hilltop Walk. And here comes the highlight – the Henderson Waves! The Henderson Waves are bridges that go in serpentines across the highway. You don’t really notice the cars below, though. I actually only noticed once I went back to grab the bus and saw the bridge from below.

Henderson Waves

Botanic Garden

The Botanic Gardens are 158 years old and situated at the border of Orchard Road – the most famous shopping street in Singapore. They are marked as world heritage and the only place in Singapore listed at the UNESCO.

Since the gardens are easily accessible (the metro station is right in front of the entrance) and there is no entrance fee, many Singaporeans come here to find some peace. A picnic in the lunch break or walk after work… no problem.

Personally speaking, I wasn’t too excited about the park. Maybe after Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and co. I was expecting more. No jungle, no futuristic structures, no skyline… just a park with tropical plants.

Singapur Botanischer Garten – Singapore Botanic Garden

As you see, Singapore has a lot to offer! I really can’t understand how some visitors claim two days would be enough to experience it. Hopefully, I was able to show you just how divers this country really is. 

Which of these spots in Singapore fascinate you the most? What would you love to see? If you’ve already been to Singapore – what did you like the most? I’m looking forward to your comments!

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Singapore Guide for Digital Nomads

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The TreeTop Walk in Singapore – Hiking in the jungle of an Asian mega city

The TreeTop Walk in Singapore – Hiking in the jungle of an Asian mega city

I had been planning to hike the TreeTop Walk since I have first been to Singapore. I had seen it on the map and after looking it up put it on my bucket list. The reason why it took me three stays and technically three whole months to finally go is that it’s not as easily reachable as the other nature escapes that I had been exploring such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.  

Additionally, the TreeTop Walk is closed on Mondays for maintenance work. There are gates on both sides with a guard sitting on the end with the entrance. There is no guard at the exit but the door can only be opened coming from the bridge and not from the trail. You can still do the hike but you can’t cross the bridge.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

 

Facts about the TreeTop Walk at a glance

Starting Point: Venus Drive Carpark

Distance: 250 meters for the suspension bridge, 7 km for the whole loop

Length: 3 to 4 hours

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm (the gate closes at 5pm sharp!)

Entrance Fee: Free

How to get to the TreeTop Walk in Singapore

The TreeTop Walk is actually part of a trail system called the MacRitchie Trails. The whole loop that includes the TreeTop Walk is around 7 km long. Unfortunately, there is no MRT station close to the starting point, which means that you have to take a bus to the car park at the entrance called Venus Drive or get there by Grab or taxi. From there you simply follow the signs.  

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

An alternative for all the hardcore hikers would be to walk the MacRitchie Nature Trail from the Reservoir itself, which is a 4.6 km walk.  

The Loop

Getting to the TreeTop Walk from the starting point at the Venus Drive car park couldn’t be easier. There are signs at every crossing.

I had actually read in a blog post saying that it’s difficult to find the way, which is why I was a bit concerned when I went there. It was my last day in Singapore and I still had lots of errands to run. But I really wanted to go on this specific hike. Luckily, in the end, with around 8 km in total, it was a long hike for me but at least I found the way without any problems. So I guess all the signs are pretty new.

First, you walk the boardwalk along Venus loop. But you don’t follow this path. Instead, you take another wooden path called Squirrel Trail.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

Yep, you will probably see lots of squirrels there. So be prepared with the right lens on your camera. Unfortunately, I was hiking with my wide angle lens and could therefore not get a photo of any. 

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

Alternatively, you can walk the Venus loop a bit further and take the Venus link. After a while, the Squirrel Trail and Venus link cross and you can either follow Venus link or take the next wooden boardwalk called Drongo Trail. All paths are more or less the same length. So no need to worry! The two tracks end at Pierce Track, which finally leads to the TreeTop Walk.

If you’re not comfortable walking 7 km you need to turn around BEFORE crossing the bridge. It’s not possible to walk over the bridge from the other side. Turning around would save you more or less 1km.

At the beginning of the bridge, there was a monkey waiting to greet the hikers. Be prepared and hide all your food and water.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

On the 250 meters long suspension bridge you can expect a panoramic view of the rainforest while walking 25 meters above the ground.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

After the bridge, you hike Petaling Trail, which is a one-way road only. There are quite a lot of stairs waiting for you at this part of the hike.

