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Exploring Singapore on Foot

With a reliable, extensive and efficient public transportation system here in Singapore, many locals are extremely used to relying on the bus or MRT to get them exactly where they need to be at exactly the right time. The heat and the humidity also contribute to the average Singaporean’s deep-seated reluctance to walk for longer than ten minutes outdoors. However, despite all of this, Singapore may actually be one of the best countries to explore on foot.

The weather in Singapore is usually sunny and interspersed with brief periods of rain. This may not sound like a big deal to Singaporeans, but it really is comparable to living in summertime all year round for everyone else. Say what you will about the weather, the ability to stride everywhere in flip-flops and loose clothing is a definite advantage for exploring any place on foot.

Assuming that you’re not allergic to sunlight, you could conceivably be working on a tan while you get your daily exercise. You don’t even have to carry an umbrella with you if you don’t want to, as the rain in Singapore occurs sporadically and rarely lasts beyond an hour or two—that is, unless you’re out in the monsoon season. Bus stops and buildings provide adequate shelter from sun and rain, and an excursion anywhere in the city is almost sure to guarantee you a fully air-conditioned shopping centre within walking distance that you could cool off in.

Much of Singapore’s terrain is flat and its optimistically named Bukit Timah Hill, the highest in Singapore, reaches up to a grand height of 164m. The city’s repute as a garden city is also richly deserved, as large trees everywhere throw shady foliage across much of the sun baked island. The high humidity levels in Singapore also causes one to sweat more than usual when exercising. All these factors combine to ensure that if you’re looking for a easy workout, in pleasant surroundings and with maximum convenience, Singapore’s a pretty safe bet.

If you’re keen on taking a stroll this weekend, why not consider making one of the following trips?

  1. Explore cultural hotspots

Most Singaporeans, except for religious devotees obviously, are unlikely to step foot inside places of worship. They may pass an exquisite Hindu temple everyday on the way to work, but it is highly unlikely for them to take a step inside. The same applies to Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples. As such, aside from devotees, there are few local visitors to such places. Take advantage of the sparse crowds to enjoy a long meandering exploration of some of the most beautiful religious sites in our country, or even simply cultural heritage spots in neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Little India, or Katong.

  1. Explore Singapore’s colonial history

For a long uninterrupted walk, you could retrace the steps of British colonialization of the little red dot by taking a long walk near the Singapore River. Helpful statues and plaques along the way provide fascinating insight into Singapore’s history. From the MICA building (1934) with its rainbow-hued windows, to the grand Doric collonades of the Fullerton Hotel (1928), to the many charming shophouse-style bars lining the river, there are no shortage of places to explore on your walk. A night walk would be better suited for such a stroll as you’d be able to make your way across brightly-lit bridges and watch the passage of illuminated riverboats as they carve their way through dark waters.

  1. Explore Singapore’s food scene

If you’re a keen foodie, Singapore is your oyster. Perhaps not literally, but you get the idea. There’s a coffee shop every few hundred metres, and countless cafes, bars, restaurants, snack stalls and food joints littered all across the island. There’s always a new dessert to try, or a drink that’s incredible value for money, or an unusual fusion dish that sells out in a couple of hours at a hawker centre. Incredible food can be found all over Singapore. If you love eating but have been restraining yourself for fear of putting on too much weight, consider working off some of those calories by choosing to walk, instead of taking a bus or MRT ride, and create your very own food tour.

30 Jun 2019