Thursday, 26 January 2023

Hong Kong is finally open – here are 16 exciting things to check out on your comeback trip

City-slicking travellers are celebrating the re-opening of Hong Kong. The Fragrant Harbour finally dropped its pandemic-era quarantine restrictions last month. What’s more: the city’s restaurant, nightlife, shopping and art scenes are all unleashing nearly three years of bottled-up energy, with a slew of new and returning marquee events and dozens of new openings.

From ambitious new restaurants to beloved old music festivals and long-awaited revamps of historical venues, here are 16 things to eat, drink and experience on your comeback trip to Hong Kong.

1. Discover stunning contemporary art at the ambitious new M+

One of Hong Kong’s most ambitious undertakings in recent memory, the long-awaited M+ is Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture. Though it officially opened in November 2021, this will be many visitors’ first chance to experience this ambitious and stunning new building. The museum is located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and houses 33 galleries with curated collections. Collections in the museum range from contemporary visual culture to traditional art, along with content related to the internet and popular culture. Currently, the museum hosts four permanent collections that focus on art related to Asia, as well as other limited-time special exhibitions such as Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now and Beeple: Human One.

Hong Kong 2023 M+
M+ highlights esoteric modern art inspired by pop culture and the internet. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

2. Kickstart your collection at the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong

Created with the mission to make arts affordable and accessible, the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong will celebrate its 10th year with a four-day exhibition from 18 to 21 May 2023. Showcasing thousands of artworks from both Hong Kong and international exhibitors, the fair promises fresh and affordable pieces ranging from HK$1,000 to HK$100,000. Check out inspiring artwork, join interactive workshops and take part in engaging tours at the fun-filled artsy fair this May. Early bird tickets go on sale from 9 March.

3. Soak in live music as festivals and concerts return

After a three-year pandemic hiatus, music festivals and concerts are again filling up Hong Kong’s 2023 calendar. From 3 to 5 March, Hong Kong’s biggest international outdoor music and arts festival, Clockenflap 2023, brings headliners such as British rock icons Arctic Monkeys and French multi-instrumentalist FKJ back to the country. Returning to Hong Kong after five years, Singapore’s renowned singer JJ Lin will bring his JJ20 World Tour to the city for shows on 18, 19, 25, and 26 March. Promising an electronic dance music party and rave, Creamfields 2023 is set to take place from 1 to 2 April at Central Harbourfront. The festival, which was postponed twice, will release more details soon.

Hong Kong 2023 Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys will make their Hong Kong debut headlining Clockenflap 2023. Photo credit: Tom Rose/Shutterstock

4. Trace China’s storied history at the new Hong Kong Palace Museum

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Palace Museum officially opened in July 2022 and displays precious artefacts from the National Palace Museum at the Forbidden City in Beijing. The museum houses over 900 valuable antiquities, many of which are on display in Hong Kong for the first time and have never been shown to the public! The museum aims to present special exhibitions that showcase art, culture and history from China and other parts of the world. The current exhibitions include treasures from the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 8 CE), Northern Song dynasty (960 CE to 1127 CE) and Qian Long Period (1736 CE to 1795 CE).

Hong Kong 2023 Hong Kong Palace Museum
The Hong Kong Palace Museum displays priceless works of art, some of which are on display for the first time in Hong Kong. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

5. Cycle through Hong Kong’s lush New Territories

What makes Hong Kong so special is how the frenetic urban density is balanced by expansive natural vistas. Hop on a bicycle and take in the scenic views from Tuen Mun to Ma On Shan, passing by prominent districts such as Yuen Long, Tai Po, and Sha Tin. The 60 kilometre New Territories Cycle Network connects the Eastern and Western parts of New Territories and passes through picturesque spots, lush greenery, and cultural attractions. Scenic spots along the bikeway include Kam Tin River in Yuen Long, Ho Sheung Heung in Sheung Shui, Tai Po Waterfront Park, and Man Tin Cheung Park in San Tin. The cycling track has an emphasis on safety and offers supporting facilities along the route including entry and exit hubs and dedicated resting stations.

