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Dewi Nurjuwita

Dewi Nurjuwita

Dewi Nurjuwita is the art and culture editor of Time Out Singapore. She writes about the arts scene in the Lion City, as well as things to see and do around Southeast Asia. In another life, she'd probably be living on a random island off the coast of Bali.

Reach out to her at dewi.nurjuwita@timeout.com.

Articles (242)

The best luxury five-star hotels in Singapore

The best luxury five-star hotels in Singapore

Time and time again, Singapore is dubbed one of the richest cities in the world. For that, we can thank a particular Kevin Kwan novel depicting the country’s wealthiest made-up families, wrapped up by a scene filmed on the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands. Other than MBS, the city-state is also home to numerous luxury hotels for the bougiest of travellers or loved-up locals planning a surprise staycation. Some people call it over-indulgence. We say, “why the heck not?” Besides, certain occasions just call for a treat yourself day. Whoever said money can’t buy you happiness probably hasn't had breakfast served while basking in a private pool. Check into these hotels and enjoy the finer things in life – butler service, in-room jacuzzi tubs and luxurious spas included. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels for a staycation in Singapore and the best boutique and shophouse hotels in Singapore This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 18 best Singapore hotels, for Garden by the Bay, the Merlion and more

The 18 best Singapore hotels, for Garden by the Bay, the Merlion and more

You won't run out of hotel options in Singapore, especially with the increasing number of new additions. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the hotels in this list are just a quick walk, train ride or shuttle away from the city's best attractions like Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa Island. These are the best hotels to check into for the weekend, whether you're looking to spend a weekend by the sea or some quiet time with your significant other. There are also plenty of restaurant and bar options around to make sure you never go hungry – even if it's way past midnight. The city never sleeps, after all. RECOMMENDED: The best Singapore attractions to visitRECOMMENDED: The best rooftop bars in Singapore Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every hotel featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The best hiking trails and spots in Singapore

The best hiking trails and spots in Singapore

Singapore's most popular attractions may include a boat-like tower with an infinity pool and two durian-looking domes and other impressive manmade structures but you'll be surprised by the amount of greenery you can find within the city-state (and surrounding offshore islands). The best way to discover this? Hiking.  Put on your best trekking shoes and go on foot to explore these hidden (and not so hidden) trails around the island. But before you get on the best hiking trails in Singapore, it might be best to slap on some sunscreen – and it wouldn't hurt to bring along some mosquito repellent. Run along the scenic Marina Bay waterfront, complete with road closures, at the T100 Triathlon that’s happening this April 2024 – it’s suitable for both race pros and rookies. RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands and the best secret and hidden parks in Singapore

The best public libraries in Singapore

The best public libraries in Singapore

There's no denying that bookstores are every bookworm's favourite place to shop, but sometimes you just run out of bookshelf space and would rather borrow than buy. Our public libraries are on point with a huge selection of famous classics and brand new titles by every author imaginable, along with amazing facilities and architecture to boot. Alternatively, you can borrow an e-book or digital newspapers and magazines instantly via the NLB mobile app and read on the go.   However, libraries now have evolved beyond their traditional role as book-borrowing destinations. Now, they double up as dynamic hubs for learning, working, and hosting a diverse range of events. Whether you seek a quiet corner to study, a collaborative space to work on projects, or a venue to attend informative workshops and engaging talks, our modern libraries offer it all.  RECOMMENDED: The best bookstores in Singapore and the best co-working spaces in Singapore

The best weekend beach getaways from Singapore

The best weekend beach getaways from Singapore

If you're a beach person, the best part about living in Southeast Asia is the fact that it is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Just hop onto a plane from Changi Airport and you can get to a tropical paradise. Whether you're a pro surfer, diving enthusiast or just a beach bum, these are the best weekend beach getaways from Singapore.  RECOMMENDED: The best short day trips from Singapore and Weekend travel guide: 48 hours in Nusa Penida

The best outdoor exhibitions in Singapore

The best outdoor exhibitions in Singapore

Who says art exhibits have to be confined to an enclosed space? Over the past year, various art exhibitions have been taking it outdoors. These al fresco showcases are a great idea for couples, providing a chance to be active while engaging your creative side. Plan a surprise outing with your partner on a unique art trail around the island, take a leisure walk while enjoying public art sculptures, or explore the history of Jalan Besar on a self-guided audio tour. RECOMMENDED: The best public art trails in Singapore and the best art exhibitions in Singapore

