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Unbeknownst to some, Seletar is home to anything from cycling routes, to wetlands, cosy cafes and swanky eateries. There is even a Pulau Seletar located off the northern coastal region of Singapore —a tranquil yet undiscovered island.
Before redevelopment plans were put in place, Seletar Island was originally the home of rubber plantations, and even a military airbase for the British way back in the 1920s; just before the second World War.
At the Seletar area that many of us know more about, there is Seletar Airport–Singapore’s second airport serving commercial flights. Spanning over 160ha, the airport mostly serves smaller-sized private and business jet airlines and aircraft today.
If you’re looking to go on a little rustic day trip, you’ll need to make a trip down to this area of Singapore—we’ve rounded up some of the best things to do at this hidden gem!
1. Lower Seletar Reservoir
If you don’t already know, Lower Seletar Reservoir is the perfect spot to get a proper dose of nature. Spend a day leisurely paddling down on kayaks at the Lower Seletar Water Sports Centre, or even cast your rods at the fishing jetty for a chance to catch large snakeheads and tilapias on the island.
A single kayak costs S$7 for an hour with a minimum of two hours required, while a double kayak is priced at S$6. Get more information and make your bookings here! Do note that the fishing jetty is currently targeted towards hobbyists, so you’ll be expected to bring your own equipment and bait.
Alternatively, take a short stroll down the boardwalk at Rower’s Bay Park (found within the reservoir). This is one of the popular places to cycle in Singapore, sporting a 60km cycling track that belongs to the first phase of the Round Island Route (RIR). While you’re there, do keep an eye out for wildlife creatures like Grey Herons, Dragonflies or Copper-cheeked frogs. Just remember to follow general park safety rules—maintain your distance and refrain from feeding the animals for your own safety– and have all the cycling gear you need for a comfortable ride.
For those looking to unwind and chill out, head down to The Heritage Bridge instead. Built to resemble old-fashioned kelongs on stilts, it’s the ideal place to bask in the sun, have a chill picnic or to simply enjoy the scenic view of the sunset.
Address: Yishun Ave 1, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, Singapore 769139
2. Seletar Fishing Village
Located near Lower Seletar Reservoir and Yishun Dam is Seletar Fishing Village—a hidden spot that may look shabby at first glance, until you take the time to properly explore.
This is Singapore’s last fishing village, one of the best-kept secrets that not many people may know of, which makes it one of the most interesting things to do on the island Pay a visit and you’ll soon notice how time flows much slower there. It’s pretty much like a time capsule from the past.
The place is known to be the most charming when the tide is low, especially during the golden hours. In the evenings, you’d likely find photographers walking down to the swamp area. With the stunning view of the setting sun, topped with barren trees in the foreground, pictures taken at Seletar Fishing Village look as though they were shot from a different era (or country) altogether. One of the most unique Singapore tourist attractions? We totally agree! Have your monopod ready when you’re here; even a film camera to produce rustic prints will be worthwhile. Besides that, you can even find kampung huts and a wooden jetty (named Jenal Jetty) there. These are used by a small pool of local fishermen today, but note that they’re out of bounds to the public.
Address: Yishun Ave 1, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, Singapore 769139
3. Hampstead Wetlands Park
Another green sanctuary for rest and recreation is Hamstead Wetlands Park that’s located right in the middle of Seletar Aerospace Park. Featuring boardwalks and a nature trail, this 3.23ha wetlands is home to a variety of wildlife that inhabit the freshwater ecosystems. From the viewing decks, you might catch sight of butterflies, dragonflies, and even a wide variety of birds—like the white-throated kingfishers foraging for food. It’s also one of the best places to cycle in Singapore, with routes that are effortlessly scenic.
With the wide diversity of flora and fauna, it is no wonder that photographers and animal-lovers are often found at Hamstead Wetlands Park. Best of all, the park’s rather convenient to get to—it’s only a 20-minute bus ride away from Sengkang MRT! Getting around Singapore is easy when you have such reliable and accessible nodes of transport.
Address: 1 Baker St, Singapore 799977
4. The Oval at Seletar Aerospace Park
Moving on to some aviation-themed fun, The Oval at Seletar Aerospace Park is a refurbished colonial site that’s now an enclave both for foodies and family-fun adventures, which makes it one of the fun free outings to plan with your kids.