Hong Kong 2023 New Territories Cycle Network
It’s easier than ever to take in Hong Kong’s lush greenery on two wheels. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

6. Hit the trails for some breathtaking views

Get closer to nature and enjoy glorious views without exhausting yourself with these manageable hikes. The leisurely kilometre-long Bride’s Pool Nature Trail will take you to  a chill stream that feeds into a pool and a 15-metre high beautiful waterfall. If you’re up for more of a challenge, take on the 4.3 kilometre High Island Reservoir hiking trail that presents a panoramic coastal view of Long Ke Wan and the hexagonal rock columns formed from volcanic ash and lava over 140 million years ago. Another notable option is the six kilometre trail from Pok Fu Lam to The Peak which might seem long, but is a gentle hike that is suitable for beginners.

Hong Kong 2023 hiking
The High Island Reservoir is a challenging trail that rewards hikers with breathtaking coastal views. Photo credit: Gorma Kuma/Shutterstock

7. Take a weekend trip to newly opened parts of Sha Tau Kok

Sneak a glimpse into the mysterious closed town of Sha Tau Kok and discover its fenced history with exploration tours. Located right next to Shenzhen’s Yantian District, visiting the restricted border town once required a closed area permit and a guarantee from a local resident. Since June 2022, the government has opened limited parts of Sha Tau Kok to the public on weekends and public holidays. Visitors need to register for a local tour and admission to the town is limited to a maximum of 500 pax each day. The town features an outdoor bazaar and visitors can visit Sha Tau Kok Pier, Cape of Sha Tau Kok, spot the elusive Chung Ying Street which can only be observed from afar or take a ferry to visit the neighbouring isles of Lai Chi Wo and Kat O.

Hong Kong 2023 Sha Tau Kok
The closed town of Sha Tau Kok is now open to tourists keen on exploring off the beaten path. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

8. Check out Hong Kong’s island-hopping arts festival at Sai Kung Hoi

A three-year nature and art collaboration held from 2022 to 2024, the Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival highlights the rich history, local culture and natural environment of the Sai Kung Hoi district’s four isles – Yim Tin Tsai, Sharp Island, Kau Sai Chau and High Island. The first installation of the arts festival ran until 15 January 2023, and eight of the nine unique artworks that were located in Yim Tin Tsai and Sharp Island have been retained at their respective islands for visitors to enjoy their intriguing styles. The 2023 edition of the festival is poised to kick off at the end of the year.

Hong Kong 2023 Sai Kung Hoi Arts Festival
This intriguing arts festival at Sai Kung Hoi merges art with the islands’ natural splendour. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

9. Go on the hunt for Hong Kong’s hidden bars

Adventure is part of the experience when it comes to Hong Kong’s speakeasies and hidden bars – which might mean heading down a dark, secluded alley to look for the stairs leading to Stockton. As you enjoy the impressive selection of whiskeys and the literature-inspired cocktail menu, the art and furniture sourced from Parisian flea markets will make you feel like you’ve been invited to a decadent Victorian gentlemen’s club. Please Don’t Tell may not involve shadowy streets, but it’s a delight to find this tiny yet charming jewelbox of a bar hidden behind a telephone booth inside yet another bar. The coppertop bar, taxidermied animals, and cosmopolitan vibe call back to the original New York location, but the Hong Kong-inspired cocktails, including a milk tea rum drink, will definitely remind you of where you are.

Please Don’t Tell is a New York import that offers a menu of Hong Kong-inspired cocktails. Photo credit: Please Don’t Tell

10. Look good while doing good for the environment

No musty thrift stores here, just vintage shops featuring handpicked, high-quality pieces. Maggie & Co. Vintage has been curating exclusively high-end designer items. You’ll marvel at a cornucopia of rare and limited-edition shoes, bags, and jewellery, along with other wardrobe must-haves. While Seven Kee focuses on more affordable pieces, you’ll still find charming and unique pieces, including men’s and kids’ items, in a spacious two-storey shop that feels like a sophisticated, well-travelled aunt’s house. Much smaller but just as charming, Luddite features early 20th-century looks for men, mixing together vintage pieces with unusual finds like deerstalker hats and Slovakian hi-tops.

Maggie & Co. Vintage specialises in high-end pre-loved clothing and accessories. Photo credit: Maggie & Co. Vintage

11. Visit a historic market that has reopened after 18 years

Once a bustling wet market, the revitalised Central Market has finally opened its doors with a bang. Harkening back to its previous incarnation, it’s packed with all kinds of stalls selling food and drinks, including Perfume Trees Gin, a local spirit known for its unique flavours, and the Michelin-recommended Mammy Pancake, where you can queue up for an egg waffle. You can also stock up on souvenirs like toys and collectibles from the Hong Kong Tram Store or lifestyle accessories with vintage Hong Kong and traditional Chinese prints from Seon Hong Kong. Stick around to enjoy the musicians performing at the Busking Corner or join a fun workshop or guided tour.