The best hotels for a staycation in Singapore

The best hotels for a staycation in Singapore

It’s always nice being a tourist in your own city, and treating yourself to a staycation is the best way to get away from the daily grind. Luckily, Singapore is filled with plenty of fantastic hotels to choose from, so it's easy to have that much-needed quick getaway without jetting abroad. From chic boutique hotels, to luxurious heritage accommodations, as well as swanky loft-style spaces, these comfy hotels in Singapore will give you the best night's sleep. Plus, with stellar facilities and amenities like infinity pools, bars, and sleek lounges, you're bound to stay entertained throughout. RECOMMENDED: Best rooftop bars in Singapore and 101 things to do in Singapore

The best contemporary art galleries and spaces in Singapore

The best contemporary art galleries and spaces in Singapore

With the city's top museums dominating itineraries, it’s easy to forget about the smaller, offbeat gems. It's time to open your mind and dive into the world of contemporary art at these under-the-radar galleries. Hang out with the cool, artsy cats at these alternative galleries in Singapore and who knows, you might just find your new favourite artist.  RECOMMENDED: The best museums in Singapore and the best music concerts and festivals in Singapore

The most iconic public sculptures in Singapore

The most iconic public sculptures in Singapore

Besides high-rise skyscrapers, stunning murals, and heritage buildings, another common sight in Singapore's CBD is public sculptures. You've probably seen bronze works by local sculptor Chong Fah Cheong along the Singapore River, or the iconic chubby bird outside the UOB Plaza while out and about. But did you also know that you can find a few masterpieces by Salvador Dali – yes, the famous surrealist painter – around?  The next time you're taking a walk around the city, pay attention to these public sculptures and the story behind each piece. You'll probably learn a new thing or two about art and get more educated on some of the region's best sculptors. RECOMMENDED: The best urban art trails in Singapore and the history behind Singapore's heritage museums and concert halls 

The best art classes to take in Singapore

The best art classes to take in Singapore

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be great at drawing or painting to unleash your creativity. There are various forms of art you can pick up – from cupcake decorating to crocheting and jewellery making. Not only do you get to pick up a new hobby and get out of your comfort zone, but you also get to meet new people while at it. So if you've ever felt stagnant and needed a new hobby, hit these art classes around town. There's bound to be something for everyone.  RECOMMENDED: Your guide to free art in Singapore and the best ceramic classes in Singapore to make your own pottery 

The ultimate guide to Kranji

The ultimate guide to Kranji

Singapore's not just a concrete jungle with sleekskyscrapers, HDB flats and historical buildings. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head on to Kranji, a rural area in the northwest that's home to sprawling farmlands, a beautiful reservoir park, and lesser-known restaurants offering kampung-style farm-to-table experiences. Spend a day in this peaceful district and you're bound to come back feeling more zen, with a greater appreciation for taking things slow-paced.  RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide to Singapore's neighbourhoods 

The most scenic driving routes in Singapore

The most scenic driving routes in Singapore

Going on long drives can help boost your mood and take your mind off work and other problems. Whether you're riding solo, with your best pals or family, try embarking on a short road-trip and see our beautiful city from a different point of view. Turn your music up, wind your windows down and feel the wind in your hair as you coast along these scenic driving routes in Singapore.  RECOMMENDED: The best hidden trails in Singapore to explore and the best cycling trails in Singapore

Listings and reviews (24)

SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has cool new digs tucked in Tanjong Pagar Distripark – and it's inviting everyday art lovers in. The new space is spread out over two floors, spanning over 3,000 metres of space. Step into the doors and you'll find two expansive climate-controlled gallery spaces that feature 6 metre-high ceilings, a reception foyer that offers varied art experiences for visitors, and an F&B space overlooking a view of the port, which serves as a lounge area for visitors.  With its new space, SAM is in good company surrounded by other art galleries, conservators and art logistic providers in a historic district where the inaugural Singapore Biennale was held in 2006.  The space will be unveiled to the public in conjunction with Singapore Art Week on January 14. Don't miss the opening show, a presentation by The Observatory, with elements such as a performative installation and an archival space. Other programmes that are part of this year's SAW include Gan Siong King: My Video Making Practice, a presentation of recent video essays by Malaysian artist Gan Siong King; an immersive video installation by Korakrit Arunanondchai, and Present Realms, which marks the conclusion of the pilot SAM Residencies programme. We know you've been excited about the reopening of SAM's buildings at Bras Basah Road and Queen Street, but it seems like you'll have to wait a little longer. The redevelopment of both buildings have been delayed further and is expected to be completed in

