Immerse in the scenic view of Singapore by taking these alternative modes of transportation

At this point, everyone is eagerly awaiting the travel bubble to be lifted so that we can whip out our cameras and capture astounding views around the world. Undeniably, with the pandemic slated to linger for months and possibly years to come, it’s perhaps time for us to explore our own backyard which is in this case Singapore.

Breaking the norm of merely driving or cycling down the city streets, we have instead listed eight different modes of transportation below for you to immerse in the spectacular view of ‘home’. Whilst it may seem like you already know the red dot right at your fingertips, undoubtedly, there’s always a spot or two that’s not given the limelight.

The Singapore Cable Car

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

The Singapore Cable Car currently runs its fourth generation of gondolas since it first launched in 1974. It was formerly built to provide a link for locals to cross from the Faber Peak of Singapore (now known as Mount Faber) to Pulau Belakang Mati’s island (now known as Sentosa).

Today, it serves as a form of attraction for tourists and locals to enjoy the breathtaking aerial view of their surroundings from 100m above sea level. The cable car service currently offers the Mount Faber Line as well as the Sentosa Line.

Mount Faber Line: It offers a panoramic hilltop view of Singapore’s lush rainforest before passing through the sea that links to the offshore island of Sentosa.

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Sentosa Line: This one’s a little tricky as it offers two separate lines; the Merlion Line and the Siloso Line.

Merlion Line: The 240m-long Merlion Line was built in 2014 and was a pitstop for tourists to have a good look at Singapore’s largest Merlion statue, which was demolished back in 2020.

Siloso Line: It offers passengers a picturesque view of Sentosa’s attractions, including the AJ Hackett Bungy and Resorts World Sentosa. 

Pro Tip: Whilst it’s recommended to board from Mount Faber Station, it’s possible to board from Harbourfront Tower as the cable cars go on a loop. Tickets purchased entitle you to a whole day of experience; thus, feel free to hop on and off at each station to explore.

 

The Singapore DUCKtours

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Locals would probably have seen the Singapore DUCKtours around the Marina and civic district, but many don’t know that the current refurbished vehicle was once used during the Vietnam war. It has the ability to travel on land and on water; this explains why it is the Singapore Tourism Board’s award-winning amphibious tour.

The tour begins with a splash into Singapore’s longest river, the Kallang River. Immerse in the Marina district’s astonishing view from the sea whilst passing by the Singapore Flyer, the Formula One Pit, and the longest bridge in Singapore — the Benjamin Sheares Bridge, which was named after Singapore’s second President, Mr. Benjamin Sheares.


Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

The vehicle then waddles back on land and passes through the Civic District. If history class didn’t do the olden days justice, here’s the perfect time to reminisce upon Singapore’s war history and heroes as you pass by war memorial landmarks.

Note: The hour-long tour is mostly covered within the waters; thus, if you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s highly advisable to consult your doctor beforehand.

 

FunVee Open Top Bus Tour

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

We are unsure what happened to the well-known HiPPO bus, but we hopped onto the Funvee Open Top Bus for a sightseeing tour around Marina and the city. Prepare to bedazzled by Singapore’s iconic landmarks including Gardens By the Bay, Chinatown, Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road, all of which uncover hidden secrets as you drive past them.

Certainly, what differs the Funvee Open Top Bus from a normal SBS Transit bus is that you get to enjoy an unobstructed view of Singapore from the upper deck. Even with its first-come-first-serve basis, scoring any seat at the open-air section of the bus grants you a splendid view nonetheless.

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Tip: Writer Shariffah got herself drenched after a sudden downpour during the tour, so do bring along an umbrella or raincoat as a precaution. At all times, do also remain seated as you may pass areas with big trees and large signages that may incur serious injuries if you’re not careful. 

 

The trishaw

Image: Trishaw Uncle

Similar to bicycles, trishaws hold a long history since the Japanese ruled Singapore. They were initially known as a rickshacycle (a combination of the word ‘trishaw’ and ‘bicycle’) or sanricksha by the Japanese.

When they first debuted on the red dot in 1942, passengers were only charged 15 cents per mile, which is a vast difference from the current charge of $40 per ride.

A trishaw ride in Singapore circa 1970. Image: Straits Times Singapore

Whilst it may seem enjoyable to ride on one today as it explores the streets of Little India, Kampong Glam, Singapore River and Chinatown, it wasn’t as mesmerising back in the Syonan-to (Singapore’s name during the Japanese Occupation) times. Then, trishaw uncles faced the fear of having Japanese soldiers as passengers, especially when having to drop them off at their barracks.

With the trade slowly vanishing in modern Singapore, consider yourself lucky if you’re able to meet a trishaw uncle who has experienced riding through that era. 

Note: Trishaw Uncle is Singapore’s standalone trishaw company, and runs their tours only if bookings include two pax. So, do bring along a friend or perhaps your parents to get a ride.

 

Singapore Sidecars Vespa Tour

Image: @singaporesidecars

Being locals ourselves, we only found out about sidecars after watching them being featured in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. Singapore is indeed the only country that offers a vintage Vespa tour around the city; Singapore Sidecars does offer a tour based on the movie whilst also showcasing some Instagrammable spots. Even though this option tops the chart, there are also routes conducted in estates such as Tiong Bahru, Joo Chiat, Kampong Glam and the Civic District.

Price: $160 for 60mins per car (this includes a driver, helmets and raincoats)

 

Yacht rides

Image: Bradley Mirel/Unsplash

We can imagine readers going, “Woah, this is going to be expensive” just as you come across the word ‘yacht’. Renting one could amount to over $1000; thus, save some dollars and sign up for an Island Yacht Tour on Klook instead, which costs slightly under $200. 

The tour cruises along the different islands in Singapore — Western Anchorage, Bukom Island, Jurong Island, Pulau Hantu, Pulau Semakau and the Sisters’ Island. They all include a guided tour on board and when you disembark at Lazarus and St John Island which allows you to explore on foot. 

Note: You could opt to join a tour with other passengers, or gather some friends and book a private tour. At all times, do adhere to the safety measures imposed during the whole commute. 

 

Kayaking

Image: Singapore Sports Hub

If you feel a little adventurous, grab your paddle and kayak through the Kallang Basin where you can look forward to getting an unobstructed view of the iconic National stadium and the Marina city skyline. Plus point: As no certification is required, there’s no reason why you’d need to have second thoughts about hitting the waters. 

Note: There are various locations in Singapore for you to kayak — Jurong Lake Gardens, Pulau Ubin and Marina are just some other spots.

Paddleboarding

Image: @alohaseasportscenter

At first glance, paddleboarding resembles a whole list of water sports, but ultimately it’s said to be a combination of surfing, skiing and kayaking. Originated from Hawaii, the sport requires one to stand on the board whilst manoeuvring around the open waters with a paddle.

It has also been proven to be one of the best full-body workouts — it builds on your core, strength, balance and endurance. Although it does seem a little more dangerous than kayaking, with safety briefings conducted beforehand, rest assured that you’ll be in good hands.

Note: Paddleboarding is unfortunately not very well-known in Singapore; thus, very few associations offer the sport.

Feature Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

 

About Author /

A funsize explorer with an endless adventure list, her off-days are spent travelling around the red dot with her camera. Heritage trails, quaint cafes, you name it; she'll take you on an adventure to make your weekends less mehhhh!

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