Singapore is known for its intense and highly organized urban development, world-famous for its skyscrapers and architectural feats. However, despite this intense urbanization, travelers to Singapore can still visit some incredible parks and natural reserves that are home to Southeast Asia’s diverse plant and animal life. This guide will show you Singapore’s best attractions for enjoying nature in this urban city-state.
Gardens by the Bay, Voted Top 10 Indoor Gardens in the World
Image via Flickr by kyeniz
The Gardens by the Bay combine Singapore’s excellence in architectural design with sustainability and nature. The gardens feature more than 500,000 plants from six different continents. Exotic environments like cloud forests and flowers from all over the world make up these spectacular indoor gardens. The outdoor gardens are free to the public and home to some of the most beautiful plants from all over Asia. The gardens’ central location makes them conveniently accessible from most hotels in Singapore.
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens are also a great place to experience nature in the midst of the city. They are home to the world’s largest orchid garden and to ancient heritage trees that date back hundred of years.
Six Diverse Ecosystems Meet at Singapore’s Last Village
Pulau Ubin, or Granite Island, is located northeast of mainland Singapore. Formerly a mining quarry, the island is now part of an expansive nature reserve. It is also home to one of Singapore’s last kampongs, or villages, and many characterize a visit to the island as going back in time to 1960s Singapore.
The Chek Jawa Wetlands opened to the public in 2007. The wetlands area is among Singapore’s richest places for flora and fauna, with six major ecosystems meeting at this unique natural habitat. Visitors can walk or mountain bike around the park.
Tropical Rainforest Legacies
Image via Flickr by Michael Gwyther-Jones
The Bukit Tamah Nature Reserve is one of Singapore’s oldest protected nature reserves. Entrance to the park is free, but visitors should pay close attention to park rules for protecting its cherished biodiversity.
Panoramic View of Singapore’s Natural and Urban Grandeur
The Southern Ridges connect several of Singapore’s most famous nature parks and reserves. Ten kilometers of open green space makes the area perfect for walking or cycling. From a pedestrian bridge 38 meters high, visitors can enjoy panoramic views that combine Singapore’s natural and urban beauty.
Where Nature and History Meet
The Bukit Batok Nature Park is a great place for hikers and runners to explore winding paths through Southeast Asia’s forests. Visitors can climb up to panoramic viewpoints and visit Japanese war memorials and a historic transmission tower.
Holy Pilgrimage Site Filled With Tropical Marine Life
Kusu Island is famous for its sea tortoises and other marine life, making it one of the best spots to witness nature in Singapore. Each year, the Kusu holy pilgrimage takes place here as well, with worshippers climbing up 152 steps to reach the three Malay holy shrines. The island is also home to the Chinese temple Da Bo Gong that was built in 1923. Overnight stays are not permitted on the island, but many Singapore hotels are located nearby for visitors.
Most of Singapore’s natural attractions are free. They are treasures that have survived Singapore’s rapid urbanization and are definitely worth visiting in a lifetime.