Gardens By the Bay and its futuristic “supertrees” steal the headlines, but Singapore has plenty other sublime green spaces showcasing its tropical flora and fauna. These parks and preserves are four of our favourites.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park: Popular with runners, kayakers, and bird-watchers, this central 49-acre oasis is well worth an early morning or evening visit. The park’s 11-kilometer trail loops through a serene tropical rainforest, with a detour along the way to the spectacular TreeTop Walk, an 820-foot suspension bridge. Macaque monkey sightings are very common.
Pulau Ubin: Take a break from the main island’s urban splendour at Pulau Ubin, a peaceful and undeveloped 2,520-acre island accessed via rickety bumboats from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, not far from Changi Airport.
There are a few points of interest here, including the Chek Jawa nature reserve and a handful of temples, but the best thing to do is simply renting a bike near the pier and pedalling the island’s well-marked roads and paths. Refuel with tasty local cuisine and cold beers at the waterside restaurants at the pier—and watch out for wild boar!
Singapore Botanic Gardens: Welcoming nearly 5 million visitors annually and the world’s only tropical garden with UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, the gorgeous Botanic Gardens is Singapore’s premier green retreat. A 15-acre rainforest and beautiful orchid garden with more than 3,000 species and hybrids are among the top sights here. Don’t be surprised to see massive monitor lizards slinking around the grounds.
The Southern Ridges: Spanning nearly six miles of Singapore’s southern coast, The Southern Ridges comprises a series of connected parks, gardens, elevated walkways, bridges, and hiking trails. Start at Mount Faber Park—the cable car gateway to Sentosa island—then work your way west to Kent Ridge Park. Popular with locals, this is an area few visitors see.