Things to Do in Singapore - page 4
Savor 360-degree views of Singapore while sipping a classic cocktail and listening to a local band or DJ. At 925 feet (282 meters) above sea level, 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar is the highest rooftop bar in Singapore and one of the highest alfresco bars in the world.
Located on the southeastern tip of Pulau Ubin are Chek Jawa Wetlands, a coral reef that has evolved into a wetlands area. As six different habitats meet in this one area, Chek Jawa Wetlands are unique in their diversity of ecosystems and is a popular destination to explore on Pulau Ubin. The best way to reach the area is by bicycle (you can walk, but it takes at least 40 minutes); rent one when you disembark from the bumboat and get ready for a scenic and sometimes challenging ride. However, reaching Chek Jawa is worth the effort.
Featuring both sandy and rocky beaches, mangrove forests and sea grass lagoons, Chek Jawa is rich with wildlife, a wide range of which can be observed from the boardwalk that runs through the area. Other options for observation include the seven-story high viewing tower where you can rise into the forest’s canopy to see the islands birdlife. Ask about one of the specially scheduled shore walks from the park service for access to the waterline. The visitor’s center near the entrance of Chek Jawa is also a great source for more information on the area’s wildlife and history.
Built in 1946 following the conclusion of World War II, Kranji War Memorial commemorates the SIngaporean and allied soldiers who fought and died protecting Malaysia and Singapore from invading Japanese forces. The site includes a cemetery with some 4,400 headstones and a memorial with names of 24,000 more servicemen.
At approximately two miles (3.3 km) long, Changi Beach Park is a gorgeous stretch of beach that is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. It’s one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore and has managed to retain a laid-back feel that is refreshing in the hustle and bustle of this very modern city. From the beach you can see Palau Ubin, one of the few undeveloped places left in the country.
From barbecuing on the beach to jogging or cycling on the wide recreation path, this stretch of white sand is a popular place to gather on the weekends to catch up with friends or simply enjoy the sunrise or the sunset. Along with the recreational activities, Changi Beach Park is also a location of interest for wildlife lovers. Several types of seahorses and pipefish are monitored in the waters off of Changi Beach Park and many different species of birds have been spotted from the land. Of course, there are also the mechanical birds that are easily spotted: Changi International Airport is not far from the beach and airplane spotting is another popular activity on the beach.
In the midst of the sun and sand on Changi Beach Park, though, there is a darker history. During World War II the Japanese invaded Singapore and Changi Beach Park was the location for the execution of POWs. Some visitors report hearing cries, screams and other unsettling occurrences, making Changi Beach Park one of most haunted places in Asia. However, most people visit this serene stretch of sand without any knowledge of its dark past.
Located in MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the MacRitchie Nature Trail encompasses a series of boardwalks and hiking paths between 2 and 7 miles (3 and 11 kilometers) long that wind throughout the tropical rainforest. The TreeTop Walk, one of the park's main draws, is a suspension bridge walking trail high up in the trees. Walking the 82-foot (25-meter) high, 820-foot (250-meter) long trail provides a bird’s-eye view of the forest below. There’s more to Singapore than its high-rise cityscape, and the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk is proof.
Having moved from the prison site to its new location directly across the Changi Gaol in 2001, the Changi Memorial and Chapel is a testament to those prisoners of war who were made to suffer and perish during World War II.
In the memorial, several artifacts from the period show how Singaporeans, particularly those prisoners being held in the Changi prison, had suffered under Japanese occupation during the war. Boasting tons of personal affects including emotional letters, drawings and photographs, the memorial tells the stories of more than 50,000 people who had been there between 1942 and 1945.
Entrance is free or for a nominal fee, visitors can elect to embark on a one hour guided tour of the complex that goes through paintings made years later by several internees who recreated what life as a POW was like inside the prison. Visitors can also purchase an audio tour or stop over to watch one of a few informative videos with footage from the era.
In the corner of the memorial, there is a neat collection of rare books which deal exclusively with what Singapore was like during wartime.
