PUBLISHED January 8th, 2013 07:44 am | UPDATED June 3rd, 2020 12:16 am
Singapore is boring yaddah yaddah yaddah blah blah blah, could we be any more bored of hearing that? Probably not. They say that only boring people are bored and we have to say, we quite agree. The word bored doesn’t even feature in our City Nomads vocabulary, and we don’t think we’ve EVER been bored in Singapore, unless someone is telling us they think it’s boring that is.
Being bored goes hand in hand with being stuck in a rut, and sometimes all you need is a little helping hand to open your eyes and appreciate all the things around you, maybe have a little inspiration, and think about the incredible variety of things you can do with your precious free time.
And that’s exactly why we have come up with the City Nomads A-Z guide of why Singapore is NOT boring and all the things that our writers at City Nomads love to do, which means that we don’t really know the meaning of the word bored or boring. We hope to never hear you’re bored ever again!
There’s nothing we love more than losing ourselves in the Arab Quarter either day or night, taking in the sights and sounds, getting some great indie shopping and chilling done in Haji Lane and its environs, eating in the Kampong Glam Café particularly on a Friday when the place is heaving with people going to/coming from Mosque with the sound of the Imam weaving through the air. End the day by sitting at the side of the road with Kanafeh and Apple Ice Tea watching the night pass by.
Over the last couple of years, there’s been a myriad of smaller, interesting art galleries opening up with previews for exhibitions that welcome you in with open arms, and now recently with the opening of Gillman Barracks that makes for a great spot of gallery hopping. If you’re into doing, not just viewing, take advantage of the latest places to offer up art jamming sessions like My Art Space and Art Jam in the City. Check out our pick of exhibitions here.
When night falls, the City’s bars come alive and whether a glass of wine or a cocktail is your drink of choice, with a new bar popping up almost every month, there is much more beyond the obvious to explore for a tipple these days. Check out our bar reviews here.
Grab some friends and tucker and get BBQing in one of Singapore’s parks – whether it be East Coast, Pasir Ris, Changi Beach, Labrador, Punggol, Sembawang or West Coast Park.
Ever tried cycling from Marina Bay Financial Centre to Gardens by the Bay West side, across the barrage and Gardens by the Bay East side then down the Kallang River at night? Or from one end of Singapore to the other? With so many awesome eating spots open right round the clock to stop en route, we think it’s pretty magic.
If you’re the sort of person who loves to curl up in a café with a good book, then you can never be bored in Singapore. Since the café culture explosion, there are so many cute cafes popping up left, right and centre that even we Nomads can’t keep up! Check out our cafe reviews here.
Forget the malls, the best place to cool off at the moment is the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay. Where else can you get a cool walk in a temperate climate all through the year (annual pass $60)?
It ain’t just about eating it, but cooking it too! With a great selection of cooking classes run by serious set ups to more intimate affairs in the privacy of a home, there’s no excuse to not learn how to cook the things you love to eat so much! Check out what cooking classes are on offer here.
A change is as good as a rest, and sometimes discovering/re-discovering different enclaves of Singapore is totally underrated. When was the last time you hung out in Tiong Bahru, Little India, Katong, Geylang and had a good nosy around?
EATING EATING EATING
Eat your way around Singapore’s rich and varied dining scene devouring makan from Hawkers (and getting a good spot of people watching in while you’re at it) or offerings from an exploding restaurant scene. The term spoilt for choice is a total underestimation with something to suit every taste and budget. Check out our restaurant reviews here.
Sure you can wander down the never-ending air-conditioned malls of Orchard and wear the same clothes as everyone else OR you can head off the beaten track and discover a plethora of interesting quirky boutiques stocking Singaporean and Asian brands. The Arab Quarter is an old favourite of course but there are new boutiques popping up Singapore-wide all the time. Check out some tips here.
GO TO THE COUNTRYSIDE
What! Countryside? Yes countryside. Take a trip up to Kranji – it’s about as rural as you’ll get in Singapore – and hop around the 10 farms which are open to the public and are the beating heart of local agriculture, food production, eco-tourism and conservation. Get back to your roots at Bollywood Veggies, grab a bite to eat at the Poison Ivy Bistro, and pick up some fresh goats milk at Hay Dairies while you’re at it.
Wake up early, pull on those walking boots and take a hike! The Southern Ridges, MacRitchie Circuit, Bukit Timah, Labrador Nature Reserve – these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trails available in Singapore!
