6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme North

[Sponsored] For a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s concrete jungle, lush green spaces like Pulau Ubin, MacRitchie Reservoir and Coney Island come to mind. But tucked away in the North are a slew of exciting places to check out over the weekend. From dining at the Singapore Turf Club to exploring the Kranji countryside, here’s why you should make your way to this tranquil tip of the country. 

Dining at the Singapore Turf Club

, 6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme NorthSingapore Turf Club

Located just next to Kranji MRT Station, the Singapore Racecourse is the place to be if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten track activity. With a commanding view of the lush surrounds, you can dine on a Western or Asian four-course set lunch or dinner in the Grandstand building—choices of mains range from oven-roasted Cajun chicken to Shiromi fish fillet, sweet and sour green jacket fillet, and Hokkien-style mui fan with baby abalone. There is also the option of hosting an intimate party at the Corporate Boxes, which can hold up to 20 guests. 

, 6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme NorthSingapore Turf Club

For an active day out, you can pop over to the F1-style karting circuit next door, or try your hand at horse riding through private or group lessons by the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre

New wildlife parks at Mandai

, 6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme NorthRiver Safari, photo credit: Marklin Ang for Singapore Tourism Board

The iconic Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari need no introduction, but making these world-famous attractions more exciting are the developments of a new Bird Park and Rainforest Park, which will be completed in phases from 2020. What’s different is a focus on conservation efforts of critically-endangered species from Southeast Asia by the Bird Park, and a real-life replica of the region’s rainforests complete with forest floor pathways and treetop canopies at the Rainforest Park. 

Delicious farm-to-table dining options at Kranji

, 6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme NorthPhoto credit: Bollywood Veggies

One of Singapore’s few rustic enclaves is Kranji, where you will find a total of 62 farms rearing livestock, growing vegetables and breeding ornamental fish. Some venues like Bollywood Veggies and Jurong Frog Farm offer visitors a selection of lunch and dinner choices at their in-house bistros, with dishes cooked using fresh produce on site. There are also staycations available at D’Kranji Resort, a cluster of 35 villas offering farm stays—the “agri-tainment” farm has facilities like prawning ponds, a spa, a cafe and restaurant, and a beer garden.

Scenic bicycle rides through the Northern Explorer Loop

Construction of the Round Island Route may only be starting at the end of this year, but cycling enthusiasts can still make their way down to the Northern Explorer Loop, one of the four cycling trails around Singapore. The hour-long 11km loop will take you through Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, the heartlands of Yishun, Upper Seletar Reservoir, and Ulu Sembawang Park Connector via the Mandai Park Connector. 

Birdwatching at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

, 6 hidden gems in Singapore’s extreme NorthSungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, photo credit: Singapore Tourism Board

For a more immersive interaction with nature, Sungei Buloh is where you’ll find mangrove swamps, ponds, forests and mudflats spanning 202 hectares. A favorite among bird watchers, check out the reserve’s rich biodiversity—if you’re lucky, you may spot native critters such as mudskippers, crabs, water snakes, monitor lizards, otters, and birds like herons, kingfishers and sunbirds.

More food choices at the up-and-coming Seletar Aerospace Hub

New developments are underway at the 320-hectare Seletar Aerospace Park, and a cluster of 32 black and white colonial bungalows in the area will be used for lifestyle businesses. One such example is Wheeler’s Estate, a two-storey restaurant and lifestyle space by family-run business and cafe Wheeler’s Yard, which is said to be launching in August. Other tenants include restaurants by the Pentagon Group of Di Wei Teochew Restaurant at the Botanic Gardens. Besides F&B options, there may be events like outdoor concerts, mini bazaars, carnivals and movie nights organized by developer JTC, too. 

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