Gardens by the Bay (tickets), Singapore Flyer, Universal Studios Singapore (tickets), Marina Bay Sands, and Sentosa Island are just a few of the most exciting places to check out in the Lion City. These go-to spots offer lots of opportunities for visitors to have fun, go on adventures, and experience the best of the city-state. Indeed, people new to the country won’t run out of things to do in Changi, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, and many other locations in Singapore.
But did you know that there’s more to see in the Lion City beyond these popular attractions you often see discussed on social media and in travel magazines? From islands and nature reserves to vibrant streets and historical sites, here are five underrated destinations in Singapore you won’t want to miss:
Pulau Ubin Island
Previously known as Pulau Batu Jubin (meaning Granite Stone Island in Malay), Pulau Ubin is a serene 1020-hectare island that’s sure to please nature lovers and thrill-seekers. Besides giving you a glimpse of Singapore’s past, what with its very traditional village and its coconut rubber plantations, the island also offers tourists plenty of opportunities to see untouched wildlife and scenic landscapes.
You can bike, hike, or even spend the night at one of the many camping sites you can find on the island. If you opt for a day tour, you may want to stay until the late afternoon so that you can visit the quarry-turned-lake, Pekan Quarry. Here, you can watch the beautiful sunset before heading back to your accommodations.
This vibrant district is a feast for the eyes with its colourful structures, flower-garland stalls, mosques, and temples. Try taking social media-worthy photos at the House of Tan Teng Niah, one of the last remaining Chinese villas in Little India. Perhaps you can even get your fill of authentic Indian food, such as roti prata (round pancake), chingri macher malai curry (coconut milk-based prawn curry), and tandoori chicken, among many other dishes you can try.
Aside from the delicious food and rich culture, you will undoubtedly enjoy Little India’s Mustafa Centre. This 24-hour shopping mall offers a wide variety of products at bargain prices. From groceries, household items, and electronic goods to perfumes, gold, and jewellery, you’re sure to find everything you want at Mustafa Centre.
Yishun Pond Park
Situated right next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Yishun Pond Park features a pond surrounded by vibrant plants, lush vegetation, and a variety of bird species. It’s of little surprise why the park has become something of a haven for people who want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.
If possible, try visiting the park early in the morning for the best possible experience. Savour the crisp fresh air as you head up to the spiral tower to enjoy a clear, uncrowded view of the area. While you’re there, take pictures, appreciate the surroundings, and be fully present. Who knows? You may even see little egrets, white-breasted waterhens, and other types of birds that frequent the pond.
Often, tourists choose one of the three beaches on the famous Sentosa Island if they want to bask under the sun or take a quick dip in the sea. But if you want to go to a place that’s less crowded and more paradise-like, you should include Lazarus Island in your itinerary.
To get there, take a ferry to St. John’s Island and cross the paved bridge going to Lazarus Island. Once you’ve arrived, take all the time you need to marvel at the sunny sky, turquoise blue water, and powdery white sand. Aside from getting some much-needed vitamin “sea” and D, you can fly a kite, play in the sand, or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Be sure to bring enough food and drinks with you, though, as there are no restaurants or stores on Lazarus Island.
WWII Marsiling Tunnel
If you want a totally unique experience and don’t mind getting all muddy and dirty, consider exploring WWII Marsiling Tunnel while it’s still open to the public. Located in a secluded forest in Marsiling, visiting this abandoned war site is sure to satisfy your thirst for adventure. To enter the tunnel, go to its south entrance located behind the field of Marsiling Crescent, and begin your descent into the dark and cold tunnel.
As you explore deeper, get ready to venture into knee-high muddy waters and breathe in the rusty scent of old pipes. You can also take photos of the mysterious handwritten warnings on the tunnel walls to commemorate the experience. Do you want to make your visit to the tunnel more thrilling? Turn off your headlamp for a few seconds and feel the adrenaline rush as you try to navigate your way through the pitch-black darkness.
Whether you want to visit famous attractions, like the Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa Island, or discover underrated destinations like those described above, touring Singapore is sure to be worth your while. And since the city-state is always developing new and exciting tourism-worthy locations, you’re sure to have more to explore during your next visit to the Lion City.