Are These 9 Secret Spots in Singapore Without Entry Fees Worth Visiting?
You’ve heard of secret spots in Singapore that you can go to escape the city crowd — places to fulfill your photographer dream and take artsy shots or somewhere just to have a chill and quiet time. However, that “somewhere only we know” isn’t all that secretive once it makes its way on a list, right?
Another question to ask yourself: Are these hidden gems in Singapore really worth visiting? The ShopBack team has decided to bring you the authentic review of 9 “secret” attractions that you probably have heard of. Yup, it’s a #nofilter recount of our very own experiences in these unexplored places in Singapore. Best of all, all these places can be accessed FOC!
Orchard Central Roof Garden
First and foremost, I hope you don’t make the same mistake as me and think that Orchard Central is somewhere near Orchard MRT station; it really isn’t. Situated closer to Somerset station, this garden can easily be accessed by taking the lift to the 11th floor and followed by the escalator to the rooftop. After an incredibly satisfying buffet at Kiseki, the refreshing view of the Singapore landscape accompanied by a background of fluffy clouds was definitely a treat to me! Since there’s nothing much to explore or do in the garden, we recommend just taking a short walk around to admire the city scenery while snapping some selfies with the natural sunlight and amazing view.
Is it really worth visiting? No harm heading up there if you’re around the area, we say!
Address: 181 Orchard Road, 238896
Punggol Lone Tree
I’m sure you’ve heard of this popular photography spot! While I am clueless to why this almost-barren tree is so famous, I must say I’m impressed by its fame because it can even be located as a landmark on Google Maps. This Singapore hidden gem is pretty remarkable huh? This legendary tree can be found at Punggol Waterway Park which is the perfect place for a fun day in the outdoors. I encountered a family of four cycling along the scenic stretches of the park and joggers working out a sweat even on an early Friday morning.
If you were to ask me for the most shocking finding of my trip down to Punggol, I’d tell you that your life is a lie because the lone tree is not lonely at all!!! Instead, the star of the park actually has a taller and much more magnificent looking friend.
Makes me wonder why they named it the Punggol Lone Tree in the first place. Don’t forget to give that big tall friend some photo opportunities too!
Is it really worth visiting? It definitely is worth some Instagram bragging rights but we think a fun day in the park will make your experience even more fulfilling!
Address: 305 Punggol Rd, 820305
This is at the top of our “hidden Singapore” list. The last kampong in Singapore is actually not all that far from the regular HDB area in Hougang. Hidden in a deep forest, the neighbourhood is extremely quiet with cars passing by occasionally. Yup, you read that right. They have cars, electricity and almost everything we have, sans the high-rise buildings that we are all surrounded by. They even have their own garage for their cars! I didn’t manage to talk to anyone when I explored the kampong alone because everyone seemed to be rushing somewhere once they were out of their house. Seems like a laidback residence doesn’t take away the busyness of a Singaporean.
Is it really worth visiting? If you’re interested in striking a conversation with one of the residents about kampong life.
Address: 7 Lor Buangkok, 547557
The Animal Resort
While this is not the most accessible place to visit animals (well, neither is the zoo), I strongly urge all animal lovers to pay this place a visit! The nearest bus stop is a 15-minute walk away and the route there is frequented by large trucks so do be careful if you’re heading there. I promise you the experience will be worth it! The Animal Resort does not charge any entrance fee but you can choose to purchase animal feed to satisfy their little tummies. PIN Number, the resort’s only horse, is the first animal you’ll see when you reach that place. Shout its name and it will come sashaying towards you after it’s done grazing on grass. Such a qtpie! Other animals you can see include free-roaming geese, chickens, rabbits and even peacocks.
Is it really worth visiting? A big fat yes for all animal lovers!
Address: T81 Seletar West Farmway 5, 798061
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm daily
Bukit Timah Railway Tracks
Here’s another not-so-secret spot that is perfect for a photoshoot! Stretching over Bukit Timah Road, Rochor River and Dunearn Road, the black iron railway bridge is a rare sight to behold in Singapore. The disconnected railway tracks and surviving infrastructure serve as a perfect backdrop if you’re looking for a rustic feel during your photography session. This place is pretty accessible with the nearest bus stop being just 2 minutes away. Instead of going there only to snap pictures along the tracks, I highly encourage you to trek along the nature trail of Bukit Timah Greenway! At roughly 3 km, the trek is extremely manageable and would be an excellent morning workout.
