Top 10 reasons we adore Singapore

A night view of the Supertrees, located at Gardens by the Bay. Pic: kailehmann / Flickr.com

EVERY city has its own vibe, something – or usually many things – that makes it unique and unlike any other place on the planet. Here, we’ve chosen the 10 things we adore most about Singapore.

Great coffee 

The Plain coffeehouse. Pic: theplaincafe.tumblr.com

The Plain coffeehouse. Pic: theplaincafe.tumblr.com

Apart from the usual coffeehouse chains like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Spinelli, Singapore is also full of small, independent cafes that serve delicious specialty coffees. The Plain, Dutch Colony Coffee Co., and Department of Caffeine are among our favorites. These cafes are quaint and the coffees are carefully prepared. The Plain is located at 50 Craig Road in Tanjong Pagar, Dutch Colony Coffee Co. is at PasarBella @ The Grandstand on Turf Club Road and 113 Frankel Avenue, while Department of Caffeine is located at 15 Duxton Road. If you’re adventurous enough to go full-on local, Singapore boasts some traditional cafes that offer sweet milk coffee that are rich and fragrant. Try Yakun Kaya Toast and Toastbox located at various locations on the island, or just pop by one of the local coffeeshops (more popularly known as kopitiams) and order your hot cup of kopi (Malay for “coffee”).

___________________

Clubs galore

Pic: Pangaea Singapore Facebook.

Pic: Pangaea Singapore Facebook.

As dusk falls, it’s a different kind of life in Singapore. Known for its swanky clubs – like Pangaea, Filter Members Club, and CÉ LA VI – these places promise a glamorous night out as you indulge in decadence and the hottest music by famous DJs. If you are looking for a dazzling but casual night instead, head to The Butter Factory at 1 Fullerton, Mink at Pan Pacific Hotel, or Zouk at 17 Jiak Kim Street.

___________________

Awesome local dishes

Chilli crab. Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

Chilli crab. Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

There’s no doubt about it – Singapore is a food paradise. Local favorites such as chicken rice, laksa, char kway teow and chili crab will leave your taste buds wanting more. Don’t forget the ikan pari bakar (barbecued stingray) and kangkong. For tasty char kway teow, head to Outram Park at Blk 531A, Upper Cross Street. Try chili crab, laksa and chicken rice at the outdoor hawker center at the Esplanade. For ikan pari bakar, swing by Chomp Chomp at Serangoon Gardens.

___________________

World-class posh restaurants

Private dining rooms are available at Gunther's, serving sophisticated French cuisine. Pic: gunthers.com.sg

Private dining rooms are available at Gunther’s, serving sophisticated French cuisine. Pic: gunthers.com.sg

If you’re ready to splurge on some fine dining cuisine, Singapore’s many big name restaurants will be more than happy to have you as their guest. Gunther’s Restaurant, Waku Ghin, and Morton’s Steakhouse are just a few of the well-known restaurants that have graced the fine dining scene in the city. Gunther’s can be found at 36 Purvis Street, and Waku Ghin is located at Marina Bay Sands. For some prime steak, head down to Morton’s Steakhouse at the Mandarin Oriental.
___________________

Life’s a gamble

Pic: Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands Casino. Pic: Marina Bay Sands

Singapore is home to not just one, but two casinos. If you’re feeling lucky, make sure you try your hand at either the Marina Bay Sands Casino or the Resorts World Sentosa Casino. The Marina Bay Sands Casino is a lavish 15,000-square meter casino that features approximately 500 gaming tables, 1,600 slot machines and more than 30 private gaming rooms. Resorts World Casino has one of the most advanced casino facilities; the casino enables gamers to play games such as Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and Alien vs. Predator.
___________________

Universal Studios

The Battlestar Galactica dueling rollercoasters at Universal Studios, Singapore. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

The Battlestar Galactica dueling rollercoasters at Universal Studios, Singapore. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Although Singapore’s Universal Studios is not as as big as, say, the one in Orlando in the United States, the rides are still as, if not more, exhilarating. The latest Transformers ride in 4-D is an experience. For the roller coaster die-hard fans, do give the Battlestar Galactica rollercoasters a try – whether you choose Human or Cylon, it’s a thrill you’ll never forget.

___________________

Concerts

Laneway Festival at the Meadow at Gardens By The Bay. Pic: randhaem / Flickr.com

Laneway Festival at the Meadow at Gardens By The Bay. Pic: randhaem / Flickr.com

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival was recently held in Singapore for the hipster scene here. But that does not indicate the end to good concerts. French electronic band M83 will play here on May 19th at The Colliseum, Hard Rock Hotel while Australian rock band Tame Impala are expected to give concert-goers a wild time on April 21st at The Star Theatre. For those with a soft spot for crooners, Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice will be dropping by this June 4th, also at The Star Theatre. This year’s Singapore International Jazz Festival will feature renowned jazz and soul musicians such as Joss Stone, Incognito and Hiatus Kayote.
___________________

Absinthe bars

Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

We are getting bolder here in Singapore, and are taking our drinks more seriously. Once banned, a new crop of absinthe bars are now sprouting up across the island. For some good absinthe cocktail, check out 28 HongKong Street, Absinthe Artisan located at 60A Boat Quay, and Bartini on 46 Club Street. Absolutely not for the faint-hearted.
___________________

Rooftop bars with picturesque views

1AltitudeBar

1-Altitude bar. Pic: 1-altitude.com

Being city-dwellers, one of the things we enjoy is beautiful views of skyscrapers. Some rooftop bars offer picturesque views of the city, so be sure to have a drink or two there. Check out 1-Altitude, Prelude, and Lantern. 1-Altitude is located at 1 Raffles Place, Prelude is located at 3 Fullerton Road, and Lantern is located at The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

___________________

Independent Stores

Ann Siang Hill. Pic: fritz_park / Flickr.com

Ann Siang Hill. Pic: fritz_park / Flickr.com

Discover style and fashion in the leading city in Asia. Several stores along Haji Lane and Ann Siang Hill feature items from local designers or are stocked up with clothing sourced from around the region. Check out Rockstar by Soon Lee at 73 Haji Lane and The Asylum Shop at 22 Ann Siang Road.

 

Main image via Flickr