Try a wide variety of local snacks while listening to street musicians at the bustling Central Market. Photo credit: Central Market

12. Experience Hong Kong’s diversity through its fusion cuisines

The city is no stranger to fusion cooking, but chef de cuisine Frankie Wong, who trained at two Michelin-starred Écriture, brings a fresh approach to French-Japanese 8-seater restaurant Ankôma. The unconventional menu includes sea urchin French toast and three yellow chicken (a chicken breed known for its yellow beak, skin, and feet and exceptionally rich flavour) served with salmon roe and sauce au vin jaune. At Sawadee Chef, acclaimed chef Ronald Shao gives Thai dishes Sichuan-style makeovers, like their signature larb moo cooked Chinese style and served with perilla leaves. However, a fine-dining option without the equivalent price tag means a visit to Daap, where you can enjoy Cantonese-European dishes like Chinese sausage carbonara topped with an onsen egg.

Sawadee Chef offers a unique fusion of Thai cuisine with Sichuan touches. Photo credit: Sawadee Chef

13. Experiment with farm-to-glass cocktails

Behind a minimalist entrance, PENICILLIN’s mad scientists dream up unusual cocktails like the Modernist Science, which uses bread-infused vodka and spiced cheese liquor. PENICILLIN focuses on a sustainable bar experience with a closed-loop creation process and locally sourced ingredients, and you can watch the team brew and ferment their concoctions in the open lab section. With its plain white tiles, Mostly Harmless also feels a bit like a lab if not for the cheerful drawings, notes, and menu items scribbled on the walls. This is the place to find cocktails inspired by 19th-century drink making, and the ever-changing menu that relies solely on what’s locally available means a delicious surprise each visit, like a remarkably complex 37-ingredient strawberry mole.

PENICILLIN takes an almost scientific approach towards mixology. Photo credit: Kevin Mak

14. Bite into fresh bread and pastries from artisan bakeries

Good bread is easy to find in Hong Kong as artisan bakeries send out fresh-baked goodies every day. Sourdough reigns supreme here, and of note is Miam Bakery’s cashew and Sichuan peppercorn loaf, but their pies shouldn’t be missed either. Another neighbourhood bakery is Proof HK, which is also known for cinnamon buns and double-baked croissants – all made without artificial preservatives. For a more café-like experience, Bakehouse’s Wanchai shop has a dining space where you can enjoy their flaky signature sourdough egg tarts with a steaming cup of coffee. Also, their Causeway Bay shop has branch-exclusive treats like tiramisu Danish and miso caramel and banana croissant.

Bakehouse is famed for its flaky sourdough egg tarts. Photo credit: Bakehouse

15. Shop for quirky and creative Hong Kong knick-knacks

Prepare to gasp “I remember this!” when you browse these quirky shops. At the crammed-to-the-brim Vintage Campus, there’s always a toy or stationery item that triggers the memory each time you visit. Browse neighbourhoood store Dongpo’s handpicked vintage and artisan-made pieces then hang out at the tables outside the shop and meet local creatives. Strange objects also proliferate in the colorful Bunkaya Zakkaten, the Hong Kong branch of the now-closed Harajuku icon. Standouts include three-eyed bakeneko calendars and the shop’s own 60s-inspired clothing line. For a more serene experience, Douguya Hatcharea has vintage furniture and ceramics, some of which have been reworked by Japanese artisans into modern artworks.

Douguya Hatcharea offers lovingly reworked furniture and antiques. Photo credit: Douguya Hatchare

16. Nibble on fast food by fine-dining chefs

Fans of the show The Bear – where a chef with a resume peppered with Michelin-starred restaurants returns to his family’s diner to make sandwiches – will want to visit Hong Kong’s fast-food joints and pubs featuring menus created by chefs with haute cuisine backgrounds. Chef Chunwan Lai at Sick! Burger uses his experience as the former sous-chef at The Hong Kong Club and protégé of Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens to cook up luxurious yet affordable burgers with delightfully unexpected toppings like yuzu and shiso leaves. Over at Carbon Brews Central, the menu is presided over by chef Sean Yuen, formerly of three Michelin-starred Caprice and experimental restaurant tfvsjs.syut. Expect a play on flavours and textures like hanger steak frites with smoked bone marrow sauce or crab meat with taramasalata – all with craft beer pairings.