The Glass Hut

The Glass Hut

Pearl's Hill Terrace has been pulsing with new life lately. It's home to a community of like-minded, creative folks – be it the bartenders at your friendly neighbourhood bar Kult Yard to creators at pottery studio The Potters' Guilt.  One of the latest new additions to the thriving community is The Glass Hut, an immersive and multi-faceted art space designed to support the creatively curious. Helmed by a group of musicians and artists the likes of musicians Cruise Chen, Nathan Hartono and Farhan Remy; photographer Kah Mun; magician Kai Emmanuel and more, The Glass Hut is fuelled by a mission to revive the local arts scene that has been fragmented due to a near complete shutdown of the industry. In its name, it alludes to a fragile state of being – similar to the resounding hopelessness art practitioners and performing artists have been feeling the past year.  The Glass Hut hopes to support homegrown creators and build a community that encourages the movement for local arts appreciation – eventually helping them to build a career from music and art. Keep your eyes peeled for outdoor arts markets, music performances, art activations and more. Both the indoor and outdoor spaces at Pearl's Hill Terrace are also available for rental for workshops, yoga classes, events and more.  To be the first to be updated on events, follow their Instagram. 

Hilton Orchard Singapore

Hilton Orchard Singapore

There's no shortage of chic and modern hotels in Singapore – perfect for planning a staycation when you need time off to wind down. Here's more good news! Another hotel is set to debut in the heart of bustling Orchard Road this coming March 2022. Where, you may ask? It'll take over the current Mandarin Orchard Singapore, a skyscraper right in the midst of the city's favourite shopping street. The debut of Hilton Orchard Singapore will mark Hilton's flagship presence in the country following an extensive refurbishment. It's set to be one of the largest hotels in Singapore – and will boast 1,080 refurbished rooms and suites across two towers.  You can choose from a variety of room and suite categories. Families and group of friends can also opt for the hotel's connecting rooms that can be instantly confirmed at the time of reservation. Rooms on the higher floors will boast panoramic views of the city skyline – so you'll have views for days.  There's a variety of amenities and services within the hotel including two 24-hour fully-equipped fitness centres, an outdoor pool, a newly established Executive Lounge and a direct connection to a four-storey luxury shopping gallery with a host of local and international fashion brands and signature cafes and restaurants.  Foodies are also in for a treat. Once opened, Hilton Orchard Singapore is also set to be a dining destination in its own right, with five curated dining concepts including the award-winning Chatterbox, two Michelin-starr

Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real

Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real

An iconic painting depicting a bunch of students gathered around a table has become a prominent fixture at "Siapa Nama Kamu?" the inaugural exhibition of the DBS Singapore Gallery at National Gallery Singapore. It's none other than National Language Class by Chua Mia Tee (蔡名智) (b. 1931), one of the leading realist artists in Singapore's art history. The 1959 painting captures an important stage of Singapore's history, depicting a group of Chinese students learning Malay, the newly designated national language of Singapore then.  But if you walk into the gallery now hoping to catch a glimpse of the epochal work, you'll find that it's missing. All that's left is an empty wall with a sign that leads to a new exhibition at Level 4 Gallery of the City Hall Wing. The exhibition in question? Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real, the artist's first museum exhibition since 1992.  With the new exhibition, National Gallery Singapore hopes to offer audiences an insight into Chua's distinct view on realism that goes beyond the mere representation of reality, taking inspiration from the artist’s quote on how “the painter assumes the role of screenwriter, director and actor to freely shape the subject’s image”. Opening to the public on November 26, Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real showcases his masterfully painted works that depict vivid scenes and portraits of life and people of Singapore during its transformative years from the 1950s to 1980s. There's the Epic Poem of Malaya (1955), where the

Otah & Friends: Camp Stardust

Otah & Friends: Camp Stardust

Missed Otah the friendly otter? Get your hiking boots on and get ready for a camping adventure of a lifetime! This school holiday, Otah & Friends will be bringing visitors on an adventure through a magical forest, featuring plants and animals inspired by the National Museum of Singapore’s William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. From November 15, fans of Otah & Friends and members of the public can look forward to new immersive gameplay, otter-themed photo booths and more at the National Museum.  In Otah & Friends: Camp Stardust, visitors must race against time to help an ancient fallen star reunite with the night sky. Visitors will be recruited at Stardust Scouts and will complete various challenges to collect four courage badges to help the star grow and glow.  The setting is a forest clearing with four different themed rooms. Lace-up your boots and navigate through a dark maze, rummage through a ball pit, climb over and under a ropes obstacle course and play an Otah & Friends original arcade game to acquire their courage badges! It's fun for the whole family – and you can look forward to learning more about the National Museum's William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. In fact, the forest at Camp Stardust, inspired by the museum's prized collection, holds many secrets about the region’s plants and animals waiting to be uncovered. Meet a new character, Sambal the Sambar Deer, an elusive local species that will be introduced for the first tim

