Top 10 things to do in Singapore
You've been shopping, done some eating, what else to do in Singapore? Lots else, and you can start with these 10 fantastic attractions
By Balvinder Sandhu
1. Marina Bay Sands
The long-awaited grand opening of Singapore’s second integrated resort is slated for June 23 and most of us have been looking forward to getting stuck into the full-fat version of Marina Bay Sands ever since it’s phase one opening at the end of April. Locals pay a S$100 tariff for entry to the casino, while foreigners enter free, but after you’ve given your credit card a working, take a break from the retail roller coaster with a boat ride. Yes, this sampan ride (coming soon) takes you on a cruise down the canal at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. If food is more your thing, pick from the array of restaurants opened by celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and our very own Justin Quek.
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956; tel. +65 6688 8868; www.marinabaysands.com
2. Double helix bridge at Marina Bay
This bridge is proof that, sometimes, a bridge is not just a bridge. More of an architectural wonder, this is certainly one spot for many touristy snaps -- and wedding photos too, we imagine. Located next to the floating platform at Marina Bay and the new Youth Olympic Park -- and connecting to Marina Bay Sands -- the bridge is made up of a major and minor steel helix that wind around each other. If all the steel tubes are laid end to end, it would measure 2,250 metres long. Plus, the entire structure weighs about 1,700 tons. And if you think walking through this bridge gives you the same experience at all times, think again. There’s a night lighting feature built into the bridge, which can be programmed to create various moods for different events.
3. Universal Studios Singapore
Singapore’s first theme park features rides and attractions that are guaranteed to give you a thrilling time. Meet Shrek and company, take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard or have an amazing encounter with dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. Make a day out of it and check out all the rides, while taking breaks for food and drink at the various F&B outlets. Just make sure you have your meals after the rollercoaster rides. Adult tickets are priced from S$66, but varies on different days, so check out the website for more information. Once you’ve paid for entry into the park, rides are free. Just don’t forget to get your souvenirs from the many retail outlets -- such as the Universal Studios Store -- to complete your theme park experience.
4, Night Safari
Call us weird but we think the idea of a safari at night is really cool. The Night Safari is the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals and has won the Singapore Tourism Board’s Best Visitor Attraction Experience not once, not twice, but eight times! The 40-hectare park is home to over 1,000 animals from 115 species, of which almost 30 percent are threatened. Catch them before they’re gone. Explore the park either on foot via three walking trails or by tram. Either way, you’ll be coming back for more.
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore729826; tel. +65 6269 3411; www.nightsafari.com.sg
5. St James Power Station
Why party in just one place when you can do so at nine places in one night? What used to be a real, functioning power station is now a hotspot for night birds, who want more from their clubbing experience. With venues like Dragonfly, Movida, Peppermint Park and Bellini Room providing very different experiences, this is kind of like the clubber’s version of going around the world in one night. Live music features prominently here too, with local and foreign acts and DJs sharing the stage at the individual outlets. Perfect for club hopping without having to queue for taxis numerous times in a night -- or just for ADHD party-goers.
3 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore; tel. +65 6270 7676; www.stjamespowerstation.com
6. Singapore Flyer
It’s the world’s largest observation wheel and it’s still standing after two years, unlike the wheel in Melbourne, Australia. It stands at a stunning 165 metres and is the height of a 42-storey building. Plus, it cost S$240 million to build, so it sure is one heck of an expensive ride. Still, once you’re up there, you really can’t put a price on the breathtaking view. As the wheel turns and you get views of landmarks such as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang. Being Singapore, you’ll also get to indulge in our top two national pastimes -- food and shopping. Eat, drink, shop and be merry, while being on top of the world.
30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore; tel. +65 6734 8829 or 6333 3311; www.singaporeflyer.com
7. Marina Barrage
This is a freshwater reservoir in the heart of the city. And it’s also a place for water sports enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite hobbies. It’s also a great picnic spot, especially the rooftop garden that’s also a big attraction for kite flyers. And, as with most green/water-based attractions in Singapore, it’s also a popular backdrop for wedding snaps. But its purpose is not just to be a pretty sight -- it’s also very environmentally friendly. Green technologies include a rainwater collection system and solar panels that generate almost half of its electricity needs. Get yourself on one of the tours that take place daily, except Tuesdays, to find out more about this attractive dam.
