At the Southernmost tip of the Malaysian Peninsula lies the world’s 2nd most open economy and pro-business regime whose thriving manufacturing and logistics industries, coupled with booming new industries such as fintech and cybersecurity, have proved alluring to expat workers that have flocked to the country in droves.
Singapore has become known for its ‘work hard, play hard culture’, with expats enjoying a thriving after-hours scene by way of nightclubs and speakeasies, and a shopping culture that nearly threatened the future of e-Commerce in the country in Y 2019, 85% of the country’s residents shopped in stores at least once a month, compared to the 49% who shopped online.
Though some of the above distractions may be closed or reimagined for the foreseeable future, this tiny country at just 50 kilometres East to West and 27 kilometres North to South holds a lots of sights, eats and activities that will amuse.
For those looking to stay in the City Centre, Singapore announced a “Phase 2” of reopening popular sights that took place from June.
Attractions including Universal Studios, Madame Tussauds, the flower dome at Gardens by the Bay, Jurong Bird Park, the Art Science Museum and the casino and observation deck at Marina Bay Sands reopened at the beginning of July with precautionary measures in place.
For accommodation, the aforementioned Marina Bay Sands stands at the Top of the list with its modern Stonehenge-esque exterior and world’s largest infinity pool.
Moments from the Central Business District, the hotel offers direct access to the Art & Science Museum a favorite among parents for its interactive nature as well as one of Singapore’s most illustrious malls, The Shoppes. Replete with designer brands from Gucci, Loewe and Moncler, the mall also is home to an indoor canal, dotted with wooden Chinese boats. Rooms run around $400 a night.
Visiting Singapore’s well-designed and varied malls is a popular pastime among locals and tourists, to both escape the humidity as well as try out activities within the malls.
Indoor rock climbing is available at Kallang Wave Mall, and Funan Mall underwent a major makeover in Y 2019, transforming from tech-focused stores to experiential hangout, with urban rooftop farm and an indoor cycle track.
The City can be easily navigated simply by its landmarks: use the honeycomb-slash-durian design of Singapore’s theatre venue, Esplanade, to get to the Singapore River, then head past the mammoth observation wheel to get to Kampong Glam, Singapore’s Muslim quarter.
Check out the colourful graffiti and boutiques on Haji Lane, then head to the pedestrianised Arab Street, which boasts the Sultan Mosque and a laid-back ambience.
For those looking to escape the City Centre, the lush climate of Singapore makes it an ideal place for wildlife. Sungei Buloh, a wetland reserve accessible by public transport, is a good place to see Singapore’s natural habitats, from mudflats to forests. Kingfishers and sunbirds flit in and out of ponds, as well as species including otters and monitor lizards. Bring a backpack and explore the walking trails, before catching the train back to the City
Have a healthy weekend, enjoy your travels.