Don’t make your Singapore holiday about just looking up things to do and ticking off sightseeing attractions when you can add a whole new dimension to your time spent in the island city-state. Known for its fast-moving pace, Singapore is forever evolving, recreating, reinventing and perpetually seeking out those with a passion for food, thrill, exploration, culture and history. An initiative by its tourism to help you find your calling is ‘passion ambassadors’ who excel either in extreme sports, music, cuisine or contemporary art. The very folk who intend to initiate you into a variety of activities that make Singapore more than just a destination.
Experiences that go beyond the ordinary in Singapore
We have curated here a bunch of activities that lift the Singapore experience to a whole new level.
A Fine Gourmet Affair
Home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, in Singapore, make your pick from a diverse range of must-haves that include moreish hawker fares to award-winning restaurant food rustled by its homegrown chefs. A veritable foodie haven, you will find here the right balance of gourmands, mixologists, bakers, chocolatiers and chefs. There is no leaving without sampling Singapore’s national dish, the chicken rice, a plate of food that is constantly being reinvented across tony restaurants to humble hawker joints. Among local favourites, Laksa finishes at the top, a speciality noodle soup with a perfect balance of coconut milk and local spices. And if it is the hawker fare that tingles your taste buds the most, it warrants a trip to the Maxwell Food Centre, Lau Pa Sat, Tekka Centre, Tiong Bahru Market, Chomp Chomp Food Centre among others. Experience nightlife in Singapore home to an array of chic live music, drink and entertainment venues that have a place even for those seeking a quieter night out. From comedy clubs, clubs with world-class DJs to cocktail bars with some bespoke tipples – choose the kind of place that suits your personality and mood. By the end of your tour, you will be well-versed with Singapore’s varied cuisine such as Malay food, the more complex and textural Peranakan food, and the many exclusive recipes of the Singaporean Chinese. If nothing else, do not miss touring Chinatown after dark to scope out its supper spots, cosy bars and laid-back cafe bistros.
A city For The Explorer
‘City in a Garden’, Singapore’s rightly deserved moniker, is a browser’s paradise where an entire world of theme parks, night safaris, landmark waterfront attractions and chic neighbourhoods open up before you. Despite being so urbane and swish, Singapore has a green core, one that is rooted in heritage and history. The overwhelming greenery of the city will hold you in a spell as you walk around its many charming quarters past brightly-painted shophouses such as in Haji Lane. How about ditching the straight road and getting an overhead view of the MacRitchie Reservoir by walking atop trees. Whether you are a history lover, nature lover, backpacker, city slicker, trekker, hiker or a sightseeing enthusiast, Singapore has enough sights to impress you and keep you engaged.
Shopping Goes Eco-Friendly
On the forefront of international fashion, Singapore caters to high-street shoppers, window-shoppers as well as bargain hunters. From trendy bazaars, street-side shopping, heritage brands, local brands displaying the traditional craft and design scene to global brands, shopping opportunities, to say the least, is unlimited. For luxury retail, head to the Orchard Road and browse through a bevvy of international flagship stores. To splurge on some traditional fashion with a strong cultural influence, browse the many ethnic enclaves of Singapore. The retail therapy Harbourfront and Sentosa offer are pretty staggering. There is VivoCity, a shopping mall over the Harbourfront Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station with its array of luxury fashion and home decor brands. Whether it is clothes, electronics, accessories, sneakers or some street-side styles, Singapore has an impressive lineup of flea markets stocking treasures suiting every budget. Scape Marketplace, China Square Central are air-conditioned flea markets with all kinds of antiques, comic books, records, toys and watches.
Socialising Over a Tipple
From open-air music concerts, beach clubs, stand-up comedy hangouts, music festivals to waterfront bars, you will never be short of occasions to socialise in Singapore. The nightlife of Singapore outside of being atmospheric is immersive and filled with endless entertainment and some wonderful service. It is a great place to meet fellow travellers, locals, music lovers and those with whom you have a shared passion and enjoy your favourite poison while tucking into a sumptuous dinner. To soak up all its neon-lit vivacity, your mecca is the riverside Clarke Quay noted for its live music scene. For some soulful Jazz, hit the Crazy Elephant bar. Prince of Wales is your typical Melbourne-style pub doling out chilled beer and an array of deep-sea delights. Marina Bay is more than glitzy malls, for it lends itself into one fine nightlife venue. Lookup Post Bar at the Fullerton Hotel and Orgo in Esplanade. Get an old-fashion east-meets-west sort of an experience at the Swissotel Merchant Court. Else try out Chinatown Rumble for its signature cocktails. Its tangy mango beer cannot be missed. Adding to the lively nightlife scene are the local wine bars such as the Praelum Wine Bistro, a quirky little place splashed in red serving red, white and rose wine aside from some decadent desserts. For a glass of old-world wines, La Terre is your hub. While at it also try out Wine Connection Bar & Bistro for some Chardonnays and Merlots.
A Surge of Adrenaline
Come September and Singapore turns into an F1 racing track, what with the Grand Prix taking place on its Marina Bay Street Circuit. Whether you are a sports lover and looking forward to the international rugby tournament, or you like to skydive from the world’s foremost and largest wind tunnel or experience the thrill of doing a reverse bungee by being flung skyward at a speed of 100km/hr, Singapore has set the stage for some world-class adventure. Discover its range of adrenaline-rushing activities by participating in cycling events. How about simply fastening your shoelaces for some running through Singapore favourite shopping district, the Orchard and Tanglin running route? You could even sign up for the City Hall running trail and see glimpses of the island’s colonial past as you sprint past. You will pass the National Museum and the Esplanade Theatres. If anything your Singapore holiday will make you feel active and alive.
A Gathering of Culture-Vultures
If culture and history of a place most intrigues you and you wish to discover the island city’s artsy roots, no better place to begin than at the museums and galleries housing some fine local art as well as masterpieces by international artists. Get a peek into Singapore’s multi-ethnic heritage expressed orally through some colourful song and dance routine of the Malay, Chinese and the Indian communities. The new crop of artisans and fashion designers conduct regular workshops that acquaint you with the inner workings by letting you make your own piece of art. Singapore welcomes those passionate about the arts by hosting events revolving around the city’s artistic heritage. One such event is the Singapore Art Week that takes place in January and is made up of walking tours, exhibitions and fairs that are meant to inspire every art lover. You can see this art display across its various streets and galleries. Unmissable on a Singapore jaunt is a stroll down Little India’s vibrant streets alive with murals depicting mythological scenes and various artistic interpretations of its multi-cultural history. Walking past rows of stores with their colourful wares, some giving off the aroma of exotic spices, kiosks set up by fortune-tellers and the food stalls along walkaways, will turn out to be a sensory experience. Almost as attention-grabbing is Chinatown’s iconic street art where you can catch artists working on murals, sample the sumptuous local food and marvel at the cultural landmarks.
Singapore by opening up its doors to every kind of traveller has truly made passion possible. Explore the island country in 2019 and create memories of a holiday enjoyed in your own style, on your own terms.