Friday, 29 July 2022

Stay in and enjoy Gojek’s many on-call services

Instead of braving Jakarta’s choked expressways, you can now order a personal masseuse, make-up artist, housekeeper and food to the comfort of your hotel room  –  all with the help of Indonesia’s ride-hailing company Gojek.  Simply install the super app on your smartphone and try out an amazing array of on-demand services, such as GoSend (courier), GoFood (food delivery), and GoMart (grocery delivery).

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Explore homegrown brands at M Bloc Space

A former abandoned money-printing factory has transformed into one of the hottest lifestyle hubs in South Jakarta. Here homegrown bands retail their wares, and musicians such as Glenn Fredly, Tompi and Saint Loco play gigs on the public stage. Spend an afternoon browsing knick-knacks and treasures at speciality shops like Matalokal (which stocks wellness and home living products by local designers), comic book store Connectoon and indie bookshop Post Santa. Dig through an extensive music catalogue at record store The Majors, or soak up the vintage vibes at Unionwell, a brand from Bandung which displays motorbikes and Vespas.

Opening Hours: 8am–10pm (opens later during weekends)

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Thursday, 28 July 2022

Kosenda Hotel

Designed by Indonesia-based architecture firm TonTon Studio, the hotel façade is a tribute to Jakarta’s Betawi tribe houses, with Instagrammable interiors decked out in a blend of contemporary and traditional motifs, Mid-Century Modern and Peranakan features and upcycled materials. The stylish herringbone-pattern floor in the lobby, solid teakwood furniture and doors adorned with intricate wood inlays and burnt orange accents all tell a story. Linger at the lush Awan Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge, an oasis in the middle of the bustling city centre.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2022

An insider’s guide to Melbourne, Australia

insider's guide to Melbourne, Australia silverkris

Australian trends are often first spotted in Melbourne. Known for the glorious street art, bustling laneways and buzzing coffee scene, the coastal capital of Victoria is filled with hip hangouts. Here are a few of our favourite haunts in Melbourne.


For Saturday brunch, try out Sir Charles in Fitzroy. While the menu changes seasonally, stand-out dishes include the salmon Benedict and the Korean fried chicken burger. At the South Melbourne Market, be sure to visit Oyster Bar by Aptus for some oysters, which are shucked right there on the spot. Melbourne is also home to one of the largest Greek communities in the world. Head to Tsindos to sample the legendary lamb cutlets that have been served there for decades. Finally, head to Fritz Gelato for Italian-style ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt.


Naked for Satan in Fitzroy has a great rooftop bar and terrace. They are known for the in-house vodka infusions – try the alpine chocolate or green apple and cherry versions. Manchuria Bar, a speakeasy hidden in the heart of Chinatown, is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. Meanwhile, CQ Melbourne has something for everyone, with a cocktail bar downstairs, R&B room upstairs and a huge dance floor.


Carlton Gardens is a beautiful park that’s great for having a picnic or for taking a stroll. You can also visit the Melbourne Museum nearby, with an IMAX cinema. This can all be found on the northern border of the gardens. Southbank, the city’s bustling waterfront hub, is worth a visit for its cultural venues. Head to the Malthouse Theatre and Melbourne Recital Centre, alongside the lively riverside promenade. If you’re looking to get out of the city, plan a wine tour of the Yarra Valley or take a drive down the Great Ocean Road.


For botanical-based skincare and haircare products, you can’t go wrong with homegrown brand Aesop. Queen Victoria Market turns up some one-of-a-kind treasures – from clothing and jewellery to handicrafts and souvenirs. We also suggest taking a trip to Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. It has a truly eclectic mix of small boutiques.


The tram system is a great way to get around the city. The entire CBD is a Free Tram Zone, which makes it easy for tourists to move around. Those who prefer to explore Melbourne by bike can take advantage of Melbourne Bike Share, a public bicycle hire scheme.

View other useful insider’s guides.

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to Melbourne, visit To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: and

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine with suggestions from Lexus Lian.

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Friday, 8 July 2022

An insider’s guide to Perth, Australia



Over the past few years, Perth has been making a name for itself in the world of cool cafes and trendy bars. Nearby the largest city in Western Australia is also where you’ll find diverse wildlife, stunning beaches and top wine vineyards. Here are some of our our top picks.


Head to Petition Kitchen, where you can order from a tapas-style menu of local and seasonal produce. We suggest the broccoli salad. For an afternoon sugar kick or a weekend brunch, look no further than local haunt Mary Street Bakery. Try a couple of their artisanal doughnuts washed down with a cold-brew coffee. You can also take a short drive to City Beach – a much quieter spot than its happening neighbour Cottesloe Beach – where you’ll find fine-dining, family-friendly restaurant Hamptons City Beach for delectable Australian cuisine and stunning sunset views.


Northbridge is the prime area for nightlife, thanks to its array of bars and clubs. Mechanics Institute is a quirky alfresco watering hole, while Sneaky Tony’s has a cosier and more mysterious feel – knock on the large oak doors and utter the password (available daily on their Facebook page) through a small peephole to be allowed in. For non-alcoholic libations, Perth has a really strong coffee culture. The competition among local boutique cafés is high, with everyone claiming to serve you the best cuppa in town.


