Did you know that Singapore is more than tall skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and a bustling city life? While the city is never far wherever you find yourself on this tiny island, there is beautiful and quiet nature to enjoy. If you want, you can even find a nice little spot to pitch your tent and live a different experience.Before you start looking for places to camp, you should know one thing: permits are mandatory in the parks on the mainland. Luckily, getting a permit is very simple. They are available online or from any AXS station for the park of your choice. You need a permit for every day your tent is pitched, any day of the year. There is also a 4-day limit per applicant per month.
While camping used to be possible anywhere on the island, this is no longer the case and there are only three places where you can officially camp on mainland Singapore. They are the natural parks of East Coast Park, West Coast Park, and Pasir Ris Park.
East Coast Park is the busiest as it is the closest to the city. It has a 15-km stretch of beach and offers many activities. West Coast Park is also located in an urban area a little outside of the city centre. You can also book permits for BBQs at this park. Finally, Pasir Ris Park is, you’ve guessed it, also close to an urban area. It does feel quieter however, despite the nearby airport.
If you want a more natural experience, consider the islands of Pulau Ubin and Hantu. They are far from the city centre and will offer the wildest experience you can encounter in Singapore. Both are accessible by boat and don’t require a permit although you need a free authorisation to camp on Pulau Hantu. If you want to camp for more than 4 days in one month, these islands are your only option.
What to bring?
Of course, you can bring your own camping gear if you have it. If you don’t, there are stores in the city that sell or rent everything you need, including a Decathlon. You will also find food easily and can even pick up plates at local restaurants for luxury camping. Some spots have a BBQ or fire pits that you can use to grill or cook your meal. You’ll likely need to get a permit for that however, but they are easy to secure.
When packing or shopping, keep in mind that it can get hot and humid when summer camping in Singapore. That can be difficult to deal with for people from northern countries. Your tent should be 4-season and don’t bring a sleeping bag that’s designed for cold weather. You could also consider using a tent air conditioner. They’ll keep you nice and cool so you can get some good sleep. As some sites come with a power hook-up, you might even be able to use the air conditioner throughout the night if it is not too noisy.