When I first returned to Singapore from the U.K., I thought Singapore was the most boring place, ever. After all, how exciting could it get in Singapore?
Living in places like Peru, where I had the opportunity to slide down a sand dune, or to ride around sand dunes in a high-speed buggy, or to drive down the streets of Lima in a taxi with its door dangling by the side, a place like Singapore can seem a little too sanitised for my liking.
The past 3 years, living with COVID, and being unable to travel, has forced me to find fun places in Singapore.
Here are the best, from a Singaporean who’s had the privilege of living in many different countries.
But what’s fun to you?
What is fun? That’s difficult to define, isn’t it?
What’s fun to me may not be fun to you. You may prefer high-octane party nights out, or high-adrenaline races down the track.
In this article, you will find different kinds of fun, depending on how you’re feeling.
There are different types of fun for different moments in your life. Sometimes, in those reflective moments, you may want a quieter form of fun that involves you curling in a couch with your favourite book.
Ultimately, what’s fun involves you learning to understand what you need in that moment.
Fun isn’t just about spending money
You don’t have to spend money for fun. Some of the best experiences are free. For the past few months, the most fun experience has been playing soccer every evening with a bunch of kids. The sheer act of scoring a goal, has been more fun than splashing $30 on another meal, in an upmarket restaurant.
You don’t always have to pay for fun.
Fun isn’t just about the experience
As much as experiences matter, they don’t last. What lasts longer are the relationships. Sharing fun experiences together with people you love can be far greater than the amount of money you spend on a great experience.
The funnest experience tend to be spontaneous
This may reveal my age. But in a time when we didn’t have phones to contact someone, and just turned up at our friend’s home, wanting some company, we may have ended up with the funnest experience ever.
Give yourself the opportunity where you can show up randomly at someone’s home, without any plans, but with an open mind, and open heart. You may find yourself surprised, by fun.
The thing about fun, sometimes, is that it can’t be built in, as hard as you try. Can you imagine the incredulity of what we are doing today? We search for fun experiences online, then buy the tickets, and then force ourselves to have fun.
How is that fun?
For the foodie
Singapore is built on food. Every weekend, you will see people going around the island, finding secluded haunts for that special kaya toast.
The hunt, can be the fun thing. Getting lost in a random corner of Singapore, with long grass around you, and wondering what the hell you’re doing there on an early Saturday morning, can be pretty funny.
Cook or bake something with a friend
Whilst Singapore doesn’t have much of a hosting culture, cooking something with a friend can be a great opportunity to have those long and deep conversations you always wanted to have.
It can be more fun to see those burnt cookies that come out of the oven, and laugh at how poor bakers all of you are.
Two Cranes Cafe
Two Cranes was one of my favourite places for working during the remote working experiment, and also a good place to eat.
What was fun about the experience is that you actually get the chance to roll your own rice ball, in a bowl they give you! It’s a delightful experience and one that can be quite enjoyable to have, with a friend.
Just don’t throw that rice ball at a friend.
Hai Di Lao
Hai Di Lao, a hotpot chain from China, can be a fun experience, especially with the shows around twirling noodles.
It can be a tad expensive though. With prices averaging $25 each time you go there, just for a fancy show of spinning noodles, it’s not my idea of fun. But it may be for you.
For the melancholic
The Projector Singapore
The Projector, with its host of indie films, has grown to my favourite weekend haunt over the past few months.
I visit it every 2 weeks, often watching a movie alone. You may think this sounds strange, but if you try it, you will understand why.
There’s no experience quite like watching a movie alone. You get to laugh, think, reflect on what’s being said, without the pressure of having someone beside you to care about.
I love The Projector. With its tongue-in-cheek humour, and its sassy style, it is a fun place to spend an empty Sunday afternoon alone.
For the high-octane
Go to your neighbourhood football or basketball court
Every weekend, you will see teens at the court, shooting hoops. Join them for a match. You will be surprised at how much fun you get. Most teens are also friendly. They just may be a bit sore when they lose.
The competitive nature of the match can bring out the aggression in you, and the stakes of your ‘face’ can make it pretty intense.
Just be sure to bring some plasters along. You may get hurt.
Iceskating at Kallang Ice Rink
Falling on your face, can actually be quite fun, if you don’t take it too seriously. At the ice rink, you are bound to find the adrenaline and fear of falling quite exhilarating.
But after a while, skating loops around the rink can get boring.
Just don’t put aside more than 2 hours for this, unless you really like skating rings.
The Sentosa Luge And Skyride
This is an incredibly expensive experience for something that lasts 5 minutes. It can be fun racing down a hill, but after 5 minutes, you may have little else to remember about it.
Bungee jump from Sentosa
Did you actually know you could bungee jump from tiny Singapore?
Well, at Sentosa, you can. For those who’ve never had the experience of bungee jumping from a waterfall, this can be a great trial.
You may find yourself shaking too much after that.
Fun is intentional
If you’re not having fun in Singapore, relax. Don’t force it. Remember what you liked as a child? Whether it be those lego bricks, or kicking ball with some friends, you don’t have to lose that as an adult too.
It can be fun, if you want to have fun.