Itching for a drive? Why not check out these scenic spots

PHOTO: sgCarMart

One of many Singaporeans' favourite activities is to head up north into Malaysia. Some go for the good food and shopping, while others like us go for the long highways and scenic routes that make for an excellent road trip.

Binge-watching road trip videos on YouTube have only made the itch to go for a good drive worse. With the opening of the borders nowhere in sight, the only way is to look for nice routes to drive and scenic spots to explore locally.

That is how we've found all these places to scratch that itch while we wait for the COVID-19 situation to ease up. Here's to being a tourist in our own country!

Old Upper Thomson Road / Upper Peirce Reservoir Park

This serene park is the perfect spot to enjoy the breakfast you dabao-ed. This is a tranquil and serene park located just next to the Upper Peirce Reservoir. You'll get to enjoy a scenic view of the reservoir, surrounded by lush greenery on the way in from the main road.

This serene park is the perfect spot to enjoy the breakfast you dabao-ed.
PHOTO: sgCarMart 

The entrance to the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park is located in the middle of Old Upper Thomson Road, which was part of a Grand Prix track in the past. While it has now been converted into a one-way road flanked by a park connector path, you can still get a taste of the curves on it.

There are several carparks in the vicinity, as well as one inside Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. You can choose to drive right in, or to park further out and go for a walk, or hike at one of the trails to enjoy being enveloped by nature.

Rifle Range Road

This one's mostly for the drivers. Rifle Range Road is a twisty stretch of road that reminds of mountainous roads in Malaysia. It makes for one enjoyable to drive if you love driving through some sharp turns and bends.

The curvy road with ample foliage results in a prime location for one to recreate convincing shots of 'touge' driving - just bring a friend with a camera along and plant them behind the guardrail at one of the many corners here.

Fun twisty road to drive, perfect for phototaking as well!
PHOTO: Google Maps

At the end of Rifle Range Road is a popular hiking trail with plenty of space along the road for temporary parking. If you are an avid hiker, you probably already know of this place.

Mount Faber

While we can't drive up to Genting, we do have some smaller hills to climb with our cars here... You can check out Mount Faber, a popular tourist destination where you can even take a cable car to Sentosa!

This hilly road is probably the closest to a hill-climb drive that you can get in Singapore, and if you have picked up cycling like so many others during this pandemic, you can also attempt to ride up the hill - Mount Faber is in fact, a popular training ground for cyclists!

Want to experience driving up something that isn't your MSCP?
PHOTO: sgCarMart 

Head all the way up to the top and you'll find many lookout points that offer panoramic views of the southern part of Singapore. Searching for a place with a breathtaking view and a chance to get close to nature? Well you've found it now!

Neo Tiew Road / Kranji Countryside

Neo Tiew Road is perfect for drivers who sorely miss driving on Malaysia's 'B-roads'. What you get here is a series of interconnected twisty roads flanked by forests and farms at one of the most ulu parts of Singapore.

You'll get to drive on what feels like Malaysia's kampung roads and take in the fresh air, and the occasional smell of manure…

Secluded area with plenty of farms - reminds you of Malaysia yet?
PHOTO: Google Maps

And that is because of the vast amount of farms that lines this area also known as Kranji Countryside. Many of these farms are open to public for visits. These include the only goat farm in Singapore - Hay Dairies.

Woodlands Waterfront Park

If you really miss Malaysia that much, you can always head down to Woodlands Waterfront where you can enjoy an unobstructed view across the Straits of Johor and reminisce the pre-COVID times.

Woodlands Waterfront Park is an 11-hectare coastal park with a 1.5km long waterfront promenade. As per most parks in Singapore, it is equipped with exercising equipment, along with jogging and cycling paths, perfect for a nice workout.

A large park with plenty of facilities, and a view of the Johor Bahru you miss.
PHOTO: sgCarMart 

After taking in the breathtaking scenery and having strolled till your heart's content, you can complete the trip with a meal at the Rasa Istimewa Restaurant, which features partial glass walls for that unique dining experience.

With just a stretch of water separating Singapore and Malaysia, this is probably the closest you can get to the latter without serving any quarantine order.

HortPark

Located off Alexandra Road, HortPark is a park with a focus on greenery. According to NParks, it is a gardening resource hub that brings together all things gardening related, including research, educational and recreational activities.

If it's good enough for wedding photoshoots, it's good enough for your OOTD.
PHOTO: sgCarMart 

Within HortPark, you can visit the various themed gardens which are choice backdrops for wedding photoshoots. If you want to improve your knowledge of gardening, there are also guided tours and workshops which are regularly conducted.

Thanks to the lush greenery, the surrounding roads of HortPark are perfect for car photography as well, if you have been reading our car reviews, you might even find some spots extremely familiar.

Little Guilin (Bukit Batok Town Park)

Situated at Bukit Batok Town Park is a huge granite rock sitting within a lake, reminiscent of the granite rock formations in Guilin, China. Hence the moniker of Little Guilin.

This area was originally a granite quarry which was closed down by the government. This abandoned quarry was eventually filled with rain water, and turned into a small lake. It was eventually converted into the park that it now is.

Did you just stumbled into the scene of a classic Wu Xia (martial arts) film?
PHOTO: sgCarMart 

Just across the road are HDB blocks, where carparks are conveniently situated. You can simply park your car and head out for a stroll to take in this interesting sight that looks nothing like what you would expect to find in Singapore.

Tuas

This is a route where there isn't actually much to see, apart from the wide, empty roads, and large industrial cranes and buildings. Or is there?

Well, you could head to the edge of Tuas and get a photo with the popular landmark of the area - Lamp Post One, a lamp post that had been plastered with stickers by cyclists who attempted a round island ride. But really, it is more about the drive.

Plenty of roads and nothingness, and a half-finished flyover that looks like Japan at night.
PHOTO: Google Maps

The entire journey to Tuas, on the AYE, will surely remind you of the way to the Tuas Checkpoint to cross over to Malaysia. The AYE is also often empty at night, perfect for a nice, chill cruise.

Within Tuas, the relatively new Tuas Viaduct is also a nice spot if you are into car photography. The clear and smooth elevated road, along with tall lamp posts, is reminiscent of the expressways in Japan.

While there isn't much in terms of attractions, this industrial area at the edge of Singapore makes for a perfect network of long, empty roads for a chill night drive.

This article was first published in sgCarMart.