Kult Kafé

Kult Kafé

After moving out of its old home atop Emily Hill, Kult Kafé has recently moved into its cool new digs at Turf City. It takes over a space in the former grandstand at Turf City, now known as The Grandstand.  In line with Kult Kafé's former locations in the colonial-era Mount Emily Villa and Kult Yard's sanctuary in the 19th-century barracks of Pearl's Hill Terrace, Kult Kafé's new location provides an escape from Singapore's high-rise skyscrapers. There's both an outdoor lounge area and an indoor bar, each giving you a different experience. As you enter the compounds, you'll find vibrant psychedelic murals by Soph O, splashed on the walls of the brutalist building. Inside, the retro-futuristic architecture is echoed with the plush leather seating booths and neon light accents.  Photograph: Kult Kafe "For those who have been paying close attention to the evolution of Kafe, this new incarnation marks a welcome return to the playfulness of the early Kult ethos," reads a sentence on Kult Kafe's press release. And man, did they deliver.  In a cosmopolitan city dotted with world-class restaurants and fancy cocktail bars that have secured spots on The World's 50 Best Bars list, Kult Kafe is the antithesis. It's the perfect hangout spot to kick back and chill out with a group of friends while fuelled by fuss-free food and drink options.  Photograph: Carmen Hong The food menu is developed in partnership with Argentinian BBQ Gourmet. Look forward to fresh and diverse options inclu

The Book Barracks

The Book Barracks

Standing outside an unassuming industrial unit along Jalan Pemimpin, you wouldn't expect much. Inside, however, lies a literary haven. Welcome to The Book Barracks, a 'weekend bookxhibition' run by Books Beyond Borders. It's a cosy space, filled with mood lighting, plants, fairy lights, and shelves full of preloved books – spanning various authors from Hemmingway to Austen, Zadie Smith and even Robert Kiyosaki. But that's not all, literary lovers would be thrilled to know that the prices of books here start from $1, and 100 per cent of net profits go to a good cause.  A welcoming face greets every visitor who comes in, explaining how the system at The Book Barracks work and what each sticker means. It's none other than founder Randall Chong, who singlehandedly started the initiative in 2017 after a solo backpacking trip to Nepal.  "I was on my way to Everest Base camp and I saw kids walk out of school. One thing led to another and I was invited to visit a primary school and I saw kids walking to school empty-handed. The school didn't look like a school. They had blank walls, teachers were not motivated and they just had no books to read" Upon returning to Singapore, Randall dedicated one year to raising money to help fund the schools in Nepal, selling secondhand books on Carousell. He would stand outside MRT stations selling books and raise $25 a week. He then realised it wasn't sustainable, scraped the idea and started running fundraising campaigns instead. However, when Cov

Mandai T15

Mandai T15

Not many know this, but Singapore is home to some of the world's oldest forests. In fact, our sunny island was once filled with Dipterocarp forests (species-rich primary lowland forests). Less than 0.5 per cent of the original primary forest cover remains today – only found in small patches within the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.  One of the best hiking trails to go to admire Singapore's green lung in its full glory is the Mandai T15 Trail, which is part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The trail around the area may not be as popular as Macritchie or Bukit Timah, but it's not as daunting as it appears to be. In fact, it's an easy and levelled hike for both amateurs and pro hikers alike.    What is it Also known as the Gangsa Trail, the Mandai T15 Trail is a 7.1-kilometre heavily trafficked point to point trail that takes you around Mandai Lake. Unlike other nature trails, the track here is shared amongst both trekkers and cyclists – so be sure to stay mindful of others and keep to your left as off-road bikers constantly go up and down the track.   Where to start  The easiest way to start is at the Central Catchment Park Connector entrance, near the T-junction of Mandai Road and Mandai Lake Road. Look out for the Singapore Zoo/River Safari/Night Safari sign at the road entrance.  What to expect With the trail's location in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, expect to see some of Singapore's most beautiful fauna and flora suc

Nam June Paik: The Future Is Now

Nam June Paik: The Future Is Now

An international superstar in the art world, Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was a key figure in the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. The visionary artist and "father of video art" is known for bringing television to fine art, treating it as a tactile and multisensory medium and object. A transcultural artist, he was born in what is now South Korea and spent much of his life in Japan, Germany, and the United States. National Gallery Singapore is hosting the legendary artist's first major survey in Southeast Asia, Nam June Paik: The Future Is Now. After kicking off at London's Tate Modern in 2019 before touring San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, the exhibition makes its last stop on our shores. This also marks the gallery's first major international exhibition since late 2019. Photograph: National Gallery Singapore The exhibition will feature an expansive range of Paik's work through over 180 installations, projections, modified televisions, video sculptures, robots and other inventive contraptions, as well as archival materials relating to Paik's training in music and participation in movements such as Fluxus. His works were created against the backdrop of rapid technological developments around the world.  For the unacquainted, Paik was decades ahead of his time, having played a leading role in bridging the gap between art and technology by transforming video into an artist's medium and exploring the potential of media-base

