Singapore Experience: Top 3 Things to Do
One of the best pieces of advice that I was told from students returning from abroad is to spend time and truly appreciate your host country. Rather than traveling outside of Singapore every weekend, I decided early on that the perfect balance would be to alternate between traveling one weekend and then exploring Singapore the following weekend. Through this, I felt more immersed in Singapore’s culture and I felt that I had a better understanding of Singapore beyond its typical tourist attractions. Over the course of my semester I gathered my top 3 things to do in Singapore with my roommates:
- Go to Hawker Centers! Hawker centers are large, open-air, cafeteria-like eateries that are filled with stalls where local vendors sell very cheap and delicious street food! Hawker centers are incredibly popular in Singapore and there are many across the entire island. Some of my favorites were the Tekka Center (mostly Indian cuisine), Lau Pa Sat (one of Singapore’s largest and most varied centers), and the Newton Food Center! It was incredibly fun trying local dishes such as Laksa, Bak Kut Teh, and Kaya Toast.
- Go on a hike! Although Singapore seems like a small island (it is) filled with corporate offices and high-rise residential buildings, it actually has a lot of greenery and local parks to explore. One of my favorite memories was when my roommates and I decided to do the Treetop Walk in Central Singapore. During this 3-hour, moderate hike, we discovered that Singapore has wild chickens, monkeys, and boars! Who knew! Plus, the park was mostly empty which was refreshing compared to Singapore’s downtown area.
- Sunset at Marina Barrage! Commonly overlooked by tourists, marina barrage is a water filtration facility on the outskirts of Gardens by the Bay that manages Singapore’s water supply, flood control, and overlooks Singapore’s reservoir. However, the facility has a beautiful and modern grass rooftop that gives the perfect view of sunsets and Singapore’s iconic skyline. A favorite among locals, many families and friends come here for picnics, playing with their children, and releasing kites that cover the pink sky. This was on of my favorite places to come hang out with my roommates in a relaxed setting.