Some of Singapore’s most well-known beaches are East Coast Park beach, Sentosa Palawan, Siloso beach, Pasir Ris beach and Changi beach.  But do you know there are some little known remote and/or hidden beaches, some of them only surfacing when the tides are lower?  If you’re adventurous, curious, or prefer going off-the-beaten-track, here is my list of Singapore’s 8 must-visit beaches:

Sentosa’s hidden beach

Sentosa Hidden Beach - For the adventurous one
Sentosa Hidden Beach

Sentosa’s hidden beach is a rocky beach with small caves, and many sea creatures can be spotted when the tide recedes.  I suggest a hike only when the tide is 0.8 metres and lower.  This hike is quite adventurous, as you need to climb over rocks, and you can discover plenty of small caves in the rock formations. We have gone on this hike about once or twice a year with a group, you can request it again here.  Despite bearing Sentosa on the name, this beach is most definitely off-the-beaten-track.

Tanah Merah beach

Tanah Merah Beach, worth the hike
Tanah Merah Beach, photo credits to misstamchiak

This is an artificial beach near the Tanah Merah ferry terminal and is off-limits now.  However, volunteers will have a chance to visit this beach when help is needed to clean up the beach.   You will see hard corals reefs and seagrass found only in Chek Jawa.  You can read here to find out more details.

Punggol beach

Punggol beaches
Punggol Beach, photo credits to digitalpimp@Flickr

The Punggol beach can be easily reached with frequent buses starting from Punggol bus interchange.  The boulders on the beach make it unique from other beaches in Singapore.   Stephan@Flickr has done an excellent job capturing the beauty of this beach, click here to view his photos.   However, behind the beauty, there’s an ugly past: The Japanese army used the beach to shoot 300 to 400 civilians on 28th Feb 1942.  As recent as 1997, a man looking for earthworms as fishing bait found a skull, two gold teeth, an arm and a leg.

The beaches of St John Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island

Beautiful St John Island
St John Island

The beaches found on Lazarus Island are my favourite.  Not only are they one of the cleanest beaches, with their turquoise-blue’ish shade and the fine sand they come closer to the beach paradises around the world than any other beach in Singapore. If you want a beach weekend getaway without leaving Singapore, these beaches are your choice.

Like the Sentosa hidden beach, some of the island’s beaches are accessible only the tide is lower.  So I recommend visiting the islands during low tide.

The wild beaches on Pulau Ubin – Chek Jawa beach, Mamam beach, Jelutong beach, and many more

check java beaches
Chek Jawa, photo credits to wp_orchid@Flickr

Tanjong Chek Jawa are the 100-hectare wetlands located on the south-eastern tip of Pulau Ubin. Mamam beach and Jelutong beach are near the campsite and easily accessible.

The wilder beaches that are facing the Straits of Johor are far off-the-beaten-track and not easily reachable by foot. Kayak is the better choice.  I may try bashing through the jungle to find a path, and when I find it I will invite more people for a hike together.  To get myself motivated, I want to hear from any adventurous folks that are interested in finding a path to those wild beaches.  If you’re keen, let me know, either in the comments below, or message me directly.

Disclaimer: Whatever path I find will be super adventurous — no developed path but going straight through the jungle.

Sister’s island beaches

Sister's Island, for the adventurous
Sister’s Island, photo credits to Islandcriuse

Another off-the-beaten-track one: To get to this island, you will need to charter boats from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier. During low tide of 0.4 metres and below, the intertidal area in this marine park is most suitable for visitors.  Did you know that the Singapore waters are home to 32% of all hard coral species found worldwide, 200 species of sponges and 100 species of reef fish?   The National Park organizes trips to the island but I never seem to be able to catch a spot. I am thinking of chartering a boat for us. As always, do drop me a note here, or leave a comment below, if you are keen, so I know if I should get the ball rolling!

Palau Hantu’s beaches

Pulau Hantu reef in the foreground of the refinery island
Pulau Hantu reef, photo credits Peiyan

Just like for St John Island, you will need to charter a boat from West Coast Pier to get here. During low tide it is possible to hike over to the smaller island.  You can also try snorkeling and fishing.  Did you know that camping is allowed in Pulau Hantu (but it isn’t on Sister’s Island)?  Another dream of mine …go camping there one day. As usual, do drop me a note here, or leave a comment below, if you are keen so we can make it happen.

Click here for some amazing photos of the beach and its sea creatures by blogger Pei Yan.

Sembawang beach

Sembawang beach
Sembawang beach, photo credits to Jerome Lim@The Long and Winding Road

This is one of the very few beaches in Singapore that are both natural and easily accessible. Just take the bus from Sembawang MRT.  The surrounding area has a rich history: It is where the huge British Royal Navy was once based, and it looks quite unlike the rest of Singapore. If you go on a little hike here, you will find black and white colonial houses, the Beaulieu house, bunkers, an old mosque, an old gate etc. Read here to read more about Sembawang’s history from Jerome Lim, who did a great job.


So Singapore is not so boring after all 🙂 ! I hope you’ll enjoy exploring Singapore’s off-the-beaten-track beaches as much as me.

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    1. Hi Harry, the highest chances of seeing fishes would be during low tides of the Southern Islands like St John Island, Palau Hantu and Sentosa that has inter-tidal zones beaches without getting wet. But the fishes will be small. Maybe you need not go to beaches to see the beaches. The large drain near Guillemard Road has lots of big fishes and you can see them most of the time.

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