Photo credit: Jurong Frog Farm
Dubbed a modern metropolis, Singapore is often defined by its gleaming skyscrapers and bustling city life. Yet, unbeknownst to many, the city-state also houses pockets of charming country life peppered across the island.
These establishments – many of which promote local agriculture, education, conservation, agri-tainment and agri-tourism – make for the perfect escape from Singapore’s chaotic city life. It also gives “city kids” a chance to get in touch with nature in a memorable and interactive way.
If you’re up for exploring Singapore’s more laid-back rustic spots, here’s the lowdown on what you can expect:
North-Western Singapore’s hidden treasures
The North-west region of Singapore is home to numerous farms congregated in the Kranji and Lim Chu Kang vicinity.
If you’re at a loss of where to start, D’Kranji Farm Resort, Bollywood Veggies and Hay Dairies Goat Farm are the must-sees at the Kranji Countryside. Within the Lim Chu Kang vicinity, there is both an organic farm (Quan Fa Organic Farm) as well as a frog farm (Jurong Frog Farm).
1. For a fun-packed weekend with the family: D’Kranji Farm Resort
With a 24-hour prawning area, mouthwatering food and beverage outlets within the premises, and even an option for you to wind down after a long day with a relaxing massage or spa treat, D’Kranji Farm Resort will keep both adults and young children entertained. The farm resort prides itself on being Singapore’s first and only agri-tainment farm – and for good reason!
Not only does it organise farm tours that highlight tropical fruits and plants, it also has a Swiftlet Garden Museum where you can learn all about swiftlets and the popular bird’s nest. While it is no secret that many Singaporeans consume bird’s nest for its remarkable health benefits, going on an intriguing learning journey around the museum may just make you an expert in the field.
Address: 10 Neo Tiew Lane 2, Singapore 718813
Tel: +65 6862 9717
Operating Hours: 24 hours daily
2. For the food lover: Bollywood Veggies
If you’re a food lover, Bollywood Veggies is the place for you. From offering culinary classes and farm tours, to having a food museum and bistro on site, Bollywood Veggies will satisfy all of your epicurean needs.
Some of the bistro’s must-try dishes include the Nasi Lemak (aromatic rice infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves, served with side dishes) Platter, served with rice coloured blue using organic blue pea flowers, and Chef Zubidah’s mouthwatering bowl of hot and spicy laksa (rice noodles served in spicy coconut milk curry). Be warned: one bite is all it takes to get you hooked!
Also, remember to keep a lookout for the sweet little wooden signboards with nice messages around the farm when you’re walking your lunch/dinner off – they will make you feel right at home.
As strong believers in running an organic and planet-friendly operation, founders Mrs. Ivy Singh-Lim and Mr. Lim Ho Seng use resource-saving techniques such as rain collection ponds, irrigation canals and chemical-free agriculture. The farm, which has 20 years of history, is run using only sustainable methods, with no pesticides or fertilisers.
Address: 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026
Tel: +65 6898 5001
Monday – Tuesday: Closed (unless it’s a public holiday)
Wednesday – Friday: 0800hrs – 1730hrs
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday: 0800hrs – 1830hrs
3. For a taste unlike any other: Hay Dairies Goat Farm
As Singapore’s only goat farm, Hay Dairies is home to over 800 goats and produces milk that is supplied all over the island.
Visitors to the farm can choose to explore it the “free and easy” way by walking around the farm’s premises and observing the goats at your own leisurely pace. Alternatively, an educational tour led by the farm’s very own in-house experienced goat farmer will give curious visitors a more thorough understanding of the farm as a whole.
Address: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718859
Tel: +65 6792 0931
Monday, Wednesday – Sunday: 0900hrs – 1600hrs
Closed on Tuesdays
4. For those wanting to try their hand at farming: Quan Fa Organic Farm
Ever wondered what it’s like to work as a farmer in metropolitan Singapore? Get your hands dirty at the Quan Fa Organic Farm!
The farm offers a few paid tour packages that start from $8. Depending on the tour package that you sign up for, you might even be able to give harvesting a go.
The farm subscribes to sustainable methods of farming, abstaining from the use of pesticides and harmful fertilisers. It also invites all visitors to smell, touch and taste the organic vegetables that are grown on the farm.
A guided tour around the farm will cover its different sections – from its sprouts to its compost and green house. Safe to say, you’ll be an expert on all things organic by the end of your trip!
Address: 35 Murai Farmway Singapore 709145
Tel: +65 6793 7693
Monday, Wednesday – Sunday: 0900hrs – 1600hrs
Closed on Tuesdays
5. For a fun day with science: Jurong Frog Farm
If you're looking to take science out of the classroom, and into nature – this is the stop for you. Jurong Frog Farm is Singapore’s only licensed frog farm, and while it may have started off as grounds for frog-breeding, it has since expanded into an educational tourist attraction.
Staff at the farm are well-equipped to explain the anatomy of a frog and its lifecycle, and can even share interesting frog trivia with you and your young ones. So if you are curious about why the bullfrog was named as such, or if you have any other questions about frogs, don’t be afraid to ask them!
As for those of you who want to get your hands on at least a few slippery frogs, you’ll have a chance to catch a couple (or more) during a short feeding session. This has proven to be a children’s favourite over the years too, hence the little ones are bound to be entertained.
The Jurong Frog Farm is also a supplier of frog meat and hashima (dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of the frogs). Do get a taste of this delicacy while you’re there.
Address: 51 (Plot 56) Lim Chu Kang Lane 6, Singapore 718864
Tel: +65 6791 7229
Tuesday – Friday: Strictly by appointment / tour reservations
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday: 0900hrs – 1730hrs.
Closed on Mondays
Eastern Singapore’s off-the-beaten-track fish farm
Travel back in time to the Mainland Tropical Fish Farm, where you’ll get a glimpse of what fish farms looked like in the olden days.
6. For a glimpse into the olden days: Mainland Tropical Fish Farm
Singapore is the world’s largest exporter of ornamental fish, and at the Mainland Tropical Fish Farm, you’ll be able to take a closer look at some of the most popular breeds of fishes that are exported from the city-state.
If you’re up for getting your hands wet, you can give longkang (drain) fishing a go. Besides letting the children have some good, old-fashioned fun, they can also bring home their prized catches from longkang fishing.
Built in the 1970s, the farm still retains its quaint, countryside charm. With its old-school setup and exterior, walking around the farm will give the children a glimpse into what life was like during Singapore’s simpler past.
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Farmway 1, Singapore 519352
Tel: +65 6287 3883
Operating Hours: Daily, 0830hrs – 1900hrs
So if you’re looking to take a break from Singapore’s bustling city life or simply looking for something new to do with your family, exploring one (or more) of these lesser known spots is bound to do the trick!
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