Singapore is a very small city… I mean, country. It’s a business hub, a culinary delight, and a shopping haven. With a population of 5.6 million (based on the 2016 census) crammed into an area of 719.1km² (to give you an idea… the size of London is 1,572km²), it would be hard to imagine a peaceful spot that also had natural beauty. I mean natural… not manmade such as the famous Gardens by the Bay.
There is a small residential district called Pasir Ris on the eastern side of Singapore. It’s quite close to Changi Airport. It’s still quite busy around the station and there is a shopping centre just across from the train station. I bought a quick snack from a vendor serving noodles, and walked towards the large park I spotted on Google Maps. I was initially worried that the park would also be inundated with people but I trudged on regardless. The sun burnt down heavy onto my skin, and thankfully being off the train, I drank heavy mouthfuls of water. To this day, I am still unsure why in a hot country, drinking water is part of the various bans on Singaporean transport.
As soon as I crossed the road and into the park, it got a little quieter. People were sparse and I could look ahead without seeing concrete buildings or other elements of the cityscape. It was calm and somewhat shockingly beautiful. I walked for a while around the park until I came across a small beach with a bench overlooking the water. Two trees appeared to be growing out of the sea. An unusual image only thought of in paintings, but I decided to sit and appreciate the view. The weather combined with the peace was a wonderful getaway from central Singapore for only a short train ride away.
There are a few small countries/states in Asia that are essentially large cities (namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau etc.). Whilst they can be rather manic and entertaining, it’s important to have some form of retreat. I’m glad that these areas offer peace and quiet away from the city centre, and it’s always a fun adventure in finding them.
Directions: Take the East West Line (Green) to Pasir Ris station, and walk.