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Sang Nila Utama Garden
Photograph: Tang Yan Song/ShutterstockSang Nila Utama Garden

How to experience Bali in Singapore

Plan for an idyllic tropical getaway

Fabian Loo
Written by
Fabian Loo
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As we eagerly await news of travel bubbles opening up (fingers crossed!), here is how you can still satisfy that wanderlust – right here in our city. To help you, the team at Time Out Singapore will put together a transportive itinerary – from sights to see and things to eat – to help bring the world to your backyard. Bon voyage!  

Located just a mere two hours plane ride away, Bali offers a scenic, tropical escape for many Singaporeans. The allure of the island is rather extensive: mountains and rice paddies provide green views to unwind, beaches and azure blue waters are perfect for a day of doing nothing, and the temples and other religious sites are a great way to soak up some culture. 

And that’s not forgetting the food and drink scene, too. Restaurants and cafés serve up delicious, hearty grub at a fraction of the price, and stellar beach clubs mean the night is always young. Itching to leave the city behind? Here’s how you can experience all of Bali’s idyllic charm without actually leaving the country.  

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  • Things to do

Like Bali, ours is an island surrounded by islands. Pack up and hop aboard a ferry for a quick respite. Meet furry feline friends at St John’s Island, or go on an adventure filled with wildlife and natural scenery at Pulau Ubin.

  • Things to do

Sure, Sentosa and East Coast Park might do. But for a slice of privacy, we’ve uncovered a few hidden sandy gems on our island. Coney Island is home to a hidden beach, but getting there involves trekking through bushes, trees, and even a mangrove broadwalk. Punggol Beach is located near the Punggol Jetty, making it perfect for shutterbugs and anglers alike.

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  • Sport and fitness

We share the same tropical heat as Bali, which means cooling off with some water sports is the best way to spend the day. Try wakeboarding at the Singapore Wake Park, kayak down the serene waters of MacRitchie Reservoir, or try windsurfing at Changi.

  • Things to do
  • City Hall

To truly immerse in the Balinese experience, a trip down to the Sang Nila Utama Garden is a-must. Named after the Palembang prince Sang Nila Utama, the garden welcomes visitors with Javanese split gates, recalling the famous Bali Gates of Heaven and other classical gateway entrances in Indonesia. To immerse yourself further, swing by Pancur Larangan (Forbidden Spring), a freshwater feature that brings to mind Bali's holy springs.

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  • Restaurants
  • Global
  • Sentosa
  • price 1 of 4

Rumours Bali, located in the Seminyak area, has opened a local outpost on Sentosa. Rumours Beach Club comes decked out with three swimming pools, a beachfront area, and comfy cabanas to lounge in. The food offerings complement the Bali vibes, too, with Indonesia flavours of grilled seafood, fried rice, and more.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Tiong Bahru

Starter Lab is another Bali import. This time, the bakery from Canggu opens up shop at Tiong Bahru, serving up crusty loaves of its signature sourdough. Here, American-style sourdough is favoured, which is typically lighter with a more pronounced sourness than European-style loaves.

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  • Restaurants
  • Kent Ridge

The activity of choice for most when at Bali: café-hopping. Thankfully, there is no shortage of coffee-brewing eateries in Singapore – complete with the same tropical decor and laid-back vibes. Visit Canopy HortPark for its soothing interior. Biophilic design elements mean that everything is made with nature in mind: wooden chairs and tables, overhanging creepers, rattan ceiling details, and more.

  • Health and beauty
  • Bishan

Aramsa is a little hard to find as it’s located in the middle of sprawling Bishan Park. But its hidden locale offers seclusion and privacy – almost like a spa in a garden. Outdoor courtyards are set amidst a jungle backdrop, providing a peaceful environment to enjoy one of its many relaxing treatments.

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