For more information on Singapore Airlines flights to Hong Kong, visit their website.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Pullman Melbourne On the Park

Centrally located, not far from hip neighbourhoods Richmond and Fitzroy, Pullman Melbourne On the Park is fresh off an award-winning $40m renovation and relaunch in April 2022. The renovation saw all the rooms upgraded and special ‘shrouds’ installed on the windows, turning the already impressive views across the city into picture frames.

For those with deeper pockets, the William Clarke Sky Villa – occupying the top two floors of the hotel – has also been reimagined, turning it into one of the most exclusive penthouses in the city. Meanwhile, breakfast in the Cliveden Room, which looks out across Fitzroy Gardens, now features many of the state’s top food producers, including acclaimed La Madre Bakery.

The property also overlooks the famed Melbourne Cricket Ground and is only a 10-minute walk from Rod Laver Arena, home of the Australian Open.

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Monday, 16 January 2023

Explore new places, experience new attractions in these 7 cities around Asia Pacific

Produced for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts by SilverKris

It’s official – travel is back, and it’s back in a big way. According to Milieu Insights’ recent survey of over 4,000 respondents across Southeast Asia, 68% of Singaporeans said they are ready to travel in 2023.

With virtually no more pandemic-related restrictions and the return of hot travel deals, there’s no better than time than now to explore a new place. You don’t have to look far for a great holiday either – these seven destinations on the Singapore Airlines network promise fun, adventure and some new attractions, too.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul has the best of both worlds—enjoy the city skyline from the streets of traditional Korean Bukchon Hanok Village

The capital city of South Korea is a study in juxtaposition – with old-world architecture sidling up against gleaming skyscrapers, and modern watering holes packed into storied backstreets. With borders reopened to international tourists since June 2022, visitors can now look forward to exploring trendy new neighbourhoods such as Seongsu-dong. This former industrial district is today a buzzing hub of bars, restaurants, and boutiques, including a unique pop-up concept from international fashion house Dior.

Where to stay: Art aficionados, check in to the stylish Ramada Hotel and Suites Seoul Namdaemun, conveniently located close to cultural attractions such as the HOAM Art Hall and the National Museum of Korea. Back in your comfortable hotel room, enjoy a wide selection of free movies or head to the on-site restaurant for a tasty Korean spread.

Danang, Vietnam

A familiar sight anywhere in Vietnam—bicycles and the traditional Vietnamese hat, the nón lá

The former French colonial port encapsulates all the natural wonders, heritage detours and culinary delights that make Vietnam such an exciting destination. Take a day trip to the Unesco-cited Hoi An, hike around the caves of Marble Mountain, sunbathe on My Khe beach and eat your way through Han Market. For something new, visit the newly minted mural zone on Son Tra peninsula, where 40 new murals across 400m of wall space depict the local fishing community’s heritage and offers great photo-ops for Instagram.

Where to stay: Check in to the modern Wyndham Danang Golden Bay, a brand new 949-room property located just a five-kilometre free shuttle ride away from My Khe Beach, and eight-kilometres from Danang Airport. Not only is it home to a rooftop lounge and Danang’s first halal eatery, it also boasts stunning views from the Golden Infinity Pool on the 29th floor, covered in – you guessed it – 24K gold tiles.

Hua Hin, Thailand

The Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park or ‘the mountain with three hundred peaks” in Hua Hin spans across 98 km² and is the first national park of Thailand

Located just 2.5 hours away from Bangkok by car, the beachside town of Hua Hin beckons with its laidback vibe and sun-drenched beaches. In February 2023, look out for the first-ever Amazing Muay Thai Festival, which features local and international competitions as well as training sessions with renowned boxers. Don’t miss the festival highlight, the wai khru ceremony – a traditional ritual where students pay respects to their teachers – which will be performed by 5,000 Muay Thai boxers in a bid to set a Guinness World Record.

