5 unexpected historical hidden spots in Singapore — including a jungle love spot and an “enchanted fairy lake”

by June Ngooi

If you think that you’ve seen all that Singapore has to offer, you might want to think again! 

Despite its small size, the magic of this city is that it never ceases to amaze with each hidden spot you uncover.

From historical landmarks to quirky Easter Eggs displaced in time, we have gathered five unexpected historical hidden spots in Singapore that you have most likely not heard of. 

1. Condom lorry in Chestnut Nature Park 

historical hidden spots
Photo: Urban Explorers of Singapore/facebook

Did you know that Singapore has its very own “rubber plantation”? Well, something like that. 

Snuggled in the northwestern corner of Singapore, Chestnut Nature Park is known to be a cosy nature reserve hidden from the main traffic. Known for its trekking trails which have not been taken over by the concrete ones, Chestnut Nature Park is Singapore’s largest nature park and a fan favourite for hikers. 

Photo: Urban Explorers of Singapore/facebook

A deeper trek into the nature park reveals an obscure track that leads to an abandoned lorry in the middle of the woods. While abandoned vehicles in the woods are not unheard of, it is not commonly seen. Spewn around the lorry is a bunch of condoms — both used and unused — earning its notorious name of “condom lorry”. 

Theory goes that this part of the jungle could have been a brothel (oooh, spicy love spot anyone?) or used for vice-related activities, but who really knows? Either way, this is an unexpected hidden spot and serves for an interesting photo!   

2. Former Tuas TV World Site

Photo: Lim H.K/google images

Ever wondered where old Singapore period dramas were filmed? Some of you might have heard of the former Tuas TV World that was a prime film set specially built for the purpose of period dramas! 

Photo: Lim H.K/google images

What used to be a hundred buildings spanning across three long streets, now only stands fifteen buildings as the decline for Singapore period dramas exponentially grew in the recent decades. However, this does not stop history buffs from making the trip to Tuas to catch a glimpse of Tuas TV World.

historical hidden spots
Photo: DJS/google images

Do take note though, that if you’re planning to make a trip down here, the best view you can get of the place is only through the closed main gates. But even from the entrance, you’re able to see the unique 50s inspired architectural style of the shophouse buildings. 

A tip from me: since it is slated for demolition in the second quarter of 2024, it is best to take a trip down and get a glimpse of them before they are fully gone!

3. Old Jurong Railway

Photo: Shangrilla Cycling Tours/google images

You might remember the KTM railway tracks that were removed during its decommission period in 2021, but did you know that there is another railway line whose tracks are still intact?

historical hidden spots
Photo: Isaac Li/google images

The Old Railway Line is a track that runs from Bukit Timah to Jurong and even though it is not in operation anymore, it is commonly used as a trekking and hiking trail for the adventurous. The track itself has many noteworthy spots to witness but my favourite has got to be the hidden tunnel along this railway. 

Photo: Roy Ng/google images

Okay granted, it isn’t really a hidden spot per se but the tunnel is indeed in a quiet place obscure enough and shielded from sight of the main road. Just exploring the area already lets you feel like you’re the main character in a role-playing game!

Do take note that the trek to this one is recommended for seasoned hikers, but even if you’re just starting out, safety is always first. 

4. Kay Siang Bunkers in Queenstown 

historical hidden spots
Photo: Howsy/google images

Modern amenities fit for the city have overtaken almost all of the region of Queenstown, but there are still hidden remnants of the past and you just need to know where to look. 

Kay Siang Bunkers is one such underrated historical landmark and was built during WW2, later abandoned due to the resolution of the war. It was used as storage to keep munitions for the British Military who were still there at the time. 

Photo: Jimmy Ng Kim Whatt/google images

If you’re interested in swinging by, then grab your comfy hiking shoes because you might have to trek a bit for this one! Even the entrance to the bunkers are relatively hidden, with only a small clearing between the trees and a muddy trail with trampled grass to suggest its frequent use. 

Photo: Howsy/google images

In total, there are three bunkers that you can explore and they are hard to miss as they are literally concrete blocks against a backdrop of green trees. Because of its obscurity, this is probably one of my favourite historical hidden spots and it could be yours too!

5. Seah Im Bunker 

On the topic of bunkers, besides the Kay Siang Bunkers in Queenstown, there is also the Seah Im Bunker in Keppel Hill that remains as one of the unexpected historical hidden spots in Singapore. 

historical hidden spots
Photo: Goldenpapa/google images

I call it “unexpected” because the secret entrance to reach this bunker lies behind a fence that not many people will think to go to at first glance. After a short hike of 50m, you will reach the small WW2 bunker that has once been used to store equipment and ammunition.  

Photo: WS/google images

The Seah Im Bunker is rather small in size, so once you’re done with exploring this side of the woods, you can follow the trail further down to reach the gorgeous Keppel Hill Reservoir that is hidden from society. 

historical hidden spots
Photo: Hana Salleh/google images

Because of its carefully concealed location, the reservoir becomes a beautiful lake with fallen leaves all over the waterface, gorgeously shaded with large trees and the surrounding fauna. Truly a hidden spot that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale! 

And there you have it, here are five unexpected historical hidden spots in Singapore that you can spend your weekends hiking and exploring. Who knows, maybe you will end up accidentally discovering more hidden spots along the way too. 

Are you ready to begin your adventure?

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