Ever wanted to do something exciting yet felt ‘constrained’ by Singapore’s geographical boundaries? How about being a tourist in your own country? With hopes to remove the perception that Singapore is “boring la”, let us introduce some ‘Uniquely Singaporean’ places for a great night out or weekend vacation.
1. A World Without Light
Ever wondered how it is like to live in a world in total darkness? While most restaurants emphasize visual representation, at Nox’s, this is totally out of the question. Let your server be your guide as he leads you through the dark room to your table, taking you on a journey where sight is irrelevant. Tantalize your taste buds while appreciating the beauty of what cannot be seen.
Nox – Dine in the Dark – 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546 (Tel: 6298 0708)
Opens 6PM – 12PM Daily, Average $100 per pax. Vegetarian Menu on request
2. Enchanted Isles
Whisk yourself away to the isles surrounding Singapore. Feast your eyes on the untainted beaches of Lazarus Island while doing some snorkeling at Sister’s Island. Get close and comfortable with the vast marine life and coral formations around the islands. By chartering a ferry at Marina South Pier, one can avail himself to the wonders of nature that are just at our doorsteps. Campers are welcome, but do remember to obtain a permit first! (from Sentosa’s management)
St John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Sister’s Island
Charter a boat or take a ferry ($18) from Marina South Pier (Bus 402 from Marina Bay MRT)
For camping permits, obtain a free permit from Sentosa Leisure Group (more info at http://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/nature/southern-islands/)
3. Remember Your Childhood
Paying homage to a variety of unique toys from your parents’ and even grandparents’ era, the Mint – Museum of Toys stocks over 3,000 articles of childhood memorabilia from over 25 different countries. Satisfy the kid in you by browsing through multiple iterations of Batman, Tin Tin and Pop-Eye figurines, as well as the largest collection of teddy bears in Asia outside Japan. Enthusiasts may also check out the lesser-known Children Little Museum which also hosts an antique toy collection.
Mint – Museum of Toys – 26 Seah Street, 188382 (Tel: 6339 0660)
Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 6PM daily ($15 entrance fee)
Children Little Museum – 42 Bussorah Street 199460 (Tel: 6298 2173)
Opening Hours: 11AM – 9PM daily ($2 entrance fee)
4. Giddy Up!
For horse-racing enthusiasts out there, jump at the chance to ride a horse yourself! At Punggol Stables, pick up a riding lesson to learn more about the animal that were so integral to humans before cars were invented. The place also offers Polo, and other services such as Horse Carriage rides. Campers may also rent one of the Gallop Stables for a weekend staycation. A great break away from city life!
Punggol Stables – 900 Punggol Road, Singapore 829168 (Tel: 6690 0900)
Horse Riding lessons at $70 – $95 per 45 mins ($25 if via school, subject to terms)
Gallop Stables chalet at $200 to $250 a room
5. Sing Your Heart Out
Offering the ultimate jamming experience, Actors the Jam Bar offers people an avenue to show off their musical talent and vocal skills to a crowd of enthusiastic bar-goers. Having different themes every day, from 50s to 80s Music on Mondays and The Beatles on Thursdays, customers get to take the stage and sing songs based on the selected theme to their hearts content (Limited to 3 songs per set). Go wild on Fridays and Saturdays, where any music goes! (But don’t expect Opera.)
Actors The Jam Bar – 13A – 15A South Bridge Road, 058657 (Tel: 6535 3270)
Operating Hours: 6PM – 2AM from Mondays to Saturdays
There are many hidden gems in this bustling city we live in – the list is inexhaustible. I’m sure that each of you have your own unique gems to share. Of course, one of the perks of being a tourist in your own country is that home is always near. However, always remember that this means there are many exciting places to explore, just a stone’s throw away too.