Is it really worth visiting? Absolutely! This will be perfect for nature lovers and even photography enthusiasts.
Address: 5 King Albert Park, 598287
Located on the 56th floor of ION Orchard, this place gives you a panoramic view of Singapore from above. And trust me, it is indeed very breathtaking. Looking at hundreds or even thousands of tall buildings in our small nation, surrounded by the vast blue sea, had an oddly calming effect that I can’t really explain. And when I stared at the amazing creation that we live in, I wondered if you can still call our beloved homeland a tiny red dot. It’s the sort of view that makes you appreciate Singapore that little bit more and feel proud of what your nation has achieved since its third world country status. Pop by when you’re in town, I promise you won’t regret it.
Note: In order to redeem an admission ticket to ION Sky, visitors will have to spend $20 at ION Orchard and book the showtime of their choice on the ION Orchard Mobile App or at the concierge counter.
Is it really worth visiting? Without a doubt, yes!
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, 238801, Opening hours: 2pm to 8:30pm daily. Each admission is 45 minutes long.
LIES. I couldn’t find the beach. All I saw was just miles and miles of empty road that led me to a dead end. It’s like the story of my life somehow got metaphorically translated into this sad journey.
Alright, perhaps it’s just my sheer inability to explore deeper into Tuas South. Anyway, it’s June 2015 right now. So, if anyone out there had visited the secret beach that’s tucked away in the western corner of Singapore (where civilisation exists as concrete, sand, and reclamation) very recently, please comment and send a picture on ShopBack’s Facebook page! Come tell me I’m wrong because I really, really want to head to that beach!
In any case, the beach probably exists somewhere. I just couldn’t find it. Explore at your own risk though, because the tight spaces will cause traffic jams and the expansion and construction spell dangerous roads.
Is it really worth visiting? NO. The journey is far too excruciating. With traffic jams that’ll put you off and a general vibe that’s cold, concrete and unaccommodating, you’re better off heading to East Coast, West Coast, Changi Beach or Pasir Ris Beach!
Address: Somewhere around Tuas South Avenue 4. That, or try exploring the area!
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
There are two ways in. Firstly, the main entrance for motorists, which is right at Neo Tiew Crescent itself,
or the front gate close to the 925 bus stop where you’ll have to walk some distances before entering Sungei Buloh.
I get it, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve isn’t such a ‘secret place’ at all, since everyone knows about it. But you’ll be surprised. The thing is, ‘secret’ just means the place isn’t crowded with the whole of the world’s population. It’s peaceful, quiet and you’ll be able to get into your head – for the first time in the longest while. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is like that – so much tranquility. In fact, it’s TOO quiet. It’s almost scary. I was there on a Friday morning during the June school holidays but the reserve remained extremely empty. Just take a look at these pictures!
Is it really worth visiting? Yes. Totally. It’s one place to be if you need to feel alone in the swamp!
Address: 31 Neo Tiew Crescent, 718925
Little Guilin sits pretty in the middle of the northwestern side of Singapore. Truthfully, Little Guilin actually seems ‘random’ – it appears as if a whole mountainous region was casually erected into the heartland instead of vice versa. Singaporeans living beyond the borders of the west would never actually realise that such a beautiful scenery could exist in the heartlands, where a mesmerising lake separates human activities from a giant hill, creating a scene set in Chinese movies.
However, being a ‘secret spot’ is not what Little Guilin boasts itself to be. It is surrounded by apartment blocks and life in general, making it a central area for human activity. It’s a shame though, since Little Guilin exudes so much beauty and elegance when vacant.
Is it really worth visiting? Depends. If neighbourhood parks are your thing, this one exceeds your expectations but as a secret spot for local explorers, it’ll disappoint. So you’re better off heading somewhere more secluded.
Address: Bukit Batok East Avenue 5
Do you know of any unknown places worth visiting in Singapore? If you have other places in mind that you would like the ShopBack team to check out, do leave us a comment below!
If exploring locally is not your thing perhaps you might want to book a flight with Cashback from Expedia and do some exploring overseas! You’ve nothing to lose!
Featured Image credit: mentatdgt | Pexels.com