First published on 30 Jan 2012. Updated on 2 Feb 2012.
See and do
For those who want to get off the beaten track when it comes to shopping, head down to the Arab Quarter where bargains are to be had in almost every nook and cranny. Make a beeline for Haji Lane, where budget bohemia absolutely thrives and its here that you’ll find boutiques stocking everything from vintage wallpaper and fabric to jewellery, indie music and home accessories. Time Out’s hotspots are Pluck (31/33 Haji Lane, +65 6396 4048), Salad (25/27 Haji Lane, +65 6299 5808) and House of Japan (55 Haji Lane, +65 6396 6657). If, however, you still want to pick up some bargains with the exchange rate, then head to mega-mall Ion Orchard where you’ll find everything from Louis Vuitton to Zara. 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore. (+65 6238 8228, www.ionorchard.com). If being a shopaholic isn’t your scene, then consider heading out of the CBD an immersing yourself in the country’s rustic countryside. On the northwest corner of Singapore lies a number of organic farms, nurseries, gardens and much more. A range of activities are available at www.yoursingapore.com/au. Closer to town is the island of Sentosa, home to a new integrated resort, a number of hotels, bars, restaurants and activities that will keep a couple of friends or a family entertained for hours. It’s worth checking out the pink humpback dolphins perform a few tricks at Underwater World, an aquarium that also offers shark dives for the thrill seekers out there. 80 Siloso Road, Sentosa. (+65 6275 0030, www.underwaterworld.com.sg).
Eat and drink
When it comes to eating and drinking, Singapore is the undoubtedly Asia’s most exciting city. But in this town, they’re not necessarily where you think they’ll be. Take Dempsey Hill for an example, where a couple of years ago former British Army Barracks were converted into 18 different food, beverage and lifestyle outlets that offer a range of cuisine from the conventional to the completely unconventional. Up here, if you can find it, it’s not about views of a lion or three towers, but great cuisine that in the case of Tippling Club, has truly pushed the gastronomic boundary. Former Melbourne chef Ryan Clift, of Vue de Monde fame, puts together a cocktail and food matching experience that’s unrivalled in South East Asia and highlighted by a regularly changing 10-course degustation menu. 8D Dempsey Rd, Dempsey Hill. (+65 6475 2217, www.tipplingclub.com). Nearby is The White Rabbit, a restaurant in former derelict church that’s renowned amongst locals for its dessert and sin-quenching cocktails. 39C Harding Rd, Dempsey Hill. (+65 6473 9965, 222. thewhiterabbit.com.sg). For an authentic Singapore dining experience, then go the way of a hawker market journey and buy with the locals at the Tiong Bahru Market. Come here for the roasted pig (stall 02-38) and pancakes a few steps away (stall 34). You’ll spend a good couple of hours here ordering up, so just make sure you don’t over eat too soon. Cnr Lim Liak St and Seng Poh Rd, Singapore. For drinks by the sea, head over to the Tanjong Beach Club on Sentosa for a sunset cocktail. 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa. (www.tanjongbeachclub.com).
Where to stay
Get out of town and stay over in Sentosa, where it’s about a relaxing holiday lying by the beach, yet being just minutes away from the bright city lights. When it comes to great, affordable digs out here, Time Out recommends Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort, which is located on the north-west corner of the island and overlooking the South China Sea. Here you can sip on that Mai Tai on the edge of the pool, have lunch at Casserole on level three or simply kick back with a glass of bubbles of your balcony. 101 Siloso Rd, Sentosa (+65 6275 0100, www.shangri-la.com). Back in town, the classical exterior of Hotel Fort Canning is absolutely stunning and when combined with the rooms that feature furniture from notable designer Poltrona Frau, it’s a brilliant new hotel that’s hard to go past. 11 Canning Walk, Singapore. (+65 6559 6770, www.hfcsingapore.com). For years, Pan Pacific Singapore has been a Time Out bang-for-buck favourite in town thanks to its impeccable service and affordable digs. 10 Claymore Rd, Singapore (+65 6737 0811, www.panpacific.com). If you book a room at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, make sure it’s in the hotel’s Valley Wing where the champagne flows like water for guests in the foyer all day and the rooms exude that timeless Shangri-La elegance. 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore. (+65 6737 3644, www.shangri-la.com).
Two of the world’s best airlines – Qantas and Singapore Airlines – fly from Adelaide to Singapore. Time Out recommends Singapore Airlines for its award-winning Business Class seats and frequent schedule, (twice daily) and Qantas for its great food in economy and wine list up in Business. British Airways also offers codeshare flights on Qantas. British Airways, (www.ba.com); Qantas Airways, (www.qantas.com.au); Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com.au)