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How to explore Singapore in a day

Raphael Francisco
Raphael Francisco

Published: 26 January 2016, 3:33 PM

How much of Singapore can you explore in 10 hours? Our writer shares his experience.

Too many times we hear the proverbial complaint about our island home: “Singapore is BORING.” How exactly are we certain of this? Have we spent time to actually explore the ends of Singapore to see for ourselves what it has to offer?

Youth.SG spent an entire day roaming around the island, in the search of its uniqueness and beauty that we have forgotten amidst our daily toils.

See below for our suggested itinerary!

9.00am: Home, Punggol

Before embarking on the arduous journey to roam the entire island, I made sure that I had a good breakfast at home. I knew it was really going to be a tiring day. With just a DSLR, a notebook, and a jacket, I left for the adventure of a lifetime.

9.50am: Japanese Cemetery Park, Yio Chu Kang/Hougang

My first stop was the spooky Japanese Cemetery Park, situated along Yio Chu Kang Road. I took the train to Kovan station and walked nearly two kilometres past private houses to reach my destination.

Unknown to many, it has 910 tombstones that houses the remains of members of the Japanese community in Singapore. A very eerie and surreal place, don’t be surprised if you feel a haunting presence lurking in the cemetery.

how to explore singapore in a day
THERE IS SOMETHING HAUNTINGLY SURREAL ABOUT JAPANESE CEMETERY PARK.

10.30am: Lower Seletar Reservoir, Khatib/Yishun

Here’s a tip: if you want to explore many places in one day, do not get caught up in the marvel of each place and lose track of time. Lower Seletar Reservoir was an hour away from Yio Chu Kang, so I had to take a cab instead.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by its beautiful waters. There is a lot of sightseeing you can do here, and like most reservoirs, it’s a great place to go for a run if you live nearby.

how to explore singapore in a day
BLISSFUL WATERS AT LOWER SELETAR RESERVOIR.

11.30am: Little Guilin, Bukit Gombak

If the reservoir was a pleasant sight to behold, Little Guilin was even better. It was like seeing a glimpse of heaven. The spectacular granite rock overlooking the West part of Singapore resembles Guilin in China.

Albeit a small place (it’s called ‘Little’ for a reason), one could sit here for hours and not feel bored at all.

how to explore singapore in a day
HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO CLIMB THE PEAK OF LITTLE GUILIN?
how to explore singapore in a day
HERE’S A COOL CHILL OUT SPOT WHERE YOU WON’T GET BORED FOR HOURS.

2pm: People’s Park Complex, Chinatown

After visiting three picturesque places and taking a quiet lunch break, I figured it was time to head back to civilisation, starting with Chinatown. People’s Park Complex is one of the oldest buildings in its area, and boasts a height of 30 storeys. It is also an awesome place to take reflection photos after it rains.

Apart from its amazing and novelty design, there are lots of interesting shops in the building, from street food stalls to reflexology and massage parlours.

how to explore singapore in a day
PEOPLE’S PARK COMPLEX – ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC PLACES IN CHINATOWN.

3.15pm: Marina South Pier

Moving southward, I went to the lowest point in the Singapore map. Sweet sea breeze and cool blue skies, Marina South Pier is the place to go if you want to take a boat to the southern islands around Singapore.

It’s also a good spot for fishing, as long as the weather is great.

how to explore singapore in a day
THIS IS A GREAT FISHING SPOT ALONG THE MARINA BREAKWATER.
how to explore singapore in a day
IF YOU HAVE THE TIME, WHY NOT TAKE A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS TOO?

4pm: Rochor Centre, Bugis

In the heart of Bugis is the famous Rochor Centre, surrounded by multi-coloured HDB flats. If you wish to take nice photos, make a trip to this place very soon as the building will be torn down before the end of this year.

Just be wary of the pigeons, there’s a whole squadron of them.

how to explore singapore in a day
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR?  TAKE YOUR PICK FROM THESE FOUR COLOURED HDB FLATS.
how to explore singapore in a day
BE WARY OF THE HUNDREDS OF PIGEONS IN ROCHOR CENTRE.

5.45pm: Changi Beach

Here’s my last stop for the day. It took slightly over an hour to get here from Bugis; take the MRT to Simei and then take SBS bus service 9 all the way to Changi Beach, located along Nicoll Road.

With Changi Village nearby, there are a lot of fun things to do around the area.

But here’s one thing that makes this place more unique from the rest – its close proximity to arriving airplanes. Airplane enthusiasts, this one is for you.

how to explore singapore in a day
AND SO CHANGI AIRPORT COMPLETES MY JOURNEY AROUND SINGAPORE.
how to explore singapore in a day
AIRPLANES FLYING BY ARE SUCH A SIGHT.

7pm: Home, Punggol

It’s been a long and exhausting, but fruitful day.

If you’re feeling free one day, why not take the day off to explore seven to ten different areas in Singapore with a few friends, it’ll certainly be a memorable experience full of joyful moments.

Other cool places to check out: Labrador Park, Henderson Waves, Botanic Gardens, Coney Island, and Istana Woodneuk.

Estimated total transport cost: At least $10-$15

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