We recommend cycling around Rottnest Island, a beautiful reserve located just a short ferry ride from the city centre. The entire island is fringed with sandy beaches and shallow reefs, making it a perfect spot for snorkelling. You can also take a trip south to Margaret River, which has plenty of options for farm stays and some of the best wineries in the region.

Rottnest Island, Perth
Enjoy all shades of blue at Rottnest Island. Photo Credit: Adobe


Driving in Perth is simple and stress-free. Parking is easy to find, traffic is always manageable and you’ll easily find rental car companies at the airport. The most important thing, though, is to not rush your trip – Perth isn’t the kind of destination for that. Instead, spend a few days unwinding in the city before considering adventures further afield.

View other useful insider’s guides.

Illustration by Robbie Porter 

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to Perth, visit To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: and

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine with suggestions from Sunny Sandhu.

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8 great places to get you ready for the Melbourne Cup

At 3pm on the first Tuesday in November each year, all of Australia – as well as millions of horse racing enthusiasts around the world – stops to watch the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The prestigious horse race sees the world’s fastest, blue-blooded thoroughbreds thunder 3,200m around Flemington Racecourse, all chasing the 18-karat gold winner’s trophy. On average, over 100,000 punters flock to Melbourne to watch the Cup every year.

Since 1861, some world-fêted equines – from the storied Phar Lap to three-time winner Makybe Diva – have galloped to Melbourne Cup victory. And while the race on 6 November may be the pinnacle of the Spring Racing Carnival, the festivities actually begin in late October, with the Caulfield Cup marking the first of the six big races of the season.

The Carnival has also become one of the county’s biggest fashion events. A bevy of Fashions on the Field awards are held at most of the race meets. Luxury brands such as Mumm and Lexus host exclusive parties inside lavish marquees set up beside the Flemington track months in advance, in an area the size of 65 tennis courts. You can expect to spy a who’s-who of celebrities, politicians, business leaders and reality television hopefuls prancing and preening in front of the flashing camera lights.

To get you ready for the ultimate day at the track, here are eight places in Melbourne to enjoy some appropriate shopping and dining during the event.

1. A magnificent hat by Phillip Rhodes

You can’t attend the races without a striking head piece, and this Phillip Rhodes‘ exquisite creations are renowned for their rich, bold colours and textures. In fact, a collection of Rhodes’ hats is on permanent display at the National Gallery of Victoria, and his designs frequently grace the pages of Vogue and Marie Claire. Head to his South Melbourne atelier for ready-to-wear hats and made-to-order headpieces. You might just run into Rhodes devotees such as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kim Cattrall.

Phillip Rhodes

2. Big and bold designs by Toni Maticevski

The Spring Racing events each have their own dress traditions. The Victoria Derby Day is all about sultry black and whites; the Caulfield Cup embraces flirty florals; while fashion at the Melbourne Cup should be like the race itself – big and bold. Australian designer Toni Maticevski has all the bases covered with his exceptionally tailored, sculptural gowns. He’s worked with the Australian Ballet and been exhibited at Bendigo Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Victoria. Find his creations inside Myer Bourke Street department store in the Melbourne CBD.

Toni Maticevski

3. Hair and make up by Jade Kisnorbo

Instagram should be your go-to when searching for the best hair and make-up wizards. Scroll through the social handles of Melbourne’s most social soap starlets, sport stars and dapper musicians and you’ll likely find them tagging their favourite salons and stylists. A favourite of former Neighbours star Natalie Bassingthwaighte and the make-up director for Myer department store, Jade Kisnorbo has perfected the art of the smoky eye, the Hollywood wave and luminous, dewy skin.

4. Brekkie at Higher Ground

Fuel up with a hearty breakfast at Higher Ground, a gorgeous CBD café. Housed inside a 1890 brick structure with lofty ceilings swathed in greenery. The dishes are the very definition of so-called “Melbourne brunch” – think homemade flatbread topped with pickled, spiced cauliflower, curry leaves and velvety scrambled eggs; or a wonderfully creamy yet crunchy kale salad with miso, avocado, almond hummus, a poached egg, puffed rice and toasted seeds. The coffee is on point, too.

Higher Ground

5. Champagne at Hardimans Hotel

Before you sidle down to the track, you’ll need to find a place for your pre-event Champagne. Hardimans Hotel can be found in an Art Deco building just a few blocks from the Flemington Racecourse. In the striking, curvaceous bar, you’ll find plush leather banquettes and a brilliant outdoor deck to show off your outfit to passers-by.

Hardimans Hotel

6. After race cocktails at Eau de Vie

What to do when the races are all finished, but the night is still young? As the partygoers stream out of Flemington, track down one of the city’s best craft cocktail dens. In true speakeasy fashion, Eau de Vie is tucked down one of Melbourne’s cobbled alleys and has no signage. Look out for the large wooden door next to the hotel carpark on Malthouse Lane. Drinks are served with flair and a twist of theatre: a crowd favourite is the Noble Experiment, an icy martini finished with liquid nitrogen.