Where to stay: Just past Hua Hin, surrounded by eight hectares of lush greenery and overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, Wyndham Hua Hin Pranburi Resort & Villas offers the best of tropical living. This family-friendly property offers a Kids’ Club and babysitting service alongside a surf-themed skateboard park.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an experience for all the senses. Enjoy a relaxing sunset by the beach with a cocktail for the ultimate wind-down.

Like many popular tourist destinations, Bali knows the secret to its success lies in its constant reinvention. The new year promises travellers plenty of novel experiences – from popular waterpark Waterbom Bali expanding its playground by 1.3 hectares to tantalising new bars like Club Soda, set up by craft cocktail expert Raka Ambarawan (formerly of Locavore’s now-closed Night Rooster).

Where to stay: Located a short walk from the heart of Seminyak, Ramada Encore by Wyndham Seminyak Bali is the perfect base for your stay on the Island of the Gods. Enjoy luxe facilities such as the 2,200 square meter swimming pool and a spa offering traditional Balinese therapies.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The prided jewel of Kuala Lumpur: The Petronas Twin Towers, with 88 storeys towering at 1,483 ft

If you’re seeking some much-needed retail therapy, make a beeline for the Malaysian capital, home to over 190 shopping malls, three of which opened in the last year alone. IOI City Mall recently completed the second phase of its expansion and is now officially the largest mall in Malaysia, with a wide variety of shops spread across the sprawling 2.5 million square-foot space.

Where to stay: With its ideal location just a 10-minute drive from the buzzy Bukit Bintang, Days Hotel and Suites by Wyndham Fraser Business Park KL is a popular bolthole for visitors to the Malaysian capital. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, with all the mod-cons you need for a comfortable stay.

Boracay, The Philippines

Tourists snorkelling in turquoise sea about rocky coast of the Crystal Cove island near Boracay, Philippines. August 2018
The turquoise waters of Crystal Cove island close to Boracay is a haven for avid snorkellers

If you haven’t been back to Boracay since its six-month rehabilitation in 2018, now is as good a time as any to visit the island. The beaches are once again clean and litter-free, and the gin-clear waters, warm and inviting. Be sure to check out the newly opened New Coast, a 150-hectare integrated tourism development that includes a clutch of new restaurants and boutiques overlooking the Sibuyan Sea.

Where to stay: Microtel by Wyndham Boracay is a beautiful oceanfront resort located on the powdery white sands of Diniwid Beach. Featuring clean, comfortable rooms with chiropractor-approved beds, this 51-room hotel is a great choice whether you’re travelling as a couple or with young children in tow.

Sapporo, Japan

Cityscape of Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan at Odori Park.
The Odori Park in Sapporo stretches for over a kilometer and a half (ie. twelve city blocks), dividing the city into North and South sections

With Japan finally reopening to tourists in October 2022, the new year is the perfect time to visit. As the capital city of the mountainous island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is a popular wintertime destination, with plenty of snow activities to keep both young and old entertained. Don’t miss the world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival – taking place from 4 to 11 February, it showcases over a hundred snow and ice sculptures alongside live music events and street food stalls.

Where to stay: For those looking to hit the slopes, the well-appointed Wyndham Garden Sapporo Odori is conveniently located close to Sapporo Teine and Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resorts. After a day of skiing, cosy up in your stylishly decorated room or unwind with a cocktail at the hotel bar.

Wherever you choose to go in the new year, stay with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and get rewarded. Book direct and earn 3,000 Wyndham Rewards Points, which you can use to redeem free night stays or earn discounted stays at participating hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. You can now enjoy 20% off when you stay for two consecutive nights or more at participating Hotels by Wyndham in Asia Pacific*.

Not yet a Wyndham Rewards member? Sign up Wyndham Rewards for free here.

*Terms and conditions apply. For the latest information on and travel inspiration, follow Wyndham Rewards APAC on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.



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Thursday, 5 January 2023

9 fun and family-friendly outdoor activities to do in Singapore

While Singapore might be known as the “Island City”, there’s still plenty of ways for the whole family to get some sun and enjoy the great outdoors. For the more adventurous, take to Singapore’s many parks or perhaps hit easy hiking trails and try spotting some of the island’s fascinating wildlife. And for curious little ones, there are also educational outdoor activities in Singapore to participate in like exciting kayak tours along the coast and even as far as Pulau Ubin. Here are nine exciting ways to explore the great outdoors with the whole family.