8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore; tel. +65 6514 5959; www.pub.gov.sg
8. Art galleries at Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Five galleries and one art space are housed in Tanjong Pagar Distripark, right where the docks are. ARTSPACE@Helutrans is a white minimalist setting for galleries, artists, auction houses and museums. Fortune Cookie Projects bring in major international artists, with the one requirement that “it’s got to be very real, verifiable quality that fits our ethos.” ReDot Fine Art Gallery is the only gallery on our shores that specializes in Australian indigenous art, while Valentine Willie Fine Art focuses on modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. L2 Space showcases fine art in different media by local and Asian artists and photographers. And, lastly, Galerie Waterton primarily exhibits Indonesian art but is startiing to include artists from countries such as India and the Philippines.
Tanjong Pagar Distripark is at 39 Keppel Road.
9. Raffles Amrita Spa
Possibly the most well-known luxury spa in Singapore, Raffles Amrita Spa at Raffles The Plaza is pure indulgence for the body and soul. The treatments offered here are for both men and women and it really doesn’t matter what age you are -- everyone loves a relaxing massage, right? Try the Nirvana Body Treatment, an Ayurvedic-inspired treatment that includes a body wrap, a foot massage and application of body moisturizer. And that's just the prelude to a massage! Other treatments include Golfer’s Escape, De-stresser and Grape Expectations, where grape seed products are used.
2 Stamford Road; tel. +65 6239 1780; www.amritaspa.com
10. Clarke Quay
If you want evidence of a city that never sleeps, head to Clarke Quay. What was once an area buzzing with commercial activity in the 19th century now hosts revelers who party till the sun comes up. Restaurants, bars, clubs and retail outlets all scream for your attention. Because of its proximity to the Singapore River, it’s a popular spot for tourists, but you’ll see a fair share of locals hamming it up for the night too. The Pump Room serves up Aussie fare and great music thanks to local band Jive Talking, The Highlander is a Scottish pub, while The Rupee Room brings a Bollywood touch to the heart of Singapore. Just be careful of possible taxi touts when you’re heading home. The taxi queue might look long but there are always plenty of cabs on hand, so just wait patiently.
52 things to do in Singapore
Concoct your own cocktail bar crawl, attempt yoga while strapped to a hammock, and of course, there’s lots of eating to be done
By Charlene Fang, Rachel Tan, Jenny Tan, Elaine Ee, Aimee Chan
Wondering what to do in Singapore? Bored?
You'll have no excuse to prolong this complaint any further when you’ve finished reading this laundry list of 52 things to do this year.
And really, there’s no such thing as boring … just boring people.
1. Pick peanut shells off the floor of Long Bar
Littering is allowed in Singapore, encouraged even at the Raffles Hotel Long Bar.
To give you more value for your S$23 Singapore Sling, eat your fill of the complimentary peanuts and “decorate” the floor of this classic colonial bar with the discarded shells.
Walk up to the third floor for an exhibit on the history of Raffles Hotel Singapore.
1 Beach Road, Singapore, +65 6337 1886; www.raffles.com
2. Fly Scoot
If the Mayans are to be believed, the world will end in 2012 -- all the more reason to travel, and for less.
Choose soon-to-launch Scoot Airways whose slogan “short, sharp and snappy,” and undertaking to discount fares up to 40 percent -- we hope -- translates across as quality, value-for-money travel without the hassle of delays and cancellations.
3. Ignore the “chope” system
Isn’t it great that you get free tissues whenever you eat out at hawker centers?
Yes, we know tissue packets are placed as a way to reserve tables but this system deserves to be turned on its head every once in a while.
So go ahead, ignore the tissues packets and just sit down and enjoy your meal -– just don’t be surprised if someone has something to say about it.
4. Broaden your mind at Kennel
Spaces like Kennel give us optimism for Singapore’s entrepreneurial future.
