Over the recent Christmas break, I spent a glorious five days in Singapore. To help get over the post-holiday blues (and because for once I don’t have my next holiday planned…yet) I thought I’d share my top five things to do in this great city.
Gardens by the bay
A beautiful nature park in the middle of the city, Gardens by the bay is instantly recognisable by its ‘Supertrees’, huge tree-like structures that range from between 25 and 50 metres in height and light up at night. Even better are the two attractions. First there’s the flower dome, a gigantic greenhouse with unique and exotic plants; and while that’s impressive, the stand out for me was the cloud forest – another gigantic greenhouse but this one filled with a huge waterfall and natural vegetation. The cloud forest replicates the cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions and is truly wondrous.
Future World at the ArtScience museum
This as an absolute must when you’re in Singapore. The Future World exhibition is a permanent fixture at the ArtScience museum but with ever-changing and evolving installations. Created by teamLab, an interdisplinary Japanese art collective, the exhibition is filled with immersive, digital installations that focus on four key themes – Nature, Town, Park and Space. While they’re all equally impressive, there is no doubt that Space is the highlight – the current installation, Crystal Universe, features over 170,000 LED lights in beautiful and colourful patterns to give the illusion of stars moving in space. Simply awe-inspiring.
This small lane packs a big punch. Filled with middle eastern cafes, independent fashion boutiques, colourful shop fronts and vibrant street art, Haji lane is well worth a visit. The vibe is laid back but the street is buzzing and it’s got a – much deserved – reputation as one of Singapore’s original hipster neighbourhoods. While you may need to be patient when hunting through the array of stores for a coveted fashion piece, it’s worth it; I picked up a pair of cool earrings as well as some beautiful marble coasters for a ridiculously cheap price.
Singapore’s Chinatown is the perfect blend of east meets west. Featuring distinct Chinese elements and low rise buildings that are in stark contrast to the rest of the city, there’s also modern shops hidden within. Gold and red are the dominant tones, and the area seems to be a constant celebration of culture and bustles with both locals and tourists alike. From markets to souvenirs to delicious, authentic food, Chinatown has it all.
Cable cars at Sentosa
There’s plenty to do and see in Sentosa, the beautiful resort island of Singapore, but if you can only fit in one attraction then make it the cable cars. We took the cable cars from Mount Faber (which is on the main island of Singapore) to Sentosa and the view is incredible. Riding over lush forests and the ocean, the cable cars provide a 360-degree aerial view of the entire Singapore skyline.