A getaway from city life
Perched within the Labrador Nature Reserve is Villa Samadhi, a boutique hotel that was once a colonial garrison for British Army officials. The 20-room hotel – the first Samadhi Retreats property in Singapore – still oozes old-school Malayan charm, perfect for a quick reprieve from the bustle and lights of the city. Luxe Crib Rustic-luxe rooms Choose from four room options, starting with the 27-sq-m Crib, which opens to a shuttered corridor running the length of the building – plus a private seating area on the terrace, and a plush, king-sized bed to sink into. Then there’s the self-contained haven that is Sarang, fitted with a private whirlpool. Or go all-out with the Luxe Sarang: this 56-sq-m suite sits in an adjacent building for extra privacy, and comes complete with a living room and study, outdoor plunge pool, private garden, and in-villa dining. Luxe Sarang Three for the price of two From now ’til June 30 2017, score a free night’s stay if you make a two-night booking. The deal applies to all the rooms and suites in Villa Samadhi, so there’s little excuse not to indulge yourself in a proper retreat. Tamarind Hill Or check in for this discounted treat If you’re looking to stay for just a night, you’ll still enjoy a 30% discount off your booking until September 30 2017. But whether it’s this experience or the former that you’re eyeing, all guests are treated one and the same – so enjoy your welcome afternoon tea set before exploring the nature- and history-rich
Five dishes to try at Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre
At Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre, burying your nose into your phone while you eat isn’t bad table manners – it’s to be expected. And that’s thanks to Wireless@SG, which provides (wait for it) free WiFi at the popular food haven. Yes, among the many Wireless@SG hotspots around the island, this is the first and only hawker centre with a dedicated hotspot. While you’re there, tuck into these five dishes that are worth queuing for. Hock Hai (Hong Lim) Curry Chicken Noodle The owners of this stall are specialists when it comes to noodles – they serve just two dishes, curry chicken bee hoon and satay bee hoon ($4-$6), with the former being the more popular item. The gravy is the star, rich and thick yet not too spicy that it numbs your taste buds. Fair warning, though: even the $4 portion is huge, with plenty of tau pok thrown in for good measure. #01-58. Daily 9am-11pm. Song Zhou Fried Carrot Cake One of the hot favourites at the hawker centre has to be carrot cake. Song Zhou Fried Carrot Cake serves both the standard white and black varieties ($3-$5), but you can heap on prawns and squid, too. Go for the white one: it’s fluffy, smooth and with just the right amount of heat from the chilli. #01-37. Mon-Sat 6.30am-8pm. Inspirasi This legendary Malay stall has been dishing out mee rebus and mee soto for more than a decade, and the snaking queues haven’t subsided. The mee rebus ($2.50) is the undeniable highlight: it comes with a pile of fresh green chillies, a hard-b
ONE Championship: Angela Lee versus Istela Nunes
The return of ONE Championship at the Singapore Indoor Stadium shines a spotlight on two undefeated female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. MMA star Angela Lee squares off against Brazilian challenger Istela Nunes to defend the Women’s Atomweight World Champion title. Lee captured the title from Japanese fighter Mei Yamaguchi last year, and has since successfully defended her title against Taiwanese martial artist Jenny Huang in Bangkok – solidifying Lee’s spot as one of the most unstoppable athletes in women’s MMA. Fights out of Angela: Evolve MMA in Singapore and United MMA in Hawaii Istela: Parana Vale Tudo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Fighting style Angela: Pankration, with skills in striking, grappling and cage control. Lee holds a black belt in Taekwondo and a brown belt in BJJ. Istela: Muay Thai. Nunes is known for her triple head kick knockout that went viral in 2016 against fellow Brazilian Karoline Moreira. Professional record Angela: 7-0. Five were by submission, including a ‘Twister’ – that’s a rarely performed move – against Natalie Gonzales Hills of the Philippines. Istela: 5-0 and one no contest. Under her belt Angela: Current ONE Atomweight World Champion, two-time Pankration World Champion, Hawaiian Wrestling State Champion and Destiny MMA Strawweight Champion. Istela: Two-time Muay Thai World Champion. She defeated former ONE title challenger Mei Yamaguchi last August, proving her striking, takedown defense, and grappling skills. On this bou
DBS Marina Regatta 2017
Singapore’s biggest water sports festival returns for four days of competition, play and retail. Hit up the pop-up urban beach for a slew of dragonboat races, outdoor yoga, flea market or chill by the hammocks as you sip on beers and coconut cocktails served by reknowned Bali beach club, Potato Head Folk. Love the reality show Wipeout? Here's your chance to live the dream as you take on the challenge and blaze your way through nine inflatable water obstacles sprawled across the Bay. Stay cool under its five-metre tall dome, and stick around 'till evening for an exclusive pre-party to ULTRA, featuring upcoming regional DJs and acts.
