18 May 2022

14 Best Outdoor Activities in Singapore to Escape the Concrete Jungle

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Joel Conceicao A long-suffering Arsenal fan who will most likely reincarnate as a Himalayan goat.

Outdoor lovers, rejoice! Here are fun things to do in nature that will help you see why Singapore is known as the Garden City:

 

 

Forget sweater weather. Fun in the sun is all part and parcel of Singapore’s charm. Yes, there are air-conditioned mega-malls and skyscrapers. You can have an intimate private dining session or go to an artsy DIY class. So, why go out when you can stay indoors? Well, the question should be, why not? Embracing some tropical heat is the way, especially when escaping urban life. If you love healing with nature, here are the best outdoor adventures to add to your bucket list:

Go scuba diving at Keppel Bay
Go scuba diving at Keppel Bay
  • Group Travellers
  • Solo Traveller

Did you know scuba diving is doable in Singapore? Beneath this concrete jungle lies an incredible underwater world chock full of gems. The Lion City is not known for diving per se. But this is a true hidden gem that not many people know. If joining a fun-loving community of divers and discovering marine life is your idea of fun, this will be right up your alley.

Explore abandoned WWII bunkers
Explore abandoned WWII bunkers
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers
  • Heritage
  • Hidden Gem
  • Instagram-worthy

Take enjoying the Great Outdoors to the next level with a trip to abandoned World War Two bunkers at Marsiling, and you will be feeling like a modern-day Indiana Jones in no time. Get down and dirty, quite literally, as you uncover a side of Singapore that looks more like a tunnel in Train to Busan than the clean and green city we all know.

Try camping in a Mongolian yurt
Try camping in a Mongolian yurt
  • Couples
  • Families with Kids
  • Group Travellers
  • Hidden Gem
  • Instagram-worthy
  • Out-of-city Experience

The magic of the Mongolian steppes has arrived in the Lion City. You can now immerse yourself in the culturally rich Mongolian nomadic lifestyle by experiencing what it is like to sleep in an enchanting yurt, complete with knick-knacks and furnishing that looks straight out of Ulaanbaatar. Besides camping, you will also learn fire crafts, woodfire cooking, and gaze at the stars over a campfire.

Island-hop to the Southern Islands
Island-hop to the Southern Islands
  • Group Travellers
  • Instagram-worthy
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Day Trips

Singapore actually has 63 offshore islands aside from the mainland. But the best ones to island-hop to are the Southern Islands of St. John’s Island, Kusu Island, and Lazarus Island. Whether you want to get your tan on or splash around, have a picnic, or play with powdery white sand, a cruise to these tropical hotspots is in order.

Uncover nocturnal wildlife at Pasir Ris Park
Uncover nocturnal wildlife at Pasir Ris Park
  • Out-of-city Experience

Singapore is a city with incredible nightlife but not only at the clubs. You’ve got a surprisingly diverse mix of nocturnal wildlife venturing outdoors once the sun sets. Join a tour that lets you visit tropical wetlands and mangroves so that you can discover local critters like owls, nightjars, and herons, and perhaps crabs that climb trees or a civet cat lurking in the shadows.

Trek around the old Jurong railway
Trek around the old Jurong railway
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Families with Kids

The old Jurong railway is one of those places that hark from a forgotten era. These abandoned tracks now make up one of the best hiking spots around. Start your route from King Albert Park MRT to the first section of the Green Corridor on the Rail Corridor Trail. And make your way past landmarks like the stunning Clementi Forest and the Insta-worthy area near Maju Camp.

Pay a visit to a kelong
Pay a visit to a kelong
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Eco-friendly
  • Social Impact

Kelongs (floating fish farms) were once a dime a dozen when Singapore was a humble fishing village and not the sprawling cosmopolitan urban mass it is today. That may not be the case anymore. But you can still explore the modern-day version of a kelong in the form of a high-tech fish farm that even has a restaurant onboard. It’s a great way to learn about sustainable fishing and see another side of the city.

Marvel at marine critters at Changi Beach
Marvel at marine critters at Changi Beach
  • Families with Kids

Singaporeans don’t have much experience with wildlife. Mostly, we see cockroaches and rats scurrying around. So, it’s surprising to know that you can get up close and personal with unique marine critters that you would only see on National Geographic or Animal Planet. Wake up early in the morning to see what is known as the intertidal zone on the coast and observe starfish, crabs, and bivalves.

Wander into the lush Dover forest
Wander into the lush Dover forest
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Group Travellers
  • Couples
  • Families with Kids

You might want to strap on your hiking boots and make a beeline for the Dover forest, pronto. Why? This lush bit of greenery in town is set aside for future residential development. But right now, there are no proper paths here, only off-trail goodness. So, get ready to stretch your calves and explore the wilderness of one of the last remaining rural areas in Singapore before it gets torn down for new homes.

Pedal around Pulau Ubin
Pedal around Pulau Ubin
  • Out-of-city Experience

Pulau Ubin is probably the most loved island in Singapore for outdoor adventures. There are plenty of things to see and do here. Although, the most popular activity would be cycling around. Take your bike for a spin here and ride past places like Chek Jawa Wetlands, a 100-hectare wetland bursting with wildlife, and see everything from mangroves to fruit farms.

Cruise around Siloso at Ola Beach Club
Cruise around Siloso at Ola Beach Club
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers

Say hola to Ola Beach Club for some thrills and spills, and enjoy the tropical weather by having a splashing good time. Soak up the sun and enjoy the tranquillity of the sea by riding a single or double kayak for some pedalling joy. If you are confident in your balancing skills, try out stand-up paddleboarding for something different. The choice is yours!

Volunteer at a farm in Seletar
Volunteer at a farm in Seletar
  • Group Travellers
  • Families with Kids
  • Social Impact

In space-deprived Singapore, farms are a rarity. But they do exist. One such example is planet-friendly farm Earth Adventures. Pay a visit here and meet up with Manda Foo, an agricultural activist and author who will be happy to fill your head with tidbits of farming history. You can also volunteer at the farm and chow down on delicious farm-to-table food afterward.

Kayak around Pulau Ubin’s mangroves
Kayak around Pulau Ubin’s mangroves
  • Group Travellers
  • Out-of-city Experience

With its serene and lush biodiversity, Pulau Ubin is perfect for kayaking. One of the best ways to kayak here is to go on an eye-opening sea kayaking journey that will let you get right into the thick of the action when navigating thriving mangroves. You can also catch marvellous views of Pulau Ketam, an island just southwest of Ubin.

Go mountain biking at a park
Go mountain biking at a park
  • Eco-friendly
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Families with Kids
  • Group Travellers
  • Couples
  • Day Trips
  • Solo Traveller

Cycling in a city can get stale. Traffic lights? Zebra crossings? Yawn. The best way to cycle in Singapore, like anywhere else, is to get out and about. Get in touch with nature the right way by heading on some rugged trails on a mountain bike. Some fantastic cycling trails include Chestnut, Bukit Timah, and Kent Ridge. You can skip your leg day at the gym now.

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