There are 365 (sometimes 366) days in a year to watch the sun rise and set. But being at the right time, at the right place for that epic shot of the glowing sky is easier said than done. To help you out, we've rounded the best spots to catch the golden hour. All you have to do is set your alarm, pack your tripod, grab your camera and make your way there pronto.
Rower's Bay Park at Lower Seletar Reservoir is so named for the reservoir's popularity with kayaking and dragon-boating enthusiasts. The park's boardwalk has become popular with those in the neighbourhood as the best spot to view the sunrise or sunset. The wetlands surrounding the boardwalk have also been filled with plant species that will attract and provide a habitat for native wildlife in the area.
Home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of butterflies and 33 different kinds of dragonflies, this nature reserve is the perfect recreation area to observe and enjoy the island's wildlife. On top of that, there is an elevated observation tower for the best views of the sunrise and sunset. At 57 hectares and with a range of natural and green habitats, Kranji Marshes is Singapore's largest freshwater farmland.
With a 360-degree view of the bay area – and the park being open 24 hours daily – you have the opportunity to arrive as early as you want to catch the mystifying sun rising and setting over the city skyline. Whether you set up a picnic mat, or simply taking a break on the benches, you are guaranteed a spectacular view of the open sky peppered with a kite or two.
For that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or more specifically, that beautiful orange streak at the top of the hill, head to one of Singapore’s most historical landmarks to make a history of your own. Hike up this 48-metre high hill – once ruled by Malay royalty – at about 7.05am to create your very own sun-filled memory.
When was your last trip to Pulau Ubin? If it has been eons ago, then you’d best revisit the offshore island, where nature’s bounty is teeming and Singapore’s last kampong houses stand. As bumboat rides to the island are available as early as 5.30am, kickstarting the day with the sunrise is possible. Upon reaching the island, walk along the sandy beaches towards the Jelutong Campsite from the jetty. You’ll be gifted with the sun’s magical glory.
It’s not just the convenience of crossing the causeway to Johor Bahru that the residents of Woodlands get to boast about. There’s also the Woodlands Waterfront Park that the Northern part of Singapore cherishes like a gem. With soaring views of the Straits of Johor, the 11-hectare park offers a scenic trail where early risers can fit in a morning stroll, while watching a glorious sunrise from the jetty. Same goes for the evening joggers.
While Bukit Timah Hill has claimed the title of the tallest hill in Singapore, it is without the blessing of offering phenomenal sunrise views like the way its stumpier sister Mount Faber can. Scale the hill either by driving or power walking to its peak before 7am to catch the sun ascends from the cityscape horizon.
In Kranji Reservoir Park, you’ll find a memorial plaque that pays tribute to the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Kranji during World War II. Aside from savouring this morsel of Singapore’s history, visitors can soak up the nature-related revelry offered in the park, such as picnics on the wide-open fields and fishing at designated areas. And of course, catch sight of the gorgeous sunrise and sunset, where the best spot for viewing is somewhere near the Kranji Dam.
Head to the rim of the waters at the end of Sembawang Park and take your photo with the metal cranes in the background. Alternatively, walk along the beach for the classic sun-over-the-horizon shot.
Here’s an obscure spot to catch the sun: Tanjong Rhu, or more specifically, the less trodden promenade that trails under the ECP and faces directly opposite Costa Rhu condominium. While it limits your exploration, the body of water, which stands in between the promenade and Costa Rhu, offers a dazzling reflection of the sun when it peeks out from hiding. It is truly a sublime view you should definitely capture on your phone.
Walk to the end of Heritage Bridge and, if the moon’s in alignment, you might even capture it beside the sun – no that spot isn’t dust on your lens. Or take your photos from the jetties near PA Water-Venture – there, you’ll be able to add elements to the image such as a boat and jetty.
It’s easy to tell whether a picture is of the sunrise or sunset at East Coast Park: facing the sea, the sun rises on your left and sets on your right. For the best views, either go down the Bedok jetty or park yourself on the breakwater near carpark F2.
At Merlion Park, frame the mythical beast in the foreground with the sun rising between the Singapore Flyer and the ArtScience Museum. Otherwise, walk towards One Fullerton to capture backlit silhouettes of the Flyer and Marina Bay Sands as they frame the rising ball of fire.
There's an aptly named Sunrise Bridge at Punggol Waterway to take your pictures at. But walk further 'til you reach the Lorong Halus Bridge. The red metal structure was made to look like an old, steel railway bridge and makes for a great frame for the sunrise. It’s beside the Insta-worthy lalang fields, too.
Ride the escalators to the top of the overhead bridge to Marina Bay Sands and point your camera at Gardens by the Bay for an image of the sun climbing over the Supertrees. Or head to Dragonfly Lake in the Gardens (the park opens at 5am) to snap an image of the sunrise, framed by the Supertrees, domes and their reflections on the water.