Perhaps the reason why we’re so attracted to lush spaces is the fact that there seems to be a lack of them in our daily lives. The absence of tall buildings at The Oval gives off the feeling of a countryside.
Instead of skyscrapers, you’ll find a slew of wide open fields and unique playgrounds there—anything from tables of airplane ludo, to a propeller plane and slides with aviation motifs for the little ones to play at. Aside from these activities, The Oval also offers visitors an opportunity for some sight-seeing and exploration of history. Colonial black and white houses can also be found right at Hyde Park Gate—these are bungalows that were once used by the British Royal Air Force in Singapore.
Even better, there’s a cluster of quaint cafes in the vicinity that’s great for quick pit-stops after all that playtime. Like at Wheeler’s Estate, with its spacious verandahs, greenhouses and delights like Grilled Octopus (S$22), Corn & Cilantro Fritters (S$220) and Beef Short Rib (S$59).
Address: 15 The Oval, Singapore 797874
5. Wildseed at the Summerhouse
Once you’re done exploring The Oval, complete your day at one of the many nearby cafes such as Wildseed at the Summerhouse. Offering both air-conditioned and alfresco dining areas, expect to find some hearty favourites like the Wagyu Beef Pie (S$18), Big Pan Breakfast (S$28) and Scallop Pizza (S$25) here.
True to its name, summer seems to linger at this pet-friendly cafe. There’s nature all around—sunlight streaming from outside; even the breezy outdoor area is decked out with plants! Looking for something sweet instead? Enjoy their waffles that come with three distinct flavours: Biscoff, Oreo, and Seasonal Berries (S$16). Each of these are served with different toppings, from oreo crumble to vanilla ice cream, granola and more.
Address: Level 1, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Dr, Park, 798387
Cafe: Daily—8:00am to 5:00pm
Bar: Sunday to Thursday—5:00pm to 11:00pm, Friday, Saturday & Eve of Public Holiday—5:00pm to midnight
6. Hangar66 Cafe
Speaking of food near The Oval, Hanger66 Cafe is another great spot for foodies. Tucked away at the edge of Seletar Airfield, what makes this cafe most interesting is its old-school aviation theme. At first glance, you’d find unique decors like runway markings and even tables that resemble cut-up sections of metal plane wings.
The main dining area is even located right beside clear windows that provide a prime view of a working hanger where planes are kept. At one end of the dining area sits a retro autogyro too. Also known as a gyroplane, this is a type of rotorcraft that uses unpowered rotors to develop lift. Both rare and fancy, it certainly makes for a great photo-op.
Hanger66’s menu features a variety of western-style plates like Wagyu Beef Burger (S$18.66), Baby Back Ribs (S$26.66) and Tom Yum Pasta (S$15.66). A lean selection of drinks is also available for those looking to get a dose of caffeine, or even some cold pints such as Sapporo on draft.
Address: 66 Seletar Aerospace View WOA Aviation Hangar 66 Level 1, Singapore 797509
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday—11:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday to Sunday—9:00am to 10:00pm
7. Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant
Amidst the cluster of hippy cafes sits Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant that’s housed in one of the former Colonial British houses. If typical cafe fare isn’t your cup of tea, then this is where you can head to, especially if you have a large family gathering in mind.
Characterised by traditional Chinese decor, Di Wei is run by a team of chefs experienced in serving up proper Teochew cuisine. Some of Di Wei’s signature dishes include the Teochew Prawn Balls (S$15), Teochew Fried Rice Noodles with Preserved Radish (S$6) and Grouper Fish Porridge (S$20). Of course, you can’t forget dessert. The recommended items on their menu are the Teochew Sugar Yam Strip (S$12) and Yam Paste with Ginko Nuts or Pumpkin (S$4)—all served with fresh and authentic ingredients. Besides indoor seating, you can also opt for alfresco dining instead!
Address: 1 The Oval, Singapore 797859
Opening: Monday to Sunday—11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Besides uncovering food gems, Seletar is also where you can get a dose of nature and fun activities like sight-seeing or fishing. Seletar is Singapore’s best kept secret—perfect for a short respite away from the stresses of a concrete jungle, and equally mesmerising as a tourist attraction for visitors looking for something unique on this tiny island.
No matter if you’re an avid birdwatcher or fitness enthusiast, there’s loads to do within the Seletar area. If you’re running out of activities to do in Singapore, you know what that means: time to make the trip up north for a little adventure!
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