The (not so) far east of the island

January 14, 2017

The city-state of Singapore is as urban as they come. There are swathes of concrete nestled among open spaces and greenery. The rural touch then is a long forgotten memory. There is, however, just a gentle reminder of the lush landscape that existed before the emergence of modern, millennial Singapore. 

The Lush East

That reminder exists in the eastern part of the island nation. Imagine, not too long ago, an area laced with leafy suburbs between which sat traditional Malay villages, or kampongs. This was in the 1970s. Since then, urbanization has spread across the area, sprouting high rises and reclaiming portions of the coast to develop a stretch of leisure and fitness known as the East Coast Park

East Coast Park is a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking for a breath of fresh air along the coastline. Cycling is the most popular sport here.

Highlights of the East

The East hosts a variety of popular eating places like Fengshan Market & Food Centre at 85 Bedok North Road. You could easily spend a day exploring all the good food in this region. Bedok Reservoir is also a popular spot for water sports like wakeboarding.

Tampines, which is the anglicised version of Tempinis – Riau ironwood tree, bears the cultural mark of the Malayan heritage. It is a densely populated residential enclave that has developed into one of Singapore’s mature estate. Pasir Ris is also a popular spot for short stays at rented chalets along the beach. All of this adds up to a uniquely different charm that makes the east of Singapore an experience in itself. 

A Rural Escapade

It can be hard to imagine a rural enclave in a hyper modern city-state like Singapore, but that is exactly the appeal and the beauty of the island nation – you discover things that you least expect. Pulau Ubin, an island located at just a ferry ride from Changi, has remained untouched over the years to the spread of rapid urbanization. Here visitors can get an up close and personal look of how Singapore was before evolving into its current state. With an aura of leisure and relaxation, visitors can walk past quaint wooden bungalows that are a beautiful reminder of the sepia-toned kampongs, or Malay villages, that dotted the landscape of the Singapore heartland.       

The other area of interest in this well preserved rural enclave is the Chek Jawa wetland site. The area is host to a rich, diverse collection of biological species that includes plants and animals. There are six different ecosystems to explore. 

Changi

The mere mention of Changi brings to mind the majestic airport that provides a near perfect entry and exit from Singapore. The airport has been constantly recognized as one of the best airports in the world. And not without reason. Imagine visiting a butterfly or sunflower garden during an airport layover —this is a reality at Changi Airport.

Featuring some gorgeously designed terminals and the very best of shopping brands, not to mention the bargain enticing duty-free shops, Changi airport offers flyers the perfect mix of relaxation and leisure as they prepare for their respective flights.