Not your basic bridges
Adapted from Source
We’re no stranger to Singapore’s famous bridges – from futuristic Helix, to kitschy Alkaff, and rainbow-bathed Elgin, you’ve probably had at least one of the bridges in town appear on your Instagram feed.
But apart from those tourist magnets, our sunny island is dotted with other photo-worthy bridges that haven’t gained the limelight they deserve. Skip the cafe-hopping this weekend, and one-up your friends on hipster quotient by going on a bridge-hopping trail instead. Erm, we don’t mean hopping off them, of course – all parkour stunts attempted will be at your own risk.
1. Tropical getaway vibes – Chek Jawa Wetlands
You don’t have to travel to Phuket for a tropical respite from city life – the boardwalk at Chek Jawa Wetlands is so tranquil and picturesque you’ll easily forget you’re still in bustling Singapore. Winding along the coast, this wooden-planked bridge makes it possible to take in magnificent ocean views even at high tide. During low tide, the water ebbs to reveal little critters like mudskippers and crabs.
Another Chek Jawa sight with out-of-Singapore vibes is House No. 1, a Tudor-style house that’s now Chek Jawa’s Visitor Centre – located right before Chek Jawa jetty. Source: @kelvinsliquer
2. Floral beauty – Chinatown
Making your way across this bridge is akin to a stroll through a garden. Beautifully adorned with bougainvillea and bonsai, this little piece of heaven in Chinatown connects Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road. It even has pagoda-shaped shelters for that traditional flavour – perfect for resting off that Chicken Rice-induced food coma.
3. Lookout point among nature at The Spiral @ Yishun – Yishun Central
Many mistake the structure of The Spiral @ Yishun for a bottletree but fun fact: inspired by the process of metamorphosis, the tower is actually modelled after a butterfly’s wings breaking out of a cocoon.
Located next to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Yishun Pond, this breezy watch tower is a prime spot for appreciating the surrounding flora and fauna. You might even catch sightings of uncommon birds like kingfishers and hornbills here if you’re lucky.
As you head over to the side linking to Yishun Park, you’ll notice that the flooring is full of various leaf prints.
4. Toy-like charm – Mandai River
This one’s pretty ulu – to the point where it’s unknown as to whether there’s an actual name to the bridge itself. But this hidden gem near workers’ dorm Kranji Lodge 1 is simply the cutest! Cheery primary colours give it a Lego-like appearance, bringing back memories of childhood days. If you’re into pop art, this whimsical structure going across Mandai River should definitely be on your Instagram hit list.
5. Watch a sunset at the Heritage Bridge – Lower Seletar Reservoir
To many, Lower Seletar Reservoir is no man’s land. But for kayak enthusiasts, this vast water body is an underrated haven with only a fraction of Kallang Basin’s crowds. If you’re up for the 20-minute walk from Khatib MRT Station, this spot tucked away in the North is ideal for laid-back strolls – casual date idea, anyone?
Extending out to the waters of the reservoir is the Heritage Bridge. If you’re wondering about those protruding white sticks, they’re actually light tubes to illuminate your path in the evening. Catch a sunset here for extra romantic #feels.
The shelter at the end of the bridge is a good snapshot setting with its simple but sleek detailing.
There’s also a large multi-purpose stone platform where you can have a picnic, practise those yoga poses, or even treat as your personal stage if you’re shameless enough.
6. Oriental charm – Chinese and Japanese Gardens
The Chinese and Japanese Gardens at Jurong are host to a couple of bridges in traditional architectural styles – further adding to the character of the place. Nestled among Weeping Willows and overlooking a pond, this bridge at Chinese Garden’s Pavilion, Plateau, and Tower is particularly photo-worthy.
Transport yourself from ancient China to olden-day Japan in the blink of an eye – by crossing the majestic white bridge linking the two Gardens.
Don a yukata and head over to the lotus pond at the Japanese Garden – built with influences from Japan’s Muromachi and Azuchi-Momoyam periods, the two red bridges there are worthy replicas of what you’d find in the Land of the Rising Sun itself.
7. Best for OOTDs – Orchard Gateway linkage
Specially for the princesses out there who value comfort – to avoid the humid heat but still get bomb lighting for your photos, head to the linkway between the third floors of Orchard Gateway and Orchard Gateway@Emerald. With aircon, music, and enough lighting for you to photosynthesise, this tubular glass bridge is like a runway and studio. So walk, walk, fashion baby, work it!
You can even attempt some high-fashion poses by leaning against one of the many slanted pillars there #itried
8. Swampy ruggedness – Sungei Buloh
For those who enjoy being one with the wild, venture out to the Mudflats at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for what they call the “Mud Experience”. There you’ll find a precarious-looking bridge made entirely out of knotted rope, supported on poles wedged in concrete. Looks are deceiving, though – it’s completely safe, even for kids. Though we wouldn’t recommend jumping up and down on it too much lest that contributes to wear and tear.
Entrance to the Mudflats. You know it’s legit safe stuff when there’s a NParks-erected information board there! Source
But if you’re not up for gettin’ down and dirty, here’s a less treacherous one that leads out to a bulbous rest point on the swamp.
9. Head to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia – Sentosa
Now here’s some crazy island-ception: Pulau Palawan is an island off Sentosa, which is an island off Singapore…which is an island itself! Hop on over from Palawan Beach to Pulau Palawan – aka the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia – via this suspension rope bridge set against glistening turquoise waters. The little island has two lookout towers where you can admire an unobstructed view of the ocean.
10. Scenic views on Singapore’s first suspension bridge – Tanjong Rhu
Connecting the Singapore Indoor Stadium to a residential estate across the Geylang River, Tanjong Rhu Suspension Footbridge offers snapshot-worthy views of a city skyline – minus the annoying photobombs. Devoid of the selfie stick-wielding hordes you’d normally find in town, this quiet beauty is especially magical when illuminated at night.
11. Singapore’s oldest-looking bridge – Lorong Chuan
Behold Singapore’s most chao lao bridge – connecting Mei Hwan Drive Playground to the landed property estate at Li Hwan Drive (along Lorong Chuan). Characteristically different from the refined overhead bridges of today, this yellow container bridge has a serrated surface and hexagonal windows – a truly nostalgic sight.
12. Sprawling natural spaces – Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
A 15-minute walk from Bishan MRT station, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park used to be my go-to during my JC days when I had long breaks in between classes. Near the entrance of the park is a bridge overlooking lush greenery, a pond, and the homely scene of multi-coloured HDB blocks in the distance. There’s just something about standing here that makes me feel inexplicably calm, even while under the sun’s unforgiving rays.
Head on further along the path and you’ll meet a bunch of cafes like Canopy Garden and GRUB, where you can re-fuel yourself by dining amidst nature.
Bridges to spice up your Instagram feed
Hiding in the nooks of Singapore are plenty of underrated bridges waiting to be discovered. And though some of these are rather out of the way, the trip down will be well worth the travel for the stunning picture opportunities in store!
Why did the chicken cross the bridge? Well, clearly it was because the bridge was too pretty.