Singapore was always a work destination for me when I held a regional position during my corporate days. It was always a ‘first flight out on Monday’ scenario and I wouldn’t get to see much of the city apart of the conference hall, office and my hotel room. In the past year however, I got to experience Singapore on a leisurely mode; even more so when I explored the city with YourSingapore earlier this month.
Below are some of the things I’ve discovered while exploring Singapore under the initiative of YourSingapore.
VISIT: Haji Lane and Arab Street
Haji Lane and Arab Street is a destination for knick knacks, fabric and plenty of halal cuisine. You will also find wall murals and art-experiences as you stroll along the streets. Do check out of the stores there as you never know what you might find. I picked up two cute tops at a steal. 😊 So put on your bargain hunting hat and have fun!
VISIT: National Gallery Singapore
Home to the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia, National Gallery Singapore is one of the city’s pride and joy. The Gallery is housed in two national monuments – former Supreme Court and City Hall – both beautifully restored and transformed into an impressive structure that is modern yet elegant.
The collection comprises artworks from Singaporean and Southeast Asian artists, positioning Singapore as a regional and international hub for the visual arts.
EAT: Janice Wong
Chef Janice Wong wears many hats – she is a visionary, artist, author, culinary stylist and also a photographer. Her food boasts clever plays of colours, textures, flavours and even perception, artistically presented to bring diners a juxtaposition of imperfection in perfection.
The décor of Janice Wong is an art piece on its own; installations made of chocolate and noodle strands forming art pieces adorning the walls. The food features a modern twist on traditional favourites like xiao long bao, siew mai and gyoza, and don’t forget to leave space for dessert as that is a highlight at Janice Wong.
VISIT: Central Perk
If you’re a fan of the TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S., a visit to Central Perk is recommended. Central Perk SG is a modern-day tribute that recreates F.R.I.E.N.D.S., one coffee cup at a time. The café is fashioned to look like the movie set, with character themed walls that pays tribute to each F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character.
EXPERIENCE: The Fullerton Maritime Journey Tour
Learn more about the city’s historic waterfront via a one-hour tour that starts from Fullerton Bay Hotel foyer. The guide will take you for a journey through time, from Clifford Pier right up to the Merlion. It is in this tour that you will learn about Singapore’s historic waterfront and how the city progressed to what it is today.
A.E.I.O.U. centres on a green, eco-friendly lifestyle and the café interior is decorated using old items, repurposed into something useful. You’ll find lamps, side tables and chairs and racks made out of old wood, oil drums and water pipes. Hidden behind the unassuming facade of Oriental Antique House, a.e.i.o.u.’s rustic charm makes the perfect backdrop for all that hipster Instagram photos you aim to achieve. ;)
VISIT: National Design Centre
Singapore’s National Design Centre is not only a hub for design exhibitions, but a place to gather ideas and inspiration for design enthusiasts. Head over to Kapok on the ground floor where you will find an array of clothes, knick knacks, bags and accessories.
SEE: Heritage Murals at 51 Waterloo Street
This series of six door panels are inspired by the history of Bras Basah — a recreation of familiar moments in the past. Artist Yip Yew Chong and Yuen Kum Cheong illustrates scenes of how life was in the 1960s, evoking a sense of nostalgia especially for those who grew up in that era.
My trip to Singapore has been an eye-opener this time around. I got to see and experience Singapore as a proper tourist rather than a work trip. From historical buildings to cafés, I’d say I know a lot more about the city than I did throughout my 3 years travelling to and fro in the past.
Thank you YourSingapore, for enlightening me!