Singapore might be a tiny but densely-populated island dotted by skyscrapers, modern architecture, and not a lot of places where you can avoid the crowds but there are still some hidden gems in Singapore where you can get away from the city’s hustle and bustle. And that’s probably the reason why you’re reading this article. If you want to discover some of these secret spots in Singapore during your next trip, all you need is a GPS (smartphone), a way of commuting, and a sense of adventure. If you have all that covered, let us show you some exciting off the beaten track places in Singapore!
Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant
Starting off this list of hidden gems in Singapore, we have the Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant. If you want to taste some of Singapore’s finest seafood while enjoying a beautiful view of the open sea, you have to check out this place. Located just off Singapore’s northeastern coast, this restaurant allows users to see how lobsters, sea bass, flower craps, and other seafood are farmed on the spot or even try fishing what will later be your lunch/dinner.
Ann Siang Hill Park
If you ever visited Singapore, you probably know about the Ann Siang area and its vibrant bars, eateries, and antique shops. This is a well-known tourist area but very few people know about the lush green trail that connects Telok Ayer Green and Club Street. While taking this short walk, you’ll also discover a lot of cinnamon and trees, but also some interesting historic landmarks like the Thian Hock Keng Temple.
Pearl’s Hill City Park
If you want to catch a break away from the busy streets of Chinatown, Pearl’s Hill City Park is a perfect choice. This belt of greenery atop a 45 meters-tall knoll. If you want to visit, you have to climb a set of stairs to reach the summit where a hidden tranquil oasis awaits. The structure that closely resembles a fortress dates back to 1898 and was built to supply Chinatown with fresh, drinking water.
At the site, you can also discover some more colonial relics and smell the sweet smell of the pink blooms of frangipani trees. Who thoughts one could discover such a peaceful oasis so close to Chinatown (easily one of the busiest parts of the city)?
Tuas Lalang Field
If you’re looking for some hidden gems in Singapore and like getting off the beaten track, you’ll love Tuas Lalang Field. The field is not an easy place to get to unless you rent a car but it’s totally worth visiting. Its green, grassy fields are perfect for landscape photography, a picnic with a group of friends, or even a romantic getaway.
And to make things even better, across the fields, you can also find a scenic secluded beach. The waters might not be the clearest but if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is one of the best secret spots in Singapore.
Raffles Marina Lighthouse
Raffles Marina Lighthouse is a scenic lighthouse that offers an amazing view of Singapore’s cityscape. This lighthouse was built in 1994 as Singapore’s second causeway to Malaysia and is one of the best photography spots in Singapore. If you can, try to visit the lighthouse during sunset or at the night; the views are even more spectacular.
Speaking of hidden gems in Singapore, we just have to mention this amazing hidden fort on Sentosa Island. Not very far away from the busy restaurant, attractions, and tourist hordes that occupy the island throughout the year lies Fort Serapong. This military complex dates back to the 1870s and is relatively well-preserved together with its secret tunnels and bunkers.
The fort was one of the four major batteries in Singapore during WWII but recently, it has been forgotten by the authorities and given back to Mother Nature; something that makes the place even more special, if you ask me.
Finding secret, off the beaten track places on a busy island like Sentosa is not an easy task but there are always exceptions. One such exception is Tanjong Rimau. Located at Santosa’s north-western tip, this is the last remaining undeveloped parts of the coastline. The area is dotted with large scenic rocks, mangrove trails, and even a few secret caves. If you’re looking for an adventure, this will be one of your favorite hidden gems in Singapore.
The southernmost point of Asia
Just off the southwestern tip of Sentosa Island lies a tiny islet accessible only via a small suspension bridge from Palawan Beach. This tiny islet is considered to be the Southernmost Point of the continental part of Asia. It can be argued that since the islet is connected to the mainland via a bridge, this isn’t really part of continental Asia but even if that’s the case, there’s another beach on Sentosa that can make a strong case for being the southernmost point of the continent.
If you like visiting historical places when traveling, you’ll love the Marsiling Tunnel. Today, this is an abandoned war site located in the heart of Marsiling Jungle but during WWII, it was one of the main fuel pitstops for the British Royal Air Force and later, for the Imperial Japanese Army.
Locating the bunker isn’t easy because it’s in the middle of the jungle and if you’re not careful enough, you might miss it or even worse; get lost. So, if you plan to visit but don’t know the area well, we suggest you go for a guided trek.
Singapore Philatelic Museum
Finally, this list of hidden gems in Singapore wouldn’t be complete without the Philatelic Museum. This is easily one of the most overlooked and underrated museums in Singapore. There are five permanent exhibits and a myriad of themed or traveling galleries from time to time. The main exhibit is Straits Settlement Collection which displays stamps and other postal materials dating back to as early as the 1850s.