Eau de Vie

7. A late supper at Flower Drum

Going strong for over 40 years now, this sumptuous space smack-bang in the middle of Chinatown is the city’s premier Cantonese restaurant. Enter Flower Drum through the ruby red door, travel up the poky lift and enter a serene world of succulent Peking duck, exquisite dim sum, wild barramundi “noodles” and baked jade tiger abalone. You’d be wise to call ahead to book a table.

Flower Drum

8. Massage at Peninsula Hot Springs

Feet hurting? Suffering a little redness after a few too many hours watching the races in the sun? What better way to recuperate than a visit to the closest thermal hot springs to Melbourne. Peninsula Hot Springs sits about an hour-and-a-half drive around Port Phillip Bay to the Mornington Peninsula. Book in for a traditional Indigenous-inspired Kodo massage, where therapists use native aromatic oils to soothe away aches and pains.


Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: and

This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine

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Thursday, 7 July 2022

All the fun family-friendly things you can do with the kids in and around Perth

The Western Australian capital of Perth deserves a place on the family travel bucket list. It is filled with a great selection of child-friendly attractions, eateries and activities to help to keep the little ones entertained. From pristine beaches to the chance to get up close with nature; fun-filled and educational activities to traipsing around the great outdoors, Perth certainly has every member of the family covered.

Below, we share some of the best things you can do to make your Perth jaunt a trip to remember.

1. Take a stroll at Elizabeth Quay

Soak up the sunshine with your tots by wandering along Elizabeth Quay, a picturesque waterfront precinct located on the banks of the Swan River. Take a ride on the whimsical carousel or get a family photo at the Elizabeth Quay Bridge – a suspension bridge that’s an iconic feature of the area. The kids will especially love the free water park, which boasts lighting effects and choreographed water jets, and the nature-inspired playground that includes a sand pit, a slide, log steppers and climbing ropes. Take some time to admire the public art installations dotted around the area, then wind down with a meal and a tipple at one of the many alfresco restaurants.

Elizabeth Quay Bridge
The scenic Elizabeth Quay Bridge. Photo credit:

2. Discover your inner scientist at Scitech

From interactive galleries covering themes such as the earth, nature and sustainability to science performances, puppet shows, a planetarium and a hands-on science lab, Scitech fuels the curiosity of both kids and adults alike. Its permanent exhibition boasts more than 40 engaging and interactive exhibits, ranging from a plasma ball to whispering dishes that amplify sound waves.

3. Go sandboarding in Lancelin

Just an hour and a half away from Perth by car, Lancelin is a favourite among water-sports lovers for the wave and wind conditions, pristine beaches, abundance of marine life and sheltered fishing spots. The charming fishing town also boasts towering snow-white sand dunes that are some three-storeys high. Entry to the dunes is free, but do reserve a sandboard before you go (note: surfboards won’t do) and bring along a pair of shades. Take your pick from smaller and gentler dunes to larger and steeper ones, decide whether you wish to sit or stand, then proceed to enjoy the ride of your life!

Lancelin sand dune
Families enjoying sandboarding in Lancelin. Photo credit:

4. Have a blast at Hillarys Aqua Park

Bounce, swim, slip and slide – you can expect all this and more at Hillarys Aqua Park. The inflatable obstacle course can be found floating in a sheltered marina within Hillary’s Boat Harbour, located some 30 minutes away from Perth by car. Suitable for children ages six and up who can swim. The kiddos will be suitably exhausted from the various stations, which include climbing walls, monkey bars, slides and a rodeo splash.

5. Snap a photo with a quokka at Rottnest Island

A protected nature reserve just 19km off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is home to a population of tiny wallaby-like marsupials called quokkas. Besides a selfie with the adorable smiling critter – deemed the world’s happiest animal – a snorkel in the crystal-clear blue waters is a must, and you’d be hard-pressed to finish exploring the 60-odd beaches on the island. Join a four-hour electric bike tour as an entire family or embark on various free guided walking tours. Note, however, that it’s illegal to touch or feed the quokkas, so do keep a respectful distance.

quokka Rottnest Island
A quokka mother and its baby eating twigs on Rottnest Island. Photo credit:

6. Head out to the countryside of Avon Valley

With rolling green hills and picturesque landscapes, Avon Valley is a peaceful hour-long drive from Perth and is a lovely destination for a day trip. Seven towns make up the whole region – which is Western Australia’s first inland settlement – and each has its own intriguing story to tell, as well as fun-filled activities for the whole family. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon, go white-water rafting in the winter, or explore the terrain on horseback. For a more laid-back experience, you can sup on locally produced food and wine and spend afternoons at restored historic buildings, browsing curio shops or picnicking beside the Avon River.

Avon Valley Perth Australia
Spectacular sunrise at Avon Valley. Photo credit:

7. Explore the port city of Fremantle

This charming waterfront precinct is known for its maritime history and has loads to entertain the kids. The Esplanade Youth Plaza has a playground as well as spaces for bike-riding and skateboarding, and you can follow that up with a ride on the Tourist Wheel. A visit to the Fremantle Prison – a World Heritage Site that used to serve as a maximum-security prison from 1887 to 1991 – is also not to be missed. Sign up for tours where you can explore prison cellblocks, cottages and prisoner-built tunnels and view artefacts as well as actual footage of prison life. Be sure to also make a pit stop at the Fremantle Markets, a buzzing affair where you can sample local delights, admire street performers, buy Indigenous crafts and chill out in a hammock.

