Chasing the Sun

It’s close to 2 years already and with most people still not being able to travel for leisure due to Covid, we have been finding creative ways to keep our travel lust in check. One of these has been finding locations in Singapore which are unspoilt and doesn’t look like you are inside a city. So here are some places which have been enjoying rising popularity for surreal sunrise and sunset photos, while we pretend that these are scenes from another country.

The Lone Tree

This tree has been here for years. It’s a popular spot for wedding couples to take their photos. But then it has garnered renewed interest because of boredom from travel hungry people. Actually, there are 2 trees in the area. Clever positioning of camera angle just makes it look like it’s only a single tree.

Located in Seletar Reservoir, this tree makes for a good sunset photo with 2 benches symmetrically positioned on each side of it. It’s actually very hard to get a shot without photo-bombers since everyone wants a shot during sunset.
I realized that twilight shots are more dramatic since most visitors would have left after sunset, and I could capture the last glow of sunset with the blue hour, plus the added bonus of Venus shining brightly.
And with a bit of Photoshop magic, I’ve managed to blend morning, sunset and twilight shots into one picture.
While the tree is interesting, sunset reflecting off the reservoir is also beautiful.

Jalan Ulu Sembawang

A recent addition to places to see sunrise this year because of the opening of a new park connector in the area. It’s not far from the lone tree at Seletar Reservoir, but this place is unlikely to be here for long as the area will be redeveloped into a housing estate in future.

Lot’s of cyclists, joggers, Instagramers and photographers come here to catch sunrise. And if the morning is cold enough, you could have morning mist, giving an ethereal look to your photos. As luck would have it, I ended up with a cloudy sunrise and no mist.
The trees that run along the park connector do give that tree lined avenue look. A misty morning would enhance that look even more. There are not many places in Singapore where you can find such a scene.

‘Avatar’ Trees

Not a really popular spot, because it actually lies in the middle of Singapore’s oldest cemetery called Bukit Brown, and it’s quite spooky when it’s dark. Getting to these vine covered trees is quite tricky as it’s accessible by hiking or cycling through a narrow path with century old tombstones just a couple of feet away. I would dare say most people will only do sunrise or day visits, I wouldn’t want to be here at sunset walking around an ancient cemetery after the sun goes down.

So named because it reminded someone of alien trees from the movie ‘Avatar’. It does look like a scene from Avatar or Jurassic Park.
The path to the ‘Avatar’ Trees. The sun rays from the morning sun looks enchanting here, but around me were several graves and tombstones.

The Last Fishing Village

I wonder who came up with the name of this place. It’s actual name is Seletar Fishing Village. It’s not really a village since the residents don’t stay here but only spend the day to go out to fish from here. The village itself is not accessible to the public. But people come to the area beside the village for sunset views which look kind of mysterious as you can see in the photos below.

A bunch of trees sticking out of the sea with sunset looks quite artistic. And depending on the tide, you could end up with a different look to your photos. I happened to be there during high tide where the trees were partially submerged.
Careful framing and long exposure allowed for a more dreamy look, since the cloudy sunset wasn’t great on that day.

Raffles Marina Lighthouse

Located in the far west of Singapore near the Tuas Causeway to Malaysia is Raffles Marina. Here you can find the only lighthouse that is accessible to the public. Maybe it was useful once, but now with the nearby Tuas Immigration center so brightly lit at night, this lighthouse seems to be quite redundant. But it still makes for a very pretty scene during sunset.

Sunset is the best time to visit Raffles Marina when you are rewarded with the setting sun. It also gives off a vibe like you are not in Singapore.
Obviously, I wasn’t the only one with the same idea. Tourists ranging from locals to expats trapped in Singapore were out in force despite the rather remote location of this place.
The evening Sun setting over Forest City in Johor, Malaysia. This was supposed to be a new city enclave for rich Singaporeans and Mainland Chinese but has fallen on hard times first due to domestic politics and now the pandemic.

So here are some of the places where people have been escaping to feel like they are on holiday while discovering something new about Singapore.

4 thoughts on “Chasing the Sun

  1. I like this kind of creative take on places that were often overlooked in the past. With a little bit of planning and constantly checking the weather forecast, you can get dramatic photos like what you have here.

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