Hiking in Singapore – TreeTop Walk – MacRitchie Nature Trail

 

To get back to Venus link, you take a track called Sime Track. I know, this does sound very complicated. But you really just follow the signs to the TreeTop Walk and then back to Venus Drive. It couldn’t be easier.  

 

Final Thoughts

The TreeTop Walk is absolutely stunning. I loved being welcomed by a monkey, having a panoramic view over the canopy of the rainforest, and feeling far away from the megacity of Singapore – no matter how much I like it there.

It’s a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis but I don’t want to hide from you that it was also the most exhausting track I did here. If you’re not at least a semi-experienced hiker get ready to have muscle pain the next day(s).

For the rest, it was an amazing experience and absolutely worth it!  

Yours Barbara

The Singapore Guide for Digital Nomads

Singapore Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in South East Asia? You should check out Singapore!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Stopover in Singapore – How to Make Your Short Layover Special

Stopover in Singapore – How to Make Your Short Layover Special

Singapore is not only one of Asia’s hubs par excellence. The city-state also offers entertaining opportunities to make your stay a real experience, both at the airport and on short excursions. I’ll tell you what you can do to get the most out of your stopover.

Changi Airport – Stopover of less than three hours in Singapore

If you only have a few hours in Singapore and no time to leave the airport, that’s no reason to be disappointed. Changi Airport is one of the most modern airports in the world and designed to entertain its visitors. You won’t get bored here. Here are a few things you can do inside the airport:

  • Enjoy a foot massage – free of charge of course!
  • Go to the movies!
  • Use the rooftop pool!
  • Stroll through the Orchid Garden, the Cactus Garden, or the Butterfly Garden!
  • Use the entertainment space with many possibilities for LAN gaming and Kinect stations!

Changi Airport – Stopover of at least three hours

If you have at least three hours stay, it is not yet worth to drive to the city. You can leave the airport, though. Are you a foody and love to try local cuisine? Then you shouldn’t miss a trip to the Joo Chiat Road! Only 15 minutes by metro or 10 minutes by taxi or Uber is a paradise for all who enjoy traditional food. Don’t miss a bowl of Laksa!

Alternatively, you can visit one of Singapore’s few natural beaches. I wrote about it in my blog post about the island of Pulau Ubin: In the suburb of Singapore, which has the same name as the airport – Changi – there is a beautiful beach as you would not expect in the ultra-modern metropolis Singapore.

Changi Village Strand

From there, shuttle boats depart for the picturesque island of Pulau Ubin. However, you should definitely only dare the crossing if you are not too limited in time. But also the beach in Changi Village is absolutely worth it. Right next door you will find a typical Hawker Center, where you can have a taste of the local cuisine. And at a small price.

Changi Airport – Stopover of at least six hours

You were sad because your stopover in Singapore is six hours long and you think you’ll be bored to death? You thought wrong! Changi Airport also offers a free sightseeing tour in addition to the possibilities mentioned above. Unfortunately, this is only recommended for a stay of at least 5.5 hours. But then you can experience the best sights of the city. Simply register in the transit area and look forward to the breathtaking Super Trees!

Super Trees – Gardens by the Bay

If you want to explore Singapore on your own, your list should definitely include Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Area and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with the cool SkyPark. Plan at least five hours for your tour. The distances are longer than one would expect from the map and walking in this large area and in the Singaporean-Tropical climate can be very strenuous. Also, keep in mind that you may have a long line at SkyPark.

If this is not your first time in Singapore or if you want to explore a little more unknown locations besides the famous highlights, I recommend a detour into the green heart of the city: for example, the nature reserve Bukit Timah awaits you with a relatively short but no less beautiful hiking trail through the jungle in the middle of the city. The word urban jungle takes on a whole new dimension! You can plan between one and two hours for this hike.