Fremantle Markets Perth
The landmark Fremantle Markets, which was built in 1897. Photo credit:

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit For updates and travel advisories, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

This article was originally published in November 2020. 

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6 underrated experiences you need to try in and around Perth

With its temperate climes, abundance of natural scenery and thriving culinary scene, it’s no wonder Perth is often top of mind for travellers from Southeast Asia.

We have scoped out the most unique things to see, do and try in and around Perth. Most visitors to the capital of Western Australia would make a beeline for Fremantle Markets or drive out to Margaret River, but there are plenty more to experience in The Wildflower State. Here are six to put on your travel wish list.

1. Bushwhack through Fitzgerald River National Park

While it might be easier to stick to tried-and-tested routes such as the Zamia Trail in Bold Park or the Coogee Maritime Trail, the pandemic has left many of us feeling inspired to venture into proper wilderness.

Fitzgerald River National Park, located about five hours from downtown Perth, offers solitude and serenity in spades. For some serious trekking, hit up the Mamang Trail, a 26.8km route from Point Ann that covers St. Mary Beach, Point Charles and Fitzgerald Inlet, where you’ll get unblocked views of the dramatic coastline. If you’re visiting during whale migration season (July to October), there is a high chance you’ll see the cetaceans resting in the sheltered bay. The area is also a great spot for birdwatchers, with a wide variety of species – including the Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal and Australian Shelduck – often sighted out on the water or lounging on the sand spits.

Fitzgerald River National Park is located five hours from Perth. Photo credit:

2. Go on an epicurious journey through Swan Valley

Often referred to as the food bowl of Western Australia, Swan Valley has a rich heritage of old and new world Australiana cuisine. This self-guided food trail takes you through the many farms, vineyards and distilleries dotting the area. Highlights of the tour include Maalinup Gallery & Bush Food Providore. This Aboriginal owned and operated centre offers visitors a look into Aboriginal culture and a chance to try unique bush tucker. Another must-visit is Edgecombe Bros, which specialises in comfort food enlivened with Australian bush herbs and spices. Also on the trail are Great Northern Distillery, where you’ll find rum made with Australian botanicals like wattleseed and lemon myrtle, and Old Young’s, an award-winning gin distillery.

Bush Tucker Trail - Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery (4)
Sample a range of bush tucker at Maalinup Gallery & Bush Food Providore

3. Indulge your inner child at Gnomesville

What began as a single garden gnome cheekily placed in the middle of a roundabout quickly grew into a quirky collection of thousands of garden gnomes. Gnomesville is a whimsical tourist attraction nestled in the bucolic Ferguson Valley, a two-hour drive from Perth. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own gnome to add to the collection – you can also buy one from the nearby Ferguson Valley Visitor Centre.

After you’ve gotten the requisite snapshots for Instagram, continue your journey through Ferguson’s undulating hills and be sure to make pit-stops at the area’s many family-owned wineries, craft breweries and restaurants. Stay the night at the gorgeous adults-only Peppermint Lane Lodge, which overlooks the serene Ferguson River, or at Evedon Lakeside Retreat, which is surrounded by 320 hectares of natural bushland and is perfect for a spot of trekking or mountain biking.

Gnomesville is a whimsical tourist attraction in Ferguson Valley

4. Jump out of a plane over Rottnest Island

You can take a leaf from Chris Hemsworth’s playbook and grab a selfie with the island’s quokka population… or you can shake things up and skydive over the beautiful nature reserve instead. Skydive Geronimo’s tandem skydiving package includes a 20-minute flight over Rottnest Island, offering you stunning views of turquoise waters and white-sand beaches before you take the plunge at a hair-raising 200km/hour. Ride the adrenaline wave at local beachside restaurant, Thomson’s Rottnest, where you’ll be treated to a complimentary glass of beer or wine to celebrate your successful skydive.

5. Race like a speed demon with Rally Action Driver Training

Channel your inner Lewis Hamilton or Sebastien Vettel at Rally Action Driver Training. This rally driving experience is owned and operated by Perth rally drivers. This heart-pumping adventure gives you the rare opportunity to get behind the wheel of a turbo-charged Subaru WRX and rally drive sideways on forest tracks and dirt roads. Even if it’s your first time, don’t worry – every participant is accompanied by a professional rally driver, who’ll be in the co-driver seat, coaching you as you go.

Rally action driver training WRX
High-octane action with Rally Action Driver Training

6. Get up close with wildlife at the Academy of Taxidermy

If you’re time-strapped and only have a couple of days in the city, you can still enjoy a unique experience in the quiet suburb of Guildford on the Swan River. Part of the Museum of Natural History, the Academy of Taxidermy is housed within the historic Regent Theatre, which was built in the 1920s. With over 2,000 taxidermic creatures under its Art Deco roof, this is one of the largest collections in the country. Wander through preserved versions of kangaroos, emus, snakes, sharks and other native Australian fauna as well as life-size models of dinosaurs.

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit For updates and travel advisories, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

This article was originally published in December 2020.

