Start 2016 right by eating, living and sleeping right. Here’s travel-trick list of 50 things to check out in Singapore if you’re psyching yourself you’re up for a year of fun healthy living ahead.
If you’re looking for a literal pick-me-up this January, make your way down to SeaBreeze Water-sports at Sentosa and check out JetPack flights. Here, you can take ‘walking on water’ a step further and fly over water instead. The water-propelled jetpack can hit a top speed of 25 mph and reach a maximum height of 30 ft- bound to spark off an adrenaline rush.
Located just off the South of Singapore, this tiny picturesque island is home to clear waters, sheltered lagoons and clean beaches. ‘Pulau Hantu’ translates into Island of Ghosts in Malay, but this island is anything but creepy. In fact, it is a popular spot for divers and snorkelers, and even if you aren’t into getting wet, it is perfect for a stroll or picnic.
Who knew you can find a park in the midst of hipster enclave Tiong Bahru? Redeveloped in 2000, the playground is a great spot for photographs and just people watching. The centrepiece, a giant tilted train, is a whimsical creation that adds to the funky vibe of the park and doubles up as a great piece of play-architecture for kids.
Pasir Ris Mangrove Swamp is a great place to explore when you want to get out of the city. Venture into the dense mangrove forest on the boardwalk, and get up close and personal with mud crabs, mudskippers, monitor lizards and sea snakes.
If you want to get a glimpse of kampong days when kids grew up interacting with animals, check out Hay Dairies. It is the only goat farm in Singapore and has about 800 goats of mixed breed producing milk for sale. Groups with more than 20 people are advised to make a booking- for a fee of $3.21, these visitors will get a 200ml bottle of fresh milk and a guided tour.
Always had a Tarzan-and-Jane fantasy and keen on 2.5 hours of thrilling fun zipping from tree to tree? Forest Adventure’s Grand Course is just the thing for you. Expect bridges, trapezes, and even a giant swing nicknamed by many as the ‘leap of faith’. We say take some time out in the coming weeks and get in touch with your inner tree-swinger self.
We know few things are more relaxing than lazing by the pool- but if you’re in the mood for something a little more exciting, here’s how you can get your blood pumping while you work on your tan. Put on your swimsuit, step into a Zovb ball (a giant inflated ball made of transparent waterproof material) and you can literally catwalk across water.
St John’s Island, previously known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera, is one of Singapore’s Southern islands. If you’re wondering what’s on the itinerary when you’re on the island, here it is: Soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic, explore the island by foot or just laze your day away by the lagoon.
There’s no snow in Singapore but that doesn’t mean you can’t ski. Cable-skiing- similar to wakeboarding- uses the pull of a cable system to guide the participant around a lagoon. Regulars can be observed being boosted in the air or throwing down some sick tricks around the corners. SKI360 is open until 10pm on public holidays, so whether you like the sun or some late-night fun on dark waters, check it out.
Speak of MacRitchie and cross-country running comes to mind. In reality, you don’t have to be an avid runner to enjoy the greenery surrounding Singapore’s largest reservoir. On a good-weathered day, make your way up to the tree-top walk at MacRitchie. The free-standing bridge connects the two highest points in the area, and the result is a bird’s eye view of plants and animals that live in the forest canopy below. At its peak the bridge is 25m or 8 stories off the forest floor- not for the faint of heart!
Abandoned palace Istana Woodneuk is worth the trek it takes to get there.
For those who like things dark and wild, remember that a day out in nature doesn’t have to be wholesome. If you’re seeking a bit of adventure and like the untamed, pay a visit to Istana Woodneuk, an old abandoned palace set on a hill between Holland and Tyserall Road. It takes a bit of effort to trek there but we promise the views will be worth it.
Interested in heritage and the old-school side of Singapore? Other than big-name areas like Chinatown and Little India, you may want to check out heartland neighbourhoods. Places like Yung Kuang Road and Dover Vista Estate offer glimpses of housing estates that are up for en-bloc or refurbished to become hostels.
Not all sporting activities have to be weather dependent. If you’re tired of the rain dampening your exercise plans, take up indoor rock climbing? At Kinetics Climbing, you can take the first step to become Spiderman (or Spiderwoman) at Kinetics Climbing. Learn all about the basic rock climbing techniques and slowly level up as you become a pro.
