Singapore Photography Places – The Ultimate Guide

Share this!

 

INTRODUCTION
WELCOME TO THE LITTLE RED DOT

Welcome to the ultimate guide for the best photography places in Singapore. While Singapore may be a “little red dot”, a little exploration on the island state will surprise you with it’s multi-culture and many secret scenic photography spots.

This is a compilation of the many locations in Singapore that I have been to over the past years, and not just the “tourist worthy” photography spots that is. The main purpose of this post is to move people away from posting more “common” photos of the Marina Bay Sands and Merlion Park.

To anyone visiting Singapore – There is so much more than just those over-hyped places, it’s time to go on a small adventure in this urban jungle!

 

NAVIGATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS

I have broken this guide into various “areas of interests”, as there are just way too many places to list in one huge table.

Section A
Heartlands

Section B
Reservoirs

Section C
City Area

Section D
Gardens By The Bay

Section E
Parks

Section F
Time Sensitive Places

Section G
To Be Added

 

 

 

SECTION A
THE HEARTLANDS

The town, the neighborhood. The heartlands are where most Singaporean live in, and they may appear to be boring places to visit at first. But take a walk down the street, or take the lift up to the top floor of some high rising blocks, and you will be amazed. (Plus it’s free)

 

SECTION A1
ANG MO KIO

The brief history

Ang Mo Kio roughly translates into “bridge of Caucasian”, as it is literally named after a bridge that a rich Caucasian merchant once built. That bridge, sadly, no longer exist today.

Places of interest

Sunset from Block 310A

Go Take bus 133 from the bus interchange, just a couple of stops. You can take a 10 mins walk alternatively… which is not really *that* far.
See Take the lift up to the highest floor (or anywhere you think high enough), open the door to the common staircase. You will be greeted by a bird’s eye view of the town. Great shot against the sunset.
Note This is a public housing estate, do not disturb the residents. West facing, and only good for sunset.

Panorama of Bishan Park

Go Take bus 262 from Ang Mo Kio MRT statsion, alight at block 315B.
See Take the lift up the block, a nice panorama of Bishan Park awaits.
Note This is a public housing estate, do not disturb the residents.

Bishan Park

Go Various buses from the bus interchange – 133, 136, and 262.
See While you are in town, you might want to take a short detour to Bishan park. Which is not just a park, but a man made river plains. See the parks section.

 

SECTION A2
TOA PAYOH

The brief history

“Toa Payoh” literally means “big swamp”, and it is one of the oldest estates in Singapore. Today, no traces of it being a swamp remains, and this is one busy town.

Places of interest

Light trails from Block 195

Go Take bus 235 or 238 from the interchange, stop at blk 27 and take a short walk to block 195.
See This block is right beside the busy highway. Come during the night, and there are plenty of chances to catch light trails. Just take the lift up, and find your best spot.
Note Public housing estate, do not disturb the residents.

The dragon playground

Go Take a short 5 mins walk from the train station.
See A walk down memory lane. One of the few remaining dragon playgrounds in Singapore.

Toa Payoh 5 fingers highrise from blk 190

Go Take a short 5 mins walk from the train station, up the top floor of the car park in blk 190.
See The fabled 5 fingers mountain that pinned down the monkey god. Now in the modern form of housing estate.

 

SECTION A3
QUEENSTOWN

The brief history

Queenstown is the first satellite town of Singapore, but as redevelopment is ongoing, the old buildings are slowly being replaced by taller skyscrapers.

Places of interest

Skyville@Dawson

Go Take a short 10 mins walk from the train station.
See Panoramic views of Singapore from the sky gardens.
Note The block looks like some sort of private condo, but it’s public housing. Just take the lift up to the sky gardens. I am not sure if greedy folks will start charging “entry fees” to the sky gardens in the future. So go there fast while it’s still free.

 

SECTION A4
TANJONG RHU AREA

The brief history

The Tanjong Rhu area used to be a stinky area designated for ship building and repairs. But as pollution become a huge problem in this area, the shipyards are moved away and this place is being redeveloped as a high-end residential zone.

Places of interest

Tanjung Rhu Suspension Bridge

Go Take a short 5 mins walk from the Stadium train station.
See Singapore’s first suspension bridge. Great against sunset or twilight.

Former Watch Tower

Go Right beside the suspension bridge
See A watch tower that now stands silent. Another great place to chill against the sunset.