Vertigo 26

Vertigo 26

There's a new vinyl bar in town, and it's hidden in the basement of Mint Museum of Toys (where Mr Punch used to be). Sonic Youth and Joy Division posters flank the walls and leather and wooden accents fill the space, illuminated by mood lighting and a neon pink sign that reads "turn off your mind, relax & flow downstream." It has all the makings of a safe sanctuary for audiophiles. Vertigo 26 is a new concept co-founded by music and movie veterans Eric Chan and Simon Chia. Throughout the day, the space functions as a record store where in-house listening is allowed. Curated by veteran local DJ Robin Chua (aka KidG of EATMEPOPTART), it boasts a catalogue of over 1,000 albums. Sift through rows of vinyl and cassettes spanning various genres and over five decades – be it Björk, Talking Heads, Billie Eilish, Amy Winehouse, Linkin Park or Bloc Party. From 5pm, Vertigo 26 transforms into a bar with a mean cocktail selection and a menu curated by Kyle Henderson (previously from Lolla and Summerlong). The bar is helmed by Cedric Seth, who was previously a cocktail mixologist at the Horse's Mouth. His experience with cocktails and alcohol started from his early days in the Navy, where he learned and made drinks at various ports of call all over the world, from Thailand and the Philippines to the United States.  Cocktails are all $22, with names such as Bad Moon Rising (Monkey Shoulder, cinnamon maple and bitters) and A View To Kill (Reyka vodka, melon, cranberries, grapefruit, soda)

Keppel Hill Reservoir

Keppel Hill Reservoir

More people have been exploring lesser-known hiking trails recently, away from the popular hiking trails at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Macritchie Reservoir. Clementi Forest has gained popularity lately for its wild nature, but did you know there's a hidden reservoir near Mount Faber?  Nestled on the slopes of Mount Faber is Keppel Hill Reservoir, a hidden sanctuary dating back to 1905. It's often dubbed as 'the forgotten reservoir', as it's disappeared off of modern maps until it was rediscovered a few years ago. Soft, natural sunlight filters through its foliage, creating an almost dream-like state. The reservoir is framed with creeper plants and littered with dry leaves and twigs.  History  Not many know that there's an abandoned reservoir in Singapore, and even fewer are aware of its history. Maps from 1924 show that it was one of the three small reservoirs in the area that supported the small village there. However, its small size made it impractical and it fell out of use. Residents continued to use it as a swimming pool. Today, you can still find the remnants of the diving board and concrete steps.  The reservoir made headlines when two soldiers and a 17-year-old boy drowned there on separate occasions. However, by the 1950s, it vanished from Singapore's maps and its location was not officially marked for 60 years. That is, until it was rediscovered by the National Heritage Board (NHB) in 2014.  How to get there Getting there, however, takes a bit of trekking throu

Antony Gormley at National Gallery Singapore

Antony Gormley at National Gallery Singapore

The Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden perched atop the National Gallery Singapore is now home to a new large-scale installation by Antony Gormley. On display from August 6 to October 30 next year, Horizon Field Singapore (2021) will be exhibited alongside three other sculptures that trace four decades of Gormley's practice: Sense (1991), Close V (1998), and Ferment (2007). Placed at key locations throughout the Gallery, these works form a sequence of what the artist calls “acupuncture points” within the architecture, activating their surroundings and provoking connections with their audience.  The exhibition offers an introduction to the artist's extensive body of work, which draws on a range of traditions and ideas including Buddhist sculpture and philosophy, minimalism and quantum physics. Many of Gormley's works encourage viewers to focus their attention on their own movement and perception in relation to the surrounding space.  But first, let's talk about the exhibition highlight: Horizon Field Singapore, a new work that's part of the Gallery's annual Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission. Standing at almost five metres tall and spanning the garden gallery, the installation invites visitors to walk through a vast matrix of intersecting aluminium rings, allowing them to co-create the experience by stepping through the rings. The spatial experience continually shifts as they walk through.  "Horizon Field is about how each of us carry our own horizon with us as we move through space an

News (172)

Thailand has plans to impose a tourist tax on international visitors

Thailand has plans to impose a tourist tax on international visitors

The pristine shores of Phuket, Krabi and surrounding islands are popular destinations for Singaporeans looking for a quick getaway pre-pandemic. Now that more tourists are returning to the 'Land of Smiles', here's a new measure you should take note of.  The Thailand government has just proposed a 300-baht ($12) tourism fee that will be imposed on international visitors from April onwards. This will help develop attractions and cover accident insurance for foreigners unable to pay cost themselves said senior officials in a statement last week.  After all, Thailand has been badly hit by a tourism slump during the pandemic, seeing about 200,000 arrivals last year compared to nearly 40 million in 2019.  The tourism fee will be priced in with airline tickets and is part of the government's sustainable tourism plans, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana. It adds to a list of requirements for foreign tourists seeking entry to Thailand under the existing Sandbox programmes, which also includes pre-payment for Covid-19 tests, hotel accommodation for quarantine, and having insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage of at least US$50,000 (S$67,417). Planning your trip to Thailand the minute Singapore resumes its VTL arrangements? Check out these best destinations in Thailand you can travel to on a VTL. Read more: Singapore emerges as the world's most powerful passport – alongside JapanAnnual leave hacks 2022: dates to book to make the most of the public holidays

