Chinatown possesses a unique blend of tourist and local cultures. There are many backpackers inns in Chinatown which lends to the bustle of the place, yet many locals head to Chinatown to purchase perennial favourites like Bak Kwa (Barbecued Pork) or visit the popular Chinese and Indian temples there.
One of the main reasons though people visit Chinatown is for the many dim sum stalls in the area, which is akin to the Spanish version of tapas. Dim sum are bite-sized dishes served in small baskets or on small plates depending on whether the dish is steamed or fried.
Chinatown really comes alive especially during the Lunar New Year period. Many streets sell traditional items for the Lunar New Year like decorations and food items to usher in the Chinese New Year. If you happen to be around Singapore during the month of January and early February, join in the crowd to experience this festive spirit!
5) Marina Bay Sands (MBS)
Since Marina Bay Sands was opened in 2010, it has propelled Singapore to the world stage with its unique architecture and grand skyline of Singapore city, from an infinity pool on the hotel’s 57th floor! Indeed, many world famous celebrities routinely post pictures from the infinity pool or take selfies with the hotel architecture as the backdrop. Even if shopping is not your forte, Marina Bay Sands is certainly a place to visit while in Singapore.
4) Sentosa Island
Sentosa is a hotbed of activity for the young especially on weekends. Definitely the best and most popular beach in Singapore, Sentosa is easily accessible from the main island of Southern Singapore. In fact, it is so near that it is a mere 10min walk away from Harbourfront MRT station.
Enjoy a day out with the sea, sand and sun at Sentosa. There are a few beaches to enjoy the weekends with your friends, and you can go there to swim, do some beach sports like beach soccer or volleyball, or simply having a picnic and having a suntan at the same time.
Every year, Sentosa is host to ZoukOut, the island’s most popular clubbing arena and ZoukOut is arguably the region’s top outdoor clubbing event, attracting visitors and artists from all over the world.
3) MacRitchie Reservoir
Singapore is a concrete jungle, and to move away from the hustle and bustle of city life, head to MacRitchie reservoir which is located centrally around the vicinity of Thomson, Bishan and Bukit Timah.
MacRitchie is popular for joggers who head there for their morning or evening exercise. However if jogging isn’t your thing, you can walk the various trails there as well just to embrace nature, if only for a short while.
2) Heartland Areas
For a real experience to the Singapore way of life, spend some time in the heartland areas of Ang Mo Kio, Bishan or Clementi. These residential estates with shopping malls are where the majority or Singaporeans reside. In fact, 80% of all Singaporeans live in public housing, called HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats!
You will be surprised by what you find at these heartland areas. Apart from shopping malls with international brands like Uniqlo or Zara setting up shop in these malls, they are also where you can find the best local food in Singapore, often at coffeeshops or hawker centres, which is the cafeteria equivalent. Snoop around the many eateries, join the longest queue (a Singaporean trait) and eat to your heart’s content!
1) Singapore Botanical Gardens
This newly inaugurated UNESCO world heritage site is Singapore’s first and only. Stroll through the park and see various plant and tree species, some unique to South East Asia or even Singapore only! Botanic Gardens is also a popular spot for wedding photography, so you just may catch some wedding couples having their photoshoot there. It is also a great place for people to have picnic with friends, so pack some food and head there for a stroll in the park!