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Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Explore the latest additions to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens

Built in the mid-1800s, the Botanic Gardens covers an impressive 82 hectares of land right in the heart of the city. A stone’s throw from Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping belt, it’s the only tropical garden to be honoured as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Those who have already spent an afternoon picnicking near Swan Lake, wandering through the National Orchid Garden and enjoying a concert at the Shaw Symphony Stage, fear not, there is plenty more to see (and eat). 

Singapore Botanic gardens Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden.
Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden. Photo credit: NParks

The Gardens’ have continued to evolve, with some of the latest attractions including the Seedbank and Tropical Montane Orchidetum. The Gallop Extension is the most recent addition and features two conserved buildings that have been revamped from a former colonial bungalow. It’s accessible via a 200m bridge from the Learning Forest.  Explore these new additions, along with some of our other long-time favourites in this guide to the Botanic Gardens. 

Learn about the importance of seed storage at the Seedbank

Home to 25,000 plant species, the Botanic Gardens Seed Bank is an expansion of the Gardens’ conservation capacity. The adverse effects of climate change have resulted in the need to preserve our natural habitat. This facility has an interpretive gallery that showcases the importance of seed storage for sustaining certain species together with seed dispersal mechanisms. Through varying interactive mediums including infographic panels and laboratory equipment, visitors can get a glimpse of the Seed Bank processes.
Open daily, 9am-6pm. Closed every last Friday of the month.

Admire iconic works at Botanical Art Gallery

Housed in the newly opened Gallop House No. 7, the gallery is an archive of more than 2,000 botanical artworks. Visitors can view the Gardens’ collection which ranges from paintings to sketches and photographs. Iconic pieces include the Gardens’ oldest dated painting (completed in 1890) of Phaius tankervilleae, an orchid which grows in freshwater swamps. There is also an illustration of Durio singaporensis, more commonly known as the Singapore Durian. Open daily 9am-6pm. Closed every last Thursday of the month.

The Botanical Art Gallery, part of the Gallop Extension

Explore the Forest Discovery Art Centre @ OCBC Arboretum

The oldest surviving black-and-white bungalow from the colonial era is now a showcase for Singapore’s forest ecosystems. The installations and interactive displays are suitable for both kids and adults, providing the opportunity to explore the depths of the environment and gain a better understanding of its historical significance in Singapore’s biodiversity.
Open daily 9am-6pm. Closed every last Monday of the month.

Climb and play at COMO Adventure Grove

Kids are encouraged to reconnect with nature at the COMO Adventure Grove. The centrepiece is a 10m Banyan tree-like structure made with steel posts that have been hand-painted to resemble bark. Ambitious climbers will be rewarded with great views when they reach the 5.8m tree tower using netted ropes. Also known as “Nangka” in the Malay language, the giant jackfruit is a must-see during your visit here. This play garden recreates the experience of tree-climbing and being together with your friends and family during the “Kampung Days’.
Open daily 7am-7pm.

Kids and family at the COMO Adventure Grove. Photo credit: National Parks Board

Hike along Mingxin Rambler’s Ridge

Discover the Gardens’ new hiking trail and explore nature along with trees such as the Spike Oak (Lithocarpus elegans) and Braided Chestnut (Castanopsis inermis). Its design was inspired by the forest habitats of South Asia. The Ridge also features unique plant species that have adapted to the harsh environment, with exposure to poor soil and strong winds. Perfect for a short stroll, the 350m long trail leads to the highest point of the Botanic Gardens.
Open daily 7am-7pm.

Tropical Montane Orchidetum

The Tropical Montane Orchidetum stimulates the experiences of moving up a tropical mountain forest. It features more than 1,000 species of orchids and hybrids including bromeliads, gingers, tropical rhododendrons and gesneriads. This spectacular glasshouse attraction contains three display houses:  The Sembcorp Cool House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection and Tan Hoon Siang Mist House. All three have been replicated from forest environments and you can experience the varying altitudes and temperatures in each house.
Open daily 8.30am-7pm (last ticket sales and entry at 6pm).

Singapore Botanic Gardens Tan Hoon Siang Mist House_
Tan Hoon Siang Mist House. Photo credit: NParks

Soak in the views during lunch at The Halia

Named after the Malay term for ginger, The Halia was one of the first restaurants in Singapore to serve European dishes with Asian influence when it opened 20 years back. Surrounded by tranquil views and lush greenery, diners can also enjoy an unobstructed view of the Ginger Garden. This is a perfect spot for get-togethers with families and friends, as well as couples who are looking for a romantic ambiance. Open Mon to Fri 11am-9pm. Sat, Sun & Public Holidays 10am-9pm.

3 days in Singapore March
The Halia’s comforting interior

Enjoy omakase-style dining at Corner House

The restaurant is named after E J Corner, a British botanist who resided in the house for 13 years while serving as assistant director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The black-and-white bungalow is filled with charming places to dine, including a wide porch overlooking the Gardens, a private verandah on the second floor or the wine cellar. In 2020, executive chef David Thien, who comes from a small village near Bordeaux,  took over the kitchen. Many of the dishes featured on the omakase-style menu — such as beef rendang and crab poppadum — are named after Asian classics, although rooted in French techniques. Open Tue to Sun, Lunch: noon-3pm (Last order 1.30pm). Dinner: 6.30pm-11pm (Last order 8.30pm).

