Yoga is handed down by ancient tradition, but trust the trend-chasers to come up with yet another new version of it. Standup paddleboard yoga or SUP yoga is now the next new thing. Already taking California in the US by storm, it has come to our shores, so be an early adopter and get your core and abs in tip-top shape with a session at SUP Yoga Singapore. Put all your yoga moves to the test while staying on the paddleboard. You would need to have no fear of falling into the open sea, of course.
SUP Yoga Singapore | People’s Association Water-Venture, 1390 East Coast Parkway | Tel: 92250789 | Cost: $50 per class, inclusive of $20 for board rental for an hour. Advanced booking needed.
Swing and shout like Tarzan
Fly through the trees with Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir Park. The aerial course built among the trees is 5m high, dotted with ladders, bridges, swings, nets and a giant zip line for an additional jolt of adrenaline. A course for children is available for those who don't make the 1.4m height requirement on the Grand Course, so no thrill junkie need to feel left out. Tarzan-like shouts best done when you have accomplished the course.
Forest Adventure | Address: 825 Bedok Reservoir Road | Tel: 81007420 | Opening hours: 9.30am-6.30pm | Grand Course $42 (adult), Kid’s Course $30 (child, age five to 10, height between 1.1m and 1.45m). One hour includes Easter Hunt; extra $5 for egg painting session
Watch planes fly over you
When you’re at Stella (formerly named, Chit’s Bar & Restaurant), you have swaying palm trees, deck chairs facing the Straits of Singapore… and the deafening roar of every plane taking off at Changi Airport. The bar has gained a steady following of camera-toting plane-spotters who want to take pictures of their favourite aeroplanes.
While it serves the usual selection of bar fare, such as fish and chips and spaghetti bolognese, it’s all done reasonably well. In the evening, a live band indoors plays top-40 hits from the 1960s to 1990s, though there will always be the constant sounds of planes roaring past.
No, not in the backseat of your car in the park at night. We are talking about the sort where the world can witness and smell your panic, while you inhale the view of the Singapore River (or the whole of Clarke Quay) and pray it won’t be your last ride. Reverse bungy ride G-Max reaches 60m in the air, almost as high as a 20-storey building, and goes as fast as 200km/h. Definitely not for the faint-hearted and not to be done on a full stomach.
G-Max | Address: Clarke Quay, 3E River Valley Road | Opening hours: Daily 2pm till late | Cost: $45 (adult); student rates apply
Hang an ollie
If words like kickflips, ollies, 900s, grinding and Tony Hawk excite you, then grab your skateboard and head eastward to the Xtreme Skate Park @ East Coast. This hidden gem of ramps and rails will make any deprived skater buckle and shed tears of joy.
Built to international competition standards, it even has a 3.6m vertical bowl for advanced skaters. Feel the sea breeze against your airborne body, and if you flop a trick and hurt yourself, take in the calming view of the waves until the ambulance arrives. Helmets on, everyone!
Xtreme Skate Park @ East Coast | East Coast Park, near carpark F1 | Tel: 1800-4717300 | Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-10pm. No skating allowed after 10pm
Treat someone to buffet by the bay
There is always an occasion to celebrate for someone, somewhere. And a buffet caters to just about everyone. Chic, contemporary Clifford restaurant at The Fullerton Bay Hotel with its 10m-high floor-to-ceiling windows and waterfront views makes it one of the more luxurious spots to have a buffet meal in indoor comfort by the water.
The weekend-only, all-you-can-eat brunch (from $100++ per person) is a hearty spread that includes waffles, burgers, fries and a selection of cheeses imported from a cheese shop in northern France. It is one of our picks for ‘52 best buffets in Singapore’ – read here for more.
Clifford | Address: The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay | Tel: 65975288 | Opening hours: Daily 6.30-10.30am, noon-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm
Hang out at a beachside Sunday party
A big bash by the beach sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday and thankfully, Sentosa hosts them every weekend. By them, we mean the Sunday garden party by the sea at Barnacles, Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. There is a full-fledged buffet with a special children’s table, balloon sculpting and magic shows. Tots get access to the pool, a splash pad and slides. For those without children in tow, you can hang loose at Tanjong Beach Club or the W Singapore Sentosa Cove, where there is a summer pool party, one Sunday a month. Sun, sand, sea and sangrias (or whatever your poison) always make for a good Sunday.