Make a snap decision to escape the city and take a boat over to a day of discovery on Pulau Ubin or get a group together and plan to charter a Junk boat from Marina South Pier to Sister Island and experience hanging with the crazy monkeys and nothing else.
If you’re still moaning about being bored after you’ve finished reading this feature, then we probably can’t help you….but the airport can. And thanks to the range of low cost airline operators and myriad of routes out of Singapore, if you can’t find something to ease your boredom then you really are in trouble.
When a bit of release is the order of the day, let it all out, reminisce over that guilty pleasure, and sing with abandonment like nobody’s watching, because where on earth else can you do that? After a bad day at the office, we love a bit of Party World KTV.
LAUGH OUT LOUD
LITTLE INDIA STYLE
There’s something about being caught up in the hustle and bustle, smells, sounds and people of Little India that makes you feel so alive. And that’s even before you’ve started eating your way from South to North India before getting lost in the 24 hour shopping mecca of Mustafa.
Once upon a time a no-man’s land, Singapore’s music scene is changing. Catch live jazz at Blu Jaz, SingJazz Club or B28; acts at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre on weekends or wait for the big guns to roll in way more frequently than in the past with many acts ranging from Muse to Rachael Yamagata to Maroon 5 making sure they stop off in Singapore. Top that off with festivals like Laneway and Baybeats we’re looking forward to more to come!
Despite what you think, there are chances to catch more than just Hollywood blockbusters on the movie front with various foreign and indie arts film festivals screening throughout the year. Keep an eye out on the The Arts House, Objectifs, Substation, Alliance Francaise, Golden Village at Vivo City, and Cathay Picturehouse for screenings and keep an eye on our listings here.
Have the freedom to walk the streets at night almost anywhere and feel both safe and warm – a great rarity in almost every other major city in the world.
OFF TO THE MARKET
Whether it’s wetmarkets like Tiong Bahru and Tekka full to the brim with fresh produce, junk delights like the Thieves Market you’re after, fleas like the Chapel Market or all things art and design housed under MAAD, there’s nothing like some market mooching to while away some hours.
Pack up a rug and your favourite foods and get a picnic spread going on at your favourite green spot. The Botanical Gardens, the Lawn at Gardens by the Bay, Hortpark, Labrador Park – they were just made for picnicking!
Fix your Qi and head down to China Town for some traditional Chinese acupressure massage. Try your luck at People’s Park complex…you might not be feeling bored but something else afterwards!
ROLL THOSE BLADES
Get your skates on! With various great rollerblading spots including East Coast, Bishan Park, Pasir Ris Park.
There are so many options now in the local performing arts scene – whether it’s top notch productions from leading local theatre and dance companies and more up-and-coming outfits with more off-beat offerings (which are better value!), big shows which have played in London’s West End of New York’s Broadway, or the various open mic nights popping up across the island. The choice is endless and growing all the time so let’s support it! Check out what’s happening here.
TAKE THE HIGH ROAD
If you don’t fancy air or boat, hit the road in a car or coach and make your way over to Johor Bahru for some cheap seafood and shopping, or further afield to Malacca for some heritage sights.
UNDER THE SEA
Check out the newly opened Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa and gawp at stunning ocean animals up close and have your breath taken away by the S.E.A. Aquarium – the world’s largest aquarium.
U TOO CAN BE HIP
Make like a scenester and hang out at the day to night parties put on by Side Show (Training Shed and Beats in the Backyard) and Kilowatt. Stay tuned to our events listings for updates on when these are.
Why go home with faux Chinese antiques when you can discover Singapore’s artisan heritage through the many vintage furniture shops around. Whether you’re looking for something unique and a bit special or just up for whiling away an afternoon with some serious mooching, it’s a lovely way to spend a few hours and immerse yourself in a little history. .
With the sun on your back, dabble in a spot of wakeboarding (East Coast Park), surfing (Wavehouse), kayaking (Bedok Reservoir Park, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, MacRitchie Reservoir park), Dinghy Sailing (Pasir Ris Park), powerboating (Changi Beach Park) and canoeing (Kallang River).
Bet you didn’t know that Orchard Central houses Singapore’s tallest indoor wall climbing facility, which includes the world’s tallest Via Ferrata climbing wall with a 30 metre vertical gain? If that doesn’t float your boat check out the iFly at Sentosa to experience the adrenaline rush of skydiving without actually having to jump out of a plane.
If you have more money than you know what to do with, and still find yourself unfulfilled, charter a yacht. Just saying!
315 species of animals roaming around as freely as is possible in lush rainforest. One of the world’s best zoos, right on your doorstep. Need we say more?