If there has to be a newcomer to the list of must-dos in Singapore besides trying out delicious local food or heading to Orchard Road for shopping, it would be to do kayaking in the heart of this urban city. Forget the idea of kayaking in an open sea where you paddle endlessly towards the horizon because in this uniquely Singapore kayaking experience, you will be surrounded by stunning residential buildings and also a few of Singapore’s most iconic structures.
Located at the newly opened Singapore Sports Hub, which consists of various world-class infrastructure of various sports, you will amazed with what this place has to offer. Make sure this activity is on the top of your list when you visit Singapore!
Kayaking with a view
There are several places to do kayaking in Singapore but at the Water Sports Centre in Singapore Sports Hub, you will be able to have the, what I call ‘urban’ kayaking experience, which is very much in contrast to kayaking as you know it.
‘Urban’ simply because instead of kayaking amongst the usual greenery or majestic mountains, in this one of a kind experience, you will be kayaking amid one of Singapore’s premium private housing estate and the tall buildings that make up the Central Business District. Not only that, you will also get a clear view of the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort when you kayak towards the end of the permitted kayaking area.
First timers are welcome!
Unless you possess at least a 1 star kayaking certificate, you will not be able to kayak beyond certain parts of the area. No worries about this as the kayaking area is huge for those without certification. You will still be able to enjoy the gorgeous views all the same.
Besides the view, you may be able to witness dragon boat race training around the area. Dragon boat racing is a team paddling sport powered by humans paddling with ultimate speed and coordination. It will be interesting to see a boat full of humans trying to paddle as one, however, be careful not to get in their way while you kayak!
Choosing a suitable kayak
The Water Sports Centre is located nearer to the canal where you will see a short black tower that you enter. Once you are in the tower, make your way down to the reception for registration. Here, you will also be able to choose different types of kayaks and canoes depending on your certification. Those without certification will be limited to one type of kayak.
You can choose to take the single or double kayak. The double kayak is relatively harder to control, as you will need coordination between you and your partner while paddling. Also, you would be paddling the weight of two persons, therefore it will take more effort. The single kayak is easier, as you have full control over the kayak and the effort you need to put into paddling is only based on your own weight. Children have to be at least 9 years old to be on the kayak.
If it’s your first time, you might want to choose the double kayak with your friend and have a little fun coordinating with each other. Also you can keep each other company on the kayak and have a conversation while enjoying the magnificent concrete jungle.
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A guided affair
As soon as you are ready, your guide will do a safety briefing and also guide you on how to retrieve the respective kayaks as well as how to launch the kayak off the pier and into the water. The briefing will be done in detail the first time because on your second visit, you will be doing almost everything unassisted.
After you end your session, the guide will show you how to rinse your kayaks, paddles and also the lifejackets. It is an easy and straightforward process but you would probably need a lot of strength to carry the kayak. The guides are very friendly and will be there when you need any help. They would also occasionally patrol around the waters using their speedboat to check on the safety of the kayakers.
Where exactly is this place?
Fun Fact: The Singapore National Stadium is the only stadium in the world able to host football, athletics, rugby and cricket in one venue.
Getting to the Singapore Sports Hub is most conveniently reached by the MRT. Alight at the Stadium MRT Station (CC6) via the Circle Line and take Exit A towards the Water Sports Centre. Once you are out, walk towards the canal and the black tower will be visible to you. A good time to visit the Water Sports Centre will be between 10am to 4pm, as there are lesser people in the water during this period.
If you are looking to grab a quick bite or have lunch, the Kallang Wave Mall is situated right next the MRT. It is a two storey mall offering everything from cafes to restaurants. You can enjoy a classic Singaporean breakfast that is toast and half boiled eggs at Fun Toast. With restaurants serving Japanese, Thai, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisines, you will be spoilt for choice during lunch. You might just do some retail therapy after all that kayaking! If you are feeling adventurous, there is a huge rock climbing wall situated in the middle of the mall for the public to use at a fee.
Get your paddle on (and sunscreen too)!
This truly one of a kind kayaking experience is made for everyone. For foreigners visiting Singapore, there will be no other kayaking experience that would allow you to explore the city centre in a kayak like this. For the locals, it’s a refreshing way for us to appreciate our beautiful cityscape that we have so proudly built. Now we all know that Singapore is more than just a food heaven or a shopping paradise!
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