What to do in Singapore: 10 Unusual Travel Tips from an Insider

So you’ve heard of all the cool must-do things in Singapore: Like Universal Studios, Sentosa, Duck Tours, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, you get the drift. But here’s a list of unusual things you can (and should) do in Singapore. These activities are just as fun as the popular ones, merely lesser known and ventured by tourists. So begin your Singapore’s adventure with this list!

1- Cycle at Pulau Ubin – A village island at the North of Singapore

Singaporeans love to spice things up in this little Red Dot. And cycling very much makes the list – whether it is night cycling or going to the beach. Some people go one step further, into a vortex, that we call the island of Pulau Ubin. I say vortex because time has stood still here, as plans to modernise this last island of Singapore never materialized. Cycling at Pulau Ubin is a unique activity to engage in because tour groups rarely advertise this, owing to its authentically local appeal – but what better way to experience a country than act like a local, right?

More details about Cycling in Pulau Ubin, here.

What to do in Singapore
Cycling trip at Pulau Ubin

2- Tea Degustation and Art Jamming

Smack in the heart of Singapore’s town area is a cafe that not only serves you aromatic tea, but also provides you with a 50cm x 50cm or 60cm x 80cm canvas. That’s right, for a fee you will get a canvas, unlimited acrylic paints, sponges, brushes, paint palette (and a beverage) to unleash that inner Picasso within you. Did we mention you can take home your creation? By the way, this place sees people of all ages from 5 to 90 years walking through its doors, so it’s the perfect place for anyone to experience a different kind of tourist attraction in Singapore.

What to do in Singapore
Art Jamming Singapore – Photo Credit to lace-and-buttons

3- Visit Haw Par Villa

This is not your typical kind of tourist attraction. What makes Haw Par Villa worth your time is its depiction of the Ten Courts of Hell. You read that right, this place showcases statues carrying out types of punishments one can expect to receive for committing sins. The dioramas can get pretty gruesome where people are being “thrown” into a valley of knives, or undergo bodily dismemberment. It is a tad explicit, but some Singaporean parents have said to take their kids there to show what could happen if they misbehaved!

So there you have it! Have fun exploring this side of Singapore and let us know which is your favourite.

Interested in joining a tour? Discover more about the “Cultured Leopard, Rising Tiger, Find your Tao in Haw Par Villa”.

What to do in Singapore
Haw Par Villa – Immerse into an intriguing culture

4 – Wakeboarding session in Punggol

What to do in Singapore when you are an adrenaline seeker? Here’s your answer. Our little red dot may not have a lot of land space, but there’s enough to squeeze in some wake boarding fun. So put on your water sports gear and head to the Punggol area of Singapore. On this adventure you won’t just get to wakeboard and water-ski, but also wake-surf and wake-skate to make your time here worth it! (What a mouthful!). Plus kids can kneeboard too, so they’re not left out from the fun you’re having.

Those wakeboard sessions can also take place at the Bedok Reservoir Park, where is also a Treetop park attraction nearby.

Book your wakeboard session at Punggol, here.

What to do in Singapore
Wakeboarding in Singapore – Photo from Wakepirates @ Bedok Reservoir

5 – Wander into Arab street’s hipster area

Just like every country has its own charm, Singapore’s one lies in Arab Street. Many tourists visit the Bugis area, that’s a 10-minute walk from here, but often miss this place. It is quite the hipster area, with quirky finds, neat looking shops, and colourful graffiti everywhere. Here is also where you will find clothes, jewellery, and several other interesting objects made by local designers. But that’s not all, when you tire out from the day of sightseeing and shopping, pick any….and I mean any…bar for a drink (Check out Bar Stories – an experimental cocktail bar in Haji Lane) That’s because every bar has its own character, completed with a delectable menu, alcoholic beverage, and great music. You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a hookah bar – in which case whichever interior suits you, is the place to be! This is one place you must visit in Singapore.

What to do in Singapore
Arab Street -Photo Credit to fransiskaolivia

6 – See the last Kampong at Lorong Buangkok

This is a brilliant place to visit, because here is where you will see a huge contrast to modern day Singapore. The Kampong is the last surviving ancient community in Singapore, where time has stood still with attap house roofs, chickens running wild, and tight-knit communities residing here. It’salmost like stepping into a time

What to do in Singapore
Kampong Lorong Buangkok – Photo Credit to Ted Teo, flickr user

7 – Shop at Mustafa Shopping Centre

Not sure what to do in Singapore? Put on your walking shoes because there’s a whole lot of it to be done here. This is a 24-hour shopping mall that never sleeps. No matter what time you head there, it is always bustling with life.

And for valid reasons, because they have almost everything under one roof – you name it, they have it! This place is also worth a visit because of the culture oozing from here; almost like being in India.

What to do in Singapore
Mustafa Centre in Little India – Photo Credit to the3mousketeers

8 – Get your fortune told

You don’t have to be superstitious to do this one. It is, after all, a unique experience to be doing in a different country. You have a few options, such as heading to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple to get your fortune told, or seek a Fengshui master at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark. In addition,there is said to be an Indian fortune teller who sits along the Waterloo street with his parrot – able to predict results of football matches. It might not be your thing, but it is worth experiencing as part of a culture different from yours.

What to do in Singapore
Parrot Fortune Teller in Little India – Photo Credit to Benjamin Disraeli

9 – Bar hoping for an unusual night out

Not trying to boast or anything, but Singapore has an amazing night life. You know, the kind where we party till the sunrises, bustling streets from people alike, rows of exquisite bars, and everything in the likes. What makes partying in Singapore so appealing is the way we tout, and largely are successful in being a safe country so you don’t have to worry about being robbed (but still be aware!). There are many cool places like the clubbing district called Clarke Quay, Club street (where most expats go), & the less-known speakeasy bars such as The Library. The latter requires you to obtain a password to enter. And how to get that password? Read more information here 🙂

What to do in Singapore
The Library – Speakeasy bar of Singapore

10 – Eat like the locals in one of Asia’s food paradise

What entails being a Singaporean? What makes them tick? Why do they like hawker food? To understand locals, you need to act like a local. So here are some things you must do in order to experience the true Singaporean way of life.

  • Drink coffee from a neighbourhood coffee shop – and make sure it’s in a plastic bag.
  • Eat an ice cream, sandwiched in between a bread (you can find men on cycle stands selling these along Orchard Road).
  • What to do in Singapore
    Ice Cream Sandwich in Orchard – Photo Credit to hungrymilwaukee

    Have a Singaporean breakfast of coffee/tea, half boiled eggs, and kaya toast.

  • Try durian (disclaimer: it has a pungent smell and isn’t a favourite among some foreigners).
  • Try local dessert like chendol or ice kachang.
  • Have the famous roti-prata
  • Take part to a cooking class in a Singaporean house


What to do in Singapore
Take part into a local cooking class at Ruqxana’s house

We hope this will help you planning your trip to Singapore, follow us for more Insider travel tips in Asia. Remember sharing is caring 🙂

By Rachel Erasmus

Chiang Mai eoasia

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