Like all metropolises, Singapore is constantly alive with the hustle-and-bustle of city life and buzzing with urban noise. It is almost impossible to find a place where we can enjoy silence and unadulterated peace, with many forced to find solace in community libraries and museums.
With a high population density of 7,987.52, you may throw your hands up and simply yield to the maddening sea of noise. But you will be surprised that there are pockets around the island where you can actually relax and enjoy some much needed solitude.
Japanese Cemetery Park
Spending time in a cemetery may not be your idea of quiet time, but bear with us and read on. Located in Hougang, it is the largest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia, and is prudently maintained by the Japanese Association.
A walk through the cemetery grounds is more like traversing through a Zen garden than a resting place for the dead, with its well-trimmed lawns and traditional prayer hall allowing you to clear your head and chill in the deathly silence. Just remember to keep quiet and be respectful!
Where: 825B Chuan Hoe Ave, Singapore 549853.
Woodlands Waterfront Park is a favourite for residents in the area, and it is not hard to see why. The park boasts a 1.5-kilometre waterfront promenade where you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the Straits of Johor.
There is also a 400-metre-long jetty that stretches out to the sea-the longest in Singapore. We suggest visiting the park after work on weekdays, when there are not as many joggers and activities going on. Do check out the nearby Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant when you start feeling peckish from your personal time.
Where: Admiralty Road West, Singapore 759956.
A personal favourite, Yishun Dam may be the most far-flung venue on this list. But that is a small price to pay in exchange for a tranquil spot with minimal disturbances. An earth-filled dam that resembles a mini-causeway, the place gives you great views of the Lower Seletar Reservoir.
Open a deck chair up and unwind by the edge of the dam, where you can observe the occasional angler or migratory bird in the distance. This unconventional chill-out spot is also open 24 hours (since it's basically just an embankment), allowing you to drop by and ponder about life's great mysteries after supper.
Where: Yishun Avenue 1, Singapore 769130.
Bay East Garden
It is perhaps a little ironic that one of the best places to get away from the city is to be right at the heart of it where you get a panoramic view of the city skyline. The Bay East Garden at the Gardens By the Bay has everything to rid yourself of the perpetual claustrophobia-vast expanses of greenery, cool pavilions, manicured flower hedges and a view that makes you sigh.
Its close proximity to one of the island's most visited tourist hotspots does not affect its tranquillity, since they typically stay within the popular areas. Grab a chilled bottle of wine, plug into some Sigur Ros, and kick back on the lawn.
Where: Off Rhu Cross / Bay East Drive (at the end of Tanjong Rhu Road).
Popular among joggers, nature lovers and lovey-dovey couples, the Henderson Waves Bridge is the highest pedestrian bridge here and rises from the greenery of the Southern Ridges like a gentle dragon of quietude. It is such a peaceful, undisturbed location that it was chosen as the setting for certain scenes in the movie Equals, starring the equally undisturbed Kristen Stewart.
Take a relaxed evening stroll along the boarded walkway, or sit in the dim LED-lit darkness and soak up the stillness of the night before you leave and plunge back into reality.
Where: Henderson Road, Southern Ridges, Bukit Merah, Singapore 159557.
Bedok Reservoir Park
A converted quarry, the water surface resembles a mirror on a windless day. Stashed in the heart of Bedok, it is not difficult to find your own spot of serenity in this vast and spacious park.
Settle on the floating deck and experience a tranquillity you would not expect to get in a dense residential zone, or if you are feeling more adventurous, sit yourself carefully among the rocky shoreline and feel at one with nature.
Where: Along Bedok Reservoir Road.
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