As much fun as big-city Singapore is (even just looking at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is enough to entertain me for hours), I had gotten to the point in my trip where I needed to mix a little country mouse in with my city mouse.
Lucky for me, although the urban area of Singapore takes up the majority land use, several farms still exist around the norther Kranji area. If you take the MRT to Kranji station, there’s a bus you can catch that takes you on a tour of some of the nearby farms. Yes, a farm is such a novelty in Singapore, it’s a tourist attraction!
That being said, the first few stops take you to farm-resorts (don’t worry, I didn’t know that was a thing either, and I study hotel management), so the best place to get off and tour around is Bollywood Veggies, it’s small by farm standards, but has a super-fun vibe and a great little restaurant (not just because all of their produce is 50,000x more fresh than anything in the rest of the country, their chefs are also really talented)!
I also finally got to try some durian (the rancidly-smelly unofficial fruit of Singapore), which, despite its scent, was actually pretty tasty!
Apparently there are some people in Singapore who find the smell bearable, but this doesn’t include anyone I’ve ever met, or anyone who works in the legal sector, as you get a higher fine for eating durian on the MRT than for any other food!
Moving on, the next stop on the trip was the Jurong Frog Farm. Now, I’d never been to frog farm, so the murals they had on display pretty much summed up my idea of what it would be like:
However, when we got off the bus, the driver said he would wait around for a few minutes in case we decided we didn’t want to stay too long. At the time, it seemed like a ridiculous offer, I was pumped from the awesome visit at Bollywood Veggies and ready for some frog-love. However, everything changed once I got past all of the cute cartoony murals and face-to-face with the real deal. The farm pretty much consisted of a bunch of outdoor corridors of semi-aquatic frog holding tanks – each literally heaping with live mobs of frogs!
If the intimidatingly large amount of beady eyes staring out at me wasn’t enough, they were also eerily quiet. None of the regular croaking, just… silence. Feeling like I was in a scene from a very strange and twisted horror movie about murderous amphibians, I made a beeline back to the bus, hoping my recently-cured fish fear wouldn’t get replaced with a froggy one only to be met by a smirk from the driver, who seemed to be familiar (and unempathetic) with this reaction.
The last farm we encountered seemed to be designed in true Singaporean style. Instead of planting crops in the ground, they’re placed in planters which are stacked on top of each other, essentially creating apartment-style living for plants. Known as a “sky farm”, it’s the first of its kind in the country, but seems to be the perfect way for Singapore to pursue its self-sustaining mission, despite its small amount of landmass.
Altogether, despite the smells and the scares, it was really nice to see this softer, greener side of Singapore and experience a whole new culture.