On the surface, Singapore seems like a more suitable destination for shopping and business than outdoor pursuits. Visitors who prefer to keep active during their Singapore stay, however, will find plenty of things to do as long as they venture away from Orchard Road's shopping and Riverside's skyscrapers.
The Singapore Zoo is the best known attraction in the city's north end, but visitors can also feast their eyes on lions, giraffes, flying squirrels, and other exotic wildlife along the Night Safari's Leopard Trail walking path. Adrenaline junkies can soar up to 200kms per hour at Clarke Quay's G-Max Reverse Bungy.
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times of day to explore the virgin jungle around the artificial MacRitchie Reservoir. The 250m long HSBC Treetop Walk hangs up to 27m above the reservoir's north side. The trails around MacRitchie Reservoir range between three to 11kms. It is possible for hikers to reach Bukit Timah, Singapore's highest point, from MacRitchie Reservoir.
Northwest Singapore's Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is also one of the island's few remaining primary tropical rainforests. Bukit Timah's 166m summit can be reached in 15 minutes from a paved road or in 50 minutes from a longer and more interesting route. Singapore's first ASEAN heritage park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, is the best place to see a mangrove forest here.
Chinese and Japanese gardens are situated in another artificial lake, Jurong, in the western part of Singapore of the same name. Jurong is also the only place in Singapore where visitors can take part in winter sports such as skiing or ice skating. Snow City, Singapore's first permanent indoor snow centre, also offers snowboarding and sledding.
Another place where Jurong visitors can cool off from Singapore's perpetually warm tropical climate is the indoor ice skating rink at JCube, a shopping centre whose design resembles an ice cube. The Sentosa Luge and Skyride ski lift takes visitors to the top of a hill where they can then soar down in a bobsled.
Prawning, which involves catching prawns with a fishing rod, is one of the most unusual outdoor activities in the part of northeast Singapore known as Punggol. Visitors can barbecue the prawns they catch at pits. Cycling is another popular activity along Punggol Promenade, Punggol Park, and Punggol Waterway. The view from nearby Coney Island Park extends across the Malaysian border to Johor Baru.
An even more secluded Singapore cycling spot is Pulau Ubin, a small island where houses are perched on stilts and cycling trails outnumber paved streets. In addition to the scenic 10kms Ketam Mountain Bike Park trail, Pulau Ubin visitors can also venture to the Chek Jawa Wetlands observation tower and mangrove boardwalk. Advance booking is required before attempting Forest Adventure's challenging two hour obstacle course.
Sailing and windsurfing are two water sports activities on offer at the otherwise serene East Coast Park, the most extensive of Singapore's several green spaces. Singapore's East Coast also boasts 20kms worth of beautiful and surprisingly secluded beaches.