Culture Trip: Hidden Gems in Singapore

Boy in a cable car in Sentosa

Last 2017, Singapore set a personal record by welcoming 17.4 million tourists. Flocks of travellers have visited the city-state for the past decade, and for good reasons. Singapore is home to some of Southeast Asia’s best rooftop bars, shopping districts, and neighbourhood eating spots.

Flying to Singapore for your vacation? Popular attractions like the Merlion Park and the Gardens by the Bay are great for your Instagram feed, but the city-state has so much more to offer. Singapore is rich in culture and entertainment that there are loads of less-travelled places for you to enjoy your vacation.

Go island-hopping

If you’re up for an adventure, break away from the bustling city and enjoy the sun through island-hopping. Singapore isn’t composed of just one island — it’s an archipelago of 63 islands. Most of the islands are uninhabited or used as military bases, but some islands are open to the public.

Apart from the tourist favourite Sentosa Island, there are many outer islands where you can enjoy the sea and nature reserves. One of them is Coney Island, a 50-hectare park filled with coastal forests, grasslands and mangroves. It’s home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, some of which are critically endangered. Volunteers conduct guided walks where you’ll learn about the biodiversity and history of the park.

Another must-go on the list is St. John’s Island, where beautiful and pristine beaches await you. Enjoy pleasant picnics on the beach or swim in one of the lagoons to appreciate the corals and sea creatures.

Visit the farms

Shepherd with his sheepSingapore may be an urban jungle, but there are a lot of farms to visit in the outskirts of the city. One of the most interesting is the Jurong Frog Farm, where you’ll get up close with around 20,000 American Bullfrogs, and have the chance to feed them and take photographs. The farm offers educational tour packages with live displays and hands-on demonstration.

Don’t forget to head over to Hay Diaries, a farm where you can feed and pet goats. The milking process is open for viewing to the public, and you can buy goat’s milk after touring the place. Goats are naturally friendly and curious, so you’ll have fun interacting with them.

Discover art in the streets

If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for your Instagram photos, seek out the different murals and street art scattered all over the city. Little India’s walls have become canvases for beautiful murals that showcase the culture and history of the ethnic enclave. You’ll find corners filled with paintings of traditional dancers, merchants and colourful cows.

Art also comes alive along the streets of the Chinatown Complex. There are murals of Samsui women with their iconic red headscarves, dragons and the daily life of Hokkien immigrants. Many of the illustrations depict the pioneers who built the nation and the resilient spirit of strong women.

Singapore is home to the world’s best airport and some of Asia’s most stunning architecture. Whether you’re a first-time traveller or a frequent visitor, the city-state offers an experience unlike any other with its combination of urban and natural landscapes. From its tourist attractions to the hidden gems in the outskirts of the city, you’re bound to leave the island with a lot of wonderful memories and photographs.

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