While Singapore is mostly famous for its shiny and ultra-modern constructions, it will surprise you with its natural beauty attractions. Tropical rainforests, authentic villages, stunning wildlife, beautiful gardens can be easily explored within a day-trip offering a journey in time and a great gateway from the bustling city center.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Just 12 km from the bustling city center, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is probably the only remaining evidence of Singapore’s origin from a jungle and representative of its location on the equatorial belt.

It is located on the slopes of the Bukit Timah hill,  the tallest hill in Singapore with 163,63 meters height, and retains one of the few areas of primary rainforest in the country giving you the chance to travel back in time and catch a glimpse of Singapore’s past.

Home to thousands species of plants and 250 species of animals and with many hiking trails, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is very popular spot for nature lovers and trekkers. At its entrance, there is a visitor centre where you can learn about the varieties of flora and fauna that can be found in the park.

Pulau Ubin

If you want to experience and somehow witness how Singapore was in the past back in its 60s, then Pulau Ubin is probably the best representation. Pulau Ubin is an island located off the northeastern side of mainland Singapore and considered the last “kampung” village.

Getting to Pulau Ubin is easy – just a 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Once getting there you will be captivated by its rustic and unspoilt charm and the simlicity of life here.

Pulau Ubin means Granite Island and it used to host granite quarying industry. Today, not many mines are left. However, it supports a rich ecosystem, an impressive example of successful preservation of both Singapore’s heritage as well as environment.

One of the main highlights you should check out is the old restored houses and the Chek Jawa wetlands. You can climb up the 20-metre tall Jejawi Tower for a bird’s-eye view of Ubin.

For more info visit the site:  https://www.theislanddrum.com/day-trip-pulau-ubin-singapore/

Chinese and Japanese Gardens

Even if you have already visited the Botanic Gardens, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens will offer you a totally different experience. Also called Jurong Gardes, they are artificial islands situated in Jurong Lake and connected to each other by the Bridge of Double Beauty. The Chinese Garden is more colorful and vibrant, while the Japanese Garden has a minimalist Zen feel evoking calmness and tranquility. Both however are very beautiful and inspiring for walking around, enjoying the scenery and of course photo-shooting.

The Chinese Garden was built in 1975  designed to resemble an imperial garden, by blending colorful buildings with natural landscapes. The main features here are the 7-storey Cloud Piercing Pagoda, the twin pagodas,  the Stone Lion, the Stone Boat and Tea House, the Bonsai Garden, the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, the Garden of Abundance

The adjoing Japanese Garden was built in 1974, based on Japanese gardening aesthetics. The main features here are arched bridgespondsstone pathsJapanese-style pagodas, stone lantenrs, and rock waterfalls.

The Southern Ridges: Four parks in one

The Southern Ridges is a 10 km trail that connects four parks (Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve) with impressive bridges along the southern ridge of Singapore. The main highlights are the amazing natural landscape of the parks, the structure and design of the bridges and the great views of the almost surreal contrast between the jungle scenery and the ultra-modern buildings of Singapore.

The most outstanding bridge is the Henderson Waves which is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and very distinctive and popular for its wave-form design, consisting of a series of undulating curved ‘ribs’.

Other highlights are the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk where you can see a rich variety of flora and fauna and observe birds in their natural habitat.

Another very popular and picturesque spot, also for wedding couples, is the Terrace Garden that consists of a series of semi-circular terraces situated at the top of the park. From here, you will be able to enjoy a breath-taking 360-degree view of Singapore.

MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir

One other very populal destination for nature lovers in the heart of Singapore is the MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir, the oldest reservoir in Singapore. Here visitors can enjoy several leisure and sporting both land- and water-based activities like hiking, jogging, canoeing, kayaking or simply strolling around and enjoying the beauty of the landscape.

One of the main highlights is the HSBC TreeTop Walk a syspension bridge 25 meters above the forest level connecting the two highest points in the reserve and offers splendid panoramic views.