Corner House is now helmed by French-Asian chef David Thien

Please check the establishment’s website for actual opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

This story was originally published in October 2021.

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from SilverKris

7 iconic experiences in Singapore you must try

The Lion City may be small, but it doesn’t fall short on things to do and see, especially when it comes to sharing tales of its history and catering to a modern crowd. Adventure and fun is located in plain sight, whether you’re a hands-on person looking to cook up a storm or a visual learner who appreciates a leisure day out, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s something for everyone in Singapore.

1. Take an orchid tour

There’s no better place to learn about the country’s national flower – the Vanda Miss Joaquim – than at Singapore Botanic Gardens. At the National Orchid Garden, visitors get to feast their eyes on the largest collection of orchid species in the city. The garden houses over 700 species and 3,000 hybrids from all across the tropics with some named after highly influential personalities such as Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana. Visitors will also learn the origin story of how the Vanda Miss Joaquim was discovered and came to be the nation’s heritage icon.

In 2021, several additions to the Singapore Botanic Gardens were made. Check out the new Botanical Art Gallery, where paintings and sketches can be admired, or head to COMO Adventure Grove, where kids are encouraged to reconnect with nature.

Secret Ravine_National_Orchid_Garden_ credit NParks
The Secret Ravine trail is part of the Tropical Montane Orchidetum, a new addition to the National Orchid Garden. Photo credit: NParks

2. Learn how to make Hainanese Chicken Rice

Join Ruqxana Vasanwala’s popular cooking classes to learn how to whip up some of Singapore’s most popular delicacies. Participants get to choose what they like to prepare – depending on the schedule, they can pick from a range of local favourites, including Hainanese Chicken Rice, char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles with seafood) and Nonya laksa. Book a private class for a group of friends or the more hand-on, one-to-one option and choose up to three dishes to be taught within the lesson.

Hainanese chicken rice singapore
Try your hand at cooking local cuisines with a professional. Photo credit:

3. Catch your own dinner

Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this – fish for your own dinner at Smith Marine, a local kelong (aquaculture farm) located off the island of Pulau Ubin. Diners arrive by bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal and try their luck at baiting a fish (typically snapper or sea bass) at the indoor pond. They then pass their catch to the chef, who will cook it in a variety of styles. Other notable dishes here include the Lala (Live Venus Clams) cooked in chilli paste or garlic butter and steamed lobster.

4. Fly in Sentosa

Get a bird’s-eye view of the resort island of Sentosa as you whizz past its jungle canopy and Siloso Beach on Mega Adventure’s 450m Megazip flying fox. And if soaring 72m above sea level is not thrilling enough, explore the treetops by tackling Megaclimb (in the same area as the Megazip park), an aerial obstacle course that includes wobbly bridges, swaying tightropes and airy cargo nets, all set at dizzying heights. If skydiving is your thing, try it indoors at the wind tunnel at iFly Singapore. You’ll receive guidance from a professional instructor before you go in for the actual experience, which comes with unparalleled views of the South China Sea and Siloso Beach.

You’ll also have the option to laze around – or party the night away – at one of Sentosa’s many beach clubs, including Rumours Beach Club or Tanjong Beach Club.

Feel the cool wind against your skin on the MegaZip

5. Farm in the city

How does a farm that’s right in the middle of concrete-jungle Singapore – in the heart of its famous Orchard Road shopping strip – survive and also thrive? ComCrop is an urban farm that supplies some of the most popular restaurants and bars in the city with herbs like basil and habanero. The rooftop establishment employs aquaponics, and you’ll get a chance to learn all about it at one of its monthly farm tours. There are also additional farms around Singapore to help you escape the urban jungle.

6. Hop on a leisurely cruise around Singapore

You don’t need an excuse to enjoy a romantic breezy sunset dinner on a superyacht, do you? The Royal Albatross is a great way to experience an unforgettable and luxurious dinner cruise experience on the Little Red Dot. Choose between two types of journeys – a sunset cruise to see the orange and yellow gradient of the horizon or an evening cruise for a picture perfect night view of the city lights. The price includes a welcome mocktail and free-flow of soft drinks. Top up an extra S$100++ for a wine pairing option while you bask in the golden rays or as you count the stars in the night sky. Bonus: The city lights cruise includes a complimentary limo ride.

Iconic Things to do in Singapore
On deck of the Royal Albatross Cruise. Photo credit: Longkong/

7. Plan a day trip to the islands

The many smaller islands surrounding Singapore are definitely worth a visit and provide a tranquil respite from the bustling city state. Kusu Island, also known as Tortoise Island, is among the many lesser known islands to visit and is the perfect place for a day trip. Visit the various sacred sites, including the Da Bo Gong Temple that was built in 1923 and dedicated to the Chinese God of Prosperity, as well as the Malay keramat (shrine) atop a steep hill. Go snorkelling to see hundreds of tortoises or simply visit the island’s Tortoise Sanctuary. Getting to Kusu Island requires visitors to ride a ferry from Marina South Pier. Other islands to consider hopping to include St John’s Island and Lazarus Island, both of which make idyllic beach escapades.