BUKIT TIMAH NATURE RESERVE

If you can be out and about in town at night, don’t miss the light shows at the Super Trees and Marina Bay Sands. You can either walk through The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands to get from Gardens by the Bay to Marina Bay. Or alternatively, treat yourself to a ticket to SkyPark and enjoy both spectacles from above. Since the shows take place 15 minutes apart, you can watch both without any problems. The normal playing time is 19:45 and 20:45 (at the Super Trees) and 20:00 and 21:00 at Marina Bay.

Marina Bay Sands Lightshow

Also the trip to the already mentioned island Pulau Ubin is something very special and offers a completely different impression of Singapore than one would expect. Therefore you should plan five hours with a return trip to the airport. Above all, the fact that the shuttle boat only runs when there are enough passengers can lead to longer waiting times. On the island itself, you need at least two hours for a tour.

A short overview of the costs:

0 Euro – A walk through the park of Gardens by the Bay

0 Euro – Strolling along the promenade of the Marina Bay Area

0 Euro – Hiking through the nature reserve Bukit Timah

15 Euro – SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands

17 Euro – Entrance to Cloud Forest and Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay

2 Euro – Boat crossing to Pulau Ubin

These were my tips for your stopover in Singapore. I have now spent about seven weeks in Singapore and can guarantee you that I have not seen everything I would like to see. The city has so much more to offer than you think and has not only grown to my heart but has also become a second (or third? or fourth?) home.

Live Like a Local in Singapore

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You should check out:

Singapore

Although Singapore is very often only used to do visa runs, I think it’s definitely worth checking out! In my opinion, it’s an amazing place for digital nomads. That’s why I wrote a guide for you to make you have a smooth start into your nomad life there!!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – A Primary Forest in the Heart of Singapore

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – A Primary Forest in the Heart of Singapore

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Only 12 km from the busy center of Singapore is the nature reserve Bukit Timah, that was founded in 1883 and was one of the first wild life reserves of the country. It boasts a vast eco-system, that offers countless regional plants and animals to visitors. You basically walk through pristine tropical vegetation and you can experience Singapore, how it presumably was many decades ago.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

The area spans 163 hectare and is situated on the Bukit Timah Hill, the highest mountain in Singapore with 163 m, that offers an untouched tropical forest. For more than a hundred years, it’s been a botanical collection, that includes and preserved numerous Malaysian plant species.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to 40% of the domestic flora and fauna and a popular spot for nature lovers – strollers, wanderers and joggers find their way here all the same.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – This is what you can do!

In the visitor center directly at the entrance you can inform yourself thoroughly about the history, ecology, flora and fauna. This is what they the emphasize on.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

First of all, this nature reserve is made for taking a walk. This is the perfect spot if you want to go for a long stroll, an energetic walk or simply a small hike. There are several paths that take you across the hillside.

Furthermore, there are ways suitable for mountain bikes. Should the steep incline and the many pedestrians not scare you, you can expect an arduous tour.

Lastly, Bukit Timah offers various tours. With a guide, you can explore the plants and animals of the park. Sadly, during my trip, the monkeys have apparently been hiding.  But luckily, I saw a lot on my trip to Pulau Ubin.  Nonetheless, my guide tried to give me as much input and background as possible.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – How to get there!

The entrance to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is close to MRT-Station Beauty World (Mass Rapid Transit – the local metro). There is also a bus station and, of course, you can take a cab or Uber.

The best way is to go to the Beauty World Mall, with the same name as the bus station, and use the bridge at the top of the mall. It’s only a few 100 m to the entrance of Bukit Timah.

My advice: When you are already in the Beauty World Mall, you can check out the Hawker Center as well. These are food courts, where you can get local cuisine for small money.

Hawker Center Singapore Beauty World

Conclusion

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is ideal if you want to escape the big city hassle and discover a new side of Singapore. I took the trip together with Bernice – a local guide that I met through Airbnb* as Experience. This is a new feature of the platform, that enables you to not only book accommodations but also tours and other sorts of experiences such as cooking classes.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Tour Guide

Of course, you can make the trip without a guide as well. But I think it is wonderful, to have a local young woman that is motivated and tells me about the historical background and the flora and fauna.

Altogether, I think Bukit Timah Nature Reserve’s proximity to the city is perfect, to help you take your mind off and improve your work-life balance. Especially for us digital nomads… During my first stay in Singapore, my House Sitting apartment was right next to Bukit Timah!