Trying to get your video game addicted pals to have some outdoor fun? We think a game of paintball makes a pretty good lure. Red Dynasty Paintball has four parks in Singapore (Yishun, Sembawang, Jurong and Turf City) and a variety of packages for you to choose from.
If you have a whole day at your leisure, round up your family and friends and make your way down to Port of Lost Wonder at Palawan Beach. The pirate-themed adventure park is Sentosa’s answer to a mini Club Med for group outings involving kids. Adults can opt to join their charges.
Singapore’s first purpose-built mountain biking trail is located on an offshore island around a disused quarry. To get to the trail, hop on a ferry to Pulau Ubin at the Changi ferry terminal. Once you’re on the island, a 20-minute ride following the signs will bring you to the trail.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a tourist attraction and national park of paramount importance.
Head to the Botanic Gardens, soak in some Vitamin E and breathe in some fresh air. With the wide array of attractions such as National Orchid Garden, Rainforest, Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden, Botany Centre, Tanglin Gate and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, it’s best to start your day there early.
Don’t let your brain slack while you work out to get that dream bod of yours. Head down to the Library@Orchard (conveniently located, so no excuses!). The library focuses on lifestyle, design and the applied arts, and works well as both a community and a contemplative space. While you’re here, check out their selection of books on eating and living well.
Ringing in the new year is bound to bring in feelings of nostalgia. Why not make a trip down memory lane and visit the old playgrounds scattered around Singapore? The most famous one is the dragon playground at Toa Payoh Lorong 6.
The largest public swimming complex in Singapore, Jurong East Swimming Complex, comes equipped with a lazy river, a wave pool and water slides. Entrance fees start from $0.80 for children and $1.50 for adults.
Get a kick in the heart of the Central Business District. Yes, it’s back to the daily grind, but that does not mean you can’t have some fun and tackle after hours. Running around on Singapore’s first rooftop football facility is bound to get you on a high.
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest collection of these long-living creatures, with a staggering 800 turtles spread over more than 50 species. The museum is located in the beautiful Chinese Garden- we recommend bringing your camera along to document the day out.
Check out the events listing at the Singapore Sports Hub. Surely watching the high-adrenaline soccer, tennis and other sporting matches will get you pumped up and inspire you to get moving.
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Sick of giant gyms and not a fan of huge yoga classes? Check out boutique yoga studios such as Casa Santosa, OhmSantih Yoga and Zattva Yoga. If you enjoy intimate one-on-one sessions, consider hiring a private yoga instructor.
Overindulged over the festive period and intent on going on a raw diet? Give Afterglow a try. This cosy little restaurant on Keong Siak street dishes up vegan items that taste as good as they look. We like the deconstructed sushi bowl with avocado and miso dressing and recommend the handmade kimchi rolls for sharing.
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Sick of the whole sinful, greasy eats? RealFood is the next place to head to. This indie café/grocer is meat-free and boasts a menu with no trans fats, processed ingredients or artificial preservatives. We like that they dish up a feel-good meal that tastes good too.
Matcha has a bunch of benefits, such as being chockfull of cancer-fighting antioxidants and a great metabolism booster. Grab a cup of matcha from Tsujiri. Their bittersweet blends taste as good as they are for you.
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This Hakka signature dish is full of herbs, vegetables and tofu goodness. If you had a little too much red meat during the festive season, thunder rice tea- with all its nuts, grains, pulverized tea, and ginger – would be a good meal option.
Sometimes all it takes is a little fresh air and sunshine for you to get that groove in your step back. Set in the gorgeous Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay, Pollen boasts its own Mediterranean herb and vegetable garden. The dishes are also intricate and beautifully plated, and are bound to pull you out of a mood funk if you’re in one.
This take-out delivery food service dishes up gourmet meals that taste good and are good for you; they are transparent with what goes into the food, which is great for those who watch what they put in their bodies. With dishes such as lemongrass chicken with purple corn noodles to quinoa salad with roasted vegetables, you’d be spoilt for choice. The business engages top chefs who have worked in Raffles, Mugaritz and other establishments, so you can be assured that healthy will also be tasty.
Sometimes you just want a ready-to-eat meal and it can get really, really hard to find a healthy meal that you can sink your teeth into fast. Frunatic focuses on raw and living foods, and fruits are their main ingredients. With options such as vegan meatballs and raw pizza, you can have your fast food and feel good about it too.
