Thinking of the next travel destination to explore? Why not check out our very own backyard right here in Singapore! Visit these 6 lost gems of Singapore before they’e gone!
1. Marsiling WWII Tunnel & Naval Base
A military underground tunnel built by the British and left abandoned after the WWII. The underground storage facility was used to supply oil for the British Navy but was disused after Singapore gained independence in 1965.
After bashing through the forest for awhile, we finally spotted the entrance of the underground bunker! Looked intimidating, but it was not that bad actually. Just be prepared to get dirty though!
There’s also a rope available to help you get in or out of the tunnel. Just be careful of the vines around the entrance which might cut you as you enter the tunnel.
Tip: Bring along a headlight or a strong torchlight! It’s really dark inside the tunnel especially as you enter deeper into the tunnel.
After entering the tunnel, you’ll be greeted with a flight of stairs which will lead you down deeper into the tunnel. If you look at the photo below carefully, you’ll be able to see patches of small white balls plastered on the walls. Well…they’re actually the eggs of the geckos living there! You might not be able to see them clearly, but you certainly will be able to hear them scurrying past you! There are probably hundreds or even more of them living in this tunnel!
If you still can’t spot the eggs, here’s a close up shot of the eggs and the geckos! Gross right? The whole time I was praying that they don’t end up falling on my head!
As you go deeper into the tunnel, it gets muddier and eventually we reached a point where the water level was above our ankles! That was when we stopped and headed back towards the entrance.
Tip: Wear proper trek shoes with good grip! It can get quite slippery inside the tunnel.
2. Kampong Buangkok
Kampong Buangkok was built in 1956 in Hougang, it’s also the last “kampong” (village) found in Singapore! Singapore used to be a fishing village where kampongs were ubiquitous. But fast forward to today, all you see are mostly modern skyscrapers and buildings.
Don’t you find this scene out of place in modern Singapore? It’s so interesting that this kampong still exists today in Singapore! According the the locals, they are still living the slower pace of a kampong life, leaving their doors open and trusting one another.
3. Istana Woodneuk
This is definitely one of our favourites of the list, an abandoned old mansion that was built by a Johor Sultan back in the late 19th century. It was also one of Singapore’s largest private residences back then. It was fun imagining what this place would have been like during its heyday.
That’s right, enter at your own risk. This place is indeed quite dangerous as it almost felt like the entire place was about to collapse anytime! Also right where I was standing, it used to be the ballroom of the grand Istana Woodneuk where the well dressed socialites gathered for their party. Eerie huh?
This place has been abandoned for more than 50-60 years and the photos certainly tell it all. It was also once used as a temporary hospital for the soldiers who fought for Singapore during the WWII.
4. Bukit Timah Railway
This used to be part of the Singapore-Kranji railway which was the first railway built in Singapore in 1903. The station was closed down in 2011 when the Malaysian operated railway service ceased its operations in Singapore.
We decided to continue walking on and to follow the railway track all the way to the end.
As you can see from the photos below, part of the trail can be quite wet and muddy. Be prepared to get your shoes wet and dirty!
Tip: Wear proper shoes if you wish to try out this hike, especially if it has been raining for the past few days.
Towards the end of the relatively short hike, you’ll emerge out of the forest and find yourself in front of the HDB flats in Clementi!
5. Yin Foh Kuan Cemetery
This place stood out the most because where else can you find a cemetery in the middle of a HDB estate?! This is actually a Hakka cemetery that was built by the oldest Hakka association (Yin Fo Fui Kan clan) back in the 18th century. This cemetery was also built on a hill as it was considered as good fengshui.
6. Shinto Shrine of Macritchie
Note: We’ve been advised by National Parks that it is not advisable for members of the public to visit this site as there’s no designated trail and there’s a high risk that you might get lost.
To commemorate the Japanese soldiers who died in the WWII, they built a Shinto Shrine for them which was located within the MacRitchie Reservoir forest. However it was destroyed by the British after the Japanese surrendered and the shrine is now left in ruins.
The original structure was a temple with no walls and thus you’ll find that most of the ruins are concrete slabs and structures left in the open.