Da Bogong Temple Iconic Things to do in Singapore
Exterior of Da Bogong Temple on Kusu Island Photo credit: PeJo/

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 4 August 2016 and updated on 21 April 2021.

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7 kid-friendly wineries and breweries in Margaret River, Australia

West Australia’s ‘wine region’ is a must visit for its lush produce, premium wines and welcoming vineyards. Travelling with kids? Margaret River – a small town south of Perth – provides tons of fun, without compromising the grown-ups’ need for fine wine and cuisine. At these seven wineries and breweries, dedicated kids’ menus, playgrounds and activities aplenty will keep your children entertained.

1. Brews on tap at Cheeky Monkey Brewery

If you are visiting Margaret River with kids, Cheeky Monkey Brewery is a must visit. The grounds are lush and allow for ample space to run about. It has one of the largest, most inviting, fenced-in playgrounds where kids of all ages can have hours of fun. They serve award-winning brews on tap and in canned form for you to take home to enjoy. The restaurant menu has a ton of hearty eats (specialty burgers, pizzas and fries). Grab a table outdoors – the vista views of the lake and vineyard are amazing. The spacious grounds are very welcoming to four-legged kids too.

Cheeky Monkeys Brewery Australia
The fenced playground at Cheeky Monkeys Winery

2. Sparkling fruit wines at The Berry Farm

The Berry Farm’s jams, preserves, sauces and syrups are as popular as their sparkling fruit wines and dessert wines. At their Cottage Café, little ones can enjoy tucking into their freshly baked scones with house-made jam and clotted cream. After which, they can muck about in the rustic adventure playground, or on the colourful slides and climbing structures. Walking around the lush grounds is a great way to work up an appetite and it is also a great spot for bird watching.

Berry Farms Winery Australia
Scones with The Berry Farm’s artisanal berry jam

3. Hand-crafted wine at Flametree Winery

Even with the kids in tow, you should still visit some of the more prolific wineries at Margaret River. Located on the shores of Geographe Bay, Flametree Winery has a whole list of award-winning wines made with fruit sourced from growers within the Margaret River Wine Region, including their Embers and Flametree range. Their beach house style cellar door building is elegantly furnished and perfect to visit at any time of the year. Not only can you participate in wine tasting and gourmet make-your-own platter sessions, it features an inviting deck, beautiful gardens and a spacious lawn for the kiddos to play a bout of frisbee or to wind down for a family picnic. Also, Flametree Winery is pet- and wheelchair-friendly!

4. Award-winning restaurant at Leeuwin Estate

This family business may not have a dedicated children’s playground, but Leeuwin Estate makes up for it with their expansive front lawn and their family-style outdoor seating. The restaurant adopts a paddock-to-plate philosophy and their food is fresh, local and mostly free-range. At the cellar door, sip their opulent and age-worthy wines under the ‘Art Series’ labels, which will keep the parents happy while the kids run about on the grounds outside.

Leeuwin Estate Australia
View of the Leeuwin Estate building from the outside

5. Sports cars and decadent wines at Aravina Estate

When it comes to family-friendly wineries, the guys at Aravina Estate win top honours. Their large and lush lawn have views of undulating vines, sparkling lakes and a beautiful garden that has a range of roses, hydrangeas and camellias. Their cellar door serves decadent wines, and the restaurant boasts exhaustive menus for both kids and adults. For motor enthusiasts young and old, Aravina Estate has an enviable collection of rare sports cars and vintage vehicles – have a drink, grab a bite, and go ahead and browse.

Aravina Winery Australia
The kids playground at Aravina

6. Vineyard views at Swings & Roundabouts

You know the estate boasts a host of kiddie-friendly fun when you see the name Swings & Roundabouts being used. The wine aspect is kept light-hearted to appeal to novice wine drinkers and they have wood-fired pizzas to pair with the drinks. There are many things for kids to enjoy: the estate is equipped with a large wooden playground, outdoor seating and there is even an old-school tyre swing. There are often local live music acts on Sundays, when the cellar door backyard takes on a picnic vibe.

7. Xanadu Winery

Xanadu’s grounds may be smaller than other Margaret River wineries, but it ticks all the right boxes. A well-stocked cellar door with friendly and personable service, outstanding wines, and lush grounds to run about in. There’s also a casually elegant restaurant serving delectable cuisine by head chef Aaron Lim. The chef Lim grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, has worked in top restaurants around the world and now uses seasonal produce to create delicious dishes at Xanadu. Kids are well taken care of, and so are the adults.

Xanadu Australia
Xanadu has the most beautiful green lawn to go with their outdoor seating

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about. 

The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit

SEE ALSO: The best wine bars in Lisbon, Portugal

This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 2 January 2018 and updated on 21 March 2021.


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Tuesday, 5 July 2022

5 of the most glorious road trips from Sydney

Sydney-bound explorers should take time to (re)visit places like the Opera House and the signature rock pools – along with all of the non-touristy attractions that the Harbour City has to offer. But if you have time, make sure to hit the road and see a bit more of New South Wales. From epic multi-day trips to quick weekend getaways, we have listed out options for every type of road tripper.