Barnacles | Address: Shangri La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, 101 Siloso Road | Tel: 63711966 | Opening hours: Sun 12pm-3pm
Tanjong Beach Club | Address: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk | Tel: 62701355 | Opening hours: Sun 10am-midnight
One of the rare places in Singapore where climbers can find “natural” rock to scale is at Dairy Farm Quarry Park. The abandoned granite quarry is a haven for rock climbers who want to experience the real outdoor rush as opposed to doing it at indoor climbing gyms. Not for amateurs, of course. You’ll be wise to get all your safety gear on because the rocks have been known to come loose mid-climb.
Looking in from the outside, you’ll have to do a double take as you see what you think is a traditional Chinese-style shophouse. Lined with Terracotta warrior statues, hanging red lanterns, curved roof tiles, and windows with traditional motifs, Indochine Forbidden City is really a bar and its decor is a modern and stylish take on ancient China.
While the crowd buzzes inside, hang back at the alfresco area to enjoy your cocktail, the chinoiserie setting and one of the better views of the Singapore River.
Indochine Forbidden City | Address: 3A River Valley Road | Tel: 65576266 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Sat-Sun 6.30pm-11pm; closed on public holidays
Slap on some sunscreen, rent a kayak, strap on a life vest and paddle through the waters at MacRitchie Reservoir with endless greenery as your backdrop. While you’re at it, each time you plunge that paddle into the waters, imagine yourself stabbing away at the stresses of life and you will be recharged in no time.
The Paddle Lodge | Address: MacRitchie Reservoir, along Lornie Road | Tel: 62580057 | Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9am-12pm, 2pm-6pm
Flip out in public
This is not about going hysterical at someone and flipping a table full of drinks. It is something a whole lot more enjoyable – soaring across a beach on a three-storey-high swing with your legs hooked over the bar, and as the momentum carries you, catch another incoming bar, flip, and land gracefully over the other side. Yes, it's The Flying Trapeze at Siloso Beach, Sentosa.
You will see if you have what it takes to run away and join the circus, or just to finally conquer your fear of heights. To reward yourself, complete the day with a nice Italian meal at the adjacent Trapizza.
The Flying Trapeze | Address: 101 Siloso Beach, Sentosa | Tel: 62750100 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 2.30pm-6.30pm; Sat, Sun, public holidays, 2.30pm-7pm | Cost: $10 per swing, $20 for three swings
Spray some Champagne
Of course, there are plenty of notable places you can order Dom Perignon Champagne and have a party, but few will offer the view of bay waters and the skyline of Singapore like Avalon. it used to serve the bottles with sparklers attached to them, but due to fire hazard rules, it has been stopped. Now, an ongoing promotion offers three bottles for $1,858, and the sparkling replacement is a luminous Dom shield on the bottle. But please, don’t jump into the water. That’s hazardous, too.
Need some inspiration in the form of eye candy to get up for your weekend morning run? Jog a lap or two around Kallang Riverside Park or Bedok Reservoir Park on Sundays and you will catch sight of some fit looking dragonboaters going through their weekly training sessions. They are either in a too-small team singlet or topless. If you are not shy, go ahead, wave, and say hello. Just be sure they don’t have a girlfriend watching nearby.
Boat Quay is no longer the seedy and cheesy walkway that it used to be and there are quite a few nearby drinking spots to recommend here. Dallas Restaurant & Bar has a great burger menu, and mainstay Penny Black keeps the crowd going back for its English-pub style atmosphere. Brand new bar The Juban Stand keeps things cosy indoors with its small, standing-room-only space. The Spiffer Dapper may have the worst bartender ever, but the drinks aren’t that bad and it’s the closest you’re going to get for a post-work club/bar setting.
Find hidden war relics
With its rocky shoreline and fishing village-like vibe, Labrador Nature Reserve is a haven for those looking to get away from the crowds. Just ask the couples there at night. We suspect it has something to do with the red beacon there beckoning the hot-blooded.
