Recent years have seen Singapore hit historically high temperatures, and 2021 shows no signs of this phenomenon slowing down. Due to increasing climate change and our heavy reliance on air-conditioning, it actually turns out that we’re heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world. While this is definitely concerning news, it also means we need to find new ways to stay cool in the rising temperatures that don’t always involve staying in and cranking up the air-con. Here are a few new suggestions on ways to beat the heat.
Growing up in the ’90s, you might remember Fantasy Island on Sentosa, the country’s biggest waterpark. We haven’t quite had a waterpark like that since it closed in 2001, until now — enter Hydrodash, a floating aquapark on Sentosa that skips terrifying water slides in favour of much more accessible inflatable obstacle courses (think swings, floating wheels and platforms, and springboards). The nice thing about Hydrodash is that there are options for everyone. If running through the obstacle course sounds like a lot of work, you can always just make a beeline for the water. Park visitors can use SingapoRediscover vouchers to book tickets until the end of 2021.
If you’re looking to cool off, have fun, and do something creative at the same time, Splat Paint House with its glow-in-the-dark neon paint and water guns is a match made in heaven. It’s a cross between a paint battle and an expressive art exercise: after a short briefing, you’re free to hurl paint at a canvas (or a tote bag) with your chosen “weapons”, and if anything happens to get on the walls, it’s fair game. There’s also the option of glitter paint, if you’re feeling brave (and industrious enough to pick glitter bits out of your hair in the shower). It’s a cathartic way to let your inner Jackson Pollock loose while dancing in the dark, and make an excellent mess in the process. You can, of course, also go during the day and take your pick of normal, non-neon paint.
New ice-cream snack alert: dig into adorable French bulldog-shaped taiyaki (or “doggyaki”; it’s a Japanese waffle-like cake with fillings) while meeting cute doggos at Little India’s Cookie & Cuddle Cafe. The doggyaki is made with chewy mochi batter and comes in a set with double scoops of ice-cream — current fillings include Japanese red bean and kinako/soybean, but the owners are planning new flavours such as hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal) cheese and kaya vanilla custard. The three resident chi-poos (chihuahua poodles) Cookie, Cuddle, and Kiki usually hang out in a separate pen in front of the cafe area.
This popular Bali import has not one, but three swimming pools spaced out across the property. If that doesn’t sound tempting enough, there’s also its robust menu of Balinese dishes. Pretend you’re lounging in Seminyak with its lavish Jimbaran Bali BBQ lineup that boasts grilled lobster, prawns, whole red snapper and flower clams; or dig into a Balinese Rice Platter with Balinese beef curry, spicy shredded chicken, beef jerky, grilled sambal beef satay, sautéed curry long beans, sambal soy egg, glazed tempe and shrimp paste sambal. There are also a ton of other options including pizza, nibbles, and Impossible Foods plant-based meat. It’s the perfect way to unwind by the water in a serenely chill atmosphere. Reservations are a must, but keep in mind that dining-in is not allowed in Rumours until 13 June in accordance with new government safety guidelines, and it is only offering delivery and takeaway services.
The Botanic Gardens’ new Tropical Montane Orchidetum located within the National Orchid Garden features a gorgeous 1,100 square metre glasshouse designed to emulate high elevation forest climates that hover around 16-23 degrees Celsius. Named the Sembcorp Cool House, it has been expanded to more than four times its original size and is home to exotic blooms that live in these chilly temperatures, such as cymbidium (“boat orchids,” named for their shape) and dendrochilum (hanging “chain” orchids), as well as other species like begonias and carnivorous plants. There’s also the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House — a paleotropic garden that boasts some of Asia’s most incredible orchids including the rare Lady’s Slipper – and the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection that emulates a mid-elevation neotropical forest environment.
Spend an hour in pure bliss within your own personal cocoon at the Palm Ave Float Club. Floating or flotation therapy is a fascinating way to mentally and physically recharge without the dull tug of gravity. Spend an hour drifting in your private float pod filled with warm water and 600kg of Epsom salts. It may not sound like a traditionally “cool” activity in terms of temperature, but emerging from the pod after 60 minutes has an astonishingly refreshing effect. Perhaps it’s the sense of freedom you get while suspended in the water, or the luxury of unwinding, unbothered in the dark. The whole experience was surprisingly comfortable, even for this claustrophobic writer (note: you’ll have a private shower to use before and after). Re-opens on 13 June.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.