Located on Upper Changi Road North, the memorial and chapel are open daily from 9:30am with last admission at 5pm. They can easily be reached by hopping on the SBS bus #2 from Tanah Merah MRT station (EW4), which stops directly in front of the Changi Chapel and Museum.
Please note The Changi Memorial and Chapel is currently closed for renovation. The reopening is scheduled for late 2020.
The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a colonial-style villa in Singapore that played a crucial role in the Xinhai Revolution in the early 20th century. Today, the hall is a museum commemorating Sun Yat Sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. It serves to highlight the influence Dr. Sun’s revolutionary activities had on Singapore, as well as Singapore's own contributions.
Ideal for history fans, this two-story museum is divided into five galleries and features around 400 artifacts, including paintings, statues, photographs, books, and calligraphy works. Highlights include a bronze wall mural spanning some 60 meters depicting Singapore's history over a 100-year period, from the 1840s to the 1940s. The bronze statues in the hall’s gardens are also particularly impressive.
The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is included in the Singapore ultimate attractions pass, which allows you to explore the city’s top attractions at your own pace with a pass that is valid for two, three, or five consecutive days.
Located in a two-story house on Singapore’s Cairnhill Road, Art Forum Singapore has been connecting artists, buyers, collectors and even just fans of contemporary art since 1971. Even if you’re not in the market for fine art, you’ll still find Art Forum worth a visit for its rotating collection of paintings, prints, sculpture, photography and ceramics from more than 100 artists representing a variety of Asian countries.
Art Forum Singapore has earned a reputation among art-savvy Singaporeans as a place where emerging talent gets discovered; many of the young artists who first showed here went on to display collections at Singapore’s major art museums. Visitors are welcome to browse the gallery either by appointment or by dropping in Monday through Saturday.
An oasis of primary rainforest amid Singapore’s skyscrapers, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve boasts 403 acres (163 hectares) of tropical plants, home to monkeys, butterflies, and more. Established in 1883, the focal point is Bukit Timah, one of Singapore’s highest hills, which stands all of 535 feet (163 meters) above sea level.
During the Japanese occupation of World War II, British POW Stanley Warren was interred in a prison camp in the village of Changi, where he painted a total of five murals on the walls of St. Luke’s Chapel in Block 151 of the Roberts Barracks. Today, replicas of the poignant Changi Murals are on display in the Changi Museum and Chapel.
More Things to Do in Singapore
Chettiar Temple(Sri Thendayuthapani Temple) is arguably the most important Hindu temple for Singapore’s sizable South Indian community. Built in 1859, the temple honors Lord Subramaniam, the son of Shiva and god of war and victory.
The temple’s South Indian origins are easily recognizable when you see the ornate monumental tower entrance, called a gopuram. This 75-foot (23-meter) tall temple entrance is covered in brightly painted carvings depicting several deities of the Hindu pantheon alongside scenes from Indian folklore and mythology.
Each January or February, during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai, Chettiar Temple(Sri Thendayuthapani Temple) hosts the Thaipusam festival. On this day, worshippers of Subramaniam shave their heads and make a pilgrimage to the temple carrying various offerings and often flaunting intricate piercings or skewers through the skin all over their bodies -- a symbol of their dedication.
This theater inside the Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s most iconic and luxurious hotels, can seat 2,155 people on three separate levels, all with excellent views of the stage. The rotating schedule of events at the Sands Theatre includes some of the world’s most popular productions and musicals.
Singapore isn’t lacking in breathtaking views, but the opening of ION Sky added another -- and one of the best -- to the city. Located 56 floors above Orchard Road, ION Sky is home to a 360-degree observation platform, complete with telescopes, a cloudspotting area run by the Cloud Appreciation Society and Salt, a bar and grill with magnificent views of the city.
Upon entering the ION Art gallery on the building’s fourth level, you’ll be whisked to the top on a high-speed elevator. Once there, you’re welcome to enjoy the views out the windows, but the real stars are the BEHOLD telescope viewing platforms. These state-of-the art telescopes not only give you a closeup look of the city below, they give you a glimpse at what Singapore was like in the past through augmented reality technology, a feature that sets ION Sky apart from any other Singapore view point.