In the day though, visitors can check out World War II bunkers and ruins that are frozen in time, such as command posts, a cannon, the remains of an old fort’s wall built around 1886, as well as weapons storage facilities nestled among the foliage. Forgotten underground tunnels were discovered in 2001, but they are closed to the public until further notice. Walk in by the new Berlayer Creek boardwalk next to Circle Line’s Labrador Park MRT station. It’s wheelchair-friendly.
Jamie's Italian | Address: #01-165/166/167, Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront Walk | Tel: 67335500 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-10pm
Take someone on wheelchair out for a stroll
Give those who are homebound or in wheelchairs a chance to enjoy some fresh air, sun and yes, views of calming water. The accessible Sentosa boardwalk is best for a leisurely stroll and if you are game, leads right into the resort island. Along the boardwalk are two-way canopy-covered travellators that can get you into Sentosa in about 15 minutes, and all for the cost of a dollar paid with a stored value EZ-Link card.
Discover Singapore’s varied native flora and fauna without the expensive ticket charge. And for photographers, a bit of patience may yield some stunning photos of wildlife going about their daily living. Check out the mangrove forest in Pasir Ris Park via the boardwalk and spot the giant mudskipper, mud-lobster and the telescopium snail. For bird enthusiasts, park yourself at the three-storey watching tower with your binoculars.
Another cool spot to check out is Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It was recently in the news when some nature lovers spotted saltwater crocodiles sunbathing on the muddy shores.
Pasir Ris Park | Address: Pasir Ris Road to Jalan Loyang Besar, access via Elias Road and Pasir Ris Green, or via carpark B at Pasir Ris Drive 3
Although it might look like a capsized ship to some, underneath the high-tech space frame of Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest lies a 35m-high "mountain" complete with a stunning waterfall.
For an awesome view of Marina Bay, take a walk – best at sunset – from the highest point of the indoor structure all the way down. Along the way, discover some 130,000 rare vegetation species. The climate in there is designed to mimic forests 1,000m and 3,500m above sea level, so if you’re lucky, you can walk through "clouds" created by the condensation and waterfall.
Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay | Address: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive | Tel: 64206848 | Opening hours: Daily 9am-9pm |Tickets: $12 (adult), $8 (child)
Buy some fresh fish before dawn
Thinking of having a big fish cook-out for the family and can’t get to sleep at 2am? Head down to Jurong Fishery Port to get started right away. Located right by the waters in southwest Singapore, this port and wholesale fishmonger generally moves the fish in schools, but if you smile sweetly and ask nicely, you would be able to get some rather good bargains. Check out our photo essay here.
Jurong Fishery Port | Address: 35 Fishery Port Road | Tel: 62651680 | Opening hours: 24 hours except Mon 2am-6am
Fly a kite
Pick up the pace of a lazy weekend with a spot of kite-flying at Marina Barrage. A steady breeze from the elevated vantage point overlooking the Marina Bay ensures your kite soars and glides smoothly in the sky. Kites are also on sale at the Marina Cove, located within the barrage. Linger on after sunset with a bottle of wine and enjoy the nightly laser light show beaming from Marina Bay Sands resort.
You don’t have to sit through a 21-hour flight and countless transits to discover the world’s best known rainforest. The spanking new River Safari at the Singapore Zoo has the Amazon Flooded Forest habitat which simulates the annual flooding of the Amazon rainforest (pictured), where fishes and other creatures such as the manatees swim among the trees.
Pull your family out of city living for a day and hop on a bumboat to Pulau Ubin. The quiet island, billed as Singapore’s last kampung, will slow you down and give you the chance to show your children a different side to Singapore living. Rent a bicycle from residents there or indulge in seafood by the jetty at Season Live Seafood.
Pulau Ubin | Opening hours for bumboats: Daily 6am-8pm | Cost: $2.50 per person per ride
Learn to ride a pony / horse
Sign your child up for pony-riding lessons run by Gallop Stable at Pasir Ris Park. And if you cannot resist it, there are horse-riding lessons for grownups too, provided you do not weigh, ahem, more than 75kg. Pony rides for those as young as three years old are available at 20 minutes a session. For those who want to pick up more skills, there are longer sessions of up to 45 minutes, for individuals or a group. Check its website for details.
