Hosting some of the best parks, museums and educational institutions, the West, as well as South West region of Singapore, has earned quite a name for itself. While visiting these regions, one may expect to see several quirky cafes, large residential areas, and an umpteen number of educational institutions and galleries. The place is extremely friendly and lively and is also home to several expat friendly neighbourhoods. The Western and South Western region of Singapore also gives way to a stunning view of the Straits of Jahor and the turquoise waters of the sea. Photographers might be exceptionally interested in visiting this region of Singapore for the hidden gems that may sometimes go unnoticed due to other grand attractions from different regions of Singapore.
The Southern Ridges is probably the most prominent of the attractions in West and South West Singapore. A 10-kilometre long stretch, the Ridges connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Reserve to form a vast interconnected network of parks. The Southern Ridges also offer some of the best panoramic views of Singapore from various angles and is surrounded by multiple natural landscapes at different points.
The most prominent feature, however, remains the wave-like walkway structure called the Henderson Waves which connects the Mount Faber Park and the Telok Blangan Hill and is at the height of 36 metres, making it the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. The Canopy Walk, as well as the Forest Walk, are also famous spots frequented by individuals at the Southern Ridges.
Famous as a British Military Encampment back in 1936, Gilman Barracks is now a popular art cluster consisting of around 11 galleries of varying styles and art forms. The cluster was opened in 2012 and since then has seen tremendous success and acquired international, as well as local interest. The place is also home to the renowned National Research Centre NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore, and art organisations Art Outreach and Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity. The galleries are also surrounded by cafes and restaurants which make it an inviting place to enjoy food and drinks while appreciating the nuances of art.
Tours: Art and History Tour (Weekly) History and Heritage Tour (Monthly) Both tours run on Friday – Sunday at varied timings. Galleries remain closed on Monday and Public Holidays.
The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is a seven storey biodiversity gallery that aims to create an international presence for biodiversity amongst other things. The gallery is best known for its unique architectural structure, and over 560,000 catalogued lots. The interactive gallery also has a web feature that helps guide you and impart knowledge on the various exhibits. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is divided into a total of 15 zones with a heritage gallery which traces the evolution and other points of interest in an experimental form, to make it as impactful as possible.
Operating Hours: Monday- Closed (except public holidays) Tuesday to Sunday- 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (last admission- 5:30 PM)
The relatively new yet not completely built Jurong Lake Gardens should be a must visit for everyone due to the authentic Chinese Garden, as well as Japanese Gardens, located at Jurong Lake Gardens Central. The gardens transfer visitors to China and Japan respectively without actually going out of Singapore.
The white bridge, lions and archways of the Chinese Gardens are modelled after the landscape of the Sung Dynasty of Northern China with its imperial style. The main features of these gardens include the Garden of Abundance, Bonsai Garden, Turtle and Tortoise Museum, and especially the sky-high Pagodas. The Japanese Gardens, on the other hand, are landscaped to reflect the Muromachi and Manoyama period of Japanese History. The various scenic trails and pathways, as well as the unique birds and Garyuchi Pond, are the main features of the Japanese Gardens.
Operating Hours: Chinese Gardens- 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM Japanese Gardens- 5:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Opened in 1993, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is Singapore's first ASEAN Heritage Park. The reserve is of great importance to migratory birds and attracts a large number of birds and animals that make this place a large sanctuary of the most diverse group of fauna. The reserve is now a humongous 200 hectare land of mangroves, forests, ponds, mudflats and several trails to choose from. The place provides a different experience in each season due to its ever-changing fauna. The trails at the reserve are also extraordinarily exploratory and will give you a thorough knowledge of what the reserve offers to its visitors.
Operating Hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Guided Walks: Every Saturday- 9:30 AM (Registration required; not available on public holidays and eve of public holidays)
Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle
Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle is a family owned business that aims to promote pottery making skills and spread awareness about its art along with the art of wood firing. The owners, Tan Family, has also possessed the oldest dragon kiln since 1965. This dragon kiln is now proudly displayed at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle for visitors to see and learn about. The pottery jungle also provides four kinds of workshops that are formed to suit the needs of different types of visitors and that make a fun activity to fill you a few hours with while also learning a new skill.
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
MRT Circle Line and East-West Line
Bus Bus Nos. – 49, 51, 57, 61, 93, 95, 97, 100, 151, 151e, 154, 166, 925, and 963.