Located in Dempsey Hill, Kennel doesn’t just rent out space, it encourages the sharing and cross-pollination of ideas hosting regular workshops, social events, classes, and talks.
To encourage learning from all avenues, every Kennel member is expected to contribute a certain amount of Knowledge Bank hours (KBh).
Block 8D, #03-03/4 Dempsey Hill, +65 6276 9616; inthekennel.com
5. Party like a mogul
When Filter (1 Nanson Road, #02-05, River Valley Close; email@example.com) launched in 2011, many people wondered if the world of VIP, bottle-service-only clubbing would survive in Singapore.
It has, and we have the region’s billionaires, trustafarians and generous corporate expense accounts to thank (or not) for this.
A big player on the scene is Pangaea (Pangaea at Marina Bay Crystal Pavilion, 2 Bayfront Ave., +65 986117013; www.pangaea.sg), which according to a recent article in Forbes is the highest-earning club – per square meter -- in the world, grossing US$300,000 weekly for the three nights that it's open.
But the most telling sign that VIP clubbing is here to stay is Zouk’s Velvet Underground (17 Jiak Kim Street,+65 6738 2988; www.zoukclub.com), which has re-opened with a VIP-only Velvet Lounge. Ultra slick with just 12 tables, and privy only for those on guests lists or table reservations.
6. Buy property
Prefer to save your clubbing money for a down payment?
Well, with realtors mourning the cooling-off measure of 2011, property buyers will hopefully have something to smile about. If these measures -- a 10 percent additional buyer’s stamp duties (ABSD) imposed on any private buys by foreigners and corporations -- have their intended effect, property prices should go from crazy to a little less crazy.
7. Re-watch your favorite blockbuster, Imax style
Singapore finally has an Imax theater that’ll regularly screen blockbusters.
On the bill: “Avatar”, “Thor”, “How to Train your Dragon” and “Star Trek” for the first few months of 2012. From now till March 31, grab a bargain with the SHAW IMAX Passport for S$49, which includes entry to one IMAX 2D and two IMAX 3D movies.
8. Club at Club Street
The closest thing Singapore has to Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong, the injection of bars and restaurants has revived Club Street to be one of Singapore’s buzziest streets.
A big shout out to newish bar 83 (83 Club Street, +65 6220 4083; www.83clubstreet.com).
We’re a fan of the revolving artwork -- curated by local art collective Kult -- adorning the walls, the quirk decor (a clock turning backwards, a wall of cassettes) and the roster of DJs taking turns helming the decks.
Abig reason why people are once again spilling out onto Club Street, their happy hour (S$8 for a house pour drinks, beers and wines) from 3 p.m.-8 p.m.
9. Listen to your political voice
W!LD RICE’s social commentary on last year’s Singapore General Election returns.
Ivan Heng and Jo Kukathas direct the play “Cooling Off Day”based on real life interviews from Singaporeans.
10. Hic! Cocktail hop
Wondering what to do in Singapore? If 2010 was the year of rooftop bars, 2011 was the year of cocktail bars.
Some of our favorites include B28 (28 Ann Siang Road, +65 9026 3466; www.btwentyeight.com), where whiskey, fresh fruit cocktails and live jazz is the order of the evening.
Tucked away on a non-descript street is 28 HongKong Street (+65 6533 2001; www.28hks.com) a bar who rather not be known by the masses, too bad the word is out.
The reasonably priced tipples from barkode (66 Dunlop St., +65 6396 4463; www.BARKODE-Singapore.com), the signature Néktar Club inspired by Burma's Pegu Club at Nektar (31 Scotts Road, +65 6836 9185; www.nektar.com.sg), the smokey old bastard from Tippling Club (8D Dempsey Road, +65 6475 2217; www.tipplingclub.com), Red Ruby martini at Drink Culture (50/51 Kreta Ayer Road, +65 6557 0538; www.drinkculture.com.sg) and any of Bar Stories (57A Haji Lane, +65 6298 0838) cocktails that combine goose fat with your choice of booze.