1. Breakfast at the zoo

Looking for unorthodox company over breakfast? Singapore Zoo’s signature breakfast has returned after a two-year hiatus. The programme began as Breakfast with Ah Meng, an charismatic orangutan who was an iconic part of the zoo. The relaunched Breakfast in the Wild will give you and the whole family an opportunity to dine with several of the zoo’s friendly residents including orangutans, macaws and tamanduas (lesser anteaters).

The meals themselves feature local and international flavours and are made with sustainability in mind – dishes are cooked with sustainably sourced palm oil and served with wildlife-friendly OWA coffee. Beef is also omitted from the menu because of its high environmental impact.

After the meal, you’ll also get to interact with the animals and take home a photo keepsake of your new friends.

outdoor activities in Singapore
Get up close to some of Singapore Zoo’s friendliest residents Photo credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

2. Take them for a slide at Admiralty Park

Admiralty Park holds the honour of having more slides than any other park in Singapore – a whopping 26 of them – including the longest and widest ones. Head to the Junior Play area if you have toddlers between two- to five-years-old, where they can amuse themselves with the cargo nets, tube slides and sand play area, as well as a wide Family Slide that can accommodate up to four people at the same time.

The Family Terracing Play area is best for those between five to 12 years old and boasts a pair of double-barrel metallic tube slides that whoosh down nine meters, while the Adventure Play area’s highlight is a pair of roller slides. Additionally, a suspension bridge, swings and a Flying Fox ride round up the adventure.

3. Go wild at Jurong Lake Gardens

Whether it’s a casual stroll through gardens, nature trails and grasslands, or embarking on the 36km, coast-to-coast cycling trail that extends to Coney Island Park, Jurong Lake Gardens in the west of Singapore has it all. You can even kayak, or walk on the meandering Rasau Walk boardwalk along the edges of a freshwater swamp habitat.

Dog lovers can let their pups run free at a large dog run, and the kids will enjoy the Forest Ramble, a 2.3-hectare nature-inspired playground with structures that resemble treehouses and bird’s nests, ideal for children between five and 12. With 13 play areas designed to encourage children to mimic the behaviours of otters, herons and other creatures, it’s bound to keep them entertained.

Jacob Ballas outdoor activities in singapore
A boy playing on the flying fox ride at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo credit: Singapore Tourism Board

4. Play and learn at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

The first of its kind in Asia, this nature-themed park has been specifically created for children 14 and below. With its theme – Life on Earth Depends on Plants – the space not only aims to create a fun environment but also cultivate a love for the great outdoors.

Naturally, there are plenty of zones for the little ones to play and engage with nature: a farm, an orchard and a forest with its own stream and ponds. They can climb into treehouses, explore the suspension bridge and journey through a garden maze. They also get to pick up knowledge about the surrounding flora and fauna as well as their ecosystems. At the farm zone, for example, children can learn more about how vegetables and fruits are grown as well as how to reduce food waste.

Singapore Sidecars
See Singapore in a refreshing new light from a sidecar of a Vespa

5. Zip through town on a Singapore Sidecars tour

Get a fresh new perspective by going on a breezy sojourn around the city seated in the sidecar of a vintage Vespa. Singapore Sidecars offers various daytime and night-time tours, as well as those focused on particular heritage sites, such as Tiong Bahru, Tanglin, Joo Chiat and Katong. For a snappy overview, go for the popular Singapore in a Nutshell itinerary that involves stops through key areas and a view of the city skyline.

Want something more unconventional? The Crazy Rich Asians tour will take you around some of the movie’s locations, including Chijmes, site of the lavish wedding scene, before finishing off with a meal at a hawker centre. If you have kids who are 10 or older, this will be a ride to remember.

6. Try Segway tours

Prefer travelling around Singapore via a more unorthodox mode of transportation? ORide offers a guided two-hour segway tours through well-known Singapore tourist spots such as Marina Barrage and Gardens by the Bay. This journey is a fun and laid-back alternative means for exploring the island and prior experience is not required – kids simply need to be above the age of five.

7. Go kayaking

Paddle the waterways of Mandai Rivers with tour company Kayakasia, and explore one of Singapore’s most important mixed mangrove areas. While there, spot the world’s largest resident population of mangrove horseshoe crabs and see if you can find remnants of the old Kampong Fatimah, one of the last kampongs in Singapore, located near the Causeway.

