Good news: You need not fly out of the country for a quick escape.
Our third instalment of the Five Places series uncovers five tranquil places in Singapore we can escape to for a day. Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a perfect list for those who need a good getaway.
1. MacRitchie Reservoir
MacRitchie Reservoir (once known as the Thomson Reservoir), is Singapore’s oldest reservoir. More commonly known now as “the place where I had my cross country in secondary school”, the area is known not only for its scenery, but its tranquillity on the various trails located at the reservoir.
Covered with boardwalks and a 250 metre treetop walk overlooking Upper Pierce reservoir, it is a tropical paradise teeming with life in the day.
2. Changi Point Coastal Walk
Also known as the Changi Boardwalk, the Changi Point Coastal Walk has six unique sections that are open to the public for exploration. These include the Sunset, Kelong, Cliff, Sailing Point, Beach and Creek Walks.
The area is also easily accessible and can be entered from four regions: Changi Village, Changi Sailing Club, Changi Beach and Changi Beach Park. The place can be visited both in the day or at night when the lights are lit to a soft warm glow.
3. St. John’s Island
St John’s Island once served as a quarantine station for immigrants who suffered from diseases like cholera, beri-beri, and leprosy back in the 19th and 20th centuries. The island, however, has since been refurbished to suit travellers looking for a tranquil getaway.
Fitted with swimming lagoons brimming with marine life, beaches, trekking routes, picnic areas and around a hundred cats, it is the perfect place to spend the day off. One can get to the island by boarding the daily ferry from the Marina South Pier.
4. Lazarus Island
Often cited as Singapore’s least-touched island, Lazarus Island boasts a pristine beach which is home to translucent turquoise waters and white powder-like sand. It is also known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, which when converted from Malay means island of one barking deer and palms.
There are two ways of getting there. The first, by chartering a personal ferry (though this might be pretty costly). The cheaper option is to take daily ferry to St. John’s Island, which is connected to Lazarus Island by a break-water.
5. Little Guilin
Situated in Bukit Gombak, Little Guilin derives its name from the granite rock sitting in the lake. Fondly known amongst the locals in its vicinity as the ‘Xiao Guilin’, the area was once utilised as a granite quarry in the 20th century.
The area was subsequently converted to a park in 1984, and has been linked to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Sungei Pandan via park connectors. Similar to the Changi Point Coastal Walk, you can visit the place at night as it is fully lit from 7pm to 7am daily.
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