Scrambling to find cool, new spots around town? What about staycation and travel tips around SG? These six insiders spill their must-gos and must-tries around the island.
While travel restrictions are still in place, maybe it’s time we pause and appreciate our immediate surroundings. No travel doesn’t mean we can’t have fun on this tiny island, amirite? Check out how our six insiders spend their time on this little red dot with their stay-and-play SG travel tips below!
This Singaporean co-founder of Figment, which provides cosy co-living accommodations in refurbished shophouses, says he prizes “heritage joints in SG, both old and new.” Such as? “Close to where I live, we have the Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory and Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah for traditional coffee and treats, and Chye Seng Huat Hardware for artisanal coffee and craft beer.” Find out what else Fang is into below.
His Ideal Vacation
“The family vacation home in Nongsa Beach, Batam. I’ve been going there since forever and the convenience of weekend jaunts, getting there and back, coupled with the serenity of having a tropical jungle all to yourself, makes for an incredible getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore and startup life.”
“SCENE SHANG reimagines Chinese furniture. Synced by District curates and stocks nifty tech devices from all over the world! I can also spend hours in Basheer Graphic Books browsing its incredible selection of design books.”
This self-described “pocket-sized Brit based in SG” moved here in 2015. Since then, Georgia has amassed over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube by creating videos ranging from apartment hunting to helping fellow global citizens assimilate into SG’s climate and culture. Find out her go-to spots and more below!
Must-Haves for Staycations
“A beautiful city skyline view, good breakfast and a bathtub. [These] are so hard to come by nowadays!”
“Tiong Bahru is great to grab a coffee and wander around the beautiful neighbourhood. Tip? Look out for the wall murals and indie boutiques! Kampong Glam is also a great spot for Middle Eastern food and live music in the evenings.”
As the marketing brains behind ShopBack – one of Asia’s top rewards platforms – Imran has discerning tastes. His perfect staycation? “Large comfortable beds, a large TV with good subscriptions, a scenic view by the bay or nature, buffet-style breakfast and all-day lounge access.” Learn more about the savvy Singaporean below.
“[Other than ShopBack,] it’s Amazon – I can buy almost anything I want there – plus Grab to travel around, for food deliveries, and for contactless payment. I’m a huge fan of contactless payment and retail apps.”
Go-To Local Spots
“I love cafe hopping all across the island – I’m a black coffee addict with a sweet tooth. I also love Marina Barrage for its windy sea breeze and kite-flying activities with the family. It’s where my wife, Janny, and I got together.”
British expat Jonathan has worked for the media industry for decades and lived in SG for 23 of them! And as Board Director of the Singapore Grand Prix, he’s organised the F1 event since 2014. What other events does he like? “I enjoy attending the annual Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay because it reminds me of the Christmas fairs back home.” Get to know more about Jonathan below.
“I have recently stayed at Raffles Singapore and The St. Regis Singapore and enjoyed my experience at both. Due to Covid, everything has to be pre-assigned to adhere to social distancing measures. It is important to manage your own expectations. In fact, have no expectations at all, so that every perk will be a surprise!”
“My 2-year-old golden retriever just loves the outdoors and takes me everywhere, from the beach to different parks. He often goes swimming, too. Interestingly, a number of dog-friendly swimming pools have opened around Singapore, which makes him very happy.”
Hailing from Holland, Meike donates lots of her time to the NCA, putting out its weekly newsletter and more. The rest of the time? She’s mum to a three-year-old boy. “To me, a perfect staycation is enjoying a great time with my family, exploring new places, discovering delicious dishes, and learning about local culture. Oh, and it would be nice if I could find some time to read a good book.” Read more about Meike below!
“I enjoy visiting the Sembawang Hot Springs. Meeting with locals while dipping your toes in hot water (of up to 70 degrees Celsius) really gives you a bucket-list experience. If you’ve brought eggs, cook them at the Egg Cooking Station!”
“I used to frequent Bukit Timah Hill Park to prepare for a 100-kilometre expedition at the Great Wall of China. It’s great for a challenging workout while enjoying some local wildlife. We even spotted a colugo [a gliding mammal] hanging in a tree once!”
“If I could travel anywhere right now, it’d be to return home,” says this Pakistani expat who owns arty bookstore and cafe, The Moon. “It’s been almost two years since I was last in Lahore, and I’ve really been missing the city, and my family and friends.” In the meantime, she’s got her happy places and favourite shops in SG. Check them out below.
Fave SG Spots
“The Arab Street area! There are so many different things to eat and there’s something new at every corner. I also usually cycle from Marina Bay Sands through the East Coast Park Connector, and it’s a really quiet, scenic route.”
“The feeling of being far away in somewhere peaceful and quiet is my idea of a perfect staycation. Recently, however, I’ve really been enjoying cycling – it’s a good way to get a workout in and spend some time outdoors!”
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