Have you been to any nature reserve or national park in Singapore? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

Live Like a Local in Singapore

Are you in Singapore for the first time or are you planning your first stay? Then you should get my Singapore Guide for Digital Nomads! Get all the information to start your nomad life there right!

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in South East Asia?

You should check out:

Singapore!

Although Singapore is very often only used to do visa runs, I think it’s definitely worth checking out! In my opinion, it’s an amazing place for digital nomads. That’s why I wrote a guide for you to make you have a smooth start into your nomad life there!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

SINGAPORE

PHOTO SPOTS

SINGAPORE

LUXUSRESORT CEMPEDAK

SINGAPORE

PULAU UBIN

Pulau Ubin – A Day Trip to Singapore’s Coolest National Park

Pulau Ubin – A Day Trip to Singapore’s Coolest National Park

During my second trip to Singapore, I wanted to explore even more islands. Unfortunately, I did not manage to see more than Pulau Ubin, but it was a start!

Pulau Ubin – The island

Pulau Ubin is Malaysian and means “Granite Island” you can actually find some abandoned granite quarries. The island is known for being the last Kampong, a typical traditional village in Singapore, that is not yet urbanized and modernized. Here, you can travel through time because this is how Singapore looked like in the 1960s.

Pulau Ubin

The island is northwest of Singapore and only around a hundred people still live there, that mostly take care of tourists. They offer bicycles for rent, sell bananas and drive a kind of shuttle bus if you want to get back to the harbor by car after your hike over the island.

Apart from that, only monkeys, trees and breathtaking panoramas await you!

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin – How to get there

The only way to get to Pulau Ubin is to take a small boat, which departs regularly from Changi Village. There is no regular schedule, it leaves as soon as it’s full. So you can either depart immediately or wait quite a while, depending on your luck.

Changi Village Pulau Ubin

On your short trip, you have a wonderful view of the beaches of Changi village and of course Pulau Ubin.

Changi Village

Pulau Ubin

There are neither entrance fees nor opening times. You can even spend the night on the island if you like. If you enjoy camping, you will certainly love sleeping under stars.

Pulau Ubin – What you can do here

On Pulau Ubin, there are various “attractions”, that you can visit by foot or with a mountain bike. But here is a word of advice – the paths are steep and not necessarily paved. I heard stories of people underestimating them and having severe falls in the bends. If you choose to get around by bicycle, please follow the signs and push the bike if asked to.

Mountainbikes Pulau Ubin

On to the attractions.

Sensory Trail

This trail goes for 1,5 km along various endemic plants. Are you a nature lover? Then you will find joy between basil, turmeric, and ginger.

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin

Pekan Quarry

This former granite quarry is now a clear blue lake. In my eyes, this is absolutely Instagram worthy and also worth a visit!

Pulau Ubin

Butterfly Hill

Here you can find around 140 butterfly species, that will mesmerize you. There are also several species thought to be extinct all along!

Jawa Wetlands and Boardwalk

This 1.1 km long wooden pathway leads through the mangroves of the island and was my absolute highlight! But please don’t forget sunscreen, as the walkway is not in the shade. And watch out for reptiles and water animals, that assemble around mangroves. I actually spotted some water-monitors!

Pulau Ubin Chek Jawa Wetlands

Pulau Ubin Check Jawa Wetlands Boardwalk

Pulau Ubin Check Jawa Wetlands Mangroven

Pulau Ubin Check Jawa Wetlands Boardwalk

Pulau Ubin Check Jawa Wetlands Boardwalk

Jejawi Tower at Chek Jawa

This tower has 120 steps and offers a breathtaking panorama of the island. You can even spot beautiful birds! So don’t forget your looking glasses, if you are interested in this.

Pulau Ubin Check Jawa Wetlands Lookout

Pulau Ubin – Conclusion

For a day trip, Pulau Ubin is wonderful! I really enjoyed my time on the island and it was interesting, seeing this other side of Singapore. So if anybody ever again tells you Singapore only had buildings to offer, please show them my blog post!