Singapore emerges as the world's most powerful passport – alongside Japan

Singapore emerges as the world's most powerful passport – alongside Japan

Good news for all! Singapore has once again topped the world's most powerful passports for 2022, according to the Henley Passport Index. Similar to last year, it comes in first place alongside Japan. Citizens can travel to 192 countries visa free.  Coming on second spot is Germany and South Korea, with passport holders being able to access 190 destinations visa-free. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain share third place, with a score of 189.  The passport index is updated regularly, compiled using exclusive data from International Air Transport Association (IATA). 199 different passports and 227 different destinations were studied for the index.  Read on the list of most powerful passports to have: Japan, Singapore – 192 destinations Germany, South Korea – 190 destinations Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain – 189 destinations Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden – 188 Ireland, Portugal – 187 Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States – 186 Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta – 185 Hungary, Poland – 183 Lithuania, Slovakia – 182 Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia – 181 Read more: All you need to know about travelling to our neighbouring countriesThis telegram bot has everything you need to know for future travelsThe best boutique travel companies to support once we can travel again

Collect these adorable hongbaos from Singapore's museums

Collect these adorable hongbaos from Singapore's museums

Want to stand out from the crowd this Lunar New Year? This Year of the Tiger, spread the huat with some artsy hongbaos. The National Heritage Board (NHB) is back with its popular Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign, showcasing limited edition red packet designed based on the Tiger, the Chinese zodiac animal for 2022.  From January 7 to February 4, you'll be able to collect a set of unique red packet designs at each of the 35 participating museums, heritage institutions and galleries – all while stocks last. Each set will contain eight pieces of red packets – but you can only collect one packet per visitor. Two of the 35 participating museums are new Museum Roundtable (MR) members which are participating in the Hongbao Campaign for the first time: Geylang Serai Heritage Gallery and Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery. Amp up your hongbao collection game with the limited edition collector's albums available for sale at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall from January 22. Each album costs $70 and will contain two full sets of exclusive 35 Museum Roundtable red packet designs, displayed inside a customised album.  If you're thinking of getting cultured this Lunar New Year, usher in the Year of the Tiger at The Asian Civilisations Museum through online videos and onsite programmes, including guided tours, craft activities, and more; or watch a lion dance performance at the National Museum of Singapore on February 4.  Read more: 8 good reasons to be happy about 2022Amoy Str

This Telegram bot has everything you need to know for your future travels

This Telegram bot has everything you need to know for your future travels

Since Singapore launched its VTL scheme last year, travel is back on everyone's horizons. With more variants like Omicron emerging, however, restrictions worldwide are ever-changing – and it can be daunting to plan your travels. Especially since Singapore has frozen its VTL temporarily until January 20.  If you're relying on Google to get updated on the situation around the world, it does get confusing. Thankfully, there's a Telegram bot that has curated relevant information from various sources – so you can get all your information in one place. Called TravelBans.org, the telegram group and website provides global travel restrictions – from the need for Covid-19 certificates, airline information, quarantine, PCR tests and more. They'll even recommend the best travel insurance to buy for a specific destination.  Once you're in the group, you'll be directed to the main menu which displays an extensive list of destinations. Tap on your chosen country and you'll be redirected to the existing restrictions for travellers into the countries. You'll also find links that will redirect you to the travelbans.org website for more in-depth information.  Things may look daunting right now, especially if you're waiting for the VTL to resume. But it's never too early to start planning.  Read more: The best destinations in Thailand you can travel to on a VTLThe most stunning hotels in VTL destinations from SingaporeAlternative destinations to travel to from Singapore