At the newly opened Punggol Beach stable, there are no riding lessons yet, just five-minute joyrides for adults on horses and children on ponies at $10 a pop.
Gallop Stable, Pasir Ris | Address: Pasir Ris Park, 61 Pasir Ris Green, carpark C | Tel: 65839665 | Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am-12pm, 2pm-7pm. Closed on Monday | Cost: $35 to $1,000 depending on duration and courses
Just because you’re no longer five doesn’t mean you have to stop building castles, in the sky or otherwise. Head down to Siloso Beach, in the open area in front of Azzura Beach Club in Sentosa, and mould that imported Hawaiian sand to your heart’s desire.
Build towers, flag posts, a moat, even a mythical creature – or volunteer to be the monster. When you get tired, have some food and drinks at Azzura.
Tired of dodging pedestrians and cyclists along the popular East Coast Park and Pasir Ris Park connecting routes? Head to Punggol Park, where you can cycle the 1.3km route around the five-hectare lake. Since it is not (yet) a favourite haunt among urbanites, the park is not as crowded and it is much easier to find parking lots. For those who do not own bicycles, there are rental kiosks near the carpark.
Get your fill of heartstopping thrills at water park Wild Wild Wet’s latest ride, ‘Torpedo’. The first of its kind here, it features a vertical 17.3m free fall before you zip down an 80m-long twisting water slide. Other rides include the four-storey-high, ski-slope-like ‘Slide Up’, the white-water-rafting-inspired ‘Ular Lah’ and a giant tidal wave pool.
Wild Wild Wet | Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close | Tel: 65819128 | Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 1-7pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7pm | Tickets: $19 (adult), $14 (child, age three to 11)
Walk on an island of trash
Located at the southeastern side of the island, the Semakau landfill is Singapore’s first offshore landfill, which became operational when Singapore’s mainland landfills were exhausted.
Surprisingly, there’s no garbage stench here, the island is rather scenic and you breathe in salty sea air. It is open to the public for birdwatching, sports fishing and intertidal walks. The island is rich with wildlife such as crabs, sea stars, sponges and shrimp.
The natural mangroves shelter a wide variety of plants and animals, making it the largest seagrass meadow in Singapore.
Check out the National Environmental Agency’s online brochure which gives details on who to contact if you’re interested in visiting the island.
Catch a romantic sunset
Taking your other half on the Singapore Flyer for your anniversary seems rather unimaginative, but you might be able to score some brownie points if you manage to catch the sunset while at it.
You could even go one up with the Flyer’s dining option, where you can have your meal at 42 storeys above the water, with the extra choice to book a private capsule if you want. Just make sure your date is not afraid of heights – a case of nerves, or worse, vomiting, while being stranded 165m in the air will not be romantic at all.
Singapore Flyer | Address: 30 Raffles Avenue | Tel: 67348829| Opening hours for rides: Daily 8.30am-10.15pm |Cost: $33 (adult), $21 (child, age three to 12), $24 (seniors, age 60 and above)
Sky Dining | Singapore Flyer, 30 Raffles Avenue | Tel: 63333311 | Opening hours for dining: Daily 7.30pm (check in at 7pm) or 8.30pm (check in at 8pm) | Cost: $269++ per couple for ride and dining
Have brunch with a view
This is an island of foodies who love brunch and some of the best bites can be found at bayside spots. The usual suspects can be found at Robertson Quay (Kith Café, eM by the River), and some more upmarket ones at the Marina Bay area (Forlino at The Fullerton Bay, KuDeTa at Marina Bay Sands).
For the few hidden spots, Coastes is a quiet, affordable brunch venue at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, which serves all-day breakfast. Sand grains between your toes come free. We also like Lavaedge at MacRitchie Reservoir, not your typical cafe-in-the-park offering. Gaze out on a lake while tucking into the buffet spread and don’t hold back because you can always walk it off.
