What are the best day trips near Singapore?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Jamie L.T. Mapa

It is easy to assume that Singapore is only one island, but most - even those living on the main island - often forget that Singaore is actually comprised of 63 different islands.  The largest and main island is referred to as Singapore Island or Palau Ujong, which literally means island at the end in Malay.

If you are spending some time in Singapore and looking for a different experience outside of Orchard Road and Clarke Quay, here are a few ideas for day trips near the main island:

Pulau Ubin: is one of the remaining areas of Singapore that has not been urbanized, retaining its old world rural charm.  Many say if you're looking for life in Singapore decades ago, then just hop on a bumboat to Pulau Ubin and you would have travelled time in just 15 minutes and S$2.50 later.  There are approximately 100 villagers residing on the 10km island and the main mode of transportation are bicycles.  Bikes can be rented near the jetty once you step foot on the island.  Though finding your way around the island should be much easier than decoding the bus map on the main island, residents are nonetheless very helpful (with some even offering invites into their oldschool bungalow homes, clearly created before the highrise condominiums) and happy to see visitors.  There is one local eatery on the island not far from the jetty and a wetland reserve on the southeast coast which you can bike to for a coastal beach view.

Sentosa: is located on the main island of Singapore and is comprised of resorts and reclaimed land with man-made beaches using sand from Indonesia and Malaysia.  While Sentosa can be reached by car, the easiest way to get to the island during the day is via the Sentosa Express monorail from the Harbourfront MRT station.  Total commute time is ~15 minutes and transportation on the island is free with the exception of taxis.

Sentosa is a great way to spend a day in Singapore or plan a staycation at for couples and families.  There is the Forbes four star rated property Capella which also houses the five star rated Auriga Spa.  Other popular accommodations on the island include Shangri-la Rasa, W Sentosa Cove, and Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa.

Shortly after the entrance into the island there is the Resorts World complex - Singapore's first casino and home to Universal Studios theme park, a hotel and shopping malls.

Activities on the island include Sentosa Golf Club, the only golf course in Singapore open to the public and the location of the annual Barclays Open; Wavehouse, an artificial wave creator where you can learn to surf; ziplining and the luge and skyride.  After a day of fun in the sun, indulge in a dinner at one of the acclaimed restaurants opened by these world renowned chefs: Joël Robuchon's restaurant at Hotel Michael, the recently opened Ocean Restaurant at Resorts World by Iron Chef Cat Cora or the japanese restaurant and chef kunio tokuoka joining his fellow michelin rated chef.  

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