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8 Off The Beaten Track Places In Singapore

(Disclaimer: Off the Beaten Track Singapore: The listed sites are to be entered at your own risk. Some are off limits to visitors and prohibited from entering)

 

WHETHER you’re planning a weeks holiday, a quick weekend away or passing through on a flight connection, things to do in Singapore have been long standing.

Home to the world’s best airline in Singapore Airlines and the world’s most stunning airport in Changi Airport, Singapore is made for travel. Throw in stunning views from the famous Marina Bay Sands, one of the best Night Safari’s on the planet and non-other than Universal Studios, Singapore is a place for the typical tourist attractions. It’s rate visitors think of off the beaten track Singapore.

If you want to see the typical sites of Singapore, check out this article here by Expedia AU.

 

Yet for those of you are seeking more adventure, something a little more risky, a little more unexplored without the long queues and selfie sticks, it’s possible to see more off the beaten track Singapore.

The country is as modern as they come, especially in Southeast Asia. Rich on the rat race, popular for expats to make top dollar and incredibly safe, it’s more difficult than ever to see the forgotten side to the country. With the states best efforts, these derelict and often unknown places may be gone soon into the future so its important to see them now. Not only does it give you an insight to Singapore’s modest past, it gives your travels something more that only the minority partake in.

Urban explorers, adventure travellers and thrill seekers this one’s for you.

 

Where To Stay Singapore

Budget Accomodation

Singapore can be an expensive place, especially when in comparison to neighbouring Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. If you’re travelling solo or as a budget backpacker, Singapore does have accommodation options for you.

The Inncrowd Backpackers Hostel 2 is a social place to stay. You’ll guaranteed to meet fellow travellers to see the rest of Singapore. The hostel is based in Little India, a place full of character, colour and culture and  you can eat and drink for cheap.

Mid-Range Accomodation

Singapore can be humid, sometimes busy and chaotic. If you’re going to be spending your day adventuring you may decide you want to stay somewhere private.

Wanderlust is a unique traveller-designed hotel with a variety of different room themes. They include rooms with changing colours to two-floor suites.

 

Off The Beaten Track

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

7 Lor Buangkok, Singapore 547557

What To Know

If you really want to experience off the beaten track Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok is a fine choice. It is often said to be the ‘last village in Singapore’. The village is nestled away from the skyscrapers of Singapore and the community there live a laid-back and simple lifestyle. Home to around thirty Malay families, you’ll see surroundings such as livestock, wooden houses and gardens. In a world of ever growing modernisation – especially in somewhere like Singapore – Kampong Lorong Buangkok is a refreshing throwback to how village life was for Singapore.

Be quiet when wandering these small streets as residents live here going about their day to day lives.

How To Get There

Either put in 7 Lor Buangkok Singapore and order a Grab or you can take the 70, 103 or 854 bus. Kampong Lorong Buangkok is just off Yiu Chu Kang Road.

 

Pulau Ubin

Quarry Lake, Pulau Ubin

What To Do

Pulau Ubin is an island northwest of the country and a throwback to a more casual, off the beaten track Singapore. Seemingly worlds away from the glamour of the shopping malls and business districts , Pulau Ubin is one of the last pieces of old Singapore. From traditional kampong (villages), long tailed monkeys, wild hogs, lush wetlands, frantic Kingfishers and boardwalks, Palau Ubin is the green lung of the city.

When you arrive in PU, you’ll immediately see a whole load of shops – including bicycle rental stores. This is the best way to get around the island and will set you back around $6 SG.

How To Get There

First, you need to get to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. From the Tanah Merah MRT Station, take Bus 2 and you can walk a few minutes to the terminal.

Then take a 15-minute bum boat ride to Pulau Ubin which costs $3 (SGD) that runs from 5:30am to as late as 9pm. Beware, the captain needs 12 passengers for the boat to disembark as it won’t leave with any under.

 

Haw Par Villa

262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628

*Note: Haw Par Villa is currently closed for renovation until March 2019*

What To Do

Haw Par Villa opened its doors in 1937 and is a colourful theme park if not overwhelming by its mythological stories represented in figurine form. Telling some of the most well known stories in Chinese tradition, Haw Par Villa is now seen as a place where many visitors don’t go. Some even say its haunted –  it definitely is creepy. If you’re wandering past the old theatres, which is the least kept area of the theme park, you’ll randomly see life-sized statues peeking out at you.

With the masses flocking to Universal Studios, Haw Par Villa is definitely included as off the beaten track Singapore.

How To Get There

Haw Par Villa opens from 9am to 6pm daily, weekends and public holidays. There is no admission charge to enter.

If you want to go via MTR you can take it to the Haw Par Villa Station CC25 (Circle Line).

The Bus Stop (16019) is one minute walk away from Haw Par Villa. Bus numbers include, 10, 30, 30e, 51, 143, 188 and 200. The same bus numbers go to Bus Stop (16011), opp Haw Par Villa Station.