Shoot the breeze with a strong brew
While you may look forward to sitting by the water with a glass of champagne or cocktail in hand, there are times when nothing but a cup of joe will do. After a morning run around Kallang Riverside, settle down indoors at Loysel’s Toy for an artisanal brew (it also serves brunch).
Alternatively, take away a cuppa and walk around the serene Kallang Riverside Park where you will see a memorial to the former Kallang Gasworks which used to supply gas to the town area until 1998. There are also bicycles for rent right at the cafe if you want to cycle around the area.
Loysel’s Toy | Address: 66 Kampong Bugis | Tel: 62922306 | Opening hours: Tue-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat & Sun 9am-7.30pm
Steal a first kiss
There are few things in life sweeter than a first kiss, but to make the moment a lifelong memory, the location can be just as vital. Try stealing a kiss while riding the cable car –jump in at the last minute so you have the cabin all to yourself – or maybe an evening stroll along the Swan Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is open till midnight. Try leaning in for one where there is an uninterrupted view of the Singapore Flyer and Nicoll Highway at the Gardens by the Bay. As the saying goes, location, location, location.
Gardens by the Bay | Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive | Tel: 6420 6848 | Opening hours: Daily 5am-2am
Tuck into satay by the sea
There is something about the aroma of satay that always makes you want to stop and have some. Especially when you are walking past someone’s smoking barbecue pit at East Coast Park. The best option is just to head to Haron 30 Satay at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, one of our picks of eight best satay stalls on the island.
The award-winning stall is known for its tasty and generously-portioned beef, mutton or chicken satay ($0.60 per stick), so expect to wait a while for your turn. Once you have found a table with a view, you’re at most 200 steps away from the sea (we counted), so that would help with the waiting. Otherwise, do a takeaway and savour this on your own anywhere along the beach.
Haron Satay | Address: Stall 55, East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 East Coast Parkway | Opening hours: Tue-Fri 2pm-11pm; Sat-Sun 11am-11pm
Spend a day doing wedding photography
Instead of spending a bomb on an overseas wedding shoot, take advantage of some picturesque spots around the island. You just cannot go wrong with a location that has the sea as your backdrop. Changi Beach Park is not crowded and has a rustic, romantic charm. There might even be the chance that an airplane will roar past above you. How’s that for a dramatic shot?
Alternatively, head to Marina at Keppel Bay if you prefer yachts in the background to complement your wedding dress and white tux.
Changi Beach Park | Address: Along Nicoll Drive and Changi Coast Road | Tel: 1800 4717300 | Opening hours: Daily
What’s one way you can enjoy a vacation without the hassle of extensive packing and travelling? Do a staycation in any of one of Singapore’s many waterfront-facing hotels. We recommend the child-friendly Festive Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa with rooms that come with separate chambers for parents and loft beds for youngsters. For awesome views, there are Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore and Fullerton Bay Hotel, while Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay is perfect if nightlife by the river is what you like.
It’s a shame that some of the city’s better cocktail bars are located away from the waterfront or inside a hotel. So if martinis with a view are what you’re looking for, our recommendation has to be Orgo Bar and Restaurant.
Located at the roof terrace of The Esplanade mall, its menu of fresh fruit martinis and top-shelf alcohols, made with the ultimate in Japanese precision, will persuade even teetotallers to try one. Our particular favourites are the Pomelo & Basil, Dragon Fruit & Vanilla cocktails and they’re reasonably priced at $18 each.
Orgo Bar and Restaurant | Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, #04-01, Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay | Tel: 63369366 | Opening hours: Daily 6pm-1.30am
If you have no time to plan for an overseas holiday, take out the tent poles and picnic baskets and go camping at West Coast Park, where its unusual Adventure Play Area will keep the young ones and young adults occupied, and the mood and pace is more laidback than East Coast Park. Spend the afternoon fishing at the jetty, and the evening staring out at ships and sampans bobbing about the water. Don’t forget to get that camping permit.
If you live near riverside condominiums, you may know about the river taxi or bus services launched in January. They take you straight to the Central Business District so you can bypass the crowds on the MRT trains or the horrible morning rush-hour traffic. The river taxis by Singapore River Explorer run every 10 (peak hour) to 20 minutes from along Jiak Kim Street to Clifford Pier, and the entire trip takes 25 minutes at $3 for one way. From Clifford Pier to Marina Barrage, it is another seven minutes and an extra $4 for the single trip.
