By Alan Soong, National University of Singapore, Singapore and Chris Campbell, Griffith University, Australia
The idea of this blog post is to help you with planning on what to see and do and where to eat when you go to the ASCILITE 2019 conference in Singapore this December. When you register for the conference, you’ll notice in your registration from a choice of tickets for social activities. Two of these, the Night Safari and the Singapore Flyer are only valid for Tuesday 3rd December (day 1 of the conference), while Gardens by the Bay is available for 30 days from the 2nd December. Singapore also has great places to eat and a few of these are described below.
Night Safari 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
This Singapore institution, the Night Safari allows visitors to visit the world’s first nocturnal zoo. With 130 animal species found in the Night Safari, 38% are threatened. It opens at 7:15pm and closes at midnight each night and there is plenty to see with shows, activities and all the exotic animals. Tickets for the Night Safari cost $36.75pp.
Marina Bay Sands has a nightly light and water show at 8pm and 9pm (Sunday-Thursday and 8pm, 9pm and 10pm on Friday and Saturday). It’s quite spectacular and well worth attending.
Singapore Flyer 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803
The Singapore Flyer has fantastic views of Singapore and is Asia’s largest observation wheel that is 165 metres off the ground. You can see Marina Bay and beyond. Hours are from 8:30am to 10:30pm.
Gardens by the Bay 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land. There are three waterfront gardens. The ticket that can be purchased with your ASCILITE registration includes two conservatories which are the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The Flower Dome is the largest greenhouse in the world and has an amazing display of flowers and plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions.
The Cloud Forest has diverse vegetation and some fantastic plants. Travel to the clouds and then back through the tree tops and canopy and then go down into the forest floor. This is well worth seeing.
Suggested eateries in Singapore
For those of you who are keen to explore the various kinds of food in Singapore, you could consider the following eateries, aside from those listed at the conference site, under Social programmes.
PeraMakan offers a fairly wide range of Peranakan food for lunch and dinner. Peranakan cuisine or Nyonya cuisine comes from the Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia, inter-marrying with local Malays. Nyonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. This gives rise to Peranakan interpretations of Malay/Indonesian food that is similarly tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. The outlet at Keppel Club, open to the public and located at the Southern part of Singapore, has a very nice cosy and homely ambience. So do consider checking it out. For visitors, the easiest way to get to Keppel Club is by local ride-hailing services such as Grab or Gojek. You could simply book a table through Chope.
Dining at Elemen is unique experience, even for the locals. If you think plant-based cuisine is bland and uninspiring, think again! Elemen serves up crave-worthy delicacies and reimagined comfort food made from environmentally-friendly ingredients, with wellness and healthy eating in mind. Ask for the special set menu for the month – it’s always a pleasant surprise! You can make a reservation through Chope. Do consider the outlet at Harbourfront or Millenia Walk which are located next to Harbourfront MRT Station and Promenade MRT Station respectively.
LeVel 33 (https://level33.com.sg/)
If you’re looking for a place with a great view of the marina and good food, LeVel 33 would be a great choice to consider. Located at the Marina Bay Financial Centre Singapore, LeVel 33 is the world’s highest urban microbrewery and restaurant with a city view. The restaurant specialises in beer making, offerings include the Blond Lager, English-style India Pale Ale, Bavarian-style Wheat Beer and Stout. The bites menu reflects the chef’s wanderlust commitment as it invites you to travel through the Orient, Mediterranean, and Asia. Make your reservations early, perhaps through Chope. The building is located a few minutes walk from the Downtown Line MRT Station. Alternatively, try the local ride-hailing services such as Grab or Gojek to get there.
Images provided by Chris Campbell and Alan Soong.