11. Hustle in the Lunar New Year
It’s the year of the dragon, so festivities will be especially loud.
From January 21 to 29, the River Hongbao 2012 transforms The Float at Marina Bay into a spectacle of sound and lights.
On January 21, Guinness has brought together local singers for a one-night-only recital along Pagoda Street between 7 p.m.-8 p.m..
Lunar New Year's Eve (January 22), Chinatown will be all pomp and ceremony with revelers, auctions and tourists. And on February 3, the Chingay Parade with a gripping all-dragons show will round off the festivities.
12. Embark on a River Safari
What started out as an idea for an aquarium grew into a river safari park with 10 freshwater habitats brimming with creatures like fearsome arowanas, giant catfish, anacondas and the elusive bamboo-chomping giant panda.
Opens third quarter of 2012. www.riversafari.com.sg
13. Opt for progressive meals
With the recent increase in taxi fares, every leg of the journey must count.
Progressive meals, which are gaining popularity in the United States, entail eating your appetizer, lunch, and dinner all in separate locations.
Spend a Friday night with friends by exploring the city course by course.
Adam Road for nasi lemak (Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, #01-02 Adam Road Food Centre, 2 Adam Road, +65 9843 4509), the east coast for mee pok (Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok, Bedok Shopping Center, 308 Bedok Road, +65 6421 0201) or Wee Nam Kee (#01-05 Novena Ville, 275 Thomson Road, +65 6255 6396) for chicken rice.
14. Be a voyeur
Don’t whip out those telescopes just yet … we mean sidewalk voyeuring.
The newly renovated Crossroads Café (320 Orchard Road, +65 6831 4605; www.singaporemarriott.com) provides some of the best people-watching, and you can’t go wrong with the extensive east-west menu.
Sit around with a cup of coffee and a Kindle at Shots (8 Ann Siang Hill, +65 6224 8502) or Oriole Café (#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, 96 Somerset Road, +65 6238 8348). Peruse the eclectic crowd at 40 Hands (#01-12, Blk 78 Yong Siak Street, +65 6225 8545) in Tiong Bahru and check out the people who can be bothered to make the trek over at Loysel’s Toy (#01-02, 66 Kampong Bugis, +65 6292 2306).
15. Go East and shop
Finally, somewhere in the East to shop that’s not Parkway Parade. The newly opened 112 Katong includes a Golden Village Gold Class, Max Brenner The Chocolate Bar, Cortina Watch and Market Place.
112 East Coast Road, www.112katong.com.sg
16. Eat pizza, lots of it
Salads were the trend in 2010, tapas in 2011, and now pizza in 2012 –- but did they ever fall out of favor?
Aussie import Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar (215R Upper Thomson Road, +65 64561555; www.crustpizza.com.sg) is not leaving anything to chance with 26 options on offer. Hot favorites: the spicy Sausage Duo and Peri Peri Chicken and the Asian-style barbecue pork with Hoisin sauce.
Pairing Papa Palheta coffee with Neapolitan-style pizzas is Extra Virgin Pizza (#01-04, Asia Square Tower 1, 8 Marina View, +65 6247 5757; www.extravirginpizza.com). While the menu features just 10 pizzas, we’re cheering the use of Italian double-zero flour, organic Saporito tomatoes, and high quality (what else?) extra virgin olive oil.
Quick and snappy is Slice – The Pizza Reform ( #01-05 PoMo, 1 Selegie Road, +65 6297 5875; www.slice.sg). Run by the same people as Zsofi Tapas Bar, the offerings here lean more to a fast-food slant. Try the spicy/tart Tom Yum festooned with squid rings and The Butcher, heaped with chunks of minced beef and bacon.
17. Attend a Khana Commune supperclub
At Zina Alam's Khana Commune (undergrounddining.sg) in Pasir Panjang, guests can expect to tuck into Bangladeshi-inspired sticky rice and dahl with chipotle and mango, lamb briyani, sometimes with themed events like storytelling evenings and singles' nights.
18. Escape to remote island
You’ve partied at Rawa, you’ve shacked up at Nikoi Island.
