7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore


Looking for a slow and calm way to enjoy nature in Singapore or want to lace up your hiking boots for a full-on experience in the city’s green spaces?

Go off the beaten track and you’ll be rewarded with under-the-radar experiences that won’t show up on your regular travel pamphlet.

Here are seven experiences that you won’t want to miss.

1. Learn about climate change and its impact on biodiversity at Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

National University of Singapore (NUS)
Getting there: From Clementi MRT Station, take bus 183. Alight at the fourth stop outside the NUS Faculty of Engineering

If you’ve ever wondered about what exactly climate change is and what it means for biodiversity, the HSBC Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme by Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum will provide some answers.

Besides hands-on activities and a gallery tour, the nature workshop also aims to educate participants via a card game that was specially developed by the museum for the programme.

Running till July 2024, this free nature workshop is the brainchild of a partnership between HSBC and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. The workshop is recommended for those aged 7 and above.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Learn about climate change and its impact on biodiversity at Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Photo: @harry.tedja / Instagram

The museum itself is a captivating showcase of biodiversity, featuring an extensive collection of over a million specimens. Check out an array of meticulously preserved specimens, including dinosaurs, mammals, birds and insects. The museum’s highlight is the three diplodocid sauropod dinosaur skeletons, standing majestically in the atrium.

All workshops run from 10am to 1pm. Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis, and each session can accommodate up to 40 persons. Find out more information on the museum’s website.

2. Get digging and buzzing at The Sundowner

705A East Coast Road
Getting there: The Sundowner is an estimated 15-minute walk from Bedok MRT Station or Kembangan MRT Station  

At urban rooftop farm and lounge The Sundowner, nature enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy an experience like no other. Sign up for its famous Rooftop Farm Experience to learn about organic farming and beekeeping, or the kid-friendly Bees! Ants! Worms! Sessions to get up close to some animals that are crucial to our ecosystem.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Get digging and buzzing at The Sundowner
Photo: @thesundownersg / Facebook

There are also craft workshops including the adults-only Mini Tree Workshop, and Paper Marbling Workshop and Big Terrarium Workshop for families. Foodies can learn how to make honey ice cream, pizzas, pastas and meads, as well as roast cacao, and roast and grind raw coffee beans.

Those who don’t want to get their hands dirty can join Chillout Sessions where you can sip on cocktails and lounge at a dessert-themed bar, watch movies on the rooftop or enjoy a private magic show.

3. Reap the benefits of forest bathing

Stemming from a Japanese practice of nature therapy known as shinrin-yoku, the core concept of forest bathing is to unplug from technology, slow down and take in the different sensory experiences that come with being in nature.

Some of the most common benefits are a boost to the immune system and reducing stress levels. There may be even moments of deep catharsis once you begin to look inward.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Reap the benefits of forest bathing
Photo: Xiu Nature Connections

Forest bathing can be as simple as walking into a natural setting and consciously being mindful of the environment around you. If you’re looking to experience forest bathing with a guide, sessions are usually conducted in small groups or on a 1-on-1 basis like these curated sessions by XIU Nature Connections.

The Shiseido Forest Valley at Jewel Changi Airport is a great indoor spot to experience a sensorial forest bathing journey in air-conditioned comfort. Bathed in natural sunlight with a waterfall at the core, this indoor garden is home to over 900 trees and palms, and about 60,000 shrubs.

4. Explore the Ecogarden at Science Centre Singapore

15 Science Centre Road
Getting there: From Jurong East MRT Station, take bus 66 or 335, or take an 8-minute to the Science Centre

Short for ecology garden, the Ecogarden is a living outdoor laboratory where the plants receive no special care except for the occasional pruning, mowing and necessary replanting. It doesn’t sound special at first, but in Singapore where manicured green spaces are the norm, places where flora are allowed to spawn the way they want to are rare and precious.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Explore the Ecogarden at Science Centre Singapore
Photo: Science Centre Singapore

Nature lovers are encouraged to take their time to walk around and discover more about the plants in the Ecogarden. Check out plants used in the medicinal practices of the local Chinese, Malay and Indian communities, as well as vegetables that are frequently eaten by Singaporeans.

Snap Insta-worthy photos at the Tree House. Climb the stairs, step inside the colourful interior, and look out the windows for panoramic views of the Ecogarden.

5. Go kayaking around Pulau Ubin

Adventure seekers can explore Pulau Ubin’s thriving mangroves on a fun kayaking adventure while soaking up the tranquillity and natural scenery around the island.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Go kayaking around Pulau Ubin
Photo: @Kayakasia.sg / Instagram

Most Pulau Ubin mangrove kayaking excursions take up to four hours and kayakers can expect to catch glimpses of wildlife like kingfishers, herons and egrets, and learn more about the island’s local community from the guide.

There are a few operators offering Pulau Ubin kayaking adventures like the ones by Adventures by Asian Detours and Kayakasia.

6. Discover a hidden marine world on an intertidal walk

A guided intertidal walk along Singapore’s coastline is a unique way to catch a glimpse of a hidden marine world.

Beautifully marked by sandy beaches, rocky shores and mangroves, Singapore’s coastline has plenty of trails that reveal themselves when the water recedes far into the sea during the low tide. An experienced guide is an absolute must on these treks because it can get dangerous if you get caught when the tide is changing.

You’ll be able to find intertidal walks during the low spring tide that happens during the new moon or full moon. Plan your visits during the outgoing tide for the best experience because the water is at its clearest and you can see most of what the receding tide reveals. Check out the NEA website for the latest tide timings.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Discover a hidden marine world on an intertidal walk
Photo: @youngnautilus / Instagram

On the shores of Changi Beach, you can see marine life such as rare sea cucumbers and other sea creatures soaking up the sunshine in all their colourful glory.

Changi intertidal walks with guided experiences are offered by the folks at 
Young Nautilus or you can check out these two-hour slots by The Untamed Paths.

If you plan on doing the intertidal walk without an experienced guide to help you identify what exotic sea life you’re looking at, an identification chart will be your best friend. Make sure you are geared up right with wet shoes, flashlights and a camera to capture all the best moments.

7. Find beauty and meaning with Black Crow Taxidermy & Art

Midview City, #04-06 

Established in 2021, the Black Crow Taxidermy & Art team aims to break the taboo surrounding death and what one can do with the family pet’s remains. It is touted as the only taxidermy company in Singapore to offer educational talks, live workshops and pet preservation services.

From commissioned taxidermy pieces lovingly rendered to stay true to the deceased fur-friend to working closely with nature organisations in Singapore, each taxidermy product is ethically and sustainably sourced, and each end piece a unique art piece unto itself.

7 Under-The-Radar Nature Experiences To Discover In Singapore - Find beauty and meaning with Black Crow Taxidermy & Art
Photo: @BlackCrowTaxidermy / Facebook

It also offers workshops where participants get guided hands-on experience. Workshops include Frog Dissection Workshop, Butterfly Dome/Frame Workshop, Bettle Frame Workshop, Morpho Butterfly/Luna/Atlas Moth Frame Workshop and Chick/Duckling Dome Workshop. Sign up for the workshops here.

*This article has been edited and adapted with permission from Now Boarding by Changi Airport’s “7 lesser-known nature experiences Singapore has to offer”.