15 October 2020 - Although it took a while but yes, volume 2 of my Singapore photogenic walking trail highlight is finally here as promised! In September and early October, I covered 5 new walking trails (v6-10) with notable landmarks and places of interest to photograph as part of my POV photo tour video series. Without further ado, here are the routes you could explore to rediscover the beauty of Singapore's urban, nature and cultural environment.
6. Kampong Glam
Start: Bugis MRT Station
End: Nicoll Highway MRT Station
Walking duration: around 25 minutes
Kampong Glam enjoys a synergistic mix of history and culture with a trendy lifestyle ambience. The shophouse district is a significant place of Malay heritage, with the historic Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) and Malay Heritage Centre. It is also a funky neighbourhood filled with hidden gems such as interesting street art and wall murals. The route features places of interest such as DUO Tower, Sultan Mosque, Arab Street and The Concourse.
7. Orchard Road
Start: Somerset MRT Station
End: Orchard MRT Station
Walking duration: around 20 minutes
Orchard Road is Singapore's famous shopping district. Economy is bad this year even after the phased reopening, however, there's no harm exploring creative way of shopping while rediscovering the charming street facade of this retail heaven. In this tour, let me show you how I did "street shopping", "window shopping" and "photo shopping", literally, without spending a dime, so watch this carefully 😂. What I like about Orchard Road as a photographer is the extensive glass facade in many of the shopping malls, these gave lot of photo ideas due to the changing natural light conditions. The places of interest featured in today's route contain a combination of old and new, ranging from Tang Plaza, Orchard Road's very first shopping mall, to Design Orchard, the latest development in district. Other notable buildings include Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria, Wheelock Place and Ion Orchard. For future visit, I would strongly recommend that you check out the rooftop public amphitheater of Design Orchard, from here you could enjoy an elevated view of Orchard Road. There is also a cafe, Alchemist @ Design Orchard at the third level. The building was designed by WOHA Architects.
8. Bras Basah
Start: Rochor MRT Station
End: Esplanade MRT Station
Walking duration: around 35 minutes
The Bras Basah Bugis Precinct is the arts, heritage and design precinct and one of the oldest district of Singapore. It has the largest concentration of museums, historic monuments, heritage buildings, art and design schools and even lifestyle malls in the heart of the city. The area of Bras Basah is relatively large, so today's walk will only cover a selective area. The route starts from Rochor MRT Station, where we explore Selegie House, a photogenic and instagrammable HDB public housing estate, and the exterior of LASALLE College of the Arts. We then take an ambient walk down the pedestrian footpath of Albert Street and Waterloo Street, where two temples of different beliefs (Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Sri Krishnan Temple) sit side by side. Continuing down Waterloo Street, we explore a few more interesting streets of Bras Basah: Queen Street and Victoria Street and North Bridge Road, before heading up to the Bras Basah Complex for some vantage point view of the environment. The walking tour ends at Esplanade MRT Station, you could also choose to begin or end your journey at either City Hall MRT Station or Bras Basah MRT Station depending on your personal preference, since they are all within walking distance. The places of interest featured in today's route comprise of Selegie House, National Library, Bras Basah Complex and Raffles Hotel.
Start: Telok Ayer MRT Station
End: Chinatown MRT Station
Walking duration: around 20 minutes
Chinatown is Singapore’s largest historic district and a tapestry of cultural diversity. It was once a bustling area filled with tourists and locals alike, but due to the travel restrictions, the current state of Chinatown is disheartening. Most of the stores in Pagoda Street and Chinatown Food Street are either empty or closed for business, I recorded an ambient walk near the end of the video to document this.
There are 5 districts in Chinatown (Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar, Bukit Pasoh and Ann Siang Hill), the route this time will cover Telok Ayer and Kreta Ayer as I have already featured Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh in one of my previous videos. The places of interest featured in today's route comprise of Nanking Row, Parkroyal Pickering, Mohamed Ali Lane, Sri Mariamman Temple and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
10. Gardens by the Bay & Marina Bay
Start: Cloud Forest
End: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
Walking duration: around 30 minutes
This scenic route covers two iconic landmarks in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay. The places of interest featured comprise of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer, Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands. As the tenth episode of the POV series and a small milestone for me, I decided to add a special element to this video. This is a route for architecture lovers.
That's it for the recommended walking tours for now, volume 3 of this article would come soon!
About the author
Kevin Siyuan is an architectural photographer and filmmaker at Shiya Studio. We specialize in architectural, interior, hotel photography and creative video works. Check out my Instagram (ksy.yuan) and Youtube for my photo and video works.