After 16 years of building businesses across Asia, Wade Pearce now lives in Singapore. A country boy who grew up just hours from the sea in Singleton in rural NSW, his life now revolves around the ocean as a business consultant in the luxury yachting industry. See sgmarineguide.com
Take a boat trip to the Southern Islands. With no commercial development, this group of islands is one of the last places where you can get away from the busy streets of Singapore and feel like you’re on a remote tropical island. The cheapest way to get there is by ferry, but by far the most enjoyable and memorable experience is to book a half-day yacht charter with your friends or family. It is really worth it. I would recommend a sunset yacht charter with Circa Sail, circasail.com
Try a real Singapore Island meal. Singapore is a far cry from the fishing village it once was, but Singapore’s fishing heritage and delicious local seafood are still strong. North of Singapore, board a small ferry to visit the kelongs. These traditional floating fish farms supply products to local restaurants. Some also serve as a floating restaurant where you can choose or catch your own seafood before it’s sent to the kitchen to be cooked as you wish. I would recommend trying the sea bass (or barramundi as it’s called in Australia) at the Smith Marine Floating Restaurant, smithmarine.com.sg
Keeping with the water theme, in the south of Sentosa Island is a floating bar called Boaters’ Bar. Located in Marina ONE15, you are right on the water surrounded by luxury yachts and with unobstructed views of the fairway of superyachts entering and exiting the marina. Although based in the exclusive club, the bar is open to all. It’s one of the draws of the venue – you could be there in your cocktail dress on a night out or you could be there in a bathing suit and shorts for a quick beer. It’s the perfect place to sit down with an ice-cold margarita and watch the sun set over the island.
Avoid upsetting the seating arrangement. When you visit the local hawker center – a popular outdoor food stall complex – you should be aware that people reserve seats by laying a packet of tissue paper on the table. It’s called chopeing, and once you see it at lunch in the CBD, you’ll be amazed at how diligent this social norm is.
You may also notice a long queue at one stall and no queues at other similar food stalls. Although the one without the line may be one of the $2.50 Michelin Star street foods, there is a common belief among locals that the best dining option at a food center is the place with the most long queue.