Singaporeans are avid travellers, according to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study 2015. Apparently, 95% of Singaporeans have travelled abroad for leisure in the past two years, higher than the global average of 76%. This comes as no surprise at all, given how hectic life is on this lovely 719 square kilometers of precious land.
However, the wait between one holiday and the next is indeed a painful one. Why not learn to be a tourist in your hometown and see Singapore with fresh new eyes every weekend?
Explore a new neighbourhood
So you think you know all 27 districts in Singapore like the back of your hand? If you’re like most Singaporeans, you probably know your home, office and school, and the regular shopping and entertainment districts really well. But, have you taken a walk around Eunos, visited the last kampong in Singapore (Kampung Lorong Buangkok) or jogged around Sembawang Park? Most people only know their own neighbourhood and Orchard Road. Orchard Road is just off Ardmore Park.
Once, as I was photographing the quaint little alleys in Little India on a Sunday, a man stopped to asked where was I from.
“ Singapore? Really? You must be a history student!”
That comment was a little saddening, as it was a reflection of how few Singaporeans actually venture into the area just for the fun of it. One of the easiest ways to discover new sights and sounds is to simply wander off to a neighbourhood you hardly visit. The worst thing that could happen is that you get completely lost. But that’s okay; it’s what tourists do!
Try a new cuisine
One of the most important parts of travelling for any self-proclaimed Singaporean is trying out the local cuisine. Guess what? Singapore isn’t called a food paradise for no reason. Skip the Hainanese Chicken Rice and discover the world through its cuisine, one restaurant at a time.
Get a taste of Argentina at Bochinche [Link 1], and transport yourself to Greece at Blu Kouzine [Link 2]. You’ll be surprised at how diverse the restaurant scene is in Singapore. And if you like what you just tasted? You know where your next destination is.
Don’t miss a single festival
There is certainly no lack of festivals in Singapore. Whether it’s a traditional or modern festival in Singapore, the sights, sounds, and good vibes of festivals will take you on a sensory holiday. Join in the Thaipusam festival and be awed by the colours and devotion of the Hindu community. Or, jazz up your nights with the Singapore Night Festival. Whatever your taste is, you’re bound to find a festival that takes you far away from your day-to-day grind.
Join local walking tours
You may have paid attention during History and Social Studies classes, but how much of Singapore’s interesting spots do you really know? Join a local tour and you be reminded of how rich our heritage is. Explore the Bukit Brown [Link 3] cemetery with local aficionados who will reveal the secrets of our illustrious ancestors, or find out about the not-so-squeaky-clean secrets of Chinatown with a walking tour [Link 4].
Host visiting tourists
Another great way to see your country with a fresh perspective is to join a fellow tourist! By being a host, you can take your guest to places that are off the beaten track, and at the same time get to meet interesting people from all over the world. You could sign up on Crowdsurfing and choose to be a guide if you’re uncomfortable with hosting guests in your home. Or, rent out the spare room you have on Airbnb.
With these tips, you don’t have to wait that long to satisfy the wanderlust in you!
Links for the above article:
Link 1: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g294265-d4982809-Reviews-Bochinche-Singapore.html
Link 2: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g294265-d10188367-Reviews-Blu_Kouzina-Singapore.html
Link 3: http://bukitbrown.com/main/
Link 4: http://www.journeys.com.sg/singaporewalks/tours_redlantern.asp