If you’re short on time… Moss Vale

You don’t have to venture far to come up against scenes of spectacular beauty. Starting your trip on Taronga Road, make your way to the scenic Nepean Dam where you can stop for a picnic and some photos before continuing on through the Southern Highlands’ lush rainforests and resplendent valleys. The Southern Highlands has tons of heritage towns ripe for exploration. It is also known for being stuffed with plenty of antique treasures so if you’re a vintage lover, be sure to pull over and poke around the many antique shops in the area. After a quick coffee break, drive for another 15 minutes or so before you hit Moss Vale, home to bucolic farmlands, expansive vineyards and picture-perfect gardens. Schedule time for a meal at Mount Ashby Estate. Nestled in the north face of the mountain, you can enjoy fine wines and French-inspired modern dishes, while spotting farm animals wandering the grounds. The whole journey from Taronga to Moss Vale, if you choose not to stop, takes just 90 minutes.

Mount Ashby Estate Moss Vale
Resident ducks on the grounds of Mount Ashby Estate, Moss Vale. Photo credit: Kramer Photography;

If you’re longing for expansive coastal views… Grand Pacific Drive

Often touted as one of Australia’s most beautiful road trip routes, this drive combines the best of land and sea – from the sweeping wilderness of the Royal National Park to the wild and rugged coast. Your journey depends on how much time you have. If you’re pressed for time, you can drive through the 140km route, slowing down only to marvel at the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge, a 665m-long curved portion of the highway that wraps around the steep slope and stretches toward the Pacific Ocean.

For those with a bit more flexibility in their schedule, make time to stop at laid-back seaside towns such as Austinmer or Thirroul for some local grub before heading on to Wollongong, a vibrant coastal city jam-packed with trendy art galleries and funky restaurants. From Wollongong, it’s a 30-minute drive to the famous Kiama Blowhole, a natural rock formation where seawater shoots through and upwards, sometimes up to 20m in the air. Stay the night in Kiama town or make your way back to Sydney – just two hours away.

sea cliff bridge
The iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. Photo credit:

If you’re looking for an idyllic drive… Greater Blue Mountains Drive

For those who prefer exploring the hinterlands of New South Wales, this epic journey should be on your list. The entire area comprises some 1,200km of major connecting roads that will take you through rugged backroads, spectacular landscapes and mountains and valleys. Whether you explore part of the drive in short trips or take time for an extended tour, you’ll surely appreciate the myriad experiences that this beautiful region has to offer. Many road trippers head to Katoomba (90 minutes from Sydney), where you have the option of hopping on a railway, cable car, skyway or walkway for views of the famous Three Sisters rock formation.

From Katoomba, there is a 7km stretch of road to the Valley of the Waters, where you meander through scenic cliff-tops packed with Instagram-worthy lookout points and tranquil walking paths. History buffs will love Jenolan, located about an hour from Katoonba, where you’ll find ancient calcite formations and marine fossils in the spectacular Jenolan Caves. Don’t miss Kanangra, a small town about 45 minutes away that acts as the perfect base to explore the pastoral beauty of the Kanangra-Boyd region.

Three Sisters Rock Australia
Catch the sunset on the peaks of the Three Sisters landmark in the Blue Mountains. Photo credit: Adobe

If you are raring for some adventure… Sydney to Snowy Mountains

Heed the call of the wild with this journey that takes you through the picturesque valleys, river plains and mountain peaks of the Snowy Mountains, known colloquially as “The Snowies”. Located about 490km from Sydney, be sure to pack equipment for fly-fishing as you can enjoy year-round fishing in the pristine lakes of the Snowy Mountains. If you’re travelling with young children, you’ll love the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, where they can check out interactive exhibits on the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a hydroelectricity and irrigation complex in south-east Australia that’s on the Australian National Heritage List. To work off any pent-up energy, get them to jump on the “power bikes” and see if they can paddle hard enough to power an Xbox. The Scheme is located within the Kosciuszko National Park, home to the eponymous mountain where you can explore walking trails of varying levels of difficulty, check out scenic falls and native species, and stay overnight at the many campsites.

Enjoy the scenic views across Kosciuszko National Park. Photo credit: Destination NSW

If you are hungry for a gourmet journey… Tablelands Food and Wine Trail

For those who travel in search of good food, this is the road trip for you. Strap in and get ready for a five-day epicurean journey that takes you through wineries, boutique producers, farm stops and acclaimed restaurants in the Yass Valley, Hilltops region and NSW Southern Tablelands. Highlights of the trip include Gundaroo, a charming National Trust-classified village where you’ll find several cool-climate wineries; Murrumbateman, a former mining town that is now home to small-batch producers that offer everything from artisanal chocolates to smoked bushmeat; and the historic rural village of Bungendore, where you can wend your way through bustling markets, take part in a cooking class at Le Tres Bon Restaurant and Cooking School followed by a sumptuous feast of classic French dishes. In between all the eating, stop by the many art galleries along the way where you can pick up contemporary art pieces from local artists. The wine selection at Jugiong Wine Cellar, situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, is complemented with a range of ever-changing high quality art.

Jugiong Wine Cellar
Jugiong Wine Cellar is one of the many stops along the self-guided Tablelands Food & Wine Trail

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to Sydney, visit To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: and

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