The other route run by Singapore River Cruise goes from Robertson Quay to Marina South and loops back. The river bus ply every 10 (peak hour) to 20 minutes, and costs $3 one way. Do check with the operators for details.
Godowns were first built in Singapore in the 1820s, and mostly along the Singapore River. Which makes a coffee-drinking experience at Toby’s Estate, even more significant. The godown that Toby’s Estate is housed in might been one of the designated storage places for traded goods during Sir Stamford Raffles’ time, and we imagine coffee beans to be one of the commodities. We think the coffees are one of the best along these parts of the river, which is merely one of the many reasons we like to park ourselves here for brunch during the weekends.
Toby’s Estate | Address: #01-03/04, 8 Rodyk Street | Tel:
66367629 | Opening hours: Mon-Wed 7.30am-6pm; Thu-Sat 7.30am-10pm; Sun 7.30am-6pm
Pretend you’re in Japan
Technically, this is a mall that sits quietly by the river, but once you step indoors, that’s when the transformation begins. In Liang Court, you will meet Japanese who seem to be drawn to the Japanese Italian-themed restaurant Saizeriya (that’s hugely popular in Japan) or Mazazu Crepe which brings back memories of Harajuku street food. There’s even a DoCoMo store where they sort out their phone subscription needs. And of course, supermarket Meidi-Ya is where you’ll find all kinds of Japanese groceries and ingredients that would excite any obaa-san (middle-aged Japanese woman).
Liang Court | 177 River Valley Road | Tel: 63367184 |Opening hours for mall: Daily 10am-10pm
Feed your arty vibe
For the artistically inclined, there are a number of scenic spots to paint. Our favourites are East Coast Park to paint the sunset; along the Marina at Keppel Bay or Quayside Isle to paint a slice of the high life – yachts, boats, beautiful people, you get the picture.
Amateur painters, and those experimenting can join in the art jam indoors at Museo in Sentosa Cove, where you can get a 30x30cm canvas for $38 and unlimited use of the studio and acrylic paints to create your own masterpiece. If the view of docked yachts aren’t inspiring enough, perhaps a cocktail will do the trick. Tuck into $35 worth of food and drink and the art experience comes free. Top up $20 to take your canvas home.
When it comes to discovering raw artistic talent, don’t rely on TV shows such as ‘The Final One’ or ‘Singapore Idol’. Head down to The Esplanade. There’s always a theatre production, innovative arts installation, or even an intimate, indoors poetry recital being staged. You may even witness the birth of a new homegrown band playing original compositions at the waterfront stage. Check out what’s on at its website.
Admit it, the point of a well-shot selfie is to show off to your social media followers how hot you are. And where better in Singapore to do that than in your itty-bitty bikini at the rooftop pool of Marina Bay Sands resort, which is 57-storey high.
We don’t recommend you pose-and-preen in the 150m-long pool over the weekend when it becomes as crowded as a public pool, but a staycation on a random weekday might work for you to get that money shot. And to make sure you look flawless, try using these apps.
SkyPark Infinity Pool, Marina Bay Sands |Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue | Opening hours: Daily 6am-11pm
Watch merrymakers (or be one)
With so many pubs and clubs along Clarke Quay, the Read Bridge area is your best bet for finding a similarly inebriated soul with whom to commiserate. Those who want to take in the norturnal activities here should be warned that there are sometimes pools of unidentifiable liquids on the bridge, so watch your step. In the mood for some merrymaking? Act drunk and dance with the first person who steps onto the bridge – just make sure you don’t end up in the Singapore River, or the nearest police post.
Clarke Quay, Read Bridge | Address: Clarke Quay, 3 River Valley Road
Hit the beach with your yoga mats
Take your downward dog out of the yoga studio and breathe into your spine outdoors. There’s nothing quite like doing a shavasana with your heels buried in the sand. Yoga Tribe organises beach yoga on the last Sunday of the month, which are basic classes perfect for beginners and yogis alike. Check for schedule and pricing on its website.
