While you can find a location to practice almost every activity in Singapore — golfing, surfing, scuba diving, even ice skating and snow skiing — your choices are restricted and costs are rather expensive owing to the country’s tiny size. The sea surrounding Singapore is murky for watersports because of the busy shipping routes and sheer human pressure, so most residents go north to Tioman (Malaysia) or Bintan (Indonesia) instead. On the plus side, Singapore has a plethora of diving shops, and they often organize weekend excursions to excellent dive sites off Malaysia’s East Coast, making them a viable choice for getting to some of Malaysia’s less-touristy dive locations.
Singapore has been attempting, with mixed success, to shake off its dull, buttoned-down image and attract more artists and performances on the cultural front. The Esplanade Theatre in Marina Bay, a world-class venue for the arts and a regular platform for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, is the cultural star of Singapore. Although local starlets Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin have had some success in the Chinese music scene, pop culture choices are limited, and Singapore’s home-grown arts sector remains dormant. On the plus side, any bands or DJs visiting Asia are almost certain to play in Singapore.
Going to the cinema is a popular activity in Singapore, however if you like movies with fewer cuts, search for “R21” classifications (for those aged 21 and above only). Cathay, Golden Village, and Shaw Brothers are the three major theater chains. The local film industry is still being stifled by censorship, but Jack Neo’s famous comedy capture the quirks of Singaporean life.
Don’t miss the annual Singapore Arts Festival in May or June. SISTIC sells advance tickets for virtually every cultural event, either online or in one of their many ticketing locations, including the Singapore Visitor Centre on Orchard Rd.
Singapore boasts two enormous casinos, usually referred to as “integrated resorts,” that bring in almost as much money as all of Las Vegas combined. The bigger and swankier Marina Bay Sands in Marina Bay, while Resorts World Sentosa at Sentosa seeks for a more family-friendly experience (though it also offer No Limit Holdem from $5/$10). Foreign tourists may access for free after showing their passport, but locals (citizens and permanent residents) must pay $100 per day.
Aside from the casino, there are other legalized betting options that are more accessible to residents. This includes horse racing, which is held on weekends by the Singapore Turf Club, as well as football (soccer) betting and numerous Singapore Pools lotteries.
In Singapore, mahjong is also a popular activity. The Singaporeese version is identical to the Cantonese version, except it includes additional “animal tiles” not seen in the Cantonese version. There are no (legal) mahjong parlours, therefore it’s mostly a family and friends affair.
Despite its tiny size, Singapore boasts a remarkable number of golf courses; however, the majority of the finest are operated by private clubs and are only accessible to members and their visitors. The Sentosa Golf Club,, site of the Barclays Singapore Open, and the Marina Bay Golf Course, the only 18-hole public course, are the sole exceptions. For a cheaper round, go to the neighboring Indonesian islands of Batam or Bintan, or further north to the Malaysian town of Malacca, according to the Singapore Golf Association.
In September 2008, the first Singapore Formula One Grand Prix was place at night, and the organizers have confirmed that the night event would continue through 2017. All except racing aficionados would want to skip this event, which is held on a street circuit in the center of Singapore and raced at night, since hotel costs, particularly those with views of the F1 circuits, are through the sky. Tickets start at $150, but the exciting night racing experience will be memorable for all F1 fans and photographers. Apart from being a night race, the carnival atmosphere and pop concert hosted surrounding the racing track, as well as the proximity of hotels and restaurants, set the event apart from other F1 races located in isolated locations away from cities.
On most Fridays, the Singapore Turf Club in Kranji conducts horse races, including a number of international cups, and is popular with local gamblers. On competition days, the Singapore Polo Club near Balestier is also accessible to the public.
Singapore has lately seen a’spa boom,’ with a wide range of services available, ranging from comprehensive Ayurveda to green tea hydrotherapy. However, costs aren’t as low as they are in neighboring Indonesia and Thailand, and even a basic one-hour massage may cost upwards of $50. Premium spas can be found in most five-star hotels and on Orchard, while Sentosa’s Spa Botanica is also well-known. There are also a plethora of businesses that provide traditional Chinese massage, the most of which are genuine. The “health centers” that were less genuine were closed down. There are no public baths in the traditional Asian manner.
If you’re searching for a beauty salon on Orchard Road, go to Lucky Plaza’s fourth floor. Manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, and hair treatments are among the services they provide. Due to the cheaper rates compared to the sky-high prices of other salons along the retail strip, it is a favorite among flight crews and return visitors. Check around for pricing; some of the more attractive ones may charge less.
If you like competitive or recreational swimming, forget about your cramped hotel pool: Singapore is a swimmer’s heaven, with the world’s greatest density of public pools. They are all open-air 50-meter pools (some facilities have up to three 50-meter pools) with a $1–1.50 entry charge. Some of the tourists don’t even know how to swim. They just come from neighboring apartment complexes for a few hours of sunbathing, reading, and relaxing. Most are open from 8:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m., and all include a small café. Imagine swimming your lanes in the dark of a tropical night, surrounded by lit-up palm palms.
The Singapore Sports Council keeps track of swimming pools, the majority of which are part of a bigger sports complex with a gym, tennis courts, and other amenities and are close to the MRT station they’re named after. Perhaps the finest is in Katong (111 Wilkinson Road, East Coast): after your swim, take a walk around the villa neighborhood immediately in front of the pool entry and see the exquisite, original architecture of the homes of Singapore’s super-rich. If conventional swimming pools boring you, visit the Jurong East Swimming Complex, which has a wave pool, water slides, and a Jacuzzi for a ridiculously low entry charge of $1.50 on weekdays and $2 on weekends. Visit the Wild Wild Wet water theme park or the Adventure Cove Waterpark to get wet with numerous thrilling water slides and tidal wave pools for those who feel wealthier.
If you don’t like swimming pools, go to the beach. The East Coast Park includes a 15-kilometer long beautiful shoreline. Singaporeans flock here to swim, bike, barbecue, and participate in a variety of other sports and pastimes. Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach, and Tanjong Beach are three white sand beaches on Sentosa Island, each with its own unique features and popularity among residents.
Aside from more traditional water sports like water skiing, wake boarding, windsurfing, and canoeing, Singapore now offers contemporary activities like cable skiing and wave surfing in specifically designed settings.
While it is clear that Singapore is not the greatest location on earth for skiing, it does have a year-round indoor snow center. Snow City provides tourists with the opportunity to experience winter. Visitors may play in the snow or learn to ski and snowboard with qualified professional instructors to escape the hot and humid tropical weather.