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Explore walking trails that feature heritage sites and iconic landmarks to boost your physical activity and clock 10.000 steps a day.
Gather friends or family members to go city-ploring with you. So, yay to multitasking!
Related: Step Right Up
You’ve blazed through enough hiking trails and 10,000 step challenge is but a walk in the park for you now. Why don’t you try this whopper of a trail next? The NParks Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail is an impressive 36km trail that spans across Singapore, stretching from Jurong Lake Gardens in the west to Coney Island Park in the northeast.
You can choose to explore this trail on your own using the C2C online Trail Guide, or download the C2C mobile app (available from the App Store or
Google Play store), NParks’ first augmented reality (AR)-enabled mobile application for an immersive and interactive walking experience across the 36km stretch of parks, park connectors and nature areas.
When you visit the checkpoints, be sure to scan the animal characters on the checkpoint markers using the Augmented Reality setting in the C2C app and watch the characters—such as Phil, a leaf from the native Broad-leaved Sterculia (Sterculia macrophylla) and the C2C mascot—come to life on your phone!
Estimated No. of Steps
CP1 - Jurong Lake Gardens
CP2 - Bukit Batok Nature Park
CP3 - Hindhede Drive
CP4 - Adam Road
CP5 - Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
CP6 - Luxus Hills Park
CP7 - Sengkang Floating Wetlands
CP8 - Punggol Waterway Park
CP9 - Coney Island Park
CP10 – Lower Seletar Reservoir Park (Rower’s Bay)
Number of Steps: ~ 55,000Distance: ~ 36 kmTime needed: One to two days at least! Are you up for the challenge?
Now lined with picturesque streets, quiet cafes, and Art Deco and International Style flats, it’s hard to tell what Tiong Bahru was like before it came to be dubbed by some as the Hollywood of Singapore. At the turn of the century, the land along Tiong Bahru Road was mostly used for cemeteries and farmland until businessmen began to build shophouses and homes. From there, Tiong Bahru transformed from a mix of hills and swampy lowlands to one of Singapore’s most coveted residential areas.
The Tiong Bahru Trail — launched by the National Heritage Board (NHB) in 2013 — explores the contrast between Tiong Bahru’s then-and-now, and makes for an excellent and leisurely stroll.
Featuring ten heritage markers, the trail begins at the famed Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, where residents and people from all over Singapore have been congregating, shopping, eating and making merry for decades. It goes on to explore other unusual landmarks such as Tan Tock Seng’s grave, Singapore’s first public housing air-raid shelter, the iconic Tiong Bahru pre- and post-war flats, and Singapore’s first Monkey God Temple, among other things. The trail conveniently loops you back at Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre where you can claim your “reward” by sampling some of the hawkers’ famous “zhao pai cai” (signature dishes).
Distance: ~ 3.9 kmNumber of Steps: ~ 4,300Time needed: ~ 1 hour at a leisurely pace
Download the Tiong Bahru Trail walking guide here.
Good to know: Regular guided tours are offered by Tiong Bahru Heritage Volunteers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their Facebook page for updates.
A long time ago, Joseph Balestier, Singapore’s first American Consul arrived in Riau (Bintan) and chose to settle down in Singapore in the 1830s. The zealous horticulturalist carved land out from swampy terrain and dense jungle to establish a sugarcane plantation.
But Balestier’s business never took off. Hit by business setbacks, ill health and the deaths of his wife and son, he left in 1852. The authorities then claimed the estate and leased a portion to Chinese farmers, and turned another area into a burial ground for paupers and lepers from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (then the Chinese Pauper’s Hospital).
New settlers began to populate the area in the late 19th century, with wealthy townsfolk like the Aljunied and a couple of sultans acquiring land to build their mansions. Following their influx, tradesmen and merchants began operating out of shophouses to make Balestier a “very busy place” by the 1910s.
The Balestier Trail, which was launched in 2006, begins at the Gor Chor Tua Pek Kong Temple, which was established by labourers on the northern fringes of Balestier’s sugarcane estate, and is the last reminder of the sugarcane estate. Other notable landmarks include the former Shaw Malay Film Studios that sparked the legend of P. Ramlee, Bin Chan house that now stands as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, as well as surviving traditional bakeries that display racks of fragrant and fresh loaves, and the traditional shophouses.
Don’t forget to bring home some traditionally made bread and have a sumptuous, true blue Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast and coffee!
Distance: ~ 8.8 kmNumber of Steps: ~ 8,700Time needed: ~ 2 hours at a leisurely pace
Download the Balestier Trail walking guide here; a free mobile app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
This trail is a great way to introduce your family and friends visiting Singapore to the country’s heritage sites in an active and enjoyable way.
Launched in 2015 to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the trail marks Singapore’s resilience in the face of adversity over the past 50 years to build an independent and peaceful nation. Warning! You might spend a lot more time than expected as every stop has so much to offer.
The trail begins at the National Museum of Singapore and then moves onto Fort Canning Park — once the seat of Temasek, the Malay Kingdom of the 14th century. A must-see is the Battle Box. The underground bunker, which used to be the nerve centre for British military operations during World War II, recently re-opened after a $300,000 refurbishment.
After you’ve reluctantly torn yourself away from Fort Canning Hill, head down towards the Singapore River as you pass landmarks like the Peranakan Museum, the National Archives, the Armenian Church and the iconic Central Fire Station. Around the river, you can explore more historic gems like the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, as well as Esplanade Park (“Satay Club” for the older folks) before heading on to much newer landmarks such as the Helix Bridge, the Esplanade theatres and Gardens by the Bay.
End your walk with a triumphant trot up to Marina Barrage’s grass roof. Don’t forget to bring a kite and snacks for a sunny picnic!
Number of Steps: ~11,000Distance: ~ 9.6 kmTime needed: 2½ hours at a leisurely pace (without getting distracted by the attractions)
Download the Jubilee Walk guide here; a free mobile app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, December 7, 2020
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