From rainforest walks to island retreats and rooftop gardens, how Singapore nurtures people and planet

With its stunning natural wonders to its sustainable initiatives, Singapore soothes the soul and supports the planet. Here Simon Calder shares restorative stays, must-experience sites and green projects from urban farms to blissful bike routes

Simon Calder
Tuesday 10 January 2023 15:38 GMT
Singapore Reimagined: Sustainability and wellness

Care for the planet, care for the soul, care for the body: Singapore has a long tradition of soothing all three.

One of my rural highlights is walking the Southern Ridges: a 10-kilometre-long green ribbon connecting a series of parks with splendid creations such as the stunning Henderson Waves, Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. It will make your heart beat stronger, whether you’re running or just looking.

The Henderson Waves, once a rail line, is now a blissful green lane with incredible views (Singapore Tourism Board)

Singapore’s rainforest has been gently opened up for the locals and the traveller to enjoy – and the vision for the city-state is constantly to expand the outdoor network.

Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, Singapore aims to triple the length of bike paths, including the Rail Corridor. What used to be the rail line from central Singapore towards Malyasia is now a blissful green lane – once you’ve got up the hill to join it.

Of course whether you’ve cycled 10km or flown 10,000km, it’s good to immerse yourself in indulgence. Sentosa Island is home to the Rasa Sentosa – which offers an array of treatments to relax and re-energise.

In terms of its eco ambitions, as part of the Sustainable Sentosa strategic roadmap, the Sentosa community will focus on six key areas, including transport, sustainable buildings and businesses and green events, as part of the Island’s dual goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and becoming a globally recognised, certified sustainable tourism destination.

Eco approaches

See the sights and boost your health with a bike trip around Singapore (Singapore Tourism Board)

Hybrid and all-electric bus fleets are building up fast and bike use is encouraged through enlarged walkways and pavements – building a healthy appetite.

Singapore has a plan to produce 30 per cent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. The commitment to sustainability is clearest on the 51st top floor of the Capita Spring building. It comprises an urban farm, growing crops from herbs such as rosemary and sage to spinach and pumpkin. The organic farm supplies the restaurant with 80kg of produce every month.

The head gardener, Brent Purtell, says: “I like to call it a chef’s garden. We have three restaurants within the building and so all the produce goes from here to those. From what we know it’s the world’s highest edible garden.”

In terms of transport, Singapore’s approach has always been green, with mass transit for minimum harm the watchword. Travelling around the city-state is swift, eco-friendly and affordable, thanks to the MRT – the hyper-efficient, mass-transit, underground and overground railway that carries more than three million people a day and is expanding around Singapore.

Constant change is the signature of Singapore – and as the city-state accelerates into the future it’s good to find body, soul and planet in alignment.

From stunning beaches and natural wonders to diverse locales, incredible cuisine, and hi-tech horticulture, Singapore is ever-evolving, and seamlessly blends the old with the ultra-new. Find out more about this fascinating city-state and plan your trip from stays to sightseeing here

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in