5 Singapore tourist spots that will surprise you

Posted on September 23, 2020

No matter how familiar we are with our own country’s treasures, there are many places in Singapore that we would proudly agree are bucket list-worthy. For example, Marina Bay Sands’ infinity pool and the Gardens by the Bay have rightfully drawn international adulation.But did you know that these two stunning destinations aren’t even in Lonely Planet’s top picks for Singapore?

We take a look at some of the most unexpected must-see sites here, as listed on various travel sites.

1. National Orchid Garden

Hidden in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden surprisingly trumps all other attractions in Singapore, ranking top on TripAdvisor.com.

Many tourists praise it for its manicured pathways, colorful collection of orchids, and tranquility. This floral haven is so extraordinary that one visitor highly recommends a visit even if there was a torrential rainstorm!

The next time you head to the Botanic Gardens, pop in and rediscover the natural beauty of Singapore.

How to get there from Jayleen 1918 Hotel Singapore ?
Walk to Clarke Quay MRT Station (NE5), board the train towards Harbourfront Station and alight at Harbourfront Station, 3 stops later. Change to Cirle Line, by boarding the train towards Dhoby Ghaut Station and alight at Botanic Gardens Station, 10 stops later.
Take Exit A and walk to Botanic Gardens

2.Pulau Ubin

To many of us, this far-flung island may just be a forested mass of untamed wildlife. To travelers, however, these are grounds of discovery – both of nature and of the self.

Pulau Ubin is peppered with old kampong buildings, and cycling paths twirl throughout the island. These routes range from easy dirt tracks to more challenging routes, and bicycles can be rented here for cheap. Compared to St John’s Island and the Sisters’ Islands, Pulau Ubin is more unspoiled and untouched by the hands of modernity. Tourists come here for its precolonial village ambiance and back-to-basics living.

Who would’ve guessed that, in travelers’ hearts, these humble attractions could beat our award-winning metropolitan buildings? It just goes to show that our little island has many hidden gems.

3. Tan Cheng Lock Baba House

We bet you didn’t know that there was a Peranakan heritage house tucked between the charming shop-houses of Outram! Tan Cheng Lock Baba House is another one of Lonely Planet’s top choices.

Built way back in the 1890’s, in the very early days of Singapore, Baba House has been beautifully preserved down to every minute carving. Be transported into the local life of an affluent Peranakan family a century ago, and admire the delicate motifs engraved into the walls.

To enter, visitors must book a guided tour by phone. And here’s the best part: It’s free!

Direction from Jayleen 1918 Hotel Singapore.
Board the train at Clarke Quay Station, towards Harbourfront Station and alight at Outram Park Station, 2 stops later. Take Exit F and walk approximate 530m to Tan Cheng Lock Baba House Museum.

4. Changi Chapel and Museum

A small and unassuming structure within a residential enclave, Changi Chapel and Museum wouldn’t strike you as a world-class travel destination. But it was awarded TripAdvisor.com’s “Travelers’ Choice 2014” title.

This museum features exhibits that document the plight of our people during the Japanese Occupation, and a quiet chapel where visitors can choose to pay their respects or make a kind offering.

It’s a simple building with a deep, moving story to tell – thus earning its spot in many tourists’ hearts. That and the bistro nearby that serves killer chicken wings and fries.

5. S.E.A Aquarium, Singapore ZOO, Night Safari

It’s no surprise that animals draw big crowds, but did you know that our creature features are amongst the top of their kind?

Lonely Planet lists all three of these parks as its top Singapore destinations, and showers praise on each of them. The S.E.A. Aquarium, located in Sentosa, is in fact the world’s largest aquarium, and houses more than 800 marine species.

The Singapore Zoo is famous for being one of the world’s best, and was named Travelers’ Choice 2014 on TripAdvisor.com.

The Night Safari programme is lauded as a must, especially for kids. I’m definitely starting to appreciate these award-winning parks with more than just nostalgia for primary school excursions.

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