You don’t have to give up on Japanese cuisine just because you’re on a vegetarian diet. Herbivore in the bustling Bugis area is famed for their salmon and chicken teriyaki set meals. Many diners have commented on how hard it is to discern the mock meat from real meat, so if you are a meat-lover who is on a veggie-spin, give this a try.
Five sisters run this family business, which has been around since 2007. The café serves a wide variety of dishes, from bibimbap to pineapple fried rice. You can also get your organic shopping fix from them- anything from haircare products to bread and vegetables.
Go ahead and indulge in Grub‘s lobster burger and bacon crème brulee. The one-storey restaurant is set in the middle of Bishan park, amidst greenery and ponds, so it’s the perfect location for a pre-dinner run or post-dinner stroll.
Coffee fiends who live in the West rejoice, for you can head down to Necessary Provisions for your fix. The café is just a stone’s throw away from The Organic Grocer. If the weather allows, grab an outdoor table and enjoy the fresh air while tucking in to your meal.
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Craving for soups, pizzas, pastas and even desserts? Balanced Living specially selects and sources for organic ingredients which they then dish up as healthy raw food café. They aim for recipes that give diners energy and vitality.
Beaulieu House in Sembawang Park is set on a hill overlooking the waters of the Johore Straits. The restaurant is converted from a black-and-white colonial style house. Enjoy the sea view while dining then have a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sea breeze after your meal.
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Feeling adventurous? Go for fusion food at Onaka. Their organic Asian-Western fare is thoughtfully presented and border on fine-dining while prices remain reasonable.
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Nestled amidst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens, The Waterfall café specialises in Mediterranean dishes. The interior is cosy and chic, with touches of colonial décor- perfect for a relaxing meal. Try their Atlantic cod with barley risotto.
Heard about all the benefits of going organic but haven’t tried it out for yourself? SuperNature, which has outlets in Paragon and Forum The Shopping Mall, stocks goodness from organic-certified farms in Australia, United States and the region. If you want to cook up a feast, why not check out their offerings? Their Mother & Child specialty store also carries an assortment of treats and essentials for both mum and kids.
The open-concept market at the Grandstand at Bukit Timah has a warm and quaint vibe. While PasarBella isn’t exactly a farm-to-table operation, there’s still plenty to choose from, including many organic offerings and fresh produce.
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Check out Lululemon Atheletic, the newest sportswear label on the Orchard block. Best known for their yoga pants and signature elastic fabric Luon which also promised to wick away sweat, the brand will also stock apparels for runners, cyclists, dancers and other sporting enthusiasts.
The popular American brand is known for sportswear and accessories stocked at affordable prices. The aesthetic is raw, chic and functional – perfect for those dressed-down days when you want to get out and about.
The Organic Grocer is tucked away in a quaint little shophouse in Eng Kong Terrace in the Bukit Timah area. If you are seeking a quiet day of adventure, tasty foods and shopping away from glossy air-conditioned shopping malls, make your way down.
Enjoy the views from your beachfront hotel room, then take a stroll around the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa compound. Watch peacocks strut around the area while the sea breeze runs through your hair.
This beautiful colonial style hotel will make you feel like you have been transported to an English garden. Fort Canning Hotel‘s suites come with a monsoon rain shower and whirlpool bathtub- perfect for soaking in while admiring the garden view.
Take your pick from sea-facing rooms or villas nested within a lush green landscape. Siloso Beach Resort Sentosa is just metres away from the beach, so you could roll out of bed and go for a morning jog by the beach. Otherwise, just enjoy your stay in the most eco-friendly hotel in Singapore.
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Bird watchers and nature lovers should have a night at this hotel on their to-do list. Changi Cove Hotel is a restored heritage site where sightings of migratory birds are common. There is also lots to explore in the area, from the Changi coastline to Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa wetlands.
Orchid Country Club Hotel has spacious resort-style suites that are perfect for a short getaway from the city. Get active in their huge Social Clubhouse, which has everything from a childcare centre and outdoor playground to karaoke rooms and a dance floor. The Recreation Clubhouse, an Olympic-sized pool, tennis and squash courts and even a 36-lane bowling alley.