This year, discover the tree houses, driftwood palaces and Javanese joglos at Pulau Joyo (www.pulau-joyo.com).
This new-ish private island off Tanjong Pinang, Bintan, promises to pamper you in Robinson Crusoe-style, but at Richard Branson prices, at S$300 per adult, per night.
Half an hour away from Singapore, whoever said Batam is just for golf and -- ahem -- karaoke, clearly has not been to Montigo Resorts Nongsa (www.montigoresorts.com).
A new 88-villa resort that sits on a pristine kilometer-long beach, it’s the perfect long weekend vacay. Each villa (from S$350 per night) comes with a private plunge pool, al fresco dining area and sky terrace. And while it’s a child-friendly resort, the onsite Tiigo Beach Club is adults only, phew.
19. Gawk at some art
Great news for art lovers wondering what to do in Singapore. The largest art exhibition ever has arrived: “A Moving Masterpiece: The Song Dynasty as Living Art.”
The 128-meter animated reproduction of one of China’s most famous works of art -– the “Qing Ming Shang He Tu” -- was originally featured as part of the Shanghai Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and is only on display till February 6.
Tickets from S$21 from www.ticketbooth.com.sg. Hall 3, Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, www.amovingmasterpiece.com
A grand total of140 masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay should give you 140 reasons to spend an afternoon in the National Museum.
“The Dreams & Reality: Masterpieces of Painting, Drawing and Photography from the Musée d'Orsay, Paris” exhibition will be staged till February 5, and is a chance to admire some Monets, Manets and van Goghs up close, unless you’ve made plans to visit Paris later this year.
93 Stamford Road, +65 6332 3659; www.nationalmuseum.sg
20. Check into the W Singapore
This Singapore hotel won’t open till August 2012, but it’s never too early to think about a staycation.
The W group will be bringing its trademark hip, rock star style of hospitality to Singapore’s Sentosa Cove.
And along with it, the top-notch Bliss Spa, an outdoor heated pool, moorings for private yachts and generously sized rooms with the expected quirky amenities.
21. Create your own “Top Gun” moment
Now that it’s been confirmed that “Top Gun” is going to be remade, recreate your steamy "Maverick" moment.
Time it with the Singapore Airshow 2012, and its big jets, aerobatic thrills and salivating boys (sorry, men), for extra realism points.
To continue the fantasy beyond exhibition grounds, book a night at the nearby Changi Village Hotel (www.fareasthospitality.com) where a 20 percent discount applies to bookings before January 13.
February 18 and 19. Tickets from S$20. Changi Exhibition Centre, 9 Aviation Park Road; www.singaporeairshow.com
22. Get a Kevin Seah suit tailored
There are cheaper, faster tailors but none will get you as dandily turned out as Kevin Seah.
The clothesmith who learnt his craft from old-school Shanghai tailors wields a deft needle and has an impressive range of top-end cloths on offer, such as Holland & Sherry, Dugdale Bros. & Co. and Harrisons of Edinburgh.
Just so you look the part from top-to-toe, he also retails Alfred Sargent shoes, Pantherella socks, Albert Thurston braces and Nackymade eyewear.
5 Jalan Kilang, +65 9188 4681; www.kevinseah.com.sg
23. Get close to a civet cat
You’ve forked over a small fortune for the experience of drinking a cup of kopi luwak.
Now see the tree-dwelling creature whose digestive tract the beans actually pass through. Five of these native, nocturnal animals are currently on display at the Night Safari.
You can’t take one home with you, but you can buy back packets of kopi luwak.
80 Mandai Lake Road, +65 6269 3411; www.nightsafari.com.sg
24. Buy a new tennis racquet
Stop wishing you lived in a condominium just so you can play tennis on Sundays.
The Claycourt Tennis Academy has brand new DecoTurf hard courts (like they use in the U.S. Open) and clay courts that can be hired by the hour. Or book Simon Mason on +65 9144 5223 for lessons.