Some other interesting exhibits feature “the secrets behind folded letters”, the “importance of stamp collecting”, and a lot of interesting 18th-century philatelic rarities. The museum was opened in 1995 in an old building that used to be an Anglo-Chinese school at the beginning of the 20th century and today. According to the museum, they have records of every stamp ever published in the Republic of Singapore, and through these stamps, one can take a glimpse of the culture and traditions of this amazing multi-cultural country throughout the years.
Forming a shape of Lego bricks in the heart of the city, the iconic Deck consists of 19 shipping containers that are home to three separate galleries. One of them is the famous Print Room filled with some of the best artworks of local artists, including some of the best creative photographs in Southeast Asia.
You’ll also find a few interesting hip cafes, inspiring libraries, and of course, line-up exhibitions and a bunch of other interesting events; so make sure you keep an eye on the schedule if you plan to visit.
Kampong Lorong Buangkok
Located right next to Sengkang East Avenue, the rural site known as Kampong Lorong Buangkok takes visitors back in time and gives them a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of Singapore’s former provincial life. Modernization in Singapore contributed to the removal of all rural villages except for Kampong Lorong Buangkok. Today, this is the only remaining village on Singapore’s main island. It’s home to around 20 families, so keep this in mind (that there are people living here) if you want to visit and see a very different side of Singapore.
We obviously can’t put MacRitchie Reservoir on this list of hidden gems in Singapore because it has become very famous throughout the years but there’s one part of the reservoir that most tourists don’t know about. Syonan Jinja is a Shinto shrine hidden deep in the forest that was constructed during World War II by the Imperial Japanese Army.
In 1945, seeing that the defeat is near, the soldiers themselves tried to destroy the shrine in fear that the British may desecrate it. However, remnants of it survived but since it has been completely forgotten, Mother Nature took overturning this shrine into a picturesque mix of oriental architecture and nature. If you want to visit, please be cautious and note that the place isn’t easy to find and you have to get way off the beaten track to get there.
If you want to get off the beaten track in Singapore, you should definitely check out Pulau Ubin (Stone Island). Once a granite quarry, today, this is one of the most isolated parts of Singapore with only a handful of residents without skyscrapers (or even buildings for that manner), imposing architecture, and modern roads. It’s a great place to unwind, go for a long walk, and admire the surrounding flora and fauna.
This list of hidden gems in Singapore wouldn’t be complete without Istana Woodneuk. Haunted destinations around the world often get a lot of attention but for some reason, that’s not the case here. The house originally belonged to the Sultan of Johor but it has been abandoned for years. Today, the house is empty, abandoned, and covered in decay and vegetation. However, all this and the scary stories about Singapore’s most expensive haunted house aren’t enough to keep visitors away.
What if I tell you that you can see one of Singapore’s most fascinating species of fauna out in the open? Not in the midst of the forest, not in caves that lie off the beaten track but in the heart of the city. We’re talking about Quantula Striata, more commonly known as “the blinking snail”. Singapore is one of the rare places where you can see this terrestrial mollusk.
During the day, you might not even recognize them as they look quite similar to regular snails but you just can’t miss them during nights because the faster they move, the quicker they flicker on and off when blinking. When falling asleep, their “flickers” light out. The snails are very common after rain and you can find them on backyard patios, lawns, gardens, fresh excavations, and near garbage dumps.
The world’s first salmon ATM
In January of 2019, Singapore got a new ATM. But this was not a regular ATM. It’s an ATM that dispenses 200-gram fillets of frozen salmons brought to Singapore from the fjords of Norway. Only one year later, Singapore already has dozens of salmon ATMs across the island. The company behind the idea is Norwegian Salmon Pte Ltd and they chose Singapore because of the country’s developed vending-machine culture and the affection for fresh Norwegian salmon.
By using ATMs and cutting the costs of running storefronts and paying stuff and distributors, the company is able to sell the fish for $5.90 SGD which is quite affordable for local standards. As we mentioned, today, you can find these salmon ATMs around Singapore, but if you want to visit the world’s first, you’ll find it on the first floor of Wisteria Mall.
A piece of the Berlin Wall
As you may or may not know, pieces of the Berlin Wall have been sold and distributed across the world. There’s a piece of the wall in New York, Madrid, Moscow, Gdansk (among others), and there’s one in the NUS University Town in Singapore too. The two graffiti-covered slabs came to Singapore in 2016 as a gift from Germany for the 50-year anniversary of the beginning of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Useful resources for visiting Singapore
Looking for a cheap flight to Singapore? Use this Qatar Airways special offer and get up to 20% off on all flights to Singapore.
If you want to rent a car in Singapore, AutoEurope allows you to compare deals from different rental car companies and save up to 15% on all car rental bookings in Singapore.
To save money on buses and trains around Singapore, you can get some great deals on 12GoAsia.
If you’re looking for some great accommodation deals, use this Booking discount code and save up to 15% on all accommodation properties in Singapore.
And last but not least, don’t forget about travel insurance. Use this World Nomads discount code to get a great deal.
How did you like this list of hidden gems in Singapore? Which one was your favorite? Would you want to get off the beaten track in Singapore? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
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