Also, I loved being on this island with a guide. Rara has been guiding tourists for several years and knows the island inside and out. It was ideal since she knows the paths and also the plants and animals. I booked this tour through Airbnb*, that now offers so-called Experiences next to their accommodation business. I absolutely recommend it!

PS: All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

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Photo Spots in Singapore – My Favorite Places For Great Images

Photo Spots in Singapore – My Favorite Places For Great Images

Today, I will take you on a small tour to the best photo spots in Singapore. The city is just perfect for people who like travel photography. Have your camera ready for breathtaking skyscrapers and beautiful landscapes. I want to introduce you to a place that doesn’t feel like Asia and, sometimes, not even like planet earth.

 

#1 Photo Spots in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is probably the one place everybody who ever saw a photo of Singapore knows. The huge trees, called Super Trees, are spread over the Garden in three groups.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Photo Spots in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are also interesting. I’m not sure though if I think they are worth the entrance fee of 28 Singapore Dollar…

Photo Spots in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Photo Spots in Singapore: Cloud Forest

Photo Spots in Singapore: Flower Dome

Photo Spots in Singapore: Flower Dome

During daytime the trees are impressive. But at night, they were awe-inspiring. I felt like being in Pandora or at a filming of the new Avatar movie.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Super Trees

Photo Spots in Singapore: Super Trees

 

#2Photo Spots in Singapore: Marina Bay

Antoher place you should vist during daytime and nightime is the Marina Bay! For me, this is one of the most photogenic spots in the world. From one side, you have an amazing view of the skyline:

Photo Spots in Singapore: Skyline

This is the side of the Museum of Artscience – the famous building of the huge lotus.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Lotus / Museum of Artscience

Foto-Highlights in Singapur: Museum of Artscience

Another spot on this side of the bay that is worth seeing is the Helix – a bridge that looks like a helix:

Photo Spots in Singapore: Helix

The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore and spread over the entire city. It’s a mix of a lion and a mermaid. One of them is on the other side of the bay. From here, you will have a beautiful view of the Marina Bay Sands, the Helix and the observation wheel.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Skyline

Here as well, the view at night is even more spectacular:

Photo Spots in Singapore: Merlion

Photo Spots in Singapore

Photo Spots in Singapore: Marina Bay Sands Hotel

 

#3 Photo Spots in Singapore: Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges are a 9-kilometer walkway through Singapore. You almost forget that you’re in a city when you walk through the forest.The highlight is a bridge called Henderson Waves.

The highlight is a bridge called Henderson Waves.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Henderson Waves

Photo Spots in Singapore: Henderson Waves

 

#4 Photo Spots in Singapore: Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage is a dam with a park on its roof. That’s why it’s a great place for a picknick. The view of Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Sands and the skyline is fantastic. The best thing about it? You will meet many locals and expats!

Photo Spots in Singapore: Skyline von Marina Barrage

 

#5 Photo Spots in Singapore: Skypark

Many restaurants, bars or hotels promise a great view over Singapore. But in my opinion, you will have the best view from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The pool, unfortunately, is for guests only. For all the others, there is the Skypark – an observation deck with an entrance fee of 23 Singapore Dollar (but you get a discount if you have a ticket from Singapore Airlines!).

Photo Spots in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay vom SkyPark

Try to be there for sunset! So you will be able to see the sun going down and afterwards to watch the two lightshows (at the Super Trees and in the Marina Bay) from above!

Photo Spots in Singapore: Skyline

Photo Spots in Singapore: Skyline

 

#6 Photo Spots in Singapore: Sultan Mosque

The Sultan Mosque is close to Arab Street. So you can get some great shots and enjoy the Singaporean nightlife with good Arab food or some cocktails afterward.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Sultan Mosque

Photo Spots in Singapore: Sultan Mosque

 

#7 Photo Spots in Singapore: Sentosa

Sentosa is an artificial island. The so called Fun Island is waiting with many attractions mainly for families. I tried a few of them but the only thing I really enjoyed was the beach.

Photo Spots in Singapore: Sentosa

Photo Spots in Singapore: Sentosa

Photo Spots in Singapore: Sentosa

These were my Photo Spots in Singapore. Have you ever been there? Tell me in the comments if you liked it!

Yours Barbara

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