From S$15 per hour. 359 Winchester Road, www.claycourttennisacademy.com
25. Gig out at Laneway Festival
Get your fix of the best indie music from around the globe at the Laneway festival, Australia’s top urban music event that is live and loud at Fort Canning on February 12.
The likes of Anna Calvi, Cults, Feist, The Horrors and The Drums have been secured on the expanded bill.
February 12. Tickets from S$135. Fort Canning, 1 Fort Canning Rise; www.singapore.lanewayfestival.com.au
26. Learn Braille at Jurong Bird Park
Get a feel for how the sight-impaired perceive birds.
The Jurong Bird Park has worked together with the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) to produce Braille interpretive text and information, as well as the “pictures” of the birds so that they can feel what most of us see, and take for granted.
2 Jurong Hill, +65 6265 0022; www.birdpark.com.sg
27. I Light Marina Bay
Yes we even have a festival to celebrate lights.
The only time the city is better lit than Formula One weekend, I Light Marina Bay 2012 will light up the island with 30 environmentally sustainable light art installations by multi-disciplinary artists to promote the awareness and use of energy-efficient technology.
March 9-April 1, 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. www.ilightmarinabay.sg
28. Turn the lights off
Yes, it’s the exact opposite on March 21 at 8:30 p.m.
A global initiative led by the World Wide Fund for Nature). The “I Will If You Will” Earth Hour lights-out campaign only lasts one hour, so maybe we could go the extra step and even turn off the air-con too?
March 31, 8:30 p.m., www.wwf.sg
29. Relive the dinosaur age
Around 50 life-sized prehistoric moving animatronics dinosaurs are here to impress the kids at the “Dinosaurs-Live!” exhibition. Spread over 3,000 square meters, it does double duty to wear out over-active little ones.
Until February 26. From S$18. The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, +65 6425 2500; www.science.edu.sg
30. Go outlet shopping
Johor Premium Outlets may not match up to Hong Kong’s Ap Lei Chau or Bicester Village in England but it is a lot closer.
Snap up Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Michael Kors and Burberry for less (hey, discounts plus prices in ringgits!) at Johor Premium Outlets –- and just in time for Lunar New Year.
Jalan Premium Outlets, Indahpura, Kulaijaya; www.premiumoutlets.com.my
31. Savor at Savour 2012
Singaporeans love food, and they especially love gourmet cuisine for less.
Sample more than 50 award-winning dishes (priced between S$6 and S$21) by chefs from France, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, Peru, Mexico, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Italy at Savour 2012.
There’ll also be master classes by Le Cordon Bleu and Alain Passard.
March 30-April 1. Tickets from S$40. www.savour.sg
32. Wipe years off your face
This one isn’t just for the ladies, the K-Lift facial claims to lift five years (or more) from your face.
Available at the Willow Stream Spa, the facial use a device powered by three high-performance energy technologies to energize and repairs cells, and promotes collagen production.
In lay terms, all faint lines are erased, the face is visibly firmed-up and you’ll glow as if you’ve been asleep for more than 24 hours.
From S$320 (90 minutes). 80 Bras Basah Road, +65 6431 5600; www.willowstreamspa.com/singapore
33. Go glampacking
Forget backpacking, it’s all about glampacking with a roller bag and statement eyewear.
Start in Singapore by checking into new generation hostels where towels are mould-free and there’s Wi-Fi included in the rate.
Rooms start from S$45 at the newly-opened Matchbox The Concept Hostel (39 Ann Siang Road, +65 6423 0237; www.matchbox.sg). At Five Stones Hostel (Levels 2 and 3, 61 South Bridge Road, +65 6535 5607; www.fivestoneshostel.com), S$30 a night buys a bed, and the opportunity to make new friends.
34. Catch a fringe act
Art and faith is this year’s theme for the M1 Fringe Festival 2012 -- 17 works and 30 performances will center around the grand theme.
From dance to theatre, music and visual art, these works provoke you to “have faith, but more importantly, interrogate faith.”
February 15-26. www.singaporefringe.com
35. Swap clothes
Refresh your wardrobe with the help of strangers.
The monthly Your Clothes Friend Swap will take place January 18 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Come with all your pre-loved clothes, bags, accessories, magazines and pay S$20 at the door and get swapping.