The Library@esplanade is a little cosy nook that’s extremely underrated. Stocked with art, music, film and theatre books, you can easily spend one full day indoors here and time will fly. We recommend finding a seat near one of the bay windows so you get to fully enjoy the splendid views, too.
Almost anyone can tell you that the Singapore River empties into the Marina Bay, but not many will know where it starts. If you look at any map, the official “source” is at Kim Seng Bridge (pictured, with Singapore River in background) and the waterway upstream from there is Alexandra Canal (not pictured, on the other side of the road).
Following the canal upstream, you won’t find a central lake or reservoir. Instead, the canal goes underground once it reaches Tanglin Road and all you see there are condominiums, public housing flats and a mosque.
If it was 100 years ago, you would have been able to find the original sources of the river, one of which is Bukit Larangan (now Fort Canning Hill) as some books have suggested. All is not wasted. Rest your feet at the nearby Dempsey enclave or Orchard Road for some tea and cake.
Go for a 10km run
Singapore is not short of picturesque running trails and some of the prettier, more challenging routes have to be around MacRitchie Reservoir and along Marina Bay. At MacRitchie Reservoir, there is a variety of distances and terrains, so you can run through mud tracks, paved golf courses and wooden boardwalks, with the occasional water view to distract you.
At Marina Bay, depending on where you start, you could run along the Kallang River, Marina Barrage (run up and down the slope for extra cardio) and the public sections of Gardens by the Bay. Just watch out for the bit that passes by the satay club. Resist the urge to stop, press on, but head back for a post-run food treat instead.
Gardens by the Bay | Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive | Tel: 64206848 | Opening hours: 5am-2am
Snap a colourful bridge
Shaped like a tongkong – a light boat that was used to transport goods along the river – the whimsical Alkaff Bridge at Robertson Quay features work by the late Filipino artist Pacita Abad in 55 different colourful swirls. It is one of Singapore’s most colourful bridges, even if it is not highly visible. It was completed in 2004 with efforts from art groups and government agencies to raise appreciation of public art.
This is for all the lonely hearts out there. Pop by The Lilypad, an alfresco bar overlooking the river diagonally outside Attica, and there’s a high chance you’ll meet someone mingling outside on a Friday or Saturday evening.
The spot is popular with people who want some pre- and post-clubbing drinks. All it takes is a little brave eye contact with someone you fancy and let alcohol work the rest of the magic. Or not.
The Lilypad | Address: 3A River Valley Road, #01- 03 Clarke Quay | Tel: 63339973 | Opening hours: Sun-Tues 5.30pm-11pm; Wed 10.30pm -4am; Thu 10.30pm-3am; Fri, Sat and eve of public holidays 11pm-5.30am
Watch boats go by
By boats, we’re not referring to the oil tankers that feature in most of Singapore’s sea views. Look inward towards Marina Bay and you’ll see nifty-looking lasers and catamarans sailing by. The views are magical when there’s a regatta (boat race) going on. A great spot to watch them go by is when you are seated indoors at Catalunya Singapore, a restaurant that serves great cocktails, tapas and paella.
While away a lazy Sunday afternoon in air-conditioned comfort. Try the Reverse Gin & Tonic, if it’s available. It offers just 50 a week and comes highly recommended.
Catalunya | Address: The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay | Tel: 65340188 | Opening hours: Daily noon to 2am
Make the night sing with live music
There’s nothing wrong with plugging in the iPod to listen to your favourite tunes, but the experience isn’t quite the same when it’s live. So if you’re looking to bob along to your favourite hits and timeless classics – with some delicious pizza and a shimmering riverside view to boot – Timbre @ The Arts House is the place to be.
The spontaneity and tight deliveries of bands such as 53A and The Common People will definitely keep your feet tapping and your voices hollering. The live acts even take song requests, so don’t be too shy to ask.
Timbre @ The Arts House |#01-04, 1 Old Parliament Lane | Tel: 6336 3386 (call after 5pm) | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 6pm-1am; Fri-Sat 6pm-2am; closed on Sun