Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore is always brimming with energy and is one of the most visited tourist destinations. Every year, Singapore hosts lots of exciting events such as F1 SingaporeGrand Prix, which offer thrilling and memorable experiences. Singapore also boasts state of the art infrastructure, mouth-watering cuisines, picturesque landscapes, harmonious blend of cultures, stunning art and architecture, and much more. In addition to that, Singaporeans are very friendly and welcoming people who will make your stay in the city truly memorable. Travelling to Singapore is surprisingly easy when one can just hop on to a 707 bus from various locations in Malaysia. That said, lets now take a look at how to explore Singapore like a local;
Talk Like Singaporeans
First of all, if you want to explore Singapore like a local, you need to learn the local language. You should try to learn at least a few common phrases in Singlish so that you can authentically behave like a true Singaporean. There’s even a comprehensive Singlish dictionary that will widen your vocabulary of Singapore English! Singaporeans actually love it when tourists attempt speaking their rather sophisticated language. Some of the most common Singlish phrases include; "Lah," (which is usually used to lay emphasis), "Kopi Oh," (meaning black coffee), "Ta Pao," (meaning take away, and can be quite useful when eating at hawker centers), and "Shiok," (which means delicious).
Shop Like a Local
What’s fun if we only shop in the world-renowned shopping complexes that only attract foreigners? Besides Orchard road that houses major shopping malls such as Paragon, Ion, Tangs, Takashimaya, Orchard Central and Mandarin Gallery, you can try to explore the unique experience of shopping at Haij Lane, Bugis, Tiong Bahru, and Kampong Glam. In all of the aforementioned shopping areas, you will find unique products at a reasonable price.
Eat Like a Local
Singaporeans really love their foods, and with its' multi ethnic culture, it is no surprise there are so many cuisines to choose from including, but not limited to; Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, among others. If you want to enjoy the cuisines like a local without spending too much money, you should consider eating at the outdoor food centers such as Kopitiam. You will find Chinese dishes, Indian dishes, Malay dishes, among many others, at a reasonable price. For a truly authentic Singaporean experience, you can also check out the Maxwell Road hawker food market and Smith Street, where you can enjoy the true Singaporean culinary such as fried prawn noodles; Punggol nasi lemak; Hainanese chicken rice; satay; and many more.
Travel Like a Local
To experience Singapore like a local, you need to travel like the locals do. Ditch the taxi and instead use a bus and MRT. Traveling in Singapore is actually very easy as there's a very well developed public transport network. Unless you're on a very tight schedule, you should consider traveling around using buses; it is very interesting to listen and watch the locals as they converse in the buses. You can even travel by bus to Singapore from Malaysia.
Take Part in Singapore Festivals and Events
Hoping to become more familiar with Singapore’s vibrant ethnic cultures and traditions? You don’t want to miss out the biggest cultural festivals and highlights around the island. Head to Little India, along Serangoon Road and Tank Road during the Thaipusam celebration and struck with awe to see the brave devotees carry spiked kavadis that pierce through their bodies as a tribute to Lord Subramaniam. During Chinese New Year, Chinatown will be bustling with folks buying traditional snacks and decorations. Also, Chingay Parade and Lion Dance Competition are not to be missed. Of course, the list goes on with the celebration of Hari Raya Puasa; National Day; Vesak Day; Mid-Autumn Festival and Hari Raya Haji.
Learn the Art of Tai Chi
The local people, more so the elderly ones, are very fond of Tai Chi. Every morning, they gather in parks and reservoirs to practice Tai Chi. If you want to learn more about this ancient art, you should try to wake up early in the morning, and take part in a Tai Chi class. You can go to the East Coast Park or McRitchie Reservoir to join the masters of Tai Chi. Remember; you need to ask them in a polite manner, if you can practice Tai Chi with them.
Chill out at Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay
When you visit Singapore, you have to check out “the Sands”. Marina Bay Sands is an iconic 3 towers which has a rooftop shaped like a surfboard. Designed by the renowned Moshe Safdie, Marina Bay Sands features 3 sloping towers that culminate in a roof top deck where you can explore the Singapore skyline.
Also, you must not missed out the newest addition to the attractions in Singapore — Gardens by the Bay. The 21st-century botanic garden is a S$1 billion, 101-hectare fantasy land of space-age bio-domes, high-tech Supertrees and whimsical sculptures. The astonishing Flower Dome and Cloud Forest will simply take your breath away!