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14 Things You Didn’t Know Existed In SG, Like The Last Fishing Village & An Ulu Reservoir

“Secret” things you didn’t know existed in Singapore


People keep complaining, “I see everything before already” or ”SG have nothing to do”. But they couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of secret spaces and places hidden in plain sight, you just need to know where to look. Put on your explorer hats as we show you “secret” things you didn’t know existed in Singapore.


1. Jurong Rock Caverns


The deepest spot in Singapore


secret singapore - jurong rock caverns
Image credit: @jtc_sg via Instagram

If you think that the Lion City is too crowded, perhaps you haven’t looked beneath the surface. Some of the coolest parts of our country are deep in underground Singapore, barred from public access. One such place is the Jurong Rock Caverns on Jurong Island, with hundreds of metres of winding hollows.

secret singapore - jurong rock caverns tunnel
Image credit: @jtc_sg via Instagram

This stands as the first underground oil facility in Southeast Asia, where liquid hydrocarbons are stored for companies, rather than mined. Even with it being 40 storeys deep, there aren’t any middle-earth lurkers below, just terrifying staircases and sedimentary, tubing halls.

Jurong Rock Caverns on Google Maps


2. Kampong Mendoza


Kampong hidden in the forest floor


secret singapore - kampong mendoza
Image adapted from: veronkoksm via Youtube

Hiking trips can lead to very intriguing finds, but what about an entire lost village? Kampong Mendoza was a village that sunk into the forest floor of Upper Bukit Timah. Today, you can still spot remnants scattered around the area like an old verandah, old radios, and cooking utensils from yesteryear.

secret singapore - kampong mendoza artefacts
Cooking utensils and old radio found in Kampong Mendoza.
Image adapted from: veronkoksm via Youtube

Mendoza was one of many villages that were evacuated and demolished in the 80s by rehoming plans for squatters and kampong residents. You can find the kampong area between the Former FordFactory and Lorong Sesuai.

However there is no dedicated path for this trail, and it’s known to be a dangerous hike. So, proceed with caution and only embark on this adventure if you’re an experienced hiker.

Kampong Mendoza on Google Maps


3. Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang


Last kampong-style mosque in SG


secret singapore - Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang

Speaking of kampongs, if you’ve ever tread on the many remnants of Sembawang, you’ve like seen the Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang. Located along one of Singapore’s most haunted roads, Jalan Mempurong, this brightly coloured building is the island’s last kampong-style mosque.

The mosque used to be the key place of worship for residents of the then Kampong Tengah, and was saved from demolition by those same residents when resettlement of kampong dwellers took place. Today, it stands out from other modern architecture, with its vibrant yellow and green walls, metal roofing, and lone minaret.

Address: 27B Jalan Mempurong, Singapore 759055
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm | Sun 9am-12pm (Closed on Saturdays)
Contact: 6257 7614


4. Sijori Wondergolf


Defunct mini-golf course


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Long before the days of UltraGolf at The Palawan, Sentosa had its first mini golf course: Sijori Wondergolf. The park, perched on a hilly terrain near Imbiah Station, had 2 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course.

secret singapore - Sijori wondergolf
Image adapted from: The Putting Penguin & Nocturnia Productions via Youtube

The park was part of Sijori Resort and cost $15 million to make. Unfortunately, due to the SARS pandemic, it was only around for 3 years before it got shut down in 2006.

Now the resort is buried under Oasia Resort, but the golf course is still accessible with an easy hike from Imbiah Station. You’ll still find some of the holes intact, like a volcano-themed one or a surfboard with waves.

Sijori Wondergolf on Google Maps


5. Bus 825


SG’s only public minibus


secret singapore - Bus 825

PSA: Size doesn’t matter. We’re obviously talking about the size of public transport buses, specifically Bus 825, SG’s only public minibus. You can find it at Yio Chu Kang Bus Interchange, as it takes passengers up to the northern regions of Ang Mo Kio.

secret singapore - Bus 825 interior

Seating only 24 people and having a low ceiling, the bus really lives up to its name as a minibus. Besides its size, it also has some additional quirks. Aside from it being a completely electric vehicle, the bus’ flooring has a wooden finish which is a nice change from the sprinkly grey floors of normal buses.

