By now you’ve probably heard that Singaporeans have until the end of 2021 to redeem their S$100 SingapoRediscover vouchers. The vouchers, meant to support local tourism businesses, can be used for hotels, attractions and tours.
There’s plenty to do, including tours of historic neighbourhoods, jaunts to Pulau Ubin, VR experiences and drone racing at Sentosa. You can also pay a visit to classic attractions such as Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay and ArtScience Museum. But if you’re looking for something a little different, are keen to learn something new (or old!) about the island, or just want to pick up a new hobby, here are our picks for the best ways to use your vouchers.
This historic bumboat tour takes you through the vanishing history of kelongs (wooden fishing platforms) on the Straits of Johor, which are traditionally found in Malay fishing communities. They’re a vital part of local history and a disappearing sight in Singapore. Get acquainted with the tribes of Orang Laut (“sea people”) and Orang Seletar (“straits people”), who were once nomadic peoples who lived at sea, but eventually settled around the coast. Besides learning about an often-overlooked part of our straits history, take in the rustic seascape and tuck into impossibly fresh seafood at a local restaurant. The tour is also suitable for seniors.
Artist Sunaina Bhalla leads a two-hour workshop on traditional woodblock printing that includes stamping, print layout, colour selection and personalisation. With a robust background in textiles and printmaking, Bhalla also spent years learning the traditional artform of Nihonga painting from the renowned Japanese artist Suiko Ohta. You’ll get to take home the fruits of your labour at the end of the workshop.
With 4 masts, 22 sails, and 200 ropes, this luxury super-yacht is a loving testament to a bygone era of seafaring. The ship originally came from Chicago’s Great Lakes and has undergone 360,000 hours of redesign and refitting over six years since arriving in Singapore – today, she’s the only ship of her kind in Asia. Choose between three types of cruises: the ReDiscovery Breakfast Cruise, Sunset Cruise, or City Lights Cruise, and soak in the luxury of a traditionally-wrought ship.
Here’s a fun way to revisit old neighbourhoods – fire up your smartphone and learn about the pokestops in Kampong Gelam, Haji Lane, and Little India on a five-hour walking tour. It’s a sneaky but effective way to introduce younger generations to the rich cultural legacy and communities in the area, and also get some much-needed outdoor steps into the day. Lunch is included at the iconic Tekka Market in Little India.
This tour focuses on the history of wrapped food in Singapore culture, including different plant wraps and preservation techniques across Malay and Nonya food. It’s a fascinating slice of our food history that will take place around the historic Tiong Bahru Market area – you’ll also meet hawkers and stall owners who keep this traditional (and environmentally friendly) practice alive. You get to sample otak-otak (grilled fish cake), lotus leaf rice, dumplings, Nonya kuehs and more, and even try your hand at your own ketupat wrap.
Tee up for nine holes of putt-putt and drinks at this wacky mini-golf course/bar in Clarke Quay, where each hole features a different pop culture theme. There’s a hilarious photo opportunity on the “9 Iron Throne” – a recreation of TV series Game of Thrones’ most famous seat made with golf clubs – as well as a couch at 742 Evergreen Terrace, also known as The Simpsons’ family home.
If you grew up in Singapore in the late 80s and 90s, you might remember trying borscht (a beet soup with vegetables and meat) at the beloved Russian-Hainanese restaurant, Shashlik (which is still around, by the way!) or at the now-defunct Borshch Steakhouse at Serangoon Gardens. If you’re hungry for a taste of more Russian culture at home, this tour is a neat little introduction to the Russian community in Singapore around North Bridge Road. You get to learn about Russian products and food and culture, before capping the tour with a three-course Russian lunch at a homestyle restaurant.
A fun twist on the average tour/neighbourhood experience, this is an interactive experience that mixes good old-fashioned walking with a Cluedo-style puzzle and immersive theatre elements. Play in a small two to five person team to solve a murder mystery with the help of quirky characters and a series of puzzles along the way. If murder isn’t quite your bag, try The King’s Feast — a food-themed choose-your-own adventure tour that takes you all over Chinatown as you decipher clues and unlock treasures.
Please check each tour’s terms and conditions, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.