Ditch the train and get on the bus – 'cause it’s time to explore these scenic routes in our little red dot!
Our public transport is top-notch, there’s no doubt about it. Want to get to your destination quickly and comfortably? Our efficient trains are your best bet. Not keen on jostling with the crowd? Flag a taxi and off you go. But if you’re all about the journey, we highly recommend the bus. Sure, it can get crowded, and you’ll probably have to deal with noisy commuters. But there’s something about a bus trip we adore – getting a comfortable seat by the window and watching the world go by. Bonus points if it’s a long journey. There are so many things you can pick out along the way! So skip the train, save money on the cab fare, and hop on a bus that takes you on a scenic route around Singapore.
Scenic bus routes to explore Singapore
1. Bus 117: If you want a ride that’ll spirit you away
If you’re weary of our concrete jungle (where dreams are made of), how about an idyllic escape that’ll make you forget you’re in Singapore? Starting from Punggol, this bus service takes you to Sembawang via places you might not have the chance to visit often. The bus will pass through Seletar Aerospace Park, where you can get a glimpse of aeroplanes parked at the hangars. See if you can spot the black and white bungalows and The Oval!
As the bus leaves Seletar, pay attention to your surroundings and look out for Yishun Dam. Many have pointed out that going down this route is like that train scene in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away. You can pretend you’re Chihiro and the person beside you is No Face. Also, don’t miss Canberra MRT station, which looks like a ship!
2. Bus 975: If you’re looking for a blast from the past
As Hilary Duff said: let’s go back, back to the beginning… This loop service starts at Bukit Panjang and takes you on a journey back in time to olden Singapore. The route goes down Lim Chu Kang Road, which was built in the 1800s to serve the plantations in the area. Back then, the road was lined with residences and shophouses; now it’s just expansive green fields with rubber, Angsana, and broadleaf mahogany trees. Oh, and cemeteries too, though we bet you already knew that.
As the bus approaches Neo Tiew Road, you’ll see the old Neo Tiew estate, which was vacated two decades ago after an en-bloc sale and is now used for military training. If you want to visit Hay Diaries, drop off opposite Lim Chu Kang Lane 4 and walk down to the farm. The final stop is at the Police Coast Guard, where you’ll get a fantastic view of the jetty and sea before the bus turns back. There’s a reason why folks call this route the “triple G”: ghosts, goats, and guns.
Now, we don’t recommend you take this bus at night, unless you’re a brave soul or you’re on a dare. The bus route may be one of Singapore’s most scenic ones, but in pitch dark, you can hardly see anything other than your reflection. And other things, if you’re “lucky”…
3. Bus 518: If you’re into spotting iconic landmarks
How about a long bus ride that takes you to the heart of Singapore? This express loop service, which lasts for more than two hours (oh, the irony!), winds through the Pasir Ris, Tampines, Bedok and Newton estates before zooming into town. That’s where you’ll glimpse the iconic Orchard Road shopping malls and the Bras Basah.Bugis district, before circling around the majestic Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City.
From there, you’ll ride past the Bayfront Avenue area, where you can take in familiar landmarks such as the Helix Bridge, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, and the Singapore Flyer. Do you know what Singapore’s longest bridge is? The answer is Benjamin Sheares Bridge, which bus 518 will ride down. After that, it passes by stunning architecture such as The Gateway and Golden Mile Complex, before returning to eastern Singapore.
4. Bus 200: If you want to live the daredevil experience (or close enough)
Clocking in at 60 minutes, this bus ride may not be the longest, but it still offers a scenic route around an area in Singapore that we’re in awe of. It takes you through the twisty hillside roads along South Buona Vista Road. In its heyday, the stretch was known as 99-bends. It’s notorious for being our country’s most dangerous racing circuit.
Well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s actually only seven bends, and the bus doesn’t go any faster than 40km/h. You can still live out your closet Initial D dream here, albeit with some safety precautions from the bus driver.
5. Bus 858: If you dare to take on the longest bus journey in Singapore
If you can sit still for over two hours, take a ride on bus 858. Starting from Woodlands in the north, this loop service goes through the Sembawang and Yishun ‘hoods before making its way down four expressways! That’s the SLE, TPE, ECP, and PIE, if you must know.
Before you know it, you’re at Changi Airport, where you can enjoy plane-watching or pretend you’re off for your next overseas adventure. Drop off at any of the terminals and fuel up at Jewel Changi Airport before returning home. Oh, and don’t forget to head to the bathroom – two hours might’ve done a number on your bladder.
6. Bus 10: If you want to travel across the country
Here’s another bus service traversing one end of Singapore to the other. Bus 10 starts its journey in Tampines, travelling down East Coast, Tanjong Katong, and Old Airport Road, before entering the city area. You’ll spot the National Stadium, Suntec City, and War Memorial Park along the way.
The bus goes into the CBD and Keppel Road, where construction is happening at the old railway station for the Circle Line. You can drop off here and visit the Singapore Art Museum, or continue towards the west, passing by Labrador Park and Haw Par Villa. You’ll end up at Kent Ridge, where the famous Fong Seng Nasi Lemak awaits. We reckon that’s a good incentive after a long bus ride.
Have fun riding the bus and exploring these scenic routes in Singapore!