Being an island, Singapore gets a bad rep for its quality of beaches. While it’s nowhere close to the slices of paradise found in nearby Malaysia or Thailand, what it lacks in water quality and scenery, it makes up for in man-made distractions and amenities.
Siloso Beach is a hive of activity with numerous beach clubs – Ola Beach Club, Mambo Beach, Coastes and Sand Bar – and an array of watersports options. Choose from the superfast donut rides, stand up paddles or even a jet blade experience, all available at Ola Beach Club. For the best view of the beach, take the 450-meter long MegaZip (at the nearby Mega Adventure Park) that’ll zoom past the jungle canopy of Imbiah Hill to land directly on Siloso Beach.
EAT THIS If you’re tired of the usual beach bar menu – burgers, beers and pizzas – Ola Beach Club’s Hawaiian-themed menu of poke bowls and dishes like the Lomi Lomi Salmon with a crispy sesame waffle makes for a welcome change. Its Ola Tiki cocktails served in a tiki tumbler is a departure from the usual sunset cocktail. Order the Ola Huli Pau!, a rum-based concoction decorated with lychee pearls, watermelon and sprigs of fresh mint.
DO THIS Revamped in October 2017, the Skyline Luge has added two new tracks and a new 4-seater chairlift Skyride. If you schedule your Skyride for around 8.40pm, you might catch a glimpse of the Wings of Time show from afar.
Located between Sentosa’s Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach, this stretch of calm water and fine grain sand is considered the most family friendly of the three. From the shore, there’s a small island that’s easy to swim out to. Otherwise, landlubbers (and Instagrammers) can cross over to the Southernmost point of continental Asia (also Asia's closest point to the equator) using the suspension rope bridge. Do exert the effort to climb up the tower for a bird’s eye view of Sentosa, if nothing else, do it for the ’gram.
EAT THIS Kick back at FOC Sentosa where Nandu Jubany’s hearty paellas and Spanish bites need little introduction. Combined with FOC’s oversized balloon glass gin and tonics (there are 15 gins to choose from) and the oceanfront plunge pool, you’ve got one of the best chill out spots in Singapore.
DO THIS For the little ones, there’s plenty to do on Palawan Beach. From the daily animal show at the Palawan Amphitheatre to the Palawan Pirate Ship’s water play area that’s ideal for small ones (3-10 years old) to splash about.
Stretching from Changi Point to Changi Ferry Terminal, this idyllic slip of a beach dotted with lush casuarina trees makes for a popular swimming spot – be warned though, there’s been sightings of Estuarine crocodiles in the water. For a safer bet, perhaps stick to land-based fun like fishing, cycling and roller-blading along the 3.5 kilometer stretch.
EAT THIS Changi Village Hawker Center may be famous for its nasi lemak – look for International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak (#01-03) – but to forgo the chendol (#01-2046), $1 goreng pisang(#01-51) and Charlie’s Corner’s (#01-08) fish and chips would be a grave mistake.
DO THIS While you’re there, take the opportunity to visit Pulau Ubin. Catch a public bumboat ($3 per person) at Changi Jettty – it runs from sunrise to sunset – and within ten minutes be transported back to Singapore during the kampong days.
However hot and humid Singapore gets, there's always a light breeze blowing at East Coast Beach. Popular with literally everyone, this 15 kilometer stretch is perfect for early morning tai chi classes, evening jogs, or even for a moment of quiet contemplation at Bedok Jetty. Also popular with cyclists and roller bladers, there’s no shortage of rental shops, and the numerous for rent picnic tables and barbecue pits sees many weekend parties.
DRINK THIS Being Singapore, it’s no surprise there’s a hawker centre nearby. The East Coast Lagoon Food Village pavilion-like structure is best enjoyed at dusk. The stalls to hunt down are Ah Hwee BBQ Chicken Wings (be prepared to queue for 20-30 minutes), Hwa Kee Barbecue Pork Noodles – known for its smokey, tender char siew – and the Lagoon Chicken Curry Puff which has been around for 40 over years.
DO THIS There’s always a flurry of activity at East Coast Beach. From Castle Beach in Area E where beautiful castles with bridges and staircases are erected and the bike stations (rent a quad bike for cheesy fun) to the wakeboarding action at the Singapore Wake Park. For kids (and kid-dults), there’s the Xtreme SkatePark with three different areas and obstacles to practice kickflips and ollies.
Aside from being home to Tanjong Beach Club – one of the world’s top 50 best beach bars as named by Conde Nast Traveller – Sentosa’s southernmost stretch of beach is one of the prettiest Singapore has to offer. Shaped like the numeral three from above, it has fine light yellow sand and coconut trees that frame each evening’s stunning sunset. A popular swimming spot – for both humans and dogs – the area tends to be quiet and tranquil on weekdays. While the weekends sees the area transform into a non-stop weekend beach party.
EAT THIS Unlike the other beaches, there’s just one place for food and drink on this beach: Tanjong Beach Club. With its plush daybeds, plunge pool and air-conditioned restaurant, it’s remained a crowd favourite and the place to be seen at on Sundays. The menu offers everything from lobster buns to acai bowls and fresh seafood platters. For drinks, you can’t go wrong with a pitcher of their Pimm’s My Ride made with Beefeater gin and blood orange sorbet.
DO THIS Situated at the tail end of Sentosa, this stretch of beach is a prime picnic and sun tanning spot. The nearby Stand Up Paddle School offers one hour beginner and advanced SUP classes, as well as Hobie Board and QuickBlade paddles for rental.
That this was the site of the Sook Ching Massacre in 1942 is impossible to ignore – there is a on-site heritage marker detailing the tragic event – still, this stretch of beach in Northern Singapore is a gem. The sand is fine and soft, there’s a collection of boulders (which makes for great photos), and it’s often deserted, even though it’s located close to Punggol Waterway Park.
EAT THIS The Punggol Settlement, a multi-restaurant venue overlooking the beach, is hard to miss. If we were to cherry pick, The Punggol Seafood (#01-08) would be our choice. Also known as Old Hock Kee (when it was located near the Punggol Jetty), its Ponggol Famous Mee Goreng and chilli crab are the signature dishes to order.
DO THIS The Punggol Jetty sees many locals attempting to fish (we suspect the fisherman from the ’70s had much more success), while the viewing deck right above the heritage plaque offers an elevated view of the area, right across to Malaysia.