Costa Rhu

Go 5 minutes from the Nicholl Highway train station.
See Personally love the architecture of Costa Rhu. A good break from the usual HDB (government housing). East facing, this place is good for sunrise photos.
Note Costa Rhu actually sits on the eastern bank, on the side of Stadium MRT. But to get a good shot of this place, you need to stop at the western bank, the Nicholl Highway station.

Also note that the Singapore Sports Hub sits here, which gets crowded and noisy whenever big events are held.

SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB (FROM BLK 4 BEACH ROAD)

Go A 15 mins walk from the Lavender MRT station.
See Go up block 4 of Beach Road, and you will get a bird’s eye view of the river and Singapore Sports Hub.
Note Pretty exciting place to be whenever there are fireworks display, or big concerts.

 

SECTION B
RESERVOIRS

Singapore is an island surrounded by sea, and has 5 million in population. Which is why water is so scarce, and we have so many reservoirs on this island to provide all the fresh water needs. Good thing is that, most of them have “built-in” parks and nature trails that you can enjoy.

 

SECTION B1
LOWER PEIRCE RESERVOIR

The brief history

The second oldest reservoir in Singapore commissioned in 1912.

Go Plenty of buses 132, 163, 165, 166, 167, 855, 980.
See The pavilion against the sunset.
Note Monkeys and wild boars in this area. Avoid bringing food.

Places of interest

 

SECTION B2
MACRITCHIE RESERVOIR

The brief history

Singapore’s first reservoir, now a favorite spot for kayakers.

Go Plenty of buses – 52, 74, 130 ,132, 162, 163, 165, 166, 167, 852, 855 and 980.
See The pier at Paddle Lodge during sunset, tree top walk, and plenty of nature trails.
Note It’s a reservoir and natural reserve. Expect birds, monkeys, wild boars, snakes and mozzies. Avoid bringing food, or you will be pestered by monkeys to no end. Do bring plenty of water… or a life straw.

Places of interest

 

SECTION B3
UPPER SELETAR RESERVOIR

The brief history

Singapore’s third reservoir, build after the world world to cater to the rising water demand.

Go Take bus 138 from Ang Mo Kio Interchange, the bus stop for Upper Seletar is rather obscure in the middle of the road…
See Scenic reservoir that looks more like a lake. A few vantage points such as the jetty, rocket tower, and “marriage tree”.
Note Possible mozzie attack, monkey pester. Avoid bringing food.

Places of interest

 

SECTION C
CITY AREA

Down in the southern part of Singapore lies the heart of the city. This is where all the bustling financial districts and centers are at, alongside some of the earliest settlements in Singapore.

 

SECTION C1
ARAB STREET

The brief history

The street that is called Arab street because an Arab merchant once owned it. Today, this is a bustling street full of colorful textiles, carpets and good food.

Go 10 min walk from Bugis MRT Station.
See Plenty of street art, and Masjid Sultan.
Note Remember to take your shoes off before entering Masjid Sultan.

Places of interest

 

SECTION C2
CHINATOWN AREA

The brief history

This place is actually called “Niu Cher Sui” (oxcart water) in Chinese, and not Chinatown. Back in those days, plumbing was non-existent, and people had to buy water from water peddlers on oxcarts. Thus, the name of oxcart water.

How it came to have the “Chinatown” name, is probably because of the Chinese majority living there.

Go Directly alight at the Chinatown MRT station.
See Plenty of stuff around around this area – both good food and souvenirs.
Note Do note that the Buddha tooth relic temple closes at 7pm. No disrespectful clothing (shirt with f*** you message and that sort). You can go up any nearby public housing to catch a better view of the temple.

Places of interest

 

SECTION C3
MARINA BAY AREA

The brief history

This is where the old docks and piers are at, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you might be able to spot a few of those old buildings. Land reclamation has changed the skyline entirely, and in particular, Marina Bay Sands is actually sitting on reclaimed land.

Places of interest

CLARKE QUAY

Go A short walk from the Clarke Quay MRT station.
See Light trails of boats passing by.
Note A lot of tourist, the food here is expensive!

SUNTEC CITY

Go A short walk from the Promanade MRT station.
See The ountain of Wealth
Note Wait for the night, and the fountain will light up. You will need an extremely wide angle lens, or a fisheye lens.

MARINA BAY SANDS

Go MRT Bayfront station
See The famous Helix Bridge, “Flying Ship” and Artscience Museum.
Note It’s the city area. Lots of people during rush hour, do watch out if you carry a lot of photography equipment. Don’t kill people with your tripod by accident. A lot of “touristy” photo spots here, good for night photography and capturing light trails.