Yip Yew Chong's latest work is a monumental three-storey mural in Chinatown

Yip Yew Chong's latest work is a monumental three-storey mural in Chinatown

Singaporeans would be familiar with Yip Yew Chong's murals scattered around heritage neighbourhoods like Tiong Bahru, Little India and Chinatown. In fact, this year has been an incredibly fruitful one for him – from his first ever solo exhibition in January to an ambitious 50-metre acrylic painting of 1970s Kreta Ayer.   Now, the artist is ending the year on a massively impressive note after finishing a monumental three-storey mural on 30 Temple Street in Chinatown, where he used to live. In it, Yew Chong painted a coffee shop amongst the lively market place. The coffee shop is named '順成茶室', after the artist's dad.  "My mum said my dad would be very happy if he sees this mural. I think he sees it," Yew Chong shares in his Instagram post.  The artist, who is famed for being able to paint vivid details from his memory, also painted his mum twice in the mural. In it, she runs a food stall inside the coffee shop – an ode to her helming various jobs in real life, including in a rubber factory, sewing clothes, pantry and cleaning, and making Sushi at Yaohan. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Yip Yew Chong (@yipyewchong) And of course, what's a Yip Yew Chong mural without its intricate details? Look closer and you'll find details like a lizard crawling and rubber bands hanging on the wall. There are also characters on a pillar which means 'coffee and tea,' derived from a Hokkien phonetic that's also commonly written by other dialect groups. Then, look up f

Singapore Dance Theatre unveils its new name

Singapore Dance Theatre unveils its new name

Founded in 1988 by Anthony Then and Goh Soo Kim, Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) started as a group of seven ballet dancers in a humble dance studio on the second story of a colonial bungalow on Killiney Road. It has now blossomed into Singapore's national dance company comprising of 36 dancers and apprentices – with a repertoire that ranges from classical to contemporary ballet. Those acquainted with the dance and art scene in Singapore would have attended its shows such as Ballet Under The Stars seasons at Fort Canning Green and Passages Contemporary Season. Three decades later, the dance company unveils its new name: Singapore Ballet. This much-anticipated news was announced at the opening of the Singapore Ballet Festival which took place from December 10 to 12. In making the name change, the company hopes to present itself in the most authentic light, whilst still remaining an ambassador for dance and for Singapore.  Artistic Director Janek Schergen, who has led the ballet since 2008, says: "By the time three decades had passed, a confident maturity to SDT was now in place and the company had its own unique identity. To reflect this and show this confident maturity of the nature of our organization, a decision has been made to rename ourselves as Singapore Ballet."  This is incredibly exciting news for dance lovers in Singapore – and we can't wait to see what Singapore Ballet has up its sleeves from here on out.  Read more: #BuySingLit announces fresh new name and identit

#BuySingLit announces fresh new name and identity

#BuySingLit announces fresh new name and identity

Since its inception five years ago, literary movement #BuySingLit has been an advocate for local literature. And for good reason, too. After all, Sing Lit has played an important role in many literature lovers' lives over the past year as they stayed home and looked for new worlds to travel to.  Now, as we return to hybrid and physical events, the annual #BuySingLit event has rebranded with a fresh new name and identity. Now called Sing Lit: Read Our World, the industry-led initiative now expands into a year-round movement to bring Singapore literature (Sing Lit) to audiences every day throughout the year.  Over the course of next year, the movement will be rolling out a slate of hybrid programmes and community activities that will introduce readers to the diversity of Singapore literature with a line-up of hybrid programmes and community activities. Sing Lit: Read Our World is kicking off with a Sing Lit Blk Party, a one-day hybrid festival celebrating Sing Lit as a rallying call to Singaporeans, in February; followed by a Singapore Literary Book Bazaar in March 2022. The Book Bazaar will be organised by the Singapore Book Publishers and will showcase the best in the Singapore literary publishing scene, featuring established and independent literary content makers.  “The initiative brings together people from all corners of the Sing Lit ecosystem – the writers, publishers, translators, illustrators, editors, readers and more – building a sustainable community that will keep

This art initiative will give you a dollar for your happy memories

This art initiative will give you a dollar for your happy memories

The team behind Happy House wants your memories – and they'll pay you a dollar for them. Why, you may ask? To combat these very confusing, tough times, they're building a digital vault of collective happy memories – to preserve and celebrate some of your greatest moments in the past.  On their site, a prompt reads: "What are some fleeting moments that have brought you the most happiness? Are there moments you may have mindlessly captured, that now serve as a snapshot of a happier time?"  All you have to do is look through your photos and videos on your phones, slide into Happy House's DMs via Instagram, and share your happy memory. You'll then get your dollar.  There are some terms and conditions, however. You have to consent to your content being displayed publicly in relation to the promotion of Happy House; and to your name and/or likeness and/or anonymity being used in relation to your shared content. You also have to make sure you're the owner and creator of the content you share. Down to share your happy memories? Check out their site here.  Read more: We tried a Zouk DJ masterclass – here's what went downThe best Christmas movies to watch this festive seasonThe best upcoming TV series to watch in Singapore

Singapore is officially the most expensive city in Asia

Singapore is officially the most expensive city in Asia

From having the most impressive skyscrapers in the world to the award-winning Changi Airport, Singapore is known for its competitive spirit. And now, for better or for worse, it has knocked Hong Kong off its spot for the most expensive country in Asia to live in. This is according to rankings released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on Wednesday.  Singapore has risen two spots and has clinched a joint second place with Paris, followed by Zurich in the fourth position. Tel Aviv, with its stronger currency and hikes in grocery and car prices, has climbed four places to top the rankings for the first time; while Hong Kong has moved four notches down to fifth as prices of clothing and personal care, including haircuts, dipped. With Singapore's property prices continuously rising in 2021, the results come as no surprise. But hey, at least we are still the cleanest and greenest city. And we are home to some of the most affordable, delicious food in the world.  Here are the ten most expensive cities in the world: 1. Tel Aviv 2. Paris3. Singapore 4. Zurich5. Hong Kong 6. New York7. Geneva 8. Copenhagen 9. Los Angeles 10. Osaka  Read more: Singapore is named one of the best cities in the world – and the cleanest and greenestSingapore extends its VTL scheme to six more countriesThe best free things to do in Singapore30 best cheap eats in SingaporeA guide to moving out of your parents home in Singapore

Singapore extends its VTL scheme to six more countries – including Thailand, Turkey and Maldives

Singapore extends its VTL scheme to six more countries – including Thailand, Turkey and Maldives

Here's some news to end your week on a sweet note. Singapore is extending its vaccinated travel lane schemes to six more countries: Thailand, Maldives, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Fiji. This new development was announced by Transport Minister S Iswaran on Friday, November 26.  According to a statement by The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), travellers from Thailand will be able to enter Singapore from December 14. Those from Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey, on the other hand, may do so from December 16. Additionally, Singapore will start accepting European Union (EU) digital Covid-19 certificates, even if they are issued in countries that do not have a travel lane agreement with Singapore. This means that vaccinated travellers with these certificates will be able to come here on the travel lane scheme. The relevant agencies are also working on issuing the EU digital Covid-19 certificate-compatible vaccination and test certificates from December 7 for Singaporeans. In holding these certificates, travellers will be able to take part in activities tied to a person's vaccination status while in countries under the EU.  Fully vaccinated Singapore citizens and permanent residents, alongside children 12 years and below, will not have to apply for a vaccinated travel pass to enter Singapore. However, short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will be required.  This new announcement is a much-needed one, seeing how three neighbouring countries (Tha

Singapore-Malaysia land VTL to open on November 29

Singapore-Malaysia land VTL to open on November 29

Thailand or Bali may be the go-to getaways for short weekend escapes from Singapore. But Johor Bahru is most arguably the most popular destination for Singaporeans pre-Covid. So here's one of the most exciting VTL news to date: we can finally cross the border again come November 29!  It's been announced today that starting from next Monday (November 29), up to 1,440 Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders in Malaysia will be able to cross the Causeway into Singapore each day using designated bus services, without the need for quarantine. In the same vein, up to 1,440 Malaysian citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders in Singapore will also be able to go back home, marking the initial phase of a much-anticipated land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between the two countries. Tickets for the designated land VTL buses go on sale at 8am on Thursday, November 25. Here are the details of the VTL:  Those travelling via the land VTL must test negative after undergoing a professionally administered antigen rapid test (ART) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within two days of departure The test must be done at an accredited laboratory or testing centre Additionally, those travelling to Malaysia will also need to take an additional supervised on-arrival ART after they clear immigration And if you're wondering if the bus tickets will cost the same as it was before the pandemic, we've got you covered. ]The ride from Singapore will cost $15 f

Flights to London are going from $849 with British Airways' Black Friday deals

Flights to London are going from $849 with British Airways' Black Friday deals

Missed having a picnic in London's outdoor gardens, gallery-hopping from the V&A to Natural History Museum in a day, tucking into Brick Lane's bagels and walking around Chinatown? Then you'll wanna stay tuned for this.  With travel finally taking off in full swing now, airlines are pushing out deals that make travelling even more exciting. British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, has just launched its Black Friday offers with prices lower than ever before. Tickets start from $849 for economy tickets and $3,999 for business class. These can be used for the Quarantine-Free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from London Heathrow. Under the VTL scheme, fully vaccinated customers will have to test negative for Covid-19 and avoid the need to quarantine for 10 days on arrival. Customers returning to Singapore must then apply for a Singapore Vaccinated Travel Pass seven to 30 days before travelling back.  Ready to leave your worries behind and get reacquainted with one of the oldest of the world's greatest cities? Get your tickets at britishairways.com between 00:01 on November 23 to 23:59 on December 2.  Read more: The best alternative destinations to travel to from SingaporeThe most stunning hotels in VTL destinations from SingaporeSingapore travellers to Denmark now have to serve up to 10 days in quarantine