Yio Chu Kang Bus Interchange
Address: 3002 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, 567728


6. Condom lorry


Crashed truck in the middle of the forest


secret singapore - condom lorry
Image credit: Chasing Peaks

Nestled in the foliage of Chestnut Nature Park is a dilapidated lorry, tyres and steering wheel scattered, holding hundreds of condoms from the brand Sain et Sur. For the majority of us who don’t speak French, that translates to “Safe and Sure”. 

The truck has been rightfully nicknamed the condom lorry, and hikers can access it by following one of the smaller trails at the nature park. The exact location is not known but the spot is marked by stacks of flower pots. Either way, this makes for one of Singapore’s greatest unsolved mysteries, as there is no context to where this truck came from.

Well, it looks like even a lorry truck full of protection, still isn’t safe enough.

Chestnut Nature Park
Google Reviews
4.5
(1,467)
Address
Chestnut Ave, Singapore 679514
Opening Hours:
Thursday 07:00 AM - 07:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

7. Singapore Blue Tarantula


Singapore’s very own creepy crawly


secret singapore - Singapore Blue Tarantula
Image credit: Mothore via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore is no Australia when it comes to deadly creatures, but the Singapore Blue Tarantula might just take the throne as the scariest of them. One of 3 known species of native tarantulas, this arachnid got its name from the titular ultramarine blue legs of females. As if they needed to look any more alien than they do.

As much as we’d like to say they are harmless little beasts, they can have a leg span of over 27cm and have painful venomous bites. That being said, they aren’t out get you; being shy and nocturnal, they’re only found deep in the forest floor. If you do come across these in your next hike at Rifle Range Nature Park or Central Catchment Nature Reserve, our advice is look from afar, very far.


8. Singapore Musical Box Museum


Find out how the cool antiques are made


secret singapore - Musical Box Museum
Image credit: @swwong via Instagram

One of the wackiest Singapore museums is located within the rows of Telok Ayer shophouses. Singapore Musical Box Museum has over 40 antique musical boxes that date back to the early 19th century. Founded by Japanese collector Naoto Orui in 2015, the museum has boxes from all over the world, including Germany, Japan, and China.

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Museum guides will even play the boxes, some of which have visible cogs and teeth showing the mechanism. Tickets start at $10/child and $18/adult – do remember to book them in advance online as walk-ins aren’t accepted.

secret singapore - Musical Box Museum cafe
Musical Box Museum Cafe.
Image credits: @musicalboxmuseumcafe via Instagram

Aside from listening to melodies, you can also grab a bite at the Musical Box Museum Cafe which serves Peranakan cuisine such as Ayam Tempra ($13), a chicken currry, and Babi Pongteh ($13.80), braised pork.

Admission Fee
$12
Address
Opening Hours:
Thursday 10:00 AM - 05:30 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information
RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT S$50.00

9. Murai Reservoir


Secret reservoir in the North-West


secret singapore - Murai reservoir
Image credit: Gary Ng via Google Maps

The North-West has always been a very ulu place, considering so much of it is sectioned off as military and industrial land. But did you know there’s actually a secret reservoir here?

One of the sights regular peeps are missing out on is the Murai Reservoir, located inside a military zone. Measuring 2 sqkm wide, it’s nearly 2 times the size of the Botanic Gardens.

secret singapore - Murai reservoir satellite view
Image credit: Google Earth

If you’re already planning to go on a kayaking adventure, hold up. This waterbody is not accessible to the public. The only way to find out what it’s all about for now is by serving NS or getting an NS partner.

Murai Reservoir on Google Maps


10. Shuang Long Shan Cemetery


Hidden Hakka cemetery amongst HDBs


secret singapore - Shuang long shan cemetery
Image credit: @jazzquek via Instagram

Hiding between HDB blocks in Commonwealth is the Shuang Long Shan Cemetery, Singapore’s last Hakka cemetery. The eerie yet impressive symmetrical arrangement of gravestones stretches over 24 rows and has nearly 3,000 graves.

secret singapore - Shuang long shan cemetery gravestones

The cemetery was built in the early 70s, making it over 50 years old. It was an area specially allocated to the Hakka community after independence.