ESPLANADE

Go Directly from Esplanade MRT station.
See Our iconic “durain”.
Note The rooftop is open to the public, and is a very nice vantage point to shoot the Marina Bay Sands wonderful light show at 8pm.

MERLION PARK

Go A short walk from the Raffles Place MRT station.
See The world famous skyline and mythical creature.
Note Tourist zone.

MARINA COSTAL EXPRESSWAY

Go  A 15 mins walk from the Marina South Pier MRT station
See Light trails from the passing traffic.
Note This place is actually pretty inaccessible. Wait for the night, possible mosquito and insect pester.

 

SECTION D
GARDENS BY THE BAY AREA

The prized “man made garden” of Singapore. Somehow a sparked a controversy when this place should be about self-sufficiency, but costs a bomb to maintain. Anyway, just walk a little more away from that tourist buzz,  and you will find some pretty nice views of the city.

 

SECTION D1
GARDENS BY THE BAY WEST

The brief history

A sprawling park that is completed in 2012. Costs billions to build, and made it’s way onto the world map.

Go 10 mins walk from MRT Bayfront station
See The famous super trees at night, the flower dome and cloud forest.
Note Tourist heavy zone. Expect a lot of people during weekends. The park itself is free, but you will need to pay an entrance fee for the flower dome and cloud forest.

Places of interest

 

SECTION D2
GARDENS BY THE BAY EAST

The brief history

Is still a part of Gardens by the Bay, but lesser known because it is not as accessible.

Go Cross the bridge from Marina Barrage
See Beautiful skyline of Singapore city, espeically during sunset.
Note Not very accessible, and a lot of walking. Cycle if you can. Come during the sunset hours (5pm+) to avoid getting burnt to crisp from the afternoon sun.

Places of interest

 

SECTION D3
MARINA BARRAGE

The brief history

Opened in 2008, the barrage keeps out seawater, and is actually Singapore’s 15th reservoir.

Go At the edge of Gardens By The Bay.
See People usually kite here during the weekends. You might catch some good “sky fish” here.
Note A lot of walking, rather isolated place at the edge of the city.

Places of interest

 

SECTION E
PARKS

Singapore is also called the garden city. There’s a reason for that, and it’s the sickening amount of parks that we have. While most of the town parks are just boring, some of them are actually photo worthy.

 

SECTION E1
BISHAN PARK

The brief history

If I were to say that this place used to be a cemetery, many young ones will shake their head in disbelieve. Bishan park now, is a huge man made river plains.

Go Various buses from the bus interchange – 133, 136, and 262.
See Sunset and plenty of opportunities by the river.
Note Mozzie attack, the river is safe to walk into during “low tide”. Just know that you will get wet… and do run for shelter during lightning storms. You do not want to stay outside in an open area.

Places of interest

 

SECTION E2
BOTANIC GARDENS

The brief history

Founded in 1859, way before Singapore’s independence as “an experimental garden”. It has gone a long way, and is now a UNESCO heritage site.

Go Right beside Botanic Gardens MRT Station.
See Plenty of nature and our national flower – the orchid garden. The bandstand, heritage trail, symphony lake, the orchid garden.
Note An oasis in the middle of busy Singapore. The Botanic Gardens close at 12am, and the Orchid garden at 7pm… don’t get stuck inside. [More info]

Places of interest

 

SECTION E3
PUNGGOL JETTY PARK

The brief history

This is yet another park that has seen history. It was once an execution site during the Japanese occupation in WW2. Today, this is a nice and peaceful beach to chill out.

Go Take bus 84 from Punggol Interchange.
See Sunset from the beach during low tide.
Note Mozzie attack! There are some urban legends of people still finding bones of victims till this day…

 

SECTION F
TIME SENSITIVE PLACES

There’s plenty of events and hoo-haas in Singapore. These are the places that will light up only on certain times or occasions.

  • Chinatown – Chinese New Year decorations will be only be up during the festive season. [Map]
  • Marina Bay Sands – The Wonder Full Light Show daily. [Link]
  • Gardens By the Bay – Garden Rhapsody Light Show daily. [Link]
  • National Day (9 August) – Grand fireworks! Location changes every year, so please do some of your own homework.
  • Sentosa – Small fireworks every Saturday night at the crane dance. [Link]
  • iLight Marina Bay – Annual event in Singapore featuring art pieces of… light. [Link]

 

SECTION G
MORE PLACES TO BE ADDED

Holy molly. Singapore is actually so huge that I don’t have all the photos. These are the places that I do not have decent photos of, shall revisit them someday and add them to the list.

