7 Spots To Go Camping In Singapore For An Epic Experience

7 Spots To Go Camping In Singapore For An Epic Experience

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Always Wanted To Experience Living In Nature? Give The Chalets & Hotels A Pass And Try Out Camping In Singapore At These Locations!

After weeks of staring at the screen for work in the middle of Singapore’s concrete jungle, the last thing some of us want is a retreat in another stoney building. 

While jungle and beach chalets and resorts may offer us some form of respite in nature, it still isn’t the full nature experience to really reset our senses. Not to mention how it tends to be crowded as well (introverts and nature lovers, I hear you!).

Which leads us to camping. Think lounging under the stars, falling asleep to the lull of the ocean waves or gentle rings of cicadas and crickets, roasting marshmallows over a flame for s’mores, and perhaps sharing stories and songs with your camping buddies. It doesn’t have to only be in stories and movies - you can experience it right here in Singapore!

While we may think that there are heaps of campsites in the Singapore mainland with the country’s initiative to build a true garden city, you’ll be surprised to know that there are only just over a handful of places where one is allowed to go camping in Singapore.

Is Overnight Camping Allowed In Singapore?

Camping IS allowed in Singapore and you can definitely pitch your tent. But here’s the thing, you can only do so in dedicated camping zones found within certain locations. 

You must also apply for a camping permit with the relevant authorities before you embark on your camping adventure and start pitching your tents.

Where Do I Apply For A Camping Permit In Singapore?

You can apply for a camping permit from the National Parks Board and the Singapore Land Authority via the following avenues;

  • The National Parks Board via an AXS Machine or AXS website,

  • And the Singapore Land Authority via your SingPass account for a Temporary Occupation License.

Be sure to apply for your camping permit up to 2 weeks in advance so that you can secure your camping opportunity and get ready for your camping trip without a hitch!

7 Camping Sites You’ll Want To Check Out To Experience Camping In Singapore

Pasir Ris Park camping. Photo by Mark Hoekstra.
Photo by Mark Hoekstra.

1. Pasir Ris Park

Pasir Ris Park is one of Singapore’s oldest beaches that’s found all the way at the east side of Singapore near the Changi area. While you can no longer camp at the Changi Beach Park, the Pasir Ris Park offers a beautiful alternative with similar offerings; coastal walks, the cool sea breeze, and abundant trees with green fields about your camping spot.

This recreational park is popular amongst the locals and campers because of the many activities that can be done there. Some of these include sunset catching, fishing, jogging, cycling, bird-watching (hornbills have been spotted here!) at the three-story viewing tower, shaded picnics in one of the many gazebos if you’re looking for a change of pace away from your tent, and pony rides at the nearby Gallop Stable.

Camping can be done at the Campsite 1 and Campsite 3 camping spots located just by the coastline of the Pasir Ris Park, but you’ll need to apply for a permit via the AXS website before you can even set up a tent there.

There are public toilets with shower facilities near the camping site, along with water dispensers and vending machines. That said, do note that the water dispensers are said to mostly be the water fountain sort where you can’t use it to fill up your bottles.

Pasir Ris Park BBQ zones. Photo by Allison Lim.
Pasir Ris Park BBQ zones. Photo by Allison Lim.

Barbecue pits are available for you to book in advance at a small fee so cooking is no problem. That’s also because campfire cooking and campfire building in general is not allowed on the premises.

Some things you may want to bring for your camping trips here include a portable fan, ready-to-consume food if you don’t intend to book the BBQ pits for cooking, and mosquito repellent. There are also wildlife spotted in the Pasir Ris Park such as wild boars and dogs looking to scavenge for food, so it’s best to bin leftover food waste over leaving it around your tent.

2. Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is home to 3 campsites; the Jelutong Campsite, Mamam Campsite, and Endut Senin Campsite. This particular island is found just off Changi which you can access just by boarding the daily bumboat from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

It gets particularly crowded during the weekends, making it a prime spot for quiet camping on the weekdays. But if this is one of your first few camping experiences, I’d highly recommend going with the crowd over the weekends for a more jolly experience!

Pulau Ubin Jelutong Campsite. Photo by Bemeer Ang.
Pulau Ubin Jelutong Campsite. Photo by Bemeer Ang.

Jelutong Campsite

The Jelutong Campsite is found closest to the jetty and it is known as the most convenient campsite in Pulau Ubin because you can easily purchase food from the jetty if you don’t intend to do any campfire cooking (it’s one of the rare spots for camping in Singapore where you can set up a campfire). 

