Spend time in the great outdoors with a camping adventure in Singapore. We've got everything you need...
Need a staycation… of a different kind? If you love hiking trails and nature, you can skip the bathrobes, soft sheets and 24-hour air-con. Time to rough it out a little with an outdoor camping experience in Singapore’s not-so-wild wilderness. Here’s what to prepare.
Guide to camping in Singapore
1. Permits at the ready!
In true Singapore style, you have to apply for a permit to do an overnight camping stay. Luckily, it’s a simple process that can be done from any AXS station or online via NParks. Planning a BBQ? Barbecue pits are a bonus – you’ll need a separate booking.
Take note: camping permits are required on both weekdays and weekends, including public and school holidays. Oh, and the permit counts the number of days your tent is pitched, not the number of nights you stay over. Tip: plan ahead and make a booking at least three days in advance to avoid disappointment!
Want a quiet spot to spend a night outdoors with friends or family? Check out the NParks website that gives you a look at the current rate of visitorship. You’ll also be able to find out which areas are closed off.
2. Choose your camping adventure
Land, land everywhere, but not a spot to set up camp. It’s true we have many parks and natural reserves, but there are only three official camping sites where you can set up your tent on the Singapore mainland.
East Coast Park
It’s considered Singapore’s most popular beach, so be prepared to share the space with… well, everyone. Only Area D and Area G are eligible as camping sites, by the way. Great for family outings and outdoor events, East Coast Park is our go-to for cycling or rollerblading in the area, with plenty of snack stops you can make along the way.
West Coast Park
We promise you, this journey to the west will be pretty worth it. Book a spot in Area 1 and Area 3 of West Coast Park to pitch your camping tent before exploring the park, the nearby marsh garden and the different playgrounds. While you’re at it, snag a BBQ pit to make your camp stay merrier.
Pasir Ris Park
Not as busy as the others, this nature park is a lot more laidback. Pasir Ris Park is great for those who want a chill camping experience. Check out the enormous mangrove trail where huge monitor lizards have been spotted or enjoy some horse-riding at the nearby stables. Heads up: only the designated space within Area 3 is allowed for overnight camping.
Some other options
If you want a little offshore trip, why not check out some of Singapore’s offshore islands? Camping at the rustic Pulau Ubin sounds like a dream but it still requires a permit, so be sure to apply for one. You can set up your tent at the Jelutong, Mamam, or Endut Senin campsites. The early bird catches the worm with this site because you’ll have to apply for a permit at least two weeks in advance to get a slot.
You can also pick from St. Johns, Lazarus, or Kusu Island for your camping expeditions. Camping on these islands requires a temporary occupation licence from Singapore Land Authority. Remember to bring enough drinking water and food with you because there are no shops on any of the islands! And beware of the wildlife that roams freely. Our top tip: pack extra first aid with you. There also won’t be any medical services available, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Pack all the essentials
Wondering what to bring? It really depends on what you have planned for the trip. If it’s a picnic by the beach, stock up on snacks and drinks or order a food platter (so there’s no clean up!) to avoid inconvenient grocery runs in the middle of the evening.
Also add these to your packing list: insect repellent, a sturdy tent, sleeping bags, a portable lamp or flashlight, batteries, a wireless speaker for entertainment purposes, a jacket, blankets or mats, and trash bags for rubbish and leftovers. This goes without saying, but do be considerate and leave the place as pristine as when you found it.
4. Got your camping gear?
Need help with outdoor prep? Head to one of these stores that specialise in sports and the great outdoors. We love Decathlon for its affordable price tags, easy accessibility (the brand has outlets across the island) and a huge range of items for every activity. Campers’ Corner and Outdoor Life are also hot faves for serious campers. For more camping stores in Singapore, swing by Nalno Outdoor Equipment, Outside, X-Boundaries, Adventure World and Adventure 21 to get everything you need.
Time to pack your bags and head off on a camping adventure in Singapore!