Singapore city tours offer the ecotourist a plethora of green spaces, as well as one of the cleanest transport systems in the world.
Singapore is a city with many interesting and educational experiences to offer the green traveller. Despite the bustling atmosphere and a population of four million, Singapore city tours are an ecotourist’s dream, thanks to their forward-thinking planning which has helped the city maintain an acceptable level of pollution.
Parks and Green Spaces in Singapore
The summer season in Singapore brings short, yet heavy, rains and this means the parks and tree-lined public places remain beautifully green and pleasant. The city’s National Parks Board ensure that Singapore’s many wildlife sanctuaries, parks and public gardens are kept in good order and any green tourist should make a point of visiting these when considering a Singapore city tour.
Especially worth a visit is the Singapore Botanical Gardens, the lakes, tropical gardens and flowers, spices and banana trees defy the fact that visitors are actually in a city at all (although more correctly speaking, it is a city state).
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve houses tropical plant life as well as animals native to the island and is an absolute must for visitors planning a Singapore city tour. The reserve covers an area of around 3043 hectares and is home to more than 840 plants and over 500 species of animals and insect life.
There are simply too many green areas, parks and nature reserves to list here; for further information and to research your Singapore city tour, see the Singapore National Parks Board website.
Getting around on your Singapore city tour
The Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) is the quickest way to get around for a Singapore city tour and is credited with being one of the cleanest in the world, as well as offering fantastic views across the island. The MRT provides the green tourist with access to almost any part of Singapore and offers numerous ticketing options, including one-off tickets and tourist concession passes.
The Singapore Tourist Pass offers travellers unlimited travel on the city’s public transport system, including the MRT, LRT and bus service (excluding some services, see website for details). The pass also includes special offers relevant to visitors and can be purchased in the city or online. Prices start from just $10 if bought locally or from $20 plus delivery to have it delivered overseas prior to your trip.
An ideal way to get around on a Singapore city tour is to hire a bicycle, Singapore is a small island and it’s possible to get around it in a day by cycling. The green network allows ecotourists to travel around the city from park-to-park and all over the island at a leisurely pace whilst taking in all that the city has to offer.
Singapore city guide to green hotels
Singapore Hotel Association has recently launched an initiative in collaboration with the National Environment Agency to raise awareness and encourage hotel owners to reduce waste and recycle.
Hotels join the scheme on a voluntary basis and last year’s winner of the Singapore Green Hotel Award was the Mandarin Orchard, a five-star luxury hotel located in the shopping district of Singapore. Rasa Sentosa Resort Hotel is another luxury eco-award winning option which is situated on the beachfront and was constructed with sustainability firmly in mind.
Alternatively, there are a number of hostels to choose from that offer environmentally friendly accommodation. The Tree In Lodge, for example, is a backpacking hostel which was taken over by a company who wanted to ensure the carbon footprint was reduced and sustainability maintained.
Food, shopping and markets
There are numerous options for healthy and sustainable eating in Singapore and whilst on a city tour it’s always worth keeping an eye out for places to eat as you explore. Genesis Health Food Restaurant is ideal for vegetarian, vegan and healthy eating as they serve meals and food with no animal products.
An organic and holistic approach to food is also taken by 7 Sensations, who also cater for meat eaters and have won several healthy eating awards. Yes Natural have something for everyone at their restaurant, bakery and retail establishment and believe in offering a range of healthy food which has been sourced and produced with the environment and ecosystem in mind.
Arab Street is the place to go for shopping like a local and here you will be able to find a range of goods such as local handicrafts tucked away from the mainstream shopping districts.
Kamplong Glam has a wealth of historically fascinating aspects to explore and is the main muslim area in the city. This beautiful district is now officially a conservation area and the original architecture has been restored. The area is a real gem of culture and history and is absolutely not to be missed whilst you are on a Singapore city tour, the Bugis Street Market can be found here and it’s accessible via the MRT.
Haji Lane, which can be found behind the Sultan Mosque, is great for those interested in fashion. Here you can find more than 20 locally developed designer labels rubbing shoulders with boutiques and original shops.
Singapore is the green travellers dream; this modern city offers a huge amount of options to the visitor interested in ecotourism and sustainable practices. Just off the coast, you can find “Semakau”, thought to be the world’s only island made entirely from trash, which has developed an ecosystem all of its own.
This unique ecotourist attraction, just a 20-minute ferry ride from the main island, is an offshore landfill which will fulfil the needs of Singapore until 2045. Scientists, planners and environmentalists have worked hard to ensure that it’s not an eyesore, nor damaging to the local marine and birdlife.
55 species of birds live on the island and the surrounding waters are described as “amazingly rich”, the 2000 tonnes of refuse that are added to Semakau every day are put into plastic membranes so as not to pollute the surrounding area. The waste is then flattened and fertile soil is placed on top; mangroves have been planted around the island which serve as “biological indicators” in case of harmful leaks.
This fascinating project is a lesson to the rest of the world on the subject of waste disposal and is a must-see for anyone interested in conservation and environmental issues.