Does a sneaky getaway to Singapore sound alright to you? Well, for four lucky travel agents, it was a reality – all caught on camera.
Singapore Tourism Board packed up an entourage of agents, along with some Travel Weekly cameramen to capture all the adventures.
And today, we’re unveiling the adventures of Susan Mathew from AJ Travel Hobart, who experienced a four-day Art & Design itinerary, which you can read in full below.
Art & Design Itinerary
One of the best ways to start you time in Singapore is with a tour. One tour with a twist is Walk with our Ancestors – A Feng Shui tour By Tour East.
Are you intrigued by the ancient practice of Feng Shui or geomancy? The tour covers a Hakka cemetery, built in the 1800s and demonstrates how the ancient Chinese had believed in the importance of giving their ancestors a proper final resting place.
Visitors will get to understand how the placement and structure of buildings throughout Singapore are believed to bring about luck, peace and serenity. Since the tour finishes at Marina Bay take some time to explore the area and one of the best ways to do this is to visit the SkyPark for some spectacular views of the city.
Also in this area you will find The Esplanade a world-class performing arts centre made up of two rounded glass domes fitted with over 7,000 triangular aluminium sunshades. Locals have dubbed them “the Durian”, as the twin structures resemble the spiky tropical fruit that is unique to this part of the world.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie or a shopaholic, there’s something for you to discover in Tiong Bahru. Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore, and when you visit this quaint community, you’ll immediately notice an intriguing mix of old and new.
Try a local breakfast at Tiong Bahru Market before you check out some of the local lifestyle and book shops. Tiong Bahru has some of the best street art in all of Singapore, perfect for that Instagram shot to make all of your friends jealous!
This afternoon head to one of Singapore’s oldest districts Bras Basah Bugis where you will find a slice of Singapore’s rich heritage, preserved architecture and palpable energy. Head here for fine museums, national monuments and other institutions, such as art schools and the Central Public Library.
Orchard Road, Asia’s most famous shopping street, is home to fashion favourites, specialist stores and loads of other lifestyle choices. Head down to TANGS, where you’ll find a variety of brands, including several Singapore -based labels for that unique souvenir to bring back home.
Besides being an iconic shopping destination, Orchard Road offers an eye-opening experience in other ways, with a number of outdoor art installations along the road.
The National Design Centre (NDC) is a treasure trove of design exhibitions, learning and resources that will inspire even the casual design enthusiast. You can drop by the NDC this morning to view a furniture exhibition or attend a seminar on how design can transform a business.
If you wish to further indulge in good design here you will also find stores which stock clothes, shoes, bags and accessories from Singapore and the rest of the world. This afternoon pay a visit to the latest jewel in Singapore’s art crown, the National Gallery Singapore.
It is a brand new visual arts institution housing an unparalleled collection of modern Singapore and Southeast Asian art. Dedicated to curating a collection that will provide insights into the unique art, heritage and history of the region, this is a must-visit destination.
From late afternoon spend some time in Kampong Glam, discovering a rich history, living traditions, excellent eateries and trendy shops in this vibrant neighbourhood. Shopaholics, head to colourful Haji Lane – a row of multi-label stores, quirky boutiques as well as hip bars and cafes.
Or pick up traditional wares such as Persian carpets, kebaya dresses and handmade perfumes from Arab Street and Bussorah Street.
Embark on an unforgettable journey into Chinese folklore and mythology at the Haw Par Villa theme park. Built in 1937, Haw Par Villa is famous for its often gruesome depictions of Chinese folklore’s 10 Courts of Hell.
But this wonderful theme park also has more scenes from other Chinese legends, such as Journey to the West and Madame White Snake. Pick your favourite from the over 1,000 colourful statues and tableaux on display. You can join a guided tour that takes you on a trail of the world’s only eclectic Chinese mythological park of its kind.
If you are a supporter of innovative and experimental art, drop by the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICA Singapore), an art space given over to exploring new and experimental art. A variety of genres from fine arts and design to media practices and performing arts are showcased here.
ICA Singapore’s public programme includes seminars and symposiums, talks by artists and curators and events of contemporary performance, installation, design and music/sound practices.
Its aim is to provide a channel for both students and the public to get a deeper understanding and awareness of contemporary local, regional and international arts.