The cemetery is open for public access but if you plan on going down, remember to be respectful of the space, especially when taking photos. A better rule of thumb would be to view the cemetery from a higher vantage point at one of the neighbouring HDB blocks.

Address: 9 Commonwealth Lane, Singapore 149551


11. Berlin Wall fragments


2 slabs stand on NUS hill


secret singapore - Berlin Wall fragments
Image credit: @chie_singapore via Instagram

Yes, Singapore is heralded as a global centre. What we wouldn’t expect, though, is finding historical artefacts from other countries in the most random of places. In the National University of Singapore, behind Tembusu College, lie 2 Berlin Wall fragments.

Look closer, and you’ll find traces of graffiti artwork still on them today. The art represented rebellion against the partition of Germany in to East and West in the 1980s.

The Berlin Wall fragments were gifted to Singapore by Germany in 2016. They represent both countries’ strong ties with each other. We also found that there were 4 fragments in Bedok that were displayed on loan, however those have since been returned to their owners.

Berlin Wall Fragments on Google Maps


12. Jenal Jetty


Last fishing village in Singapore


secret singapore - Jenal Jetty

If you’ve ever wanted to go off-grid away from society, you’d be jealous of the fishermen at Jenal Jetty. That’s because the jetty, known as the last fishing village in Singapore, has no water supply, no signal, no electricity, and no public access.

secret singapore - Jenal Jetty dock

Although you can’t physically go there, you can spot the jetty – which is 4 different jetties bound together – from Yishun Dam. The only people permitted to go here are the fishermen who own the jetties, their families, and their rgeular customers. You’ll find them sailing here to catch seafood, hang out with each other, and even collect durians on occasion.

Jenal Jetty on Google Maps


13. Whampoa Dragon fountain


Centrepiece of Whampoa Drive


secret singapore - Whampoa dragon fountain

The last thing you’d expect to find while walking past an HDB block is a 4m-high dragon statue. Well, the next time you stroll by Block 85 Whampoa Drive, watch out for the Whampoa Dragon fountain.

Built in 1973, this centrepiece used to spout out streams of water from its mouth. The dragon itself was designed with great attention to detail, from every scale being stoned on and a stuck-in-time-like positioning of the beast. Today, even though it doesn’t function as a fountain, it still greets residents of Whampoa with grandeur.

Address: Block 85 Whampoa Drive, S320085


14. Gym Tonic


“Uncle Auntie” exclusive Gym


secret singapore - Gym Tonic
Image credit: Gym Tonic

If you’re trying to make your parents your new gym buddies, Gym Tonic has got you covered. They’ve got elderly-only gym programmes at over 20 gyms island-wide. The programmes are typically 12 or 24 sessions long, with each session priced around $5-$12.

secret singapore - Gym Tonic programmes
Image credit: Gym Tonic

Seniors do need to get their doctor’s okay before heading down to the gym, where they’ll be met with instructors who are trained to handle their specific needs. Whether it’s the abductor machine for staying balanced on the MRT or the rowing machine for carrying grocery store bags, their sessions aim to make our silver-aged citizens as spry as grasshoppers.

Find the full list of outlets on the Gym Tonic website.


How many of these “secret” Singapore things did you know?

Some of the most obscure things and places in Singapore may just be right under your nose. Though you may not be able to go to a lot of these physically, it’s still a wonder that they exist and represent how bizarre our little island can be.

So, the next time you and the gang are bored, why not trying checking off some of these secret Singapore things and find out who’s the most suaku in the group?

While you’re here, read up about some attractions we had in the past, like the Van Kleef Aquarium or Tuas TV World. If you have a taste for adventure, try knocking down some hidden places in Singapore or our guide on hiking to abandoned places in Singapore.


Cover image adapted from: @jtc_sg via Instagram and veronkoksm via Youtube