Getting away from crowded civilization in Singapore is not the easiest thing to do. It is clearly quite a challenge in a city where the population’s activities are centred in the central built up areas – and of course, wherever there’s air conditioning! In the usual 35 degrees of heat, people generally avoid the outdoors.

However, evenings tend to be cooler and there are some great spots in the National Parks’ Park Connector network which aims to link Singapore’s remaining green bits together into one large interconnected pan-island park.

I visited Sengkang Riverside Park recently, a more remote spot near Farmway LRT station near Punggol in the north part of Singapore, which on the map looked like an isolated, relatively unbuilt area next to a river.

Arriving in the evening as the sun was setting over the water, the stillness and lack of commotion on a weekend gave the feeling of being somewhere quiet and secluded, perhaps nearby across the causeway in Malaysia.

Upon arriving at Sengkang Riverside Park, closely situated were the ubiquitous conveniences of a community centre. I grabbed a couple of beers from the 7-11 and strolled down to the riverside where there were plenty spaces to loaf. A timber decked platform, a series of long boardwalks snaking across the river, and quiet grassland on the other side are nicely lit up at night.

After the darkness had set in, I found a quiet spot of solitude overlooking a small island of reeds outside the restaurant on the opposite bank. Observing the scene, a few cyclists stopped by at the end of their ride to drink a few beers to the sounds of the Beatles, a few runners pass by and the occasional lone walker strolls through.

If you’re after a few hours of contemplation or some quiet time with nature, take the light rail to Farmway, walk the couple of minutes down to Sengkang Riverside Park, turn off your phone and step away from civilization.

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