After 16 years of establishing operations in Asia, Wade Pearce now calls Singapore home. A country kid who grew up by the sea in rural Singleton, NSW, his life now revolves around the ocean, working as a business consultant in the luxury yachting industry. See sgmarineguide.com
Take a boat to the southern islands. With no commercial development there, this group of islands is one of the last places where you can get away from the busy streets of Singapore and feel like you’re on a secluded tropical island. The cheapest way to get there is by ferry, but by far the more enjoyable and memorable experience is to book a half-day yacht charter with your friends or family. It’s totally worth it. I recommend sunset yacht charter in Circa Sail, circasail.com
Try a real Singapore Island meal. Singapore has moved away from the fishing villages of yesteryear, but the tradition of fishing and delicious local Singaporean seafood is still going strong. In the north of Singapore, take a small ferry to visit Cologne. These traditional floating fish farms provide produce to local restaurants. Some also double as floating restaurants where you can pick or catch your own seafood and send it to the kitchen to cook it the way you like. I recommend trying the sea bass (or barramundi as they are called in Australia) at Smith Marine Floating Restaurant at smithmarine.com.sg
Sticking to the water theme, in the southern part of Sentosa Island is a floating bar called Boaters’ Bar. Located at the ONE15 marina, you are on the water surrounded by luxury yachts with a clear view of the passage of superyachts entering and leaving the marina. Although set in an exclusive club, the bar is open to anyone. That’s one of the attractions of the venue – you can wear a cocktail dress for an evening out, or you can have an instant beer there in a tank top and shorts. This is the perfect place to sit and drink a frozen margarita while watching the sunset on the island.
Avoid disrupting seating arrangements. When you visit your local hawker centre – a popular outdoor food stall – you need to know that people book their seats by placing a pack of tissues on the table. It’s called chopeing, and once you see it at lunch in the CBD, you’ll be surprised how hardworking this social norm is.
You may also notice a long queue at one stall while other similar looking food stalls did not. While it might be one of the Michelin-starred street food items at $2.50 that isn’t lined up, locals generally agree that the best food options in the food center are the places with the longest queues.