10 Less Well-known Places to Discover on a Private Tour in Singapore
Often, when we go to discover a place, we don’t want to feel like a tourist. We want the chance to connect more deeply with the place and better understand its history. On a public tour amidst a throng of people with the relentless chatter and snaps of their cameras, we may find it difficult to fully appreciate the things we’re seeing. Yet, often, we lack the expertise and knowledge of the place to take ourselves through it alone. This is where private tours come in – on a private tour, we get the opportunity to interact and see a place more intimately, either alone or with the people important to us, along with an expert who knows the area. Here is a list of 10 less well-known – and perhaps most importantly, less crowded – places to discover on a private tour in Singapore.
Newly revamped with a sprawling waterway that connects two reservoirs, Punggol is one of the newest and most scenic estates located in the North-eastern part of Singapore. From Punggol Promenade to Punggol Waterway Park, enjoy an introduction to one of Singapore’s most beautiful districts, with its diverse array of flora and fauna, on a private bike tour of the area.
Built in the 1930s, Tiong Bahru is one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates. Brimming with history yet bustling with contemporary charm – the district is full of hip cafés, brunch spots, and indie boutiques – Tiong Bahru is frequented by many local creatives and old-timers alike. Check out exciting locations such as the iconic wall murals and find out more about the latest food trends in the bustling heartland.
Archiving an indelible part of Singapore’s culture and history, the Peranakan Museum houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Peranakan objects. Once the old Chinese Tao Nan school, it is now the go-to destination for Peranakan heritage and culture. The museum is a must-visit to soak up a crucial facet of not only Singaporean history and its hybridity, but of Southeast Asian culture and history as well.
Former Ford Factory
The place where British forces under Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival surrendered to Japanese forces under Lieutenant-General Yamashita Tomoyuki on 15th February 1942 after the Battle of Singapore, the Former Ford Factory is an important landmark in Singapore’s national history. Take yourself on an educational tour through the permanent exhibitions of the legacies of WWII and its impact on modern Singapore.
Did you know that there was a rickshaw depot in Singapore? Standing at the junction of Neil Road and Tanjong Pagar Road, Jinrikisha Station was built in 1903 and served as the main depot for rickshaws till their ban in 1947. The name Jinrikisha is a Japanese word for human-powered vehicle. As we move towards driverless cars and autonomous vehicles, find out more about the heritage site and a rich phase of Singapore’s history at Jinrikisha Station.
Full of colonial bungalows and colourful shophouses, Katong is a residential neighbourhood rich with culture and history. However, it is perhaps better known as a local food paradise, full of an array of local flavours on every street and corner. From highly recommended prawn noodles to the famous Katong laksa, take a tour of the area with your taste buds through a curated private food tour.
Changi is one of the most important historic sites in Singapore. Home to the Changi Chapel and Museum, as well as Changi Prison, the area is important in remembering the Fall of Singapore and the prisoners-of-war captured during the Japanese Occupation. Gain a better understanding of WWII and the Japanese Occupation during the pre-formative years of Singapore on a guided tour of the historic estate.
Singapore Maritime Gallery
The success of Singapore as a city and as a nation is inseparable from its location as a maritime centre in the Straits Settlements. Take a guided tour through the Singapore Maritime Gallery to find out more about how Singapore transformed itself from a small trading post into its now renowed prestige as a leading global hub port and international maritime centre.
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Also known as the famous Bright Hill Temple, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in Singapore. From stupas, prayer halls, crematorium and a columbarium which houses over 200,000 niches, bell and drum towers, the monastery is also home to an outdoor statue of Avalokitesvara which stands between the Dharma Hall and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. As you are there, also remember to check out the towering bronze Buddha, one of Asia’s largest, along with the scenic walkways and well-kept gardens of this important ancestral place of worship.
Singapore Sports Hub
One of the largest sports facilities infrastructure projects in the world, the Singapore Sports Hub is a fully integrated sports, entertainment, and lifestyle hub. Over an expanse of more than 35 hectares, including its own indoor air-conditioned climb wall, library, and even museum, find out more about Singapore’s sports scene and history on a guided tour.