The Lo and Behold Group Festival
Singapore’s hippest hospitality group launches its inaugural ‘festival’ across its many outlets – think Black Swan, OverEasy and Tanjong Beach Club – for a month’s worth of parties, feasts and more. There are nostalgic DJ nights to cocktail workshops to dining promotions, so check out www.tlbgfest.com for the deets.
Mexican Film Festival
Curated by The Projector, in partnership with The Embassy of Mexico, this year's Mexican Film Festival presents five recent films that span the genres of thriller, romance and dark comedy. The films are Desierto by Jonas Cuaron, You'll Know What to do With Me by Katina Medina Mora, Bleak Street by Arturo Ripstein, Güeros by Alonso Ruizpalacios and Mr Pig by Diego Luna. The latter's a film of a pig farmer and his estranged daughter as they travel through Mexico attempting to sell off their prized pig. Mexican films will also be shown at @SCAPE, presented by Singapore Film Society. Shows include Cantinflas, a comedy by Sebastian del Amo, and El Jeremias, a story about a young genius and his struggles growing up.
Geylang Serai Bazaar 2017
Brace yourselves for the heat – and a grease feast – as you flock to the annual food market to binge on Ramly burgers, otah-otah and other sinful street snacks (err, candyfloss burritos and 'rainbow planet' ice cream buns, anybody?). Keep an eye out for massive Instagram-worthy installations inspired by the Malay culture and heritage, including a 4.4m-tall wau display, planted along the stretch. There's also plenty of activities held in conjunction with the market, such as free movie screenings, gigs, a pop-up museum and a heritage race, where participants can learn more about Hari Raya celebrations as they dash around the precinct. The bazaar spans around the Geylang Serai market, Joo Chiat Complex and along Haig Road, from May 25 to June 24. The official light-up ceremony is on May 20.
The inaugural Children's Biennale features ten interactive art showcases in collaboration with artists from Singapore and around the world. Immerse your little ones in teamLab's 'Homogenizing and Transforming World' exhibit that allows them to experience a digital and multi-sensory world wlthout physical boundaries. Then make for photographer Robert Zhao's showcase of 39 animals, plants and environments that have been manipulated by humans – a lesson for kids on the issues of morality and ethics.
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 guides & stories
Guide to Pasir Ris and Changi
Take a one-way (MRT) trip to the far east – you’ll find more than chalets and droves of army boys. Hit up Pasir Ris and Changi for a walk through nature as you explore the mangroves or chug down refreshing brews by the seaside. We round up where to hang out and what to do while you're in these two quaint neighbourhoods.
Guide to Tai Seng
Once a dusty industrial estate, Tai Seng now shines with cafés, shops and even an art gallery. Make a trip down to this neighbourhood for venerable char siew, go crate-digging and shop for vintage furniture. Read our guide to discover the things to do while you're in the 'hood.
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 cheat sheet on things to do while you're in the 'hood.
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).