9 Hauntingly beautiful abandoned places to explore in Singapore
You’ve not seen this side of Singapore before.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog, but don’t worry I haven’t abandoned it yet. Anyway, I’ve been seeing articles about really cool abandoned places around the world and that got me wondering there were any abandoned placed in Singapore to see.
I found that there’s a handful of beautiful places that can be visited (or photographed at least) without trespassing.
But before you check out these abandoned places in Singapore, a quick disclaimer: Derelict places can be dangerous with how old and run down they are. In other words, let only your pictures be killer, and nothing else.
UPDATE (11/03/17): Some of these places are no longer accessible or have been torn down, as stated in the headers below.
Abandoned places in Singapore
1) Syonan Jinja
Syonan Jinja is an abandoned structure that was built during the Japanese Occupation. Located in the depths of the forests lining Macritchie reservoir, without any marked trails or signs to guide you, this abandoned place is the hardest to get to on this list.
There are specific coordinates that mark the shrine (N 01° 20.900 E 103° 48.820). However, to get there you’d need to cross a swamp or navigate through a dense forest. If you decide to go through this immensely difficult route, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of these shrine remnants that not many have been able to find.
Location: Syonan Jinja, 36 Lornie Rd, Singapore 298735
2) Railway Track in Clementi
There are a couple of abandoned rail tracks around Singapore. A number of them are quite popular with Instagrammers, but this unnamed train track in Clementi is not as well known.
This railway track is not as popular as the rest because it’s out of the way, and there’s a bit of a challenge to get up to the tracks itself — some climbing is required. These challenges make the photo you take at the end a lot more rewarding though.
Location: Between Sunset Way and Clementi Ave 4
3) Japanese Cemetery Park
Okay I may be cheating a little with this one as the Japanese Cemetery Park is technically maintained by the Japanese Association of Singapore.
Still, I’d like to consider this cemetery an abandoned one, as it houses over a thousand graves of Japanese people who died during the Japanese Occupation, meaning there probably aren’t any descendants who still visit.
Despite it being a cemetery, the grounds are hauntingly beautiful with robust and bright bougainvillaeas that line the metal archways along the cemetery
Location: Japanese Cemetery Park, 825B Chuan Hoe Ave, Singapore 549853
4) Keppel Hill Reservoir
This small reservoir was first built in 1905, and has been abandoned for so long that virtually no one knew its location till 2014, when a group of researchers stumbled upon it in Mt Faber.
Not only was it a water source, it also served as a swimming pool during the Japanese Occupation according to post-war maps. You can even see a ramshackle diving board and bathing area by this tiny reservoir.
Adventure seekers are sure to enjoy searching out this hidden and historical gem that not many have laid eyes on.
Location: Keppel Hill Reservoir, Mt Faber, 11 Keppel Hill, Singapore 098686 (near Telok Blangah Rd)
5) Portsdown Road’s Water Tank
This enormous water tank near one-north MRT might be a familiar sight to you already. Even if you haven’t been to the Portsdown Rd water tank personally, you may have seen it on your Instagram feed.
It’s pretty cool to take a picture next to this massive structure, but be careful if you intend to climb the ladder. It looks pretty rusty, and I’m not sure if it’s still safe today.
Location: Portsdown Rd Water Tank, Behind 3 Westbourne Road Singapore 138943
UPDATE: I’ve moved all the out of bounds areas to this part of the listicle.
6) Neo Tiew Estate (No trespassing)
UPDATE: The estate used to be open to the public, but it is now fenced up. It is still part of the Kranji Heritage Trail and pictures can be taken from the outside (but it’s not as cool as exploring it from the inside!)
The Neo Tiew Estate was a regular HDB estate till it was vacated in 2002 so that the Singapore Armed Forces could use it for training. In particular, they make use of the infrastructure to practice fighting in a closed space with many obstructions.
It surprised me to find that the Neo Tiew Estate is actually still open to the public — it is actually part of the Kranji Heritage Trail. The only condition is that people need to stay away during military trainings of course.
Location: Neo Tiew Estate, 3 Lim Chu Kang Rd (Near where Lim Chu Kang Road and Neo Tiew Road intersect.)
7) Istana Woodneuk (No trespassing)
UPDATE: My bad, I thought Istana Woodneuk was still open to the public as there are still a lot of social media posts on it, but it has been out of bounds since 2015.
Istana Woodneuk is the former home of the Johor Sultan in the late 1800s, and is probably one of the most frequented abandoned spots in Singapore.
It has drawn a lot of attention, probably due to its architecture, history, and relative ease of accessibility (a ten-minute walk from Botanic Gardens).
Lush greenery almost dwarfs this mansion. Certain parts of the building don’t have ceilings either, so there’s quite a bit of natural lighting that makes this historical landmark easy to explore.
Location: Istana Woodneuk, 753 Tyersall Ave, Singapore 257700
8) Old Brunei Hostel (No trespassing)
The old Brunei Hostel has been around since 1958, housing many scholars, but was abandoned in the 1980s when other Singaporean educational institutions became more established.
What I love the old Brunei Hostel is that this building is completely overrun by all sorts of ferns, bushes, and moss, making it look oddly picturesque.
Sadly the interior is all covered in graffiti and looks quite ugly. :l What’s up with people who visit abandoned places just to do graffiti?
Location: The exact location is not mapped, but is said to be at the end of Tanglin Hill, within walking distance of Redhill MRT.
9) Chee Guan Chiang House (No trespassing)
The Chee Guan Chiang house has remained abandoned for close to ninety years due to various legal disputes. People used to be able to go inside, but it has been closed off to the public since 2008.
Still, if you have a drone, or don’t mind trekking up the surrounding areas, you can get some dope exterior and aerial shots.
Location: Chee Guan Chiang House, 25 Grange Road, Singapore 239699