If you’re in Singapore over the next few weeks, you’ve picked the best time to visit! On the cusp of our golden jubilee, Singapore is one of the most exciting cities to be in.
We may be just a tiny red dot on the world map, but our small size simply makes us better at packing a lot of flavour into every experience. And to celebrate our 50th birthday, our nation has gone the extra mile to orchestrate unique Singapore experiences in the month of August. Here’s a peek at my personal calendar this month!
#1 Watch Fireworks Light An Iconic Skyline
There’s something magical about watching firework light up the night – the dancing lights juxtaposed against a spectacular urban skyline is truly unforgettable. Although catching the National Day Parade fireworks is a yearly ritual for me, I am particularly excited this year. To celebrate 50 years of independence, the fireworks next month will be at an unprecedented scale, and specially designed to reflect the theme of ‘Majulah Singapura, or ‘Onwards Singapore’ in Malay.
This year, in additional to fireworks on National Day (9 August) and at the National Day Preview (1 August), you can also catch fireworks on 7 and 8 August at the Marina Basin. The best part is, you won’t even need a ticket to the parade to witness these spectacular light displays. Simply find a good spot along the Marina Bay Sands Waterfront, Esplanade, Marina Barrage or Helix Bridge for an unblocked view.
#2 Soak In Local Culture At Singapore’s First UNESCO Site
I’m extremely proud to share that our garden city finally got its own UNESCO heritage site! And fittingly, it is one of my favourite gardens in the world – the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The minute you step into this green sanctuary, you will pick up a whiff of exotic herbs, flowers and lush foliage. From the exquisite National Orchid Garden to the finely sculpted Bonsai Garden, our trees reflect our nation’s unique history, culture and personality. I also love exploring the century-old heritage trees, which always inspire me to appreciate the fleeting beauty and transience of life.
After an afternoon of exploration, I particularly enjoy kicking back and enjoying an evening concert or outdoor movie screening accompanied by a cool evening breeze. To celebrate Singapore’s birthday month, the Singapore Botanic Garden’s August line-up include local films such as It’s A Great Great World and Singapore Dreaming. If you’re visiting Singapore for the first time, this will offer you an instant immersion in local culture and common expressions.
#3 Try The 50-Finger Massage At Capella Singapore’s Auriga Spa
I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for spa treatments. Carving up me-time is my secret to staying young, and beating everyday stress. Auriga Spa is one of my favourite places because it instantly transports me from the mundane demands of life and the ceaseless bustle of the city.
For the month of August, Auriga’s Spa director Shanti has designed the ultimate indulgence – the 50-Finger Massage. As you can imagine, this 50-Finger Massage was inspired by SG50 and Singapore’s 50th birthday, so no expense is spared to ensure your utmost comfort and relaxation. Performed by five therapists in synchronised motions, this massage soothes the legs, body, hands, neck and scalp, kneading away every tensed muscle in the body at once. It takes one through Auriga’s four signature moon phase therapies – the New Moon to awaken the senses, Waxing Moon to loosen tight joints, Full Moon for balance and Waning Moon for detoxification and cleansing. I felt utterly renewed after this treatment.
#4 Go Museum-Hopping Around Singapore
Museums are the best place to soak in culture, and Singapore offers some of the best museums in Southeast Asia. From art to culture, history and science, museum-hopping is one of the best ways to indulge my inner geek.
One of my favourite museums is The National Museum – also the oldest museum in Singapore, and a haven of intricate artefacts. Singapura: 700 Years is currently on display at this museum, and chronicles our nation’s transformation from a fishing village to modern Singapore. Also worth a visit are the Asian Civilisation Museum, the Singapore Art Museum, and The ArtScience Museum.
#5 Shop For Quirky Souvenirs
Whenever international friends visit Singapore, I love presenting them with Singapore-inspired souvenirs. However, one thing I do not love, is ‘Singapore Is A Fine City’ T-shirts. If you’re looking for more design-driven and less clichéd options, two of my current raves are Naiise and Mandy T.
Naiise is a Singapore-based shopping portal that stocks curated designs by more than 250 brands from Singapore and around the world. This includes homeware, art, T-shirts and fashion accessories that allude to local humour and expressions. Many of these designs are modern, clean and intelligent.
Beautyphiles will also adore Mandy T, an artisan natural skincare atelier that will give many large brands a run for their money with tasteful and personal creations. Mandy, founder of the eponymous label, is a former marketer and publicist who cooks up beauty remedies free from synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, parabens and petrochemicals. Many of her products feature fresh herbs from her very own garden.
#6 Toast To 50 Years Of Singapore At Bob’s Bar
If like me, you’ve had one too many Singapore Slings, it’s time to discover a new Singapore-inspired cocktail. Exclusively for the month of August, Bob’s Bar unveils a new national cocktail crafted by bartender Vincent Zheng.
The Red Island is made with ingredients that represent the four main ethnicities of Singapore – Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian. It is as complex and unforgettable as it sounds. An ode to Singapore’s cultural diversity, this Shiraz wine concoction is an ideal way to round up my Singapore adventures. Cheers to more amazing travels!
For more activities in Singapore, please visit the Capella Singapore’s website here, or contact your personal assistant for recommendations.