Other family-friendly tours include Sungei Khatib Bongsu, where you get to paddle under vast leafy canopies along the natural river, or Seringat Trail, where you traverse from the beaches of Sentosa to Seringat Island to laze on a deserted white-sand beach. These tours require that children be at least four years old.

Coney Island outdoor activities in singapore
There’s plenty to see at Coney Island, including coastal forests, grasslands and mangroves. Photo credit: Paris Chia Photography/Singapore Tourism Board

8. Go bird-watching on Coney Island

For a family day of biking, beach time, wildlife spotting and obstacle courses, try Singapore’s own Coney Island. Though land reclamation for it began in the 1970s, the 133-hectare island was officially opened to the public in 2015. The rustic, relatively untouched park boasts a myriad of nature-centric areas such as coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves and beaches.

Cyclists can journey along a bumpy but easy 2.5km sandy path. If you prefer to walk, the mangrove boardwalk is an ideal place for a scenic stroll. Kids will love the Casuarina Exploration Playground, a mini obstacle course constructed out of uprooted casuarina trees. Home to endangered wildlife, Coney Island is also where you may spot unfamiliar birds – over 80 species have been spotted so far.

Chestnut Nature Park outdoor activities in singapore
A woman biking in Chestnut Nature Park. Photo credit: Paris Chia Photography/Singapore Tourism Board

9. Mountain bike at Chestnut Nature Park

At 81 hectares, Chestnut Nature Park is Singapore’s largest nature park. Consisting of a northern and a southern region, separated by the narrow road of Chestnut Avenue, this green lung has separate trails for hiking and mountain biking to ensure safety. You can choose to walk the 5.6km path which leads you directly to Dairy Farm Nature Park or explore the 8.2km trail on wheels and stop by Singapore’s first pump track if you’re into more adventurous biking stunts.

Look out for native tree species such as the Singapore Walking-Stick Palm and Braided Chestnut and threatened species of birds such as the straw-headed bulbul and the brown-chested jungle flycatcher. If you don’t have your own wheels, you can rent bikes from the kiosk there as well as stock up on some snacks.

For advisories, opening information and Covid-19 measures, please visit each location’s homepage.


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Book these: 6 best restaurants in Singapore for reunion dinners this Lunar New Year

The Year of the Rabbit is upon us and the Lunar New Year means a grand celebration with close family and friends to herald new beginnings. Reunion dinners are par for the course, and the list we’ve put together promises an epic feast fit for royalty, from unique yu sheng (Cantonese-style raw fish salad) to luxurious dishes loaded with auspicious symbolism. If you’re preparing to celebrate with your family and friends, this list has got you covered. Not to fret if you’re looking for a stay-home reunion instead as some of these dining establishments offer takeaway options as well.

1. The Atelier at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore

Set within the elegant confines of The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, The Atelier will offer an exquisite range of special Chinese New Year set menus that are perfect for reunion lunches and dinners. The lunch set menu ($138) begins with a hearty drunken chicken with sea jelly and smoked duck breast followed by a braised sea cucumber with black moss – a dish that symbolises the new year and good fortune. Seafood lovers can also look forward to dishes like steamed red garoupa with garlic sauce and braised noodles with crab meat. And for dessert, you’ll be treated to a sweet walnut cream soup. You can also opt for the six-course dinner menu ($168) which includes a crispy soft-shell crab with green wasabi and mango and contemporary Asian creations like the richly flavoured 10-head abalone and dried oysters with stir-fried vegetables. There’s also an even more lavish eight-course Chinese New Year set dinner which includes The Capitol Kempinski’s signature abalone yu sheng platter with an auspicious selection of ingredients.

Available from 9 January to 5 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

The Atelier Set Dinner with Yu Sheng
The set dinner with yu sheng at The Atelier. Photo credit: The Atelier

2. Estate at Hilton Singapore Orchard

Hilton Singapore Orchard has unveiled their lineup of Lunar New Year offerings at Estate, a modern Asian restaurant that’s the perfect spot for your much-awaited reunion dinner. The Buffet of Abundance at Estate will begin with a salmon yu sheng presented to each table, after which you can savour a wide range of offerings including roast suckling pig, pork belly and roast duck and live carving stations. Other classic dishes include Teochew-style steamed fish and steamed kampong chicken in lotus leaf. The lunch ($128) and dinner ($158) buffets are available from 20 to 22 January 2023. If you’re hosting a large group of 30 guests or more, banquet packages are also available from 16 January to 10 February 2023.