All remaining clothing will be donated to the Salvation Army.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
36. Support The Substation
Local arts always deserve our love, especially The Substation, an independent, self-funded arts space.
Highlights for January include the fifth edition of “Short Circuit,” a gay and lesbian short film festival, and in February, “First Take” throws the spotlight on original, local shorts.
45 Armenian Street, +65 6337 7535; www.substation.org
37. Leg it, peddle power
Singapore’s answer to the Tour de France, OCBC Cycle Singapore is an event for both professional cyclists and amateur riders.
The three-day event caters for all ages and riders with differing abilities with a multitude of races, activities and other biking fun.
For the spectators, the Professional Criterium, taken out last year by Italy's 22-year old tyro Omar Bertazzo, will be staged again.
March 2-4. Tickets from S$33-S$71. F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard. www.ocbc.cyclesingapore.com.sg
38. Chug beer
More than 300 different beers, a wide assortment of food, live bands and general revelry. Need we say more?
Enjoy the annual BeerFest Asia that celebrates the humble amber fluid.
Have a taste of the world’s best stouts, lagers and ales at Marina Promenade. BrewDog, MOA and Baltika are just of the tasty beers that will available on tap.
From June 16-19. Tickets from S$15-S$140. Marina Promenade. www.beerfestasia.com
39. Singapore, meet Paul and Dean
Come 2012, the Asian carb-sensation of pork, pineapple, or milk buns begrudgingly welcomes their cousin from Europe, the croissant. Not just any croissant, but a buttery, flakey piece of perfection from Paul Bakery & Café (Level 3, Takashimaya, 390 Orchard Road). Established in 1889, its delights -- mille-feuille, flans and tarts -– are known from London to Taiwan.
Dean & Deluca (Level 4 Orchard Central, www.deananddeluca.com) is bringing its stockist of artisanal food to Singapore. Finally, a one-stop shop (and café) for quality breads, cheeses and cold cuts.
40. Have fun will getting in shape
Every new year, we all resolve to lose some weight, so you might as well have fun while you’re at it.
At Celebrity Fitness (www.celebrityfitness.com) Floating Yoga classes will put your balance to the test.
A form of yoga that uses a hammock as a soft trapeze to support the body while performing already difficult yoga poses, we suggest checking your inner-ear balance before signing up.
Whip your core strength into shape at Selective Fitness (50B Tras Street, +65 6222 8296; www.selectivefitness.com). You’ll yelp in pain (or pleasure) as you’re drilled through a series of intense abdominal and core-strengthening exercises on a Power Plate machine. Contact them for a free trial session.
Put your forgotten ballet skills to work in a Bodybarre (+65 9827 3847, email@example.com) class led by instructor Helen Su.
A ballet-style fitness class created to strengthen, tone and elongate the body using light weights and resistance straps. Their promise? To sculpt and tone your body, just like a dancer.
41. Support local music
Give our resident rockers some props at Baybeats, the Lion City’s annual alternative rock platform.
Held over three days at the Esplanade, this free event showcases the best in local, regional and international artists.
At time of publication, the organizers were still auditioning bands, so maybe this year it’s your chance.
June 29-July 1. The Esplanade, 1 Esplanade Drive. http://www.baybeats.com
42. Explore Gardens by the Bay
With triffid-like super trees sprouting bromeliads, two gigantic humps of climate-controlled greenhouses and a horticulturalist’s dream garden, Singapore’s new city park, spread over 101 hectares, is well worth a couple of hours or more.
Opens June 2012. 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Marina Bay; www.gardensbythebay.org.sg
43. Venture out to Singapore’s farms
Concrete Singapore does have farms.
The Kranji Countryside collective (www.kranjicountryside.com) promotes local agriculture, education, and recreation. Among the group you can find the Jurong Frog Farm, Bollywood Veggies, the Hay Dairies Goat Farm, and a couple of places to have a meal.
Many provide tours and while hiking may not be a top choice to get away from the city, an afternoon of walking around a different environment may not be a bad alternative.
