People in my class always ask me for recommendations on things to do in Singapore. Here is my advise to them:
1. Try a yoga or meditation class before coming for my class, as yoga before food always increases the appetite.
2. Get your nails done after my class. Singapore offers some very talented nail artists who create amazing nail art that you will enjoy for a few weeks (if you are careful:).
3. Get a massage. There is every kind of massage available in Singapore and they are very reasonably priced, if you are prepared to venture into the heartlands.
4. Shop, shop and shop. And I don’t mean in Orchard Road. The suburban malls and shops offer some very interesting finds that I find are even more creative than Giorgio Armani !
5. Eat, eat, eat ! But instead of the restaurants, venture into our iconic Hawker Centres dotted all around our island (hygiene religiously monitored by our Ministry of Environment)
6. Take walking tours. Try Betelbox’s amazing Food Tours, and Charlotte’s personalised tours.
Started by Tony Tan is a professional tourist guide, restauranteur, hosteller, backpacker, conservationist and technologist. Tony creates and runs original specialist tours for individuals, small groups and corporate event tours. His Food Walks are simply amazing and crazy at the same time as he is known for ending them at 4am in the morning!!! For more information go to his website.
The Betel Box Backpacker Hostel, 200 Joo Chiat Road, Tel: (65) 6247 7340, Email: [email protected], website: http://www.betelbox.com/tour-food.htm
Charlotte Chu has been a guide for the last 5 years and loves every minute of it. A self-proclaimed ‘information junkie’, Charlotte has read up extensively about the history and heritage of Singapore and is most happy to share what she knows. She has in her collection many pictures of the ‘old’ Singapore which gives a very good perspective of how much has changed in the last 40 years. Her tours always include food stops as a testimony of Singapore’s reputation as a ‘Food Paradise’. Just tell her what your interests are and she can tailor something for you. Please contact her at [email protected] or +65-81011003.
If you are an adventure seeker looking for a watch to suit your specific sport, a Singapore website called WatchXtreme is a great place to source for Casio Pro Trek watches. What I like about WatchXtreme is the excellent customer support and the extensive range of Pro Trek watches. If you don’t find the watch you are looking for on the website, just drop them a note and they’ll get back to you. Website: http://www.watchxtreme.com
In my neighbourhood
Jess’s Nail Bar
I go here once a month to get a pedicure. Would love to do manicure but the cooking and cleaning with the cooking classes prevents that. Jess is very good with her nail artwork and the short foot scrub and massage that she gives. I get so many compliment for my arty toe nails! :) You have to call her in advance as she is very popular and is always booked up. Speak to her in simple English as Mandarin is her first language. Don’t expect a fancy establishment. This is where the neighbourhood people who know of her go to. Be prepared for the local aunties in the shop having a loud gossip session over your head! :)
Classic Saloon, Block 8 Eunos Crescent, 01-2683, Singapore 40008, Tel: 65 83688452
House of Traditional Javanese Massage
A 10 mins walk from my place, this is another place I try and go once a month. I so need it as I am on my feet the whole day and after a massage session with them, it really does relaxes you. Again this is not a fancy place but the masseuses are very good. It is a very local neighbourhood joint and only the locals go here and usually you see families and friends going together. If you don’t want a full body massage, go for their foot massages. Again very popular and they are usually booked up everyday so bookings have to be made in advance or you will not be able to get a slot.
713 East Coast Road, Singapore 459066, Tel: 65 64480072, website: javanesemassage.com
Ananda Marga Yoga Society (AMYS)
Circle of Bliss: Weekly Meditation & Healing Circle
Opposite Kembangan MRT you will another hidden gem. Percy Vasu gave up architecture to start a social enterprise even before the word social enterprise was penned or became fashionable. Years ago, on a trip to northern Thailand bordering Laos, he discovered a village of skilled weavers who who were in danger of becoming extinct. Percy kinda adopted the village and got them to weave textiles with designs that would sell in the western world. He paid them a fair price for their work and the beautiful silk shawls that they weave have found their way to all the fashionable capitals of the world from New York to Tokyo. He has converted part of his home into a gallery of treasures. Here you will find antique lacquerware, silver, textiles, accessories and the beautiful one of a kind hand weaved silk shawls. I bought one for myself as a gift to myself for passing the 50 year milestone on this planet! :) This place is strictly by appointment only so do call before going over.
Tel: 65 64424278, Email: [email protected], website: http://www.isangallery.com.sg
Echoes of the East
If you love the quaint, homely feel of an Asian curios shops, this one is for you. There is no commercialised or mass-produced furniture and home accessories here. It is a cosy treasure trove of unusual knick-knacks, exotic handicraft and canvas paintings hand sourced from all over Southeast Asia. I love browsing in this shop and there are two lazing cats to play with too.
374, East Coast Road , Singapore 428983 , Tel. : +65 63467275 , Email : [email protected], website: http://www.echoesoftheeast.com
Joo Chiat Road
An 8 minute ride to kitchen tools haven. This road is an eclectic mix shops selling kitchenwares, restaurants, coffee shops, budget hotels, red light district, mosques, churches, temples! It is line with conservation shop houses, many of them with Peranakan architectural design.
A little further from my neighbourhood
If you love fashion, my recommendation is to check out Haji Lane in Arab Street – I never tire of this place – my favourite place for small quirky shops. For department stores, I love Tangs in Orchard Road. For home & lifestyle items, I go to Lims. For antiques, I have been going to The Heritage Shop at Jalan Sultan and Keng at Craig’s Road.
Enjoy your stay in my hometown, Singapore! :)Ruqxana