This tour starts at the Marina Bay, in the heart of the central business district. The entire area was built over reclaimed land – with the reclamation work being completed about 30 years ago. We will start running on the Waterfront Promenade, and very soon we will come in full view of the Marina Bay Sands (MBS), famous for its rooftop infinity pool, the world’s highest and longest. While on the Waterfront Promenade, we will also have excellent views over the business district!
After approximately 2km, we will reach the Gardens by the Bay – a scenic paradise for nature and photography lovers! Visited by more than 10 million tourists annually, it is a must-see sight! Noteworthy, this was the only sight which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited when he came to Singapore in 2018 for the North Korea – United States summit.
We will continue our run towards the Marina Barrage. The Marina Barrage is a dam built across the 350-metre wide Marina Channel to keep out seawater, creating the 15th reservoir in downtown Singapore. It also acts as flood control, protecting low lying areas in the vicinity.
After crossing the Marina Barrage, we will continue our run along the Waterfront Promenade. On our right side, there is the Garden by the Bay East, the (much) smaller version of the Gardens by the Bay, but not less impressive! On our left side, there will be beautiful views over the Singapore skyline – it is a popular picnic destination for locals particularly around sunset time. After running approximately 3km on the Waterfront Promenade, we will reach the junction point with East Coast Park.
East Coast Park is a 15km stretch of park and beaches and is one of Singapore’s most treasured urban getaways, offering a exciting diversity of recreational, sporting and dining activities. We will cover 2km running along the park. En route, we will stop at the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, which features an innovative design situating treatment equipment completely underground and a lush green rooftop for community recreation. This desalination plant treats water from the Marina Barrage into drinkable water.
We will leave East Coast Park heading northbound towards the Joo Chiat neighborhood. Joo Chiat is known as being one of the first heritage town in Singapore, and it rightfully earned its place amongst the most bustling neighborhoods in Singapore. The area’s identity is especially shaped by its unique pre-war architecture – colourful two-storey shophouses and terrace houses with ornate facades, intricate motifs and ceramic tiles. There are many trendy cafes, restaurants and bars in the area. After a short run across this area, we will head west towards the Geylang area.
Geylang is perhaps best known as Singapore’s legal red-light district, with over 100 brothels across the area. There are also dozens of temples open and thriving, sharing that neighborhood with the red light district. In addition, Geylang also host an excellent food scene and has countless traditional “provision shops”, being small shops where everything and anything is on sale.
After running through Geylang, we will pass-by the Singapore Sports Hub a 35-hectare area anchored by the National Stadium and a number of other sports facilities. It opened officially in 2015 and did cost over US$1 billion to build. The National Stadium is still as of today the largest free-standing dome structure in the world. We will continue our run across the Merdeka Bridge (“merdeka” is a word in the local dialect meaning “independence”) and the cross to Beach Road.
Beach Road has historical importance as this is where the shoreline of Singapore was originally prior to the massive land reclamation work which took place over the past 50 years and pushed Singapore boundaries many kilometers outbounds, where the sea used to be. We will run on Beach Road for 1km before reaching the Muslim Quarter.
Historically one of Singapore’s oldest urban quarters, the Muslim Quarter is a neighbourhood where age-old traditions and trendy lifestyle come together in a heady blend. The district has a history that dates back to Singapore’s colonial era, when Sir Stamford Raffles allocated the area to the Malay, Arab and Bugis communities. Since then, the area has evolved into a haunt for hip travellers and connoisseurs of culture alike. The golden dome of the Sultan Mosque is the most recognizable landmark; built in 1824, it is one of Singapore’s most prominent religious buildings. We will also make a beeline for Haji Lane to lose ourself in a world of multi-coloured street art and hip boutiques.
After leaving the Muslim Quarter, we will continue running west towards the Singapore River. Along the way, we will pass-by many interesting sites such as the National Library, the Parliament of Singapore, as well as the “Old Hill Street Police Station” – a historic 1934 neoclassical building, which is probably the most photographed building in Singapore thanks to its multi-colored tiles. Very instragrammable building!
Our short run along the Singapore River (about 1km) will take us towards a number of historical bridges, including the Cavenagh Bridge (dating from 1870) and the Anderson Bridge (built in 1910) before reaching the end of the run at the Marina Bay in front of the Merlion. The Merlion is a famous landmark and major tourist attraction; it’s a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish that is widely used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore.