Guide to i Light Marina Bay 2017
It’s the time of the year again when Marina Bay shines a little brighter, as i Light Marina Bay returns from March 3 to 26. In its fifth edition, the festival is upping the ante with three new curated fun zones (termed 'hubs') and a solid activity line-up. These include a playground with giant inflatable animals, a workshop where you can build your own Virtual Reality device – out of cardboard, no less – and good ol’ Uncle Ringo carnival rides. That’s not forgetting the bedrock of the festival, its 20 environmentally-friendly light art installations which illuminate the waterfront. Check out these seven artworks, inspired by everything from sea to space, that leave a dazzling impression.
Guide to Coronation
Believe it or not, there's actually more to Coronation than the Botanic Gardens and ginormous mansions. Located within the Bukit Timah neighbourhood, the area is home to a number of restaurants, cafés and shops. Here's a cheatsheet on things to do while you're in the 'hood.
Singapore Design Week
With over 100 design programmes and events, there's definitely something for everyone at this year's Singapore Design Week. Highlights include its signature event, Innovation by Design, the anchoring SingaPlural show and the Design and Make Fair happening at National Library.
Explosions in the Sky with Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Since their last appearance at Camp Symmetry 2013, the Texas post-rock quartet are making a comeback to Singapore for their first headline show. Expect well-known favourites like ‘Your Hand in Mine’, ‘First Breath after Coma’ and songs from their 2016 release, The Wilderness. But wait, Explosions in the Sky aren’t the only ones making their way to our island for round two. Laneway Festival alumni, Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be joining the headliner as the support act with psychedelic rock tunes such as ‘FFunny FFriends’ and ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’. Talk about reliving Camp Symmetry and Laneway Festival 2014 in one night.
OH! Open House
Goods, rituals, borders: the theme's a hint of what to expect when OH! Open House returns with another year of tales, walking tours and 18 site-specific artworks in residents' homes and 'round the neighbourhood. This time, it's set in Holland Village with three 45-minute tours ($25) for your picking – or go for them all, at the same cost – and a slew of works from Joel Chin, Melinda Lauw and Yen Phang, among others. Join in the Hakka Cemetery tour for a blindfolded hike to a nearby site entrenched in history, admire works fused into the living spaces of residents as part of the HDB tour, then examine the former colonial estate in the Chip Bee tour.
You don't need to go to the Land of the Rising Sun for a glimpse of the seasonal cherry blossoms. Wind your way through clouds of pink and white at the Blossom Bliss floral display, which features the famous Japanese flowers as well as peach blossoms and bonsai arrangements, set amidst a Japanese-style garden.
HSBC Women’s Champions
Get your caps and argyle socks ready, because the best women golfers on the planet are set to return to Sentosa Golf Club. The HSBC Women’s Champions sees the likes of Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson battle it out on the green over the course of the four-day tournament. On top of the sporting action, the organisers are spicing things up by turning the competition into a bona fide festival. A little away from the holes, local and international musicians are set to take the stage, including South Korean singer-actor Lee Joon Gi, Thirdstory from USA, and local acts Jack and Rai, and Gentle Bones (Mar 4).
OFC Social Market #8
Open Farm Community's Social Market is back – this time with more than 30 shops hawking local and artisanal produce and handicrafts. There's also activities for both adults and the little ones, such as gardening workshops by Edible Garden City and a screening of yoga documentary My Dharma. While you're at it, sip on cocktails made with freshly plucked ingredients, mixed by Tippling Club's head bartender Joe Schofield.
Explore Singapore's best
Best farms in Singapore
Farms? What farms? The Little Red Dot is as famous for its agriculture industry as Jamaica is for bobsledding. But even though less than 1 percent of our land area is dedicated to farming activities, there’s an impressive variety of farms in Singapore. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly activity on the weekend or a getaway from the hustle and bustle, pick any of these for a breath of fresh air.
Ten Instagram-worthy places to snap that perfect #ootd
If you didn't take a picture, did it even really happen? Don't waste that good outfit and your perfect brow day, here are the top spots in Singapore to take an OOTD picture, with tips curated from the best photographers and style bloggers on Instagram
Best hotels with hourly rates
We all know it can be hard to get some privacy at home, particularly if you've got helicopter parents who insist on open doors whenever your significant other is around. Even behind closed doors, you might have a squeaky mattress that gives you away, or perhaps you just want a change of scenery. Whatever the reason (we're not judging), your neighbourhood Hotel 81 or Fragrance Hotel is the place to go if you need a room for a few hours without burning a hole in your wallet. And with nearly 44 branches combined, there is indeed one in almost every neighbourhood in Singapore (though, of course, you'll find the largest concentration of them around Geylang). Here we check in to a few branches to see how they stack up.
City stories: Rochor Centre
Goodbye, yellow-bricked HDB flat. Come September, the iconic Rochor Centre – in red, blue and green stripes, too – will be the latest casualty claimed in the name of development. From its ashes will rise the North-South Corridor, a 21.5-kilometre expressway slated for construction in 2017 that will have a dedicated lane for express buses as well as pedestrian and cycling paths. Touché, LTA. Built in 1977, Rochor Centre was originally white with red bricks – it was painted over during upgrading works in the early ’90s – and comprises both residential and commercial properties. Apartments stack atop three storeys of kopitiams, offices and heartland-esque stores that hawk hardware, handphone accessories and traditional confectionary. And in a rare feature in today’s HDB estates, Rochor Centre’s ‘void deck’ can be found on the fourth level, similar to the one in Bras Basah Complex. Before Rochor Centre breathes its last, head over to capture these vibrant blocks on camera. Go late in the afternoon for the best light – and set aside a few minutes to grab a bench on the ground floor to watch residents bustling around. If you’re keen to explore deeper into the estate, make your way to the void deck at Block 4. There, you can view Community Quilts, a photography project by Ivan Tan, Juliana Tan and Samuel He. It’s a series of eight vertical panels, each a superimposition of three to four photographs, depicting various neighbourhoods and everyday scenes of city life. RIP, Ro
City stories: Jurong Fishery Port
It's one in the morning, and the air hangs with a dank stench. Men clad in rubber boots (and not much else) are hurriedly dragging pomfret, squid, lobster and other types of seafood around a warehouse-like space. At this ungodly hour, Jurong Fishery Port is just starting to get busy. The Port opened in 1969 as a docking base for foreign fishing vessels, as well as a huge wholesale fish market (about 20 basketball courts huge) that houses more than 100 lots for the trawls to be auctioned off. The Port is open all day and night – except Mondays between 2 to 6am – but the action peaks at around 3am. That's when the boats are unloading their catch and throngs of hawkers, chefs and wet market stall owners are buying in bulk. Yes, you can pick up a red snapper or two, some still flapping in their styrofoam boxes, for dinner. But even if you don't intend to, there's plenty of sights and sounds – not to mention smells – to check out, too. Jurong Fishery Port is at Fishery Port Rd.
City stories: Singapore at dusk
There’s an old-timey rule in photography – if you can accept rules in photography – that says the best time to roam the streets for photographs is in the ‘Golden Hour’: an hour after sunrise or before sunset. Hefting the iPhone 6 Plus, whose size demands two hands to take a photograph, I went around my neighbourhood in Kembangan, scouting out Singaporeans during this so-called golden hour. After a few days spent revisiting the same areas (MRT station, park connectors, small parks), dawn and dusk seem less like twins and more like funhouse mirrors. Same light, completely different moods. The early morning is crowded yet silent. But an hour to sunset, grown-up feet shuffling home from work are joined by the smaller feet of children – wantonly zooming down park trails on tiny scooters or pounding hard concrete to chase after a football. For the adults (and one particular feline I chanced upon) who’ve had a hard day’s work, they can finally put up their feet up and snooze on a park bench as the sun fades under the horizon.
Free things to do in Singapore
If there’s one word we Singaporeans love more than ‘discount’, it’s ‘free’. And despite Singapore being among the top in various ‘most expensive city’ lists, there are plenty of free things to do around the island. Now we're adding one more to the list of free things in Singapore: every first Tuesday of the month, Time Out Singapore is distributed free in the evenings at MRT stations around the CBD. We also regularly have giveaways on our contest page where you can win staycations, dining vouchers and more. Here, we list the best free things you can do around the city.
Singapore’s best parks for picnics
After spending many a sweaty hour trekking around various parks, here's our list of the best spots to picnic at in Singapore. These places don't require you to travel to the middle of nowhere, they're scenic, they have some shade and decent patches of grass, and most importantly, they're located near the toilets (but not too near). So pack your basket, pick up your mat, and head to these parks for some fun in the sun.
Best free water parks in Singapore
Singapore's weather can get quite hot, so cool down with the whole family at these aqua playgrounds around the island. We've checked out where to go for the best sprinklers, bubblers and water fountains that are great for kids, and adults, too. Best of all, as they are in public spaces, they come free of charge (no admission fees).