NOT JUST A CONCRETE JUNGLE
Welcome to a guide and list of the cosplay photoshoot locations in Singapore. Yes, Singapore has limited land area and it is a concentrate jungle wherever you look. So where do we go for cosplay shoots in this tiny red dot? Are there places that are “not skyscrapers”? Fear not, there are still some good places that Singapore has to offer, and I shall reveal them in this guide – Read on to find out!
THE FREE LOCATIONS
Free is probably the favorite word of many Singaporeans, and so, this section will cover the various free public locations that you can use for shoots. Fuss-free, no permits required.
1) FORT CANNING
How to get there: 15 minutes walk from City Hall MRT.
Fort Canning Park is the remains of an old World War II fort, and some parts of it still standing today. There are two favorite spots that I love to haunt here – The fort gate at the top of the hill, and a spiral staircase which is closer to the Dohby Ghaut side. Both of them offer a fairly good gothic feel, and the surrounding area has plenty of green for you to work with.
Whichever it is, be prepared that this area can have bad mosquito and insect infestations when the rainy season comes… and also be prepared for quite a long upward climb. Finally, a small reminder to the park visitors. There are actual tombstones and memorials within the park. They belong to WWII soldiers, please have a little bit of decency and respect – Refrain from using their graves as “props” for your shoot.
2) CHINESE & JAPANESE GARDEN
How to get there: Right beside the Chinese Garden MRT.
This public garden is huge and offers plenty of greenery plus oriental-style buildings. If it is your first time visiting, I will recommend scouting for locations in the garden before the actual shoot. Also, please take note that the garden closes at 11 PM.
3) PUNGGOL BEACH
How to get there: Take bus 84 from Punggol Interchange.
This place is located at the far end of Punggol and has an interesting rocky beach – An excellent place for cosplay, portrait, and landscape photography. Be warned though, sandflies and mosquitoes in the area can get pretty irritating when the season comes. Also, do check the tide information you plan a shoot here.
4) GARDENS BY THE BAY
How to get there: 15 minutes walk from Bayfront MRT.
The world-famous supertrees and oversized greenhouses. I personally don’t quite like shooting here as there are too many tourists, and you will literally be stopped every few minutes with tourists wanting to take a shot. Avoid the main supertree groove and the domes if you can. There are still a few quiet nice spots around such as the lily pond.
5) MARINA BARRAGE
How to get there: Take bus 400 from Marina Bay Sands.
Marina Barrage is not so exciting during the day. But when the night comes, the fountains will light up and you can get some pretty cool shots around here. Brace yourselves though, because you will get wet, and you might not want to wear covered shoes.
6) BOAT QUAY
How to get there: 10 minutes walk from Raffles Place MRT.
At first sight, Boat Quay just looks like a place with restaurants and bars. But go behind that row of shops, into the back alley, and you will have the perfect “not-so-dirty alley” backdrop. Add some smoke to the equation to perfect your shots.
7) MARINA BAY AREA
How to get there: Walk from Bayfront or Raffles Place MRT station.
Another world-famous location – The Singapore skyline around the Marina Bay area. Day or night, the city skyline just makes a perfect backdrop. But be warned though, avoid shooting at the Merlion Park. Cosplayers are known to get stuck at the Merlion Park, swarmed by tourists.
8) SENTOSA BOARDWALK
How to get there: 10 minutes walk from HarbourFront MRT station.
What is there to shoot at this boring bridge? The stairs. When night falls, they are lit up nicely with lights, and kind of look like a stage. Add a few flashes, color gel, and there you have it – It transforms into a bright stage area.
How to get there: Take bus 97 or 963 from Labrador Park MRT station.
HortPark looks like you have to buy tickets to enter at first, but it is actually a public park. There are plenty of elegant backdrops that you can use here, and even most wedding photographers haunt this area.
10) LABRADOR PARK
How to get there: 15 minutes walk from Labrador Park MRT station.
Labrador Park is another WWII historic site, and you will find plenty of canon placements there. Sadly, there is only one actual canon left there, but the area is perfect as a 1920s to 1940s warzone jungle-type backdrop.
11) BUKIT BATOK NATURE PARK
How to get there: Take bus 852 from Bukit Timah Shopping Center (Beauty World MRT station), then stop at Autobacs. A 15 minutes walk thereafter.
I have personally not gone to this location yet, as it is quite a hassle to get there. But Bukit Batok Nature Park used to be an old stone quarry, and it is now converted into a park – A very interesting one with rock walls and looks exactly like some wuxia scene.
12) BOTANIC GARDENS
How to get there: Right beside the Botanic Gardens MRT station.
Need somewhere with a lot of greens and not a lot of mosquitoes? The Botanic Gardens is the right place, although you will have to walk quite a lot within this huge park. Oh, there are mini waterfalls that you can use as well… But you will have to fight with the tourists and wedding photographers to get a shot.
There are plenty of photography studios in Singapore, and these are the few that are more specialized for cosplay. As this section is not sponsored, as to prevent people from saying that I favor a certain studio – I am going to just list and not give any comments nor ratings. 😆
Address: 71 Woodlands Industrial Park E9, Wave 9, Lobby 3, #09-04 Singapore 757048 [Map]
15) CREATIVE BREW
16) STUDIO ARCUS IRIS
Address: Unit 03-39, 200 Jalan Sultan, Textile Center Singapore 199018 [Map]
We have come to the end of this list, and I hope that it has given you some good places to shoot at. If you have locations to share, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy shooting!
W.S. Toh is a senior web developer and SEO practitioner with over 10 years of experience in building websites. When he is not secretly being an evil tech ninja, he enjoys doing photography and working on DIY projects.