Occasionally, when my friends ask me for recommendations on where else to go in Singapore, I find myself repeating places that every millennial has probably visited at least once for that Instagram shot.
The quest of searching for Singapore’s most Insta-worthy places has led to overused backdrops flooding our feed, leaving us to wonder if there are places left on this tiny island that have yet to be labelled as ‘lamestream’.
If you are looking to impress your friends, maybe it is time to start searching closer to home (like, literally). Always at the ready to lend a hand to my fellow millennials, here are eight residences you have to visit to ‘up your Instagram game’:
1. Tampines Blk 233
How long has it been since you last saw this rainbow-coloured ‘no connection’ image? Residents along Tampines Street 42 were hit by a wave of nostalgia after repair and redecoration works in 2015 included repainting the blocks there with this cool design.
There are actually quite a number of places in the area where you can see this but after a bit of recce, I found Blk 233 to be the best — in the sense that you can get a really nice frontal shot of the design and not risk being promoted to ‘Photographer Level: Asian’.
233 Tampines Street 21, Singapore 521233
2. Chinatown Block 335B
When I think of mainstream Insta-spots in Singapore, the first that comes to mind is definitely the rooftop of People’s Park Complex.
Next time you are in Chinatown, resist the urge to take an OOTD there and instead, head up Blk 335B above Chinatown Complex for some amazeballs top-down shots that will have your followers wondering if you finally bought a drone.
Blk 335B, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335
3. The Pinnacle@Duxton
Located in the city center, The Pinnacle@Duxton boasts two of the longest sky gardens in the world, on both the 26th and 50th floors. The skybridge on level 26 is only open to residents though but honestly who’s complaining since you can get an even better view at level 50.
Be prepared to spam photos at the top like I did because you will find that every single corner is pretty picturesque. On a lucky day, you may even get to snap this million dollar shot that could win you some prizes from Nikon.
Or maybe not, since this one isn’t photoshopped.
Price: $6 per person
The Pinnacle@Duxton: Blk 1G, 1 Cantonment Road, Singapore 080001 (Look for the MA office to pay and get access on your EZ-Link card)
4. Tampines Blk 856F
Thirsty for some fun? This watermelon playground in Tampines will hit you right in the feels as you reminisce the good old days spent at these themed playgrounds.
One of the last of its kind, show some love to this underrated cutie that’s always in the shadows of its Insta-famous dragon counterpart.
The design of the playground also offers many chances for some unconventional angles that will differentiate you from the crowd. While you are at it, take some time to visit the mangosteen playground located a short distance away as well to add extra doses of fruity flavours to your feed.
Blk 856F, 856 Tampines Street 82, Singapore 526856
5. Chinatown Blk 533
One of the charms of Chinatown is unmistakably its shophouses that stand in stark contrast to the modern buildings towering around it. Here, you are able to fully appreciate the facade of these charming rows of shophouses along Upper Cross Street.
If you are a fan of the pastel aesthetics from ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, you will surely love the cute windows and splashes of colour here.
As you head up the block, you’ll also get a really nice prospect of People’s Park Complex along with the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments peeking out in the background. If you squint really hard, you may even catch some aspiring hipsters taking their OOTDs on the rooftop of People’s Park Complex and yes, you can now label them #lamestream.
533 Upper Cross Street, Singapore 050533
6. Taman Jurong Blk 63 – 66
Built in the 1970s, these four blocks were designed to be connected in the shape of a diamond. Whether it’s a top-down, bottom-up or frontal shot, symmetry is something you can play with here thanks to the unique architecture.
Disclaimer: This forgotten gem houses a pretty chilling past that is rarely spoken of. Apart from being a hotspot for crimes back in the day, the ‘diamond’ of Taman Jurong earned its title of ‘suicide blocks’ as well due to the high frequency of people jumping off from the top floor.
Explore at your own risk but anything for the ‘gram right?
63 – 66 Yung Kuang Road, Singapore 610063/64/65/66
Although Skyville@Dawson may seem like an average rooftop garden at first glance, the unique design of its pillars will instantly remind you of a scene from the heart of Ancient Greece. This dreamy landscape also serves as the perfect backdrop for a silhouette shot that will definitely impress.
In addition, the imposing panorama of our heartland will bring back memories of your last escapade to Hong Kong and have you feeling all the vibes of those rooftop action scenes you see in the movies. Searching for a cure to your persisting wanderlust? You will find it here.
Skyville@Dawson: 86 Dawson Rd, Singapore 141086 (Take the lift up to the 47th floor from any block)
8. Toa Payoh Blk 190
This may look like a mainstream carpark OOTD but no, mainstream is not in my dictionary (at least not when I am writing this). With five of Toa Payoh’s tallest flats behind you, experiment with different angles or even work towards achieving that perfectly symmetrical shot that will satisfy your inner OCD.
Also, the carpark is perpetually empty so you can go full force with your America’s Next Top Model poses. No shame, no gain.
190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310190 (Take the lift opposite Starbucks up to the 5th floor and follow the exit to your right)
Equipped with new data on the most Insta-worthy spots in Singapore, you are now well on your way to becoming a senpai on Instagram. Be quick on your feet though and unleash that kiasu-ness in you to be the first among your friends to explore and post pictures from this mini adventure in Singapore’s heartland.
Note: Please be mindful of your surroundings and do not disturb any residents in the process.