Escape to SG’s countryside and explore fun farms, scenic nature spots and historic heritage sites.
The Kranji suburb is located in northwestern Singapore, some 22 kilometres from the city centre, and named after a local tree, the pokok keranji (tamarind-plum tree). A major part of the area was reclaimed as an industrial estate and for establishing the Kranji/Pandan water scheme, which explains the presence of numerous manufacturing companies plus the Kranji Reservoir!
The area holds much historical significance. The land around Kranji Road was used for the first Singapore-Kranji railway in 1903. During World War II in 1942, Kranji was one of the sites where some of the most intense fighting took place.
Today, this secluded haven is known for its nature parks, the Singapore Zoo, Singapore Turf Club and agriculture. It’s also been re-envisioned as Kranji Countryside, SG’s new hip, rural getaway, thanks to a group of farmers and craftsmakers named but, of course, the Kranji Countryside Association.
Start your morning with a bottle of fresh milk from Singapore’s only goat farm – pick from two sizes (200 or 800 millilitres) and two flavours (original or chocolate). But, drink up fast! The milk is preservative-free and meant to be consumed as soon as possible. Take the farm tour (from $4.28 per person) and watch the goats get milked and even feed them by hand. (3 Lim Chu Kang Ln 4, 718859)
A fifth of the more than 100 farms here are open to the public – enough for some serious farmhopping. Make it easy on yourself by signing up for the Kranji Heritage Trail. Learn about the rural history of Kranji, Neo Tiew, Lim Chu Kang and Choa Chu Kang (a.k.a, the enclaves forming the Kranji Countryside) while visiting interesting spots such as Hausmann Aquarium Fish Farm, Jurong Frog Farm, Kranji Army Barracks, Kranji Railway and more. Tip: The Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market is held at Neo Tiew Crescent every few months, and features more than 40 local farmers and crafts-makers.
Take time out from your countryside sojourn to visit this serene hillside cemetery honouring the men and women from the Commonwealth who died in the line of duty during World War II. Next to the more than 4,400 white gravestones and four hilltop memorials found here, are two other cemeteries: the non-world war site Kranji Military Cemetery and the Singapore State Cemetery, where Singapore’s first two presidents are buried. (9 Woodlands Rd, 738656)
The family-run landscaping and horticulture company Nyee Phoe Group has been around for more than a hundred years, so you can trust the quality of this farm-to-table resto. Its pan-roasted lamb with fresh mint sauce ($28) is tender to the bite, while its take on a local dish, the Gardenasia Fish Soup ($16), is served with leafy greens picked from local farms. (240 Neo Tiew Cres, 718898)
Make, bake and take home your own work of art at Singapore’s oldest surviving Long Yao or dragon kiln. Tour the brick kiln, buy pottery wares or sign up for workshops – the “I Love Pottery” workshop is popular with the kids – to learn about traditional wood-fi red ceramics. (85 Lorong Tawas, 639823)
This little-known 9-hectare park may be quiet, but it means you can spend quality time chilling with the family. Here, you can take in the panorama of Johor Bahru city, Malaysia, cast lines at two designated fishing grounds, or pay your respects to the fallen soldiers of World War II at the Battle of Kranji memorial plaque. (Along Kranji Walk)
Situated on the northwestern shore of Kranji Reservoir, this 56.8-hectare marshland is a must-visit to appreciate SG’s flora and fauna. Whether you venture through forested Neo Tiew Woods to spot birds and reptiles (think woodpeckers and monitor lizards) or climb the 10-metre Raptor Tower for a scenic view of the marshes and Kranji Reservoir, make sure to check out the park’s guided tours as some parts are restricted. Bonus: The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Singapore Zoo are found nearby! (Kranji Gate, 11 Neo Tiew Ln 2, 718814)
Spend more than just a day in the country, and book a bucolic staycay here. Settle into any of its 35 villas (price upon request) – its executive villa comes with a Jacuzzi while the family suite sleeps eight people – and have the brood take on a whole host of activities such as a bee farm tour, pony rides, prawn fishing and more. (10 Neo Tiew Ln 3, 718813)
By Christopher Ong Ujine, From The Finder Issue 296/ Photos: The Straits Times and Bistro by Gardenasia
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