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Wheeler's Estate
Photograph: Facebook/Wheeler's Estate

The best places to avoid crowds in Singapore

Things getting a little hectic? Escape to these quieter spots on the island

By Delfina Utomo and Aiko Tun
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In the time of coronavirus, crowded places – here's looking at you, supermarkets of Singapore – are a definite no-go zone. This makes daily routine things like commuting on the train a little more difficult. However, it doesn't mean that you have to quarantine yourself at home and never step out of the home. Here are some not-so-crowded places in Singapore you can go to for fun – just remember to wash your hands at all times!

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Pulau Ubin
Photograph: Dewi Nurjuwita

Pulau Ubin

Things to do Palau Ubin

In the time of coronavirus, leave the island for a while and take a walk on the wild side. At a sprawling 1,020 hectares, Ubin boasts lush greenery and abundant wildlife, drawing nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the many wonders of the granite island. Whip out your binoculars to spot birds at Pekan Quarry, wander through nature trails, and hike 75 metres up Puaka Hill for a breathtaking panoramic view of the islet. Being away from the crowds can be quite a beautiful experience. 

Wheeler's Estate
Photograph: Facebook/Wheeler's Estate

Seletar Aerospace Park

Things to do Seletar

If you need a lot of space without feeling too isolated, make a trip to Seletar Aerospace Park. Explore the 32 black and white bungalows that dot The Oval. Built for the British Royal Air Force, the houses, now abandoned and ensconced in nature, offer a glimpse of our colonial past. If you're feeling hungry, take your pick from the sustainable menu at The Summerhouse, cafe fare from Wildseed Cafe, pizzas at Wheeler's Estate or watch the planes at Seletar Airport while sipping on coffee at Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe. 

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Haw Par Villa

Things to do Kent Ridge

Though weird (and wonderful), one great thing about this place is that it never gets crowded. Get acquainted with high morals and the pits of hell in this eccentric park. Multicoloured statues and tableaux – some looking rather neglected– depict scenes from Chinese history and mythology. 

 

Coney Island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Coney Island

Things to do Punggol

Need some fresh air away from civilisation and crowds? Take a bus to the end of Punggol and take a walk by the beach to Coney Island. Fill your lungs with good, clean air as you stroll through this rustic island. Take the coastal trail to stop by the hidden beaches for a quiet moment. It'll only be you, the odd cyclist and maybe a monkey or two. 

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Wessex
Photo: ArtWalk@Wessex

Wessex Estate

Art Buona Vista

If you still love going out and exploring – but without the crowds this time – make your way to Wessex Estate. The black-and-white colonial houses near Portsdown Road sit amid lush greenery. Head to the picturesque neighbourhood for a quiet stroll and then wander into Colbar – short for ‘colonial bar’ – that was once a canteen for the British Army. With its vintage photographs and décor, the diner is a relic from the past that invites guests to step back through time. The blocks of walk-up apartments and semi-detached houses were built in the ’40s and previously used by non-commissioned British officers and soldiers. Today, the houses are mostly residential, with a small enclave of artists who use them as studio space.

National Gallery
Photo:Darren Soh and National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery Singapore

Art City Hall

There is plenty of space in this large museum so you'll never feel like you're stuck in crowds. Take all day to browse through rooms of Southeast Asian art from the 19th century to today. When you're done, lounge at the café with a book and coffee or head up to the rooftop garden for more art and a breather. 

 

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kampong lorong buangkok
Photo: Delfina Utomo

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Things to do Serangoon

Can stand being stuck in the house? Here's somewhere not many will venture to. Within the greater Seletar neighbourhood, you can also find the remaining village in mainland Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok. Right now, it's situated precariously in the middle of new developments so its future remains uncertain. Take a walk through the small village and get transported back to a time when life was simpler in Singapore. Be respectful of course, these are people's homes after all. 

Stay safe and healthy

TreeTop Walk at Macritchie Reservoir hiking trails
Photograph: Shutterstock

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