The Istana is Singapore’s version of the White House, the official residence of the President and a site of great historical significance. The neo-Palladian structure was built in 1867 as a governor’s mansion, but when Singapore became self-governing in 1959, it was turned over and renamed the Istana, which is Malay for “palace.”
If you believe the legend, Kusu Island—‘Tortoise Island’—was created when a giant tortoise transformed itself into an island to save a local fisherman from drowning. Myths aside, the island provides an idyllic getaway off Singapore’s south coast, dotted with sandy beaches, lagoons, and sacred temples.
As you walk through Little India in Singapore, a large structure topped with minarets and an onion-domed cupola might catch your eye. This impressive building, completed in 1910, is the Abdul Gafoor Mosque (Masjid Abdul Gafoor), a mosque originally built for the community of South Indian Muslim merchants in the area.
The MINT, short for Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys, Museum of Toys opened in 2006 as the world’s first museum dedicated entirely to toys and children’s memorabilia. The private museum is owned by Mr. Chang Yang Fa, a citizen of Singapore and passionate collector of toys.
Today, the museum houses the largest collection of vintage, rare and one-of-a kind toys in the world -- a collection that includes some 50,000 specimens collected from 40 different countries. Toys on display run the gamut from the familiar (Batman and Popeye) to more obscure pieces from Europe and Japan. If you’re looking for something specific, you’ll find a collection of China-made toys on the second floor, the Childhood Favourites collection on the third and exhibit space dedicated to characters on the fourth.
If you get hungry, the museum houses three eateries. Mr. Punch Restaurant serves up 1920s-inspired dishes, the Rooftop Bar specializes in cocktails and snacks, and the Sidewalk Bar makes for excellent people watching over a cold drink and a casual bite to eat.
Ode to Art displays the works of contemporary artists from across the globe, representing mediums of sculpture, photography, painting and installation art. On any given day, you might see work from emerging Singaporean artists alongside the great works of Fernando Botero or Robert Indiana.
A pair of tiny islets southwest of Sentosa, Ghost Island (Pulau Hantu) takes its name from a pair of mythical warriors who died locked in a mortal combat. One became Big Ghost Island (Pulau Hantu Besar) and the other Little Ghost Island (Pulau Hantu Kecil). Snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing are the big draws here.
Water sports enthusiasts who want to try water skiing while in Singapore can do so at Singapore Wake Park (SWP). Instead of getting towed by a boat, SWP uses a cable system hooked up to a variable speed motor that can pull up to eight riders simultaneously in a continuous loop around a lagoon.
You can find Tiger beer throughout Asia, but in Singapore, you can actually see where and how it’s made from malt, hops, water, and yeast. Tiger Beer started brewing the first local Singaporean beer in 1932, and today, their signature bottled pale lager is sold in more than 60 countries.
If you’ve ever daydreamed of racing through the streets of a Formula 1 race, Singapore’s Ultimate Drive might just be able to fulfill your fantasy. Take control of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, or Porsche; these convertible vehicles top out at about 186 miles (300 kilometers) per hour.
For some of Singapore’s most eclectic shopping, seek out the tiny Haji Lane tucked away in the Muslim Quarter. The narrow lane is lined with independent designer boutiques and vintage clothing shops catering to the young and hip. You’ll also find shops selling hard-to-find records and DVDs, quirky kitchenware, and even a yoga studio.
An offshore landfill project, Semakau Island (Pulau Semakau) may not sound very appealing, but locals and visitors flock to its environmentally friendly shores on organized tours. Workers are joining two islands to create one larger island, using incinerated trash from the mainland, but the waters house mangroves, coral reef, and more.
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- Things to do in Pulau Ubin
- Things to do in Malaysia
- Things to do in Thailand
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- Things to do in Petaling Jaya
- Things to do in Penang
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- Things to do in Langkawi
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- Things to do in Sumatra
- Things to do in Southern Thailand and Andaman Coast
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- Things to do in South Coast
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