Some of the more popular activities that can be enjoyed at this campsite include fishing and cycling, or just a simple view and relaxation session with the Straits of Singapore and skyline of Pasir Ris within sight. That said, there are no shower facilities in the area and no clean drinking facilities so do bring your own water purifying tablets and a generously sized water bottle to store your purified water supply.

It’s also advisable to bring a small bag of charcoal if you do decide to do some campfire cooking (s’mores anyone?) or else you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way of gathering dry wood to be burnt.

Certain parts of the campgrounds tend to be rocky so campers generally advise bringing sleeping bags with extra padding and a tent that does not require pegs to be secured. You’ll also spot fireflies and the occasional wild boar sightings around the area but they generally leave as quickly as they appear.

Pulau Ubin Mamam Campsite. Photo by Mohan Kalyan.
Pulau Ubin Mamam Campsite. Photo by Mohan Kalyan.

Mamam Campsite

Found at the far north-east side of the island is perhaps Pulau Ubin’s most popular camping spot, the Mamam Campsite. Getting there can either be a challenge or a convenient affair - you can opt to hire a van with a small fee for the easy way, or take a 30-minute trek through the jungle to reach the campsite.

But once you’ve overcome the logistics of getting here, you’ll be in for a treat with one of the best sunset views, and one of the best spots in Singapore to go stargazing thanks to the absence of light pollution here.

It’s highly recommended to bring ample drinking water with you in the 2L Montigo Ace Bottle Massive as there are no water dispensers on-site, even though there are public toilets nearby. Some campers have reported that the water supply is rather fickle. And of course, don’t forget your insect repellent and mosquito coil as there are mosquitoes and sandflies about.

Pulau Ubin Endut Senin Campsite. Photo by 고윈ᄐugly.

Endut Senin Campsite

The Endut Senin Campsite is the furthest from the main jetty at a 30-minutes walk away, but one of the best things about this campsite is the unobstructed sea views and the presence of a lake (otters have been sighted there!) and river nearby for waterbody-loving campers.

It’s relatively quiet compared to the other two campsites, so if you’re looking for a truly quiet camping experience, this is the one you want. There are public toilets on-site without shower facilities, and only non-potable water is available with it also being an irregular affair. Considering that, it’s best to bring your own ample water supply just to be on the safe side.

East Coast Park camping. Photo by Jason Low.
East Coast Park camping. Photo by Jason Low.

3. East Coast Park

Enter Singapore’s most popular recreational park, the East Coast Park. It’s a 15km coastal stretch that is packed with recreational activities for park-goers and campers of all ages. 

Think picnics, camping, fishing, kite-flying, kayaking, jogging, sandcastle building, cycling, skating, BBQ parties, wakeboarding, a beautiful bougainvillaea garden to be explored, and prime spots to discover for the best sunset and sunrise views. The list is endless!

Public toilets with shower facilities are available close to the dedicated camping grounds for campers to utilise, along with a convenience store on-site, a good number of eateries, and BBQ pits to boot! It’s definitely one of the most convenient places to go camping in Singapore, making it great for first time campers.

East Coast Park glamping. Photo by Rubi Saini.
East Coast Park glamping. Photo by Rubi Saini.

Those seeking a more boujee camping experience can also opt to book a glamping stay in the dedicated glamping zones, where everything is readily available for your camping stay. You simply have to show up.

If you do intend to do some campfire cooking, do note that you’re not allowed to build a campfire here, so you’ll have to book one of the BBQ pits around the park and bring some charcoal and BBQ equipment as the premises only provides the pit, sans the mesh and charcoal.

West Coast Park campsite. Photo by Forest BK.
West Coast Park campsite. Photo by Forest BK.

4. West Coast Park

If you’re going camping with little children, then you’ll definitely want to check out the West Coast Park. This particular recreational park is one of the best ones for families looking to go camping with children because of the many kid-friendly facilities available.

Think McDonald’s on-site, flying fox activities, a Ninja Warrior obstacle course for children, a spider web made, and a gigantic playground. There’s also a Sheng Siong convenience store nearby for parents to keep their camping packs lighter as you’ll likely already have your hands full looking after the little ones.

The West Coast Park is also a prime area for sunset viewing, with toilets that have shower facilities, and plentiful tall trees found in the area that provide ample shade for campers who arrive earlier in the day.

