Aug 31, 2017
When in Singapore you’re never far from expansive green spaces or new and exotic flavours – and if you need any tips on where to eat, rest assured the locals are more than happy to share their favourite spots with you. But in the meantime, here are six things you can’t miss during your Singapore sojourn.
If you’re a snake-lover (or gem connoisseur)
The snake is illustrious jewellery house Bulgari’s perhaps most famous motif. Its Serpenti creations – seen coiled around the necks, fingers and wrists of exalted stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and the newly edgy Taylor Swift, who has taken the serpent on as a personal totem in her latest music video – have been a calling card of the brand since the 1940s.
Paying tribute to the sinuous reptile, Bulgari’s new SerpentiForm exhibition, taking place in the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, showcases stunning Serpenti pieces from Bulgari archives as well as other expressions of the snake throughout history and art in more than 150 exhibits, including a 70-metre installation featuring 500 videos-mapped snake scales, works by artists such as Keith Haring, Joan Miró and Robert Mapplethorpe and antiquities from 4th-century Rome and 2nd-century China. There are also three pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Victoria by Aboriginal artists that depict the Rainbow Serpent in Dreaming myths. The exhibition is accompanied by the Design your Serpenti app that allows museum-goers to create their own Serpenti piece and have it projected onto a wall in the exhibition space.
Until October 15
If you’re looking for a one-off
This tiny lane of pre-war shophouses in the Kampong Glam area is a treasure trove of indie boutiques, bars and cafes. Head to Haji Lane in the late afternoon when most of the shops are open and take the time to look through every nook and cranny – you might just stumble upon a design from Singapore’s next big thing.
If you’re a history buff
The Joo Chiat/Katong area is a microcosm of what Singapore truly is – a melting pot of cultures, where you can visit a mosque, a Catholic church and an ornately beautiful Hindu and Chinese temple – all of which date pre-World War II.
If you're seeking the ultimate Hainanese chicken rice
No one should visit Singapore and not spend significant time in a hawker market somewhere in the city having their fill of dumplings, chilli crab and rojak. However, if you've only got limited time and you're on a mission for what is arguably Singapore's most famous dish Hainanese chicken rice, there's only one place to go: the Michelin-starred Hainanese chicken rice stall at the Chinatown Complex hawker centre. The name Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle is a real mouthful, and so are the offerings created by Chan Hon Meng, the chef who's been turning out the city's best iteration of the dish for years. Be prepared to queue.
If you want to get out of the city
A 10-kilometre trail linking four parks – Mount Faber Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park – and Labrador Nature Reserve, The Southern Ridges has walks to accommodate all fitness types. The various trails, made up of a mixture of footpaths, walkways, bridges and arches, offer an experience unlike any other on the island.
If you’re travelling with kids
At Singapore Zoo, more than 2,800 animals reside in naturalistic habitats, with often just a moat separating man and beast. The uniquely immersive experiences are set in 11 different zones: marvel at Inuka, Frozen Tundra’s locally born polar bear; channel David Attenborough at Wild Africa; and monkey around at Primate Kingdom. If you're lucky, you'll be around to see the orangutans descending from a rope ladder right into the zoo grounds with their keepers.