But in the meantime, do drop comments below on locations that I missed out. Any constructive feedback on how to make this a better guide is welcomed too. Happy shooting!

LOWER SELETAR RESERVOIR

How to go : Take a 10 min walk from Khatib MRT Station [MAP]

What to shoot : Sunrise

What to expect : Mozzie attack!

PANDAN RESERVOIR

How to go : Take bus 176 or 51 from Jurong East Interchange. [MAP]

What to shoot : Sunset

What to expect : Possible mozzie attack.

BEDOK RESERVOIR

How to go : Take bus 69, 22, 28, 67, 65 or 18 from Tampines Interchange. [MAP]

What to shoot : Sunset

What to expect : Possible mozzie attack.

SINGAPORE FLYER

How to go : A 10 min walk from Promanade MRT station. [MAP]

What to shoot : You can buy a ticket and hop on the Flyer for some cityscape. Alternatively, you can have a photo of the flyer and Singapore skyline from Gardens by the Bay East.

What to expect : Tickets are not free, and they are not cheap… [LINK]

REFLECTIONS @ KEPPEL BAY

How to go : A long walk from HarbourFront MRT station. Enter from Keppel Bay Drive, follow along the pedestrian path, turn left before Keppel Bay Vista, and walk again… [MAP]

What to shoot : Reflections against the sunset.

What to expect : A lot of walking.

SENTOSA

How to go : Various ways [MAP] [LINK]

What to shoot : Various photogenic spots, including the Merlion Statue, Beaches and Resort World Sentosa.

What to expect : Tourist zone. Expensive transport, food and drinks.

PULAU UBIN

How to go : Take a ferry off Changi Point Ferry Terminal [MAP]

What to shoot : A lot of stuff. Landscape and be prepared to go back to the 70s.

What to expect : Do take note of the timing for the last ferry. Although staying there overnight for sunrise is also another option.

JAPANESE CEMETERY PARK

How to go : Take bus 76 or 70M from Yio Chu Kang Interchange, stop at the Foursquare Gospel Church bus stop. Take a 5 minutes walk thereafter. [MAP]

What to shoot : Flower arches, jizo statues.

What to expect : Many people might think there is nothing to shoot in a cemetery, maybe except for graves. Not this one. This is a cemetery park… and you can just enter and enjoy a slow walk. Please note that this is still a cemetery, and do not do stupid things to disrespect the resting elders.

PUNNGOL WATERWAY PARK

How to go : Take bus 84 from Punggol interchange, stop at the waterway park. [MAP]

What to shoot : Sunset.

What to expect : This is quite a popular location among joggers. Expect some walking.

PUNNGOL RIVERSIDE WALK / LORONG HALUS

How to go : Take the LRT from Punngol interchange, stop at Riviera station. Take a 10 mins walk. [MAP]

What to shoot : Lorong Halus Bridge, Punggol Dam, lalang field.

What to expect : A lot walking again. Do watch the weather forecast, this area is open and prone to lightning strikes.

WOODLANDS WATERFRONT PARK

How to go : Take bus 856 from Marsiling MRT station. [MAP]

What to shoot : The jetty, a panorama shot of Johor Bahru during blue hour.

What to expect : The skyline of Johor Bahru is sadly restricted to the jetty only. The rest of the area is all fenced up.

BUKIT BATOK TOWN PARK (LITTLE GUILIN)

How to go : Take a 10 min walk from Bukit Gombak MRT station. [MAP]

What to shoot : Sunrise at Little Guilin, reflections on the water.

What to expect : Pretty much boring once you get that “one shot”.

TELOK BLANGAH HILL PARK

How to go : Take bus 176, 272 or 273 from Bukit Merah Interchange. [MAP]

What to shoot : Terrace garden and Henderson Waves lighted up during blue hour.

What to expect : A lot of walking if you do not have personal transport.

CHINESE GARDEN / JAPANESE GARDEN

How to go : Take a 5 mins walk from Chinese Garden MRT station. [MAP]

What to shoot : The main gates, bridges, twin pagoda.

What to expect : A lot of walking if you do not have personal transport

SUNGEI BULOH WETLAND RESERVES

How to go : By cab, or 925C from Woodlands Interchange (Sundays and PH only). [MAP]

What to shoot : Wildlife, birds.

What to expect : Inaccessible place… you will need some wheels to get there, but a good place to catch some wildlife.


Share this!

Related posts

Leave a Comment