It’s definitely one of the more convenient camping sites for families living in the west side and central area of Singapore to access with little children. Having said that, do note that campers have reported it to be a little on the noisy side thanks to the nearby shipyard - which is why you may want to consider bringing ear plugs.

Pulau Hantu camping zone. Photo by Wong Wi.
Photo by Wong Wi.

5. Pulau Hantu (Ghost Island)

Now here’s an exciting camping zone. Pulau Hantu literally translates to “Ghost Island” in Malay and it is made up of two islets; Pulau Hantu Besar and Pulau Hantu Kecil. While the name is on the morbid side, there is a reason for it. It is said that Pulau Hantu was the battleground for ancient Malay warriors who fought in duels to the death here, where their souls are said to still wander the isle.

Which is why camping here is definitely not for the faint-hearted especially once you know of that tale. But even so, Pulau Hantu is one of the most peaceful and idyllic getaway spots for camping thanks to the abundant swaying palm trees, clean, white sandy beach, and rich reefs that surround the island. You can even walk between the islets during low tide for a unique experience or swim in the island’s lagoon!

While it’s name may strike a chord in some, it is still one of the top spots for campers seeking a true nature getaway, snorkelling enthusiasts seeking to get up and close to the reefs and marine life, fishing enthusiasts, and explorers seeking a day-trip outdoors away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

To get to Pulau Hantu, you’ll need to charter a fast boat from the Marina South Pier or the West Coast Pier. There are public toilets available on the Pulau Hantu grounds that feature shower facilities for you to utilise, along with a few BBQ pits for you to enjoy campfire cooking.

Bearing these in mind, do make sure to apply for your camping permit at least a week in advance before your camping trip. The authorities there are vigilant when it comes to checking printed out camping permits so you may get fined if you don’t have yours on hand!

St John's Island Turtle Lodge. Photo by Singapore Land Authority.

6. St John’s Island

St John’s Island offers campers two choices of either camping out in the open, or a stay in one of their camping lodges; the Dolphin Lodge and Turtle Lodge.

The Dolphin and Turtle lodge takes on a hostel-like setting where several single beds line a long hallway. Some conveniences of camping in the lodge include readily available cooking, shower, and toilet facilities, and BBQ pits. It’s definitely a sight that most NS-men would find familiar!

St John's Island Turtle Lodge bunk hall. Photo by Singapore Land Authority.

Alternatively, you could also opt to go ahead and pitch your tent in the dedicated camping grounds. You’ll simply have to get your camping permit approved up to 2 weeks in advance.

One downside to St John’s Island is how there are no eateries nor convenience stores around so it’s highly recommended that you bring ample food and water supply for the duration of your camping trip before you depart for St John’s Island via a ferry from the Marina South Pier.

But the best thing about St John’s Island is definitely how its beaches are some of the better ones in Singapore thanks to its crystal clear blue waters and clean, white sand, making it an ideal spot if you’re after a beach camping experience. That said, I’d recommend keeping a continuous watchful eye on your belongings as there have been plenty of monkey and wild cat sightings.

Lazarus Island Camping. Photo by Mingzhe Du.
Lazarus Island Camping. Photo by Mingzhe Du.

7. Lazarus Island

When it comes to camping in Singapore, Lazarus Island is said to be one of the best ones thanks to its newer and cleaner facilities. There are 6 campsites in total that can be found on Lazarus Island, and they all line the coast. Campsite B in particular is a dedicated glamping zone for those after a boujee camping experience.

There is a convenience store available on-site, along with public toilets and vending machines found near the Lazarus Island dock. Even though public toilets are available, the tap water here is non-potable so it’s advised to bring water purifying tablets and a large water vessel to store your water supply.

Lazarus Island is a popular fishing spot for fishing enthusiasts, and its waters are popular amongst boaters on their yacht who frequent the area to enjoy a bout of water sports like wakeboarding or jet-skiing.

It’s one of the rare places where you can set up a campfire while camping in Singapore, which means comforting campfire cooking and a fun session of s’mores roasting by the campfire. It’s also a fantastic spot for snorkelling, beachside swimming, frisbee, hiking, and cycling. Bonus if you have a kite - you can enjoy kite-flying on the island!

That said, it tends to get rather hot here due to the lack of shade by the coast, so it’s best to bring a portable fan, an extra portable umbrella, and definitely insect repellent as you will encounter mosquitoes and sometimes sandflies.