If not for COVID-19, this would be the season when many head overseas for graduation trips, summer programmes or family vacations. Bummed that it still doesn’t look like you’re going to be able to leave the country anytime soon?
Fret not, we can still be tourists in Singapore! After all, isn’t travelling about making time to relax, doing something new and having fun?
Even if you can’t get on a plane just yet, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to somewhere special with this list of experiences that range from exhilarating to calming.
CYCLE FROM COAST TO COAST
Do you travel to reflect? One way to do this is to go on a contemplative trek, or a long and thoughtful cycle.
If you would like to embark on a road less travelled, the Coast-to-Coast Trail might just be the thing for you.
It’s a 36km route that stretches from Jurong to Punggol, linking up nature areas, parks and park connectors (but you don’t have to do the whole thing!).
What’s more, this experience is free if you have your own bicycle or if you walk!
Don’t have a bike? GoCycling has kiosks along the route. Bike rental will cost anywhere from $8 to $32, depending on many hours you’ll need it for.
ENTER THE WILDERNESS
Now if you’re seeking something that’s – literally – off the beaten track, then this next recommendation is for you.
You’ve probably seen those expanses of rainforest while travelling across the island. But have you tried hiking through them? I certainly have not, but definitely want to!
The Clementi Forest features abandoned railway tracks, muddy streams and even a train tunnel. For a 2km route that’s been tried and tested, get the trekking instructions here.
Tip: This is best visited in the cool of the day.
KAYAK THROUGH MANGROVES
We’ve covered things you can do on land and air. Now how about a water activity?
The instructor-led adventure will take you through Pulau Ubin’s mangroves as you learn about the heritage of the area and its people. On your journey, you might also spot wildlife such as kingfishers, eagles, hornbills and herons.
The trip roughly lasts three hours, and costs about $100 on Klook (needs to be booked in pairs). You will also need to take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin.
SCREAM YOUR LUNGS OUT
When I go overseas to countries like New Zealand, I’m always drawn to exciting experiences like skydiving and bungee jumping. One thing that has put me off so far? The high cost.
That’s where the Skypark by AJ Hackett on Sentosa comes in.
If jumping off a tower sounds too scary, why not consider the Giant Swing? It’s a 40m-high swing (roughly the height of a 15-storey building) that reaches speeds of up to 120km/h. You’ll feel like you’re flying as you take in the beautiful view of the beach. That is, if your eyes are open.
Tickets for the Giant Swing are currently priced at $49 on Klook and can be paid for using your SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (by the way, we also have ideas on how you can use your SRVs to bless others).
Worried about the unpredictable weather? Then check out Adventure HQ at HomeTeamNS Khatib.
It’s said to have the first indoor roll glider that combines the experience of hang-gliding, a roller coaster ride and proximity flying in an huge, four-storey building. Other attractions include a ropes course, rock climbing and bouldering.
The all-access pass starts from $68 for guests and $40 for those with a HomeTeamNS membership.
SHOW LOVE TO RESCUED ANIMALS
One thing that I often include in my travel itinerary is a visit to a nature reserve, a zoo or just somewhere I can look at or interact with animals.
In Singapore, there are also a number of places that allow you to get up close with animals. Have you heard of the Kitten Sanctuary Singapore?
It’s a registered non-profit animal welfare group that provides shelter for rescued cats and kittens. Visits last for an hour and allow you to enter the playroom where kittens are socialised for adoption.
Tickets are priced at $20. That’s a steal – I mean, look at how cute they are!
TASTE FRESH FARM PRODUCE
I really like visiting local farms on my trips overseas! It’s just so relaxing to walk among the native vegetation and sample some of the fresh produce.
While Singapore isn’t a country with much farmland, we do have a couple of small farms open for visiting.
A champion of the grow-your-own-food movement, Edible Garden City not only hosts tours for its farm in Queenstown, but also conducts a range of workshops so that you too can learn how to grow your own edibles at home.
There are a couple of tours lined up for May, and they start from $45 each.
GO ON A CULINARY ADVENTURE
Are you the kind who seeks out a unique dining experience in every country you visit? There are options available in Singapore too.
For something really special, consider a meal on the Royal Albatross, a luxury superyacht that has dinner cruises where you can take in the sunset or city lights. Prices start at $195 for a three-course meal.
If having a meal in the sky tickles your fancy, there’s also Cable Car Sky Dining, which offers destination-themed cabins.
For instance, it’s running a “Fly Me To Italy” until the end of May where you and a loved one can savour famous dishes from regions like Sicily and Venezia. The four-course dinner costs $328++ for two.
UNCOVER A SECRET PICNIC SPOT
Can’t enjoy a springtime picnic in Europe? Grab a mat and get ideas from this list of lesser-known picnic spots.
Yishun Dam in particular is a hidden gem. I can imagine playing the guitar here and just lying on the grass. You’ll be in for a treat if you come in the evenings, as it’s especially beautiful at sunset.
For more inspiration on where you can catch a sunset, here are some other places.
WATCH THE SUNSET AT A LIGHTHOUSE
If you take the time to look around you, you’ll find that beauty surrounds us in Singapore as well.
Overlooking the Tuas Second Link, the Raffles Marina Lighthouse is a popular spot for photographers and couples alike because of the dazzling sunsets here.
Stroll down the pier to the lighthouse after a lovely al fresco meal at the Marina Bistro (around $20 per person) and enjoy a chill evening by the water.
HAVE A RELAXING SPA DAY
Looking for something that requires less energy?
If you’re missing those massages you used to have in Bangkok or Bali, here’s a list of affordable alternatives. There are even treatments that start from $30+!
REVITALISE WITH A RETREAT
Finally, if you’re looking to recharge and realign yourself with God, why not consider taking time out to go on a spiritual retreat?
If you’re waiting to start a new phase in life or seeking direction on next steps, this is also a great opportunity to have some extended quiet time.
Whether you decide to go by yourself or with a couple of friends, it will surely be an enriching experience.
While it can be disappointing not being able to travel overseas, I hope this compilation has inspired you to try something different while you’re here in Singapore.
Most importantly, commit this time to God. Ask Him to direct your days, so that you make the most of every moment.
I pray that you will use this time wisely, and that you will grow to know Him deeper in everything you do!
- Grounded in Singapore? How have you been spending your free time?
- Besides going out to do stuff, have you carved out space in your schedule to spend time with God regularly?
- Take time to reflect on your life over the past year: What have you learnt?