Singapore is known as the smallest country in the world, yet every space of its 728,000 sq km total land area is full of life. The country is a melting pot of living heritages and blended cultures. The polarity of these features give Singapore its distinctive character and appeal.
But the best part about traveling in Singapore is how easy it is to get around. The country is home to a highly efficient tram network, with 130 stations in the 6 SMRT lines that traverse the island. If you wish to travel by road, the SMRT cabs are just as effective and have cashless payment options to ensure a safe and secure ride.
Don’t be just a tourist in Singapore, though. Use your stay as an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture the country offers. Allow us to take you off the beaten path and find the hidden gems in these 3 amazing places.
Destination/Origin: Singapore Mile Zero
Train Station: Raffles
All mile markers start from this point. A large bronze-colored plate marks the spot for what is called the Singapore Mile Zero. The marker is hard to miss; it is embedded on the ground, right outside where The Fullerton Hotel stands.
Before the building’s present-day function, it was called the Fullerton Building and was used as a municipal office complex, with much of its space being occupied by the General Post Office.
During the war, the building served as a makeshift hospital for wounded Allied soldiers. It wasn’t until after the war that it was returned to its original function as a municipal office complex and remained so until 1997 when it was purchased by a private company and converted into what is today known as The Fullerton Hotel.
To commemorate the history of this place, the new owners embedded the mileage marker on the grounds of this historic plaza, as it continues to be the starting point of all road distances in Singapore.
Destination: Punggol Waterway Terrace 1
Train Ride: Clark Quay to Punggol
Travel Time: 26min
SMRT Cab Ride: The Fullerton Hotel to Punggol Water Park
Travel Time: 20min
The Waterway Terraces is a representation of Singapore’s architectural prowess with a wholistic take. During the modernisation era, the country started to build upwards, erecting buildings here and there, which eventually gave way to the vertical living arrangements commonly seen around the country.
This method of expanding residential spaces is necessary for a small country like Singapore. However, earlier buildings were void of natural elements as they were chiefly designed as living spaces and nothing more.
That all changed at the turn of the century. Feeling the effects of climate change, Singapore began to build with not just people in mind. Owing to their ethos and belief in a shared community, urban planners, builders, and architects paved the way towards creating green spaces.
Gone are the sterile old buildings and purely practical concrete walkways. Today, the Waterway Terraces is a preferred destination for both joggers and cyclists. If there was one building worth taking pictures of during your trip to Singapore, this would be it. The place will surely let you in on a typical Singaporean day and you can catch a relaxing glimpse of the local life.
Before heading off, go see the Punggol Mural Wall which is an ode to Gilbert Koh’s poem, ‘Accident’, which you’ll also find written on the wall.
Destination: Smith Marine Kelong
Train Ride: Punggol to Changi Point (to take a Ferry to the kelong)
Travel Time: 1hr 9min (multiple line transfer)
SMRT Cab Ride: Punggol Water Park to Changi Point
Travel Time: 15min
What’s a day of sightseeing without capping it off with a nice, hearty meal. Due to rapid urbanisation in the country, many of the kelongs have disappeared but there are still a few that remain open to this day. But even the ones that remain have faced modernisation, including the Smith Marine Kelong.
The Smith Marine Floating Kelong is the place to go for fresh seafood meals. The aquaculture farm was built in 2006 and has been a local favorite since it opened its doors for fresh seafood dining.
Aside from being the first kelong in Singapore, it’s also Halal-Certified. And, because it’s actually a fish farm, you can catch your own meal. The kelong will happily prepare it for you, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sea breeze and magnificent 360 views of the sea.
Before heading to the kelong, make sure to book a reservation. Ideally, you should do so 3 days prior to your arrival to make sure they’ll be able to accommodate you and your party. To get there, you’ll be hopping from one tram line to another until you reach the Changi Village Terminal. It only gets more exciting from there as you’ll be hopping into a boat next in order to reach the kelong itself. It’s a 15-minute boat ride each way, so make sure to factor that into your travel time.
Going around Singapore is a wonderful experience, and while we’ve recommended three spots to visit, it doesn’t mean it’s all the country has to offer! Don’t be afraid to explore. Aside from the clean and well-maintained surroundings, it’s very easy to see the different parts of the country using the train network.
Travelers like you get to benefit much from an efficient and safe way to experience the country’s unique culture, conventional spaces, and quirky spots in a hassle-free way.