Available from 16 January to 10 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

Estate offers banquet-style meals for groups of 30 guests and above. Photo credit: Estate

3. Jade Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Jade Restaurant‘s executive chef Leong Chee Yen has created a spectacular yu sheng to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a flourish. Delicately crafted into an image of a playful bunny, the signature Gold Rush Yu Sheng is dressed with a champagne jelly, shallot oil and kumquat dressing for a refreshing mouthfeel. You’ll also get to choose between Norwegian smoked salmon or plant-based salmon.

Don’t miss dishes such as the highly popular braised bird’s nest with crab meat, crab roe and truffle jus in superior broth; the poached black truffle with Chinese cabbage and pork dumpling; the intriguing sautéed king tiger prawn with superior soy sauce, passion fruit and crispy milk; and the roasted Peking duck with pancakes. The dishes come a la carte or in a variety of family or individual set menus. Takeaway festive bundles are available as well.

Available from 3 January to 5 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

4. Man Fu Yuan at InterContinental Singapore

Expect nothing short of perfection from this modern Cantonese restaurant at InterContinental Singapore. This Lunar New Year, Man Fu Yuan are offering seven prix-fixe menus (for two to ten guests) and a collection of specialty dishes that are steeped in auspiciousness to bring in good fortune for the year. If you have a big group, you can’t miss the eye-catching Prosperity Rabbit yu sheng that’s replete with premium seafood like mini abalone, lobster, sea urchin, ikura, salmon and more.

To truly impress your relatives, consider the lavish six-course Prosperity prix-fixe menu, which includes yu sheng with salmon and honey pink guava dressing, steamed dragon tiger grouper fillet with preserved leek sauce and braised South African five-head abalone with Japanese spiky sea cucumber. There’s also a crowd-pleasing wok-fried glutinous rice with Kurobuta pork, Chinese sausage, mushrooms and caviar. If you prefer to dine at home, there are also takeaway options like Dongjiang-style salted baked chicken, roasted London duck, suckling pig and an array of traditional Lunar New Year sweets.

Available from 3 January to 5 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

Man Fu Yuan Abundance Prix-Fixe Menu
Man Fu Yuan’s yu sheng features premium seafood ingredients. Photo credit: Man Fu Yuan

5. Madame Fan at The NCO Club

This year at Madame Fan, Lunar New Year feast is themed after “An Ethereal Garden of Blooms”. Toss to a prosperous Year of the Rabbit with its sumptuous seafood yu sheng which features premium ingredients like salmon and bluefin tuna. The restaurant is also doling out a series of masterfully executed Lunar New Year menus comprising mod-Cantonese dishes and festive desserts. Diners can expect delicious and ambitious twists on classics like the sweet and sour Kurobuta pork with lychee and pineapple, steamed Chilean seabass with ginger sauce, and thematic desserts like the pan-fried nian gaoFor a more intimate celebration with your loved ones, opt to have your reunion dinner in its private dining rooms. 

Available from 9 January to 5 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

Madame Fan lunar new year
Lo hei at Madame Fan is a luxurious affair. Photo credit: Madame Fan

6. Yàn

Yàn ushers in the Year of the Rabbit with a trio of enticing Lunar New Year menus. The dim sum menu, available on weekends from 9 January to 5 February showcases authentic Cantonese dim sum in an a la carte format. Expect classic options like steamed and fried pork and prawn dumplings, carrot cake with Chinese sausage and the moreish steamed salted egg yolk custard buns. You’ll also find elevated takes on classic dim sum offerings like the steamed xiao long bao with duck liver and black truffle gravy. Additionally, there are seven set menus available that include a vegetarian option and a lavish harvest pen cai (a layered casserole of sought-after ingredients) that’s only available for takeaway. The set menu includes Chinese New Year requisites like steamed cod fillet, stewed ee-fu noodles and desserts like the deep-fried sesame ball filled with lotus seed paste. You can also opt for the a la carte menu to pick your favourite festive dishes.

Available from from 1 January to 5 February 2023. For more information, visit their website.

The post Book these: 6 best restaurants in Singapore for reunion dinners this Lunar New Year appeared first on SilverKris.

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