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Outdoor Singapore?

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scubajunky
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Outdoor Singapore?

Postby scubajunky » Wed, 13 Jul 2016 5:30 am

HI all,

I'm wondering what it is like to live in Singapore ? I have an interview but I am a country guy at heart. I'm a 41 single guy from the UK who loves the outdoors, nature, hiking, kayaking etc

Is there plenty to do there and easy access to nature and greenery from the urban metropolis ?

Really interested to hear from other expats.

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JR8
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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Jul 2016 5:48 pm

Hi ScubaJ, welcome to the forum!

The are a couple of country folk hereabouts, me for one, and the moderator SundayMorningStaple [SMS] is another I know of. I think SG is ultra-urban even if you come from a city back home. It's higher-rise, more densely packed, and has far less green spaces. IME you do adjust to it, but just about all expats have some element of missing access to space, calm and peace and quiet.

One mega advantage of SG is the proximity of wonderful places to travel. So during long work-days in the urban jungle you can be planning your next trip off to the remote wilds in SE Asia. And since you dive you're in for a treat. You can access places relatively simply that are a once in a lifetime trek from back home. Places like Lembeh, Bunaken, Malapascua, Sipidan, Komodo, Rajah Ampat and so on. On shorter trips you can make a long weekend of diving from Phuket, Tioman, Lombok etc, even day-trips out to the Riau Islands a few miles south of Singapore. So for the majority of people, urban or not, SG is ultra-urban and holidays away are what you wish to make of them.

In SG itself for watersports ie beach-side and some limited hiking/walking outdoors the East Coast area might best offer potential for you. There's some boating and wind-surfing, and a couple of coastline walking paths.

- Coincidentally SMS is an ex commercial rig-diver, whereas I'm on the 'fun-side' [hehe], Padi-DM. There's another topic somewhere that updates occasionally with the regional diving people are enjoying.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

scubajunky
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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby scubajunky » Wed, 13 Jul 2016 7:33 pm

Cool, thanks for your input, so being a country guy would the greener places around Singapore like East Side etc be doable in the week and then places like the Riau Islands and Bantam Island be something you could do every weekend if you like to get some nice beaches and hiking and that space feeling ?

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JR8
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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Jul 2016 8:46 pm

East Coast is generally considered a good area for people who want a bit more peace and quiet. It's a bit more spread out and somewhat lower-rise. Then there's proximity to the beach and facilities, the boardwalk trail and so on. It's popular with families.
On the north-east side is Pulau Ubin [island] which might be one of last semi-wilderness parts of Singapore. You can go and hike there, depends how much you enjoy the punishing climate.
There are also some forest/reserve areas that serve as the national water catchment-area, like McRitchie Forest and Reservoir which has several hiking trails, that is located in the central/north area.
But SG in such a small place that you don't have to live on the doorstep of such places to enjoy them on the weekends, though it would make access a bit easier. I think most people work long weekday hours, so access to open space matters less on work-days.
Have a look at the 'Where to Live' FAQ, and it might spark some advance thinking about which areas could work best overall for you, with regard to workplace, amenity, commute time, your budget etc...> viewtopic.php?t=101985

ps. Malaysia's Tioman Island is a c30 minute flight away and a world apart. Unspoilt, pristine beaches, some great hiking. You'll find plenty of divers in SG visiting there for as many w/e's as possible during the season.
Diving off Singapore doesn't fit the stereotype of a tropical idyll. Not least as SGs harbour is one of the biggest in the world, the water is turbid and there's not much left of any coral. So it's more a kind of macro or muck-diving style there. Fun for a few dives, but you don't relo to Asia to experience diving in like a warm-water version of Brighton England :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby scubajunky » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 2:43 am

Cool, thanks for your input and info, what about the southern tip of Malaysia which is near Singapore ? is there much to do in that region, hiking and beach wise and is it easy to get to on the weekends etc

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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 4:55 pm

Probably not as much as one might expect.
It's worth doing a day-trip to the frontier town Johore Bahru just to experience it, but it's a big busy pretty run-down place with the transient feel of a border town. But there are a couple of things to see there, temples and so on, some shopping to be done and with a little research a few good dining options at prices lower than Singapore. A downside though is the border crossing is perhaps the biggest 'zoo' you might ever experience. [Certainly wait until you have a SGn visa/residency card that allows you to go through automated immigration lanes, so cutting your total queuing in half, before undertaking that day-trip - just my 2c].
The focus of Johore state seems more industrial, more pitched at feeding into the SGn economy. I don't think they've really considered pitching at the SGn leisure market, beyond the recent appearance of Legoland.
But that's just my perspective. Have a look at the Malaysia Tourism site and have a dig around - http://www.malaysia.travel/en/intl
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Outdoor Singapore?

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 14 Jul 2016 9:51 pm

Take up golf. Plenty of lovely courses in Bintan, Batam and around the southern tip of Malaysia.


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