If you would prefer something closer to home, check out the Loewen Road Farmer’s Market (75E Loewen Road, +65 6474 0441) complete with homemade treats, every first Saturday of each month.
Or you can grow your own herbs (and vegetables) and cultivate your own garden cuisine. Get going with basil, mint, dill, okra, tomatoes, chillis or beans.
44. Test your toughness
If you'd rather show your manhood by pushing your endurance to the limit, you need to sign up for the Urbanathlon: a rope-climbing, obstacle-jumping and barrier-evading test of toughness and fitness.
This is one to separate the men from the boys, and it all takes place in a custom-made 14-kilometer course.
February 19, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Entry from S$128. Nicoll Highway MRT Station. http://urbanathlon2012.menshealth.com.sg/
45. Get revved up for the Formula One
One of the top things to do in Singapore. You’re going to go anyhow so you might as well take advantage of the early-bird prices.
If you’ve got a dime to spare, there’s a new Turn 3 Premier Grandstand seats up for sale at S$2,128 each.
For that price they’ve included, food, bar and air-conditioned comfort -– just think of it as a lower-end Paddock pass.
46. Dine at a Jason Atherton eatery
Another celebrity chef has set up in Singapore, London’s Pollen Street Social chef-proprietor Jason Atherton is behind the cozy L’esquina.
Taking over an old Chinese launderette, the tapas menu -- the scallop ceviche comes highly recommended -- has a definite seafood slant. Linger on with a half-bottle of sherry, or the pricey Estella beer brewed especially for the famed El Bulli restaurant.
Later this year Atherton will be opening a branch of Pollen Street Social in Gardens by the Bay: we can’t wait.
16 Jiak Chuan Road, +65 6222 1616; www.esquina.com.sg
47. Show Boat Quay some love
Poor Boat Quay, it’s still struggling to shed its tout-infested, overcharging reputation.
Show them some love in 2012. They’ve been taking pains to clean the place up and it’s already showing.
Some establishments to check out: Dallas (31 Boat Quay, +65 6532 2131, www.dallas.sg), L’Operetta (78/79 Boat Quay, +65 6438 2482; www.operagroup.com.sg) and, of course, the original Harry’s (28 Boat Quay, +65 6538 3029; www.harrys.com.sg)
48. Revamp yourself
You love wearing gold but is it really your best shade?
Get a whole new wardrobe with the help of Club 21’s Style Services team.
Ever the professionals, they’ll graciously educate you in all things chic and stylish, and help you work out what colors, trends and cuts show you in the best light.
S$300 per consultation (fee is waived with a minimum expenditure of S$1,000). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
49. Improve your sex life
Sex is good, and a healthy sex life and your overall well-being are interconnected.
Talk to clinical sexologist Dr Martha Lee (www.eroscoaching.com) or attend one of her workshops – Petals Pleasure, Sizzling Strokes -- where she deals with sexual and life issues with amazing frankness and sensitivity.
People of all sexual orientations are welcome.
50. Save an animal
All animals deserve a good home and there are a number of causes which accept volunteers.
ACRES (www.acres.org.sg) is an animal welfare charity currently campaigning for Resorts World Sentosa to not bringing in wild dolphins to display at their marine park.
Others, such as non-profit Animal Lovers League (www.animalloversleague.com) certainly need all the help they can get. Taking in abandoned or stray dogs and cats, they’ve only got half a football field to let the poor things run about.
51. Go cycling in Pulau Ubin
Step back in time and visit Singapore of a yesteryear.
Rustic Pulau Ubin is best explored by bike (rentals from S$3-S$8 per hour).
Pick a newer model as it can be a rather bumpy ride on the three cycling trails that lead past quarry pits, old village houses, fruit and rubber plantations and mangrove swamps.
Take a S$2 boat ride over from Changi Point. Call 1800 471 7300 or go to www.nparks.gov.sg for more information.
52. Read the local blogs
Still wondering what to do in Singapore? Keep on the pulse of what’s going on in Singapore by reading some of these sites.
Top 10 things to do in Singapore
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