Update: Registration for the SAFRA ExploreSG Virtual Challenge has been extended to 26 April 2021.
Learn more about Total Defence as you explore Singapore at the SAFRA ExploreSG Virtual Challenge. From now till 30 April, you can complete each of the six routes at your own time to complete one ‘Total Defence Pillar’. And if you are feeling up to the task, challenge yourself to traverse up to a total of 36km around the island to complete all six Total Defence Pillars.
This virtual challenge encourages you to run, walk or cycle each 6km route at your own pace, so why not stop to take in the sights, try a few fun activities and feed your tummy along the way?
SAFRA Jurong | Economic Defence
Jurong Central Park is located right next to SAFRA Jurong, at the junction of Jalan Boon Lay and Boon Lay Way. An oasis in the heart of an industrial district, it features plenty of green open spaces and sculpted terrains. Relive your childhood at the life-sized Snakes and Ladders playground and Ludo Garden, or check out the dragonflies and wildlife that thrive in the ponds.
After your run, make your way to the swimming complex at Jurong West Sports & Recreation Centre, near Pioneer MRT station, and cool down in the Jacuzzi or lazy river. The complex also boasts a competition pool, a kids’ pool, a water playground and a slide.
End your activity-packed day with a hearty steak meal at Jack’s Place at SAFRA Jurong, or satay and steamboat at Rasa Istimewa Restaurant, also at SAFRA Jurong.
SAFRA Mount Faber | Military & Psychological Defence
While on this route, look out for the historic Alkaff Mansion with its distinctive European-style architecture. Located on a hill at 10 Telok Blangah Green, within Telok Blangah Hill Park, the colonial bungalow was built in 1918 as a weekend house and was the setting for many high-society parties in the 1930s.
If you want awesome views of the CBD and the Southern islands, head up to Mount Faber Peak. You’ll find several points from which to take in the sights, and if you feel like crossing over to Sentosa, Mount Faber cable car station is right there.
Dusk Restaurant & Bar is a great spot to refuel when you’re done. Located on Level 2 of the cable car station, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset. In addition to sharing platters, the alfresco restaurant offers tapas, snacks and set menus.
If you prefer local cuisine, stop by Heavenly Wang at SAFRA Mount Faber. This halal restaurant serves mee siam, laksa, chicken curry, kaya toast and more.
SAFRA Punggol | Military Defence
If you have energy to burn, stroll through the rustic Coney Island Park, which is a haven for around 80 species of birds and critically endangered plants. Take your time exploring the forest and mangrove habitats or walk along the beach. If you have a bicycle, you can even ride along the 2.5km-long Coney Island Park Connector while enjoying spectacular views of Serangoon Reservoir.
Want some cool photos for the ’gram? Snap away at the whimsical Punggol Lalang Field. Located right by Punggol Lake, near Punggol West LRT station, the field makes for an interesting and dreamy backdrop. Tip: Visit it in the evening, when the lighting is best.
The outdoor fun continues with a meal at Punggol East Container Park (50 Punggol East), where you will find different vendors selling classic Korean fare, fish and chips, bar food like chicken wings and calamari, grilled seafood, cocktails, beer and desserts.
SAFRA Tampines | Civil Defence
Get an adrenaline rush at Forest Adventure, located at Bedok Reservoir Park. This outdoor activity centre features zip lines and challenging obstacle courses above the treetops and over water. Ideal for kids and adults of all ages (there are minimum height requirements), it offers amazing views of the waterfront and is a great way to get an extra workout in.
For more heart pounding fun, go bowling with friends at Orchid Bowl (#B1-50 Our Tampines Hub). More than just letting you knock over sets of pins, this state-of-the-art bowling alley offers various games that enhance your bowling experience and help you improve your playing skills.
For dinner, treat yourself to a zi char feast at Jin Hock Seafood Restaurant (844 Tampines St 82, #01-131). A favourite with diners is the Double Flavoured Hor Fun, which features regular hor fun and deep-fried strips of the white rice noodles swimming in a starchy, seafood-filled broth.
SAFRA Toa Payoh | Digital Defence
Toa Payoh Town Park, near Toa Payoh MRT station, is home to the 27m-tall Observation Tower. The tower is worth a look, not just for its UFO-like top but also for the fact that it was awarded conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2009. While you’re here, you may also want to check out the pavilion, fountain pools, gazebos and landscaped pond.
Across the road from SAFRA Toa Payoh is the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery (184 Jalan Toa Payoh). The tranquil grounds are perfect for a relaxing and leisurely stroll, but, more than that, it should be appreciated for its historical value. Completed in 1907 and designated a national monument in 1980, the Fujian-style temple is among Singapore’s oldest structures.
Toa Payoh has no shortage of restaurants, but if you love Thai food then head to the halal-certified Siam Kitchen at SAFRA Toa Payoh. On the menu: tom yam soup, green curry chicken and other traditional dishes.
SAFRA Yishun | Social Defence
The award-winning Yishun Park, located next to SAFRA Yishun, was developed on an old rubber estate. It’s worth visiting for its tropical fruit trees, like durian, rambutan, jackfruit and coconut, and, if you have kids in tow, you should take them to the park’s Nature Playgarden, with its free-play elements and sandpit. The park also has an open lawn, which is great for picnics.
When you want to cool down, try a footbath at Sembawang Hot Spring Park, located off Gambas Avenue. There are also unpaved paths to explore and natural streams flowing from the hot spring to admire.
Come lunch or dinner, grab a table at Yishun Park Hawker Centre (51 Yishun Ave 11). This modern hawker centre has just about every cuisine under one roof, from Thai and Malay to Indonesian, Indian and Japanese.
The SAFRA ExploreSG Virtual Challenge takes place from 4 March to 30 April 2021. Click here for the full route maps, more information and to sign up. Registration closes on 26 April 2021.
Photos: Singapore Press Holdings