For a city I once put in the “stopover-only” bucket, Singapore has grown on me. Yes, it’s still sweaty and hot pretty much all the time, but the beauty of this city lies in its plentiful green spaces.
A city committed to “greening”, parts of Singapore engulf visitors in vertical and rooftop gardens, lush parks and heritage trees. Here are our favourite nature-driven outings to help you get your green fix.[related_articles]57174,52746[/related_articles]
#1 MacRitchie Reservoir Park
A local friend of mine recommended I visit MacRitchie Reservoir Park on my latest trip. I was told it was a “must see”, so I was quick to make my way out to this incredible oasis one morning.
It’s hard to believe this beautiful nature park is just 15 minutes from the city centre. There are hiking trails that surround a large reservoir and the “Treetop Walk”, a 250m-high suspension bridge that takes you high above the trees, is incredible.
A long-standing favourite among locals, people flock here to get in touch with nature. It’s home to native wildlife and biodiversity — you may even spot a monkey or two while exploring the rainforest.
#2 Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens have been a significant part of the city’s landscape for more than 150 years and offer welcome reprieve from the fast-paced city.
The lush, expansive space is full of trails and interesting garden areas. The morning we visited, we saw yoga happening in one corner of the park, tai chi in another, and ladies enjoying tea and scones in another.
The gardens are so large you could easily get lost in there for hours. My favourite find was the delightful Healing Garden — a section of the gardens dedicated to a large variety of plants (over 400) renowned for medicinal and healing qualities.
#3 Gardens By The Bay
Singapore’s spectacular Cloud Forest — an indoor botanic garden — is located in the Gardens by the Bay. I’d normally avoid these kind of big-ticket attractions, but I went along (on my search for all things green) and was delighted by what I found.
The Cloud Forest is a mist-covered nature wonderland. It offers a mountain of tropical plants and native flowers, a dream-like indoor waterfall (the world’s largest), and a sky-high walkway providing visitors with incredible arial views over the entire conservatory. For a city attraction, it really is extraordinary.
#4 Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is located off Singapore’s south coast and is an incredibly popular place for both locals and tourists, attracting a 20 million visitors each year. Easily accessible by cable car, ferry, bus or taxi, you can be sitting on the island’s sandy shores sipping a margarita just minutes after leaving the city centre.
There are a few different beaches on the island, but my pick is Tanjong, which is a lot quieter than others. On top of that, Tanjong is home to the very cool Tanjong Beach Club. Sitting pretty on its palm-fringed shores, the beach club is a great place to chill (especially mid-week) or party (its Sunday sessions are infamous).
The Sunday we visited, we sipped on cocktails (try the Tanjong Spritz), ate fresh seafood and burgers, and listened to deep house beats. The beach club’s design is also worth mentioning. Mid-century modern vibes meet plentiful timber and stone amidst a tropical backdrop.
(Lead image: Justin Law / Flickr)[qantas_widget code=SIN]Check out Qantas flights to Singapore.[/qantas_widget]
Georgia Hopkins is the friend you want to have. With the heart of a gypsy this Aussie girl has made friends with the locals in over 300 cities. Now based in California ‘Gigi’ explores life with the motto that “travel is not to escape life, but for life not to escape us". Join her at www.itsbeautifulhere.com.