The fast-paced action of Singapore make it a fun and exciting city to visit… but sometimes the skyscrapers, traffic and bustling population can all become a bit much, and there are times when you may want to escape the city and seek some peace and tranquillity.
The Botanic Gardens is one of the most popular places for Singaporeans to escape to. Just a short walk from the top of Orchard Road, this tranquil spot has plenty of sloping lawns, lakes, fountains and sculpture gardens to kick back in. It is also home to the fantastic National Orchid Garden, with over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchid to admire. Head further out of town and you will be rewarded with the beautifully presented Chinese Garden. Modelled on the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping, you’ll discover rainbow bridges, arch buildings and pagodas. Its jewel in the crown is the spectacular Bonsai garden.
If you really want to get away from it all, then you can head into the rainforest via rugged walking trails at both the MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The highlight of the MacRitchie Reservoir Park is the HSBC Treetop Walk, a freestanding 250m-long suspension bridge giving a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy, while Bukit Timah is the highest point in Singapore.
Head further north and you will find the Sungeil Buloh Wetland reserve, where the mangrove boardwalks give plenty of opportunity for bird viewing, particularly during the migratory season of September to March – and you may even be lucky enough to spot a crocodile!
A short boat ride from Changi will bring you to Pulau Ubin, where you can see what Singapore used to look like fifty years ago, before the cranes and construction companies moved in. Hire a bike on arrival and head to the Chek Jawa Wetlands – one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems where you can explore the mangroves and coast via boardwalks.
If all you want to do is to kick back on the beach for a few hours and contemplate the horizon, then head over to Sentosa, where its three beaches – Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong can be surprisingly deserted during weekdays, and come alive with beach sports and lively beachside bars at weekends.