 

Haji Lane

Haji Lane, Singapore

What To Do

If you’re having dinner and drinks by Marina Bay Sands then Haji Lane, comparatively is classified as off the beaten track. Another place that is tucked away from the bustle of the tall buildings in Singapore, Haji Lane is illuminated by psychedelic colours, murals and alternative artwork. With the wallpaper set down these small network of lanes, the abundance of bars, restaurants and cafes are many. Live music is common and the outdoor seating are the lanes substitute for front row seats.

What To Eat And Drink

Venturing for a night on Haji Lane is an experience you should choose yourself but if you’re looking for outdoor seating, drinks and food to go with check out Blue Jaz Cafe.

How To Get There

Situated in Kampong Glam, the nearest MRT is Bugis Station. You can either start your Haji Lane experience by entering via North Bridge Road or Beach Road.

 

Looking For Flights to Singapore? Book with Expedia

 

Abandoned Places

Tanglin Hill Brunei Hostel

Tanglin Hill Brunei Hostel, 7A Tanglin Hill, Singapore 248042

The Story Behind It

Situated in a high-end and private estate, Tanglin Hill Brunei Hostel has been derelict since the early 1980’s. Built back in 1953, the hostel was built for the influx of Bruneian students coming to Singapore due to the lack of an elite educational system back in Brunei. The hostel would provide basic lodging, food, laundry and a home whilst student sport events and several Bruneian festivals were held regularly.

How To Get There

The best bet is to get a Grab to the Tanglin Hill address. You’ll see the site cornered off with steel fencing. This isn’t the most inviting of places because there are signs warning of no trespassing. However, if its any consolation the area is generally quiet. If you want to take the risks be quick about it. Go to the right of the site as you’re facing it, or left of the site if your back was turned to it. Through the bushes you’ll see a fairly large gap, made by fellow urban explorers for you to enter.

This site is huge that is almost like a former school than a typical hostel you know about today. With plenty of rooms from old corridors, dormitories and bedrooms the hostel is so vast you should take your time here. Make it to the top floor for the best views, the rooftop is fairly blocked by bush.

 

Old Changi Hospital

Old Changi Hospital, 24 Halton Road, Singapore, 506997

The Story Behind It

Often marked as one of Singapore’s most haunted abandoned places, Old Changi Hospital is one of the most luring to urban explorers. Under Japanese occupation, it was used to hold tens of thousands of prisoners of war who were kept and tortured. It’s been vacant since 1997 and is often used for the occasional ghost tour – only if approved by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA)

How To Get There

Once you’ve reached Old Changi Hospital on Halton Road, you’ll find it located on a hill. The entrance is used as a car parking facility for nearby workers. Getting onto the hospital is becoming as difficult as ever due to the large interest of visiting this old site. It’s bordered by metal fencing with many stark trespassing warning signs apparent (as of 2018). The only way in is to literally crawl under a gap in the fencing, so breath in! This site is one of the most monitored with motion sensor cameras currently installed.

It’s not recommended to visit here but for those of you who are enthusiasts at this stuff, it probably won’t deter you from checkin it out anyway!

 

Istana Woodneuk

Istana Woodneuk, 766 Tyersall Avenue, Singapore , 257699

The Back Story

Opened back in 1935 and owned by a former Sultan of Johor, Istana Woodneuk or Woodneuk House is buried away in the lush overgrown vegetation by Singapore’s Botanical Gardens. It’s had little use since 1957 despite going through different ownership. The site has been burnt down and deemed unsafe, so its imperative to enter at your own will. The staircases will creak, you’ll hear the drop of water and you might even spot the odd lizard or snake.

How To Get There

Located between Tyersall Avenue and Holland Avenue getting into Istana Woodneuk isn’t as easy as following a path. It also isn’t exactly followable on the map. The best bet is to get to the address via Grab or Taxi or a bus to the bus stop ‘Opp Peirce Road’. Walk down Tyersall and find a grass slope ok for you to clamber up. You may get muddy and definitely humid. Wander through the tangled trees and branches until you see the ruins to your left.

Istana Woodneuk is definitely abandoned but with all the clambering through jungle-like bush you’ll have to do, it’s definitely way off the beaten track Singapore!

 

Keramat Bukit Kasata

Keramat Bukit Kasita, 532 Kampong Bahru Rd, Singapore 099456

The Story Behind It

Kerama Bukit Kastata is the burial grounds for members of the Johor royalty, with even some dated back to the 1700’s. The yellow cloth that covers the grave relates to those of Malay royalty whilst green cloth is to represent the colour of Islam.

How To Get There

Take the bus to Opp Keppel Distripark Blk or take a Grab to the closest point to 532 Kampong Bahru Road. Once you’ve made your way you can walk up the Bukit Purmei slope. You don’t need to go far until you come across what now is a converted zinc shack swelling on your left. You can politely ask the owner for a peak inside but the woman caretaker may refute this.

Alternatively walk around the shack until you see a blatantly obvious hole in the bush. Walk past the sleeping cats and you’ll see a small stone wall for you to take a peek over.

 

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Post Author
Tommy Walker

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