May 14 2012
Although Singapore is so densely populated that the government has resorted to literally increasing the size of the island, the northwest corner of the country remains refreshingly rural. The few businesses operating here have banded together to promote the Kranji countryside as an “agri-tainment” destination where you can visit small farms selling organic veggies, goat milk, ornamental fish, and even frog meat.
After pig farms were banned in the 1980s over environmental concerns, clever farmer Hay Yak Tang switched to raising goats. Today, Hay Dairies is the only livestock farm in Singapore and rears about 800 goats solely for their milk. There’s one pen for the bearded females and another for the cute kids. Admission is free and you can watch milking demonstrations at 09:00 and 11:00.
Side by side, the Max Koi Farm and Haussman Aquarium both deal in ornamental fish. As the name suggests, Max Koi Farm breeds the beautiful Japanese koi which resemble overgrown goldfish as well as arowana, scaly fish that are considered lucky for their resemblance to the mythological Chinese dragon. Haussman Aquarium specialises in smaller aquarium fish and is more fun for families as you can feed the fish or try some catch-and-release fishing using a net and bucket.
The critters at the Jurong Frog Farm aren’t so lucky: they are raised for their meat. Thousands of ribbiting American bullfrogs are kept in watery pens until they’re ready to be turned into a healthy dinner (frog meat is leaner than even chicken breast). This is definitely the most educational of the farms with signs and interactive displays and you can pick up some frozen frogs legs on your way out; recipes are even printed on the brochure.
You can buy organic fruits and veggies at Fireflies Healthfarm or Quan Fa Organic Farm, but Bollywood Veggies is the only one that will also serve you their fresh produce for lunch. In addition to their tropical gardens teeming with butterflies, Bollywood Veggies has children’s activities, a dog run, a food museum and the delicious Poison Ivy Bistro. It’s definitely worth the S$2 admission for people aged over 12.
Getting there: Although public transport to the Kranji countryside is not that convenient, the farms are close together so you can visit multiple sites in one trip. The easiest way to get there is by catching the Kranji Countryside Express shuttle bus which departs from Kranji MRT every 90 minutes. The shuttle runs from 09:00 till 17:45 and costs S$3 for adults and S$1 for children. It also makes a stop at the nearby Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
For a less direct but slightly cheaper service, you can take public bus #975 from Choa Chu Kang MRT station which stops near Hay Dairy Farm, from where you can walk to the rest.
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