Monday, July 04, 2005

Boring Singapore?

I watched a debate on Channel U (or was it 8? Hmmm... Channel 8 usually have those charity shows only rite? Hahaha...) some time ago. The topic was about Singapore being a boring place to live in. There was a group of teenagers and a team of writers and DJs. I was very surprised when one of the teens commmented that Singapore has boring politics, unlike XXX country. Her reason was that XXX country's politics "appeared" more exciting.

While I have no idea about how XXX country's political system works (and I doubt she knew any better), I thought that it was very interesting to hear the younger generation saying that they want "stimulating" and physical political debates in the local parliament. Surely there must be something wrong with what our government is doing if it merits discussions involving brute force. Don AQ wrote a more comprehensive post on this, so I think I need not elaborate.

In other terms, the teens also complaint about there being nothing to do in Singapore and no places to go to. I found that quite fascinating as well so let's look at the things we can do in Singapore and some of the locations that should be appealing to visit. To me at least lah!


Places: Cultural communities (Geylang Serai, Little India, Chinatown, City Hall)
To do: Eat, shop, discover the cultures

Let's embrace the variety of ethnic groups we have in Singapore and visit those places with a stronger sense of this identity. Haha... Very tourism board right? Anyway, I think it is really interesting to venture into these areas to experience for yourself the different cultural backgrounds in Singapore. What better way to do this than to eat and shop there!

I haven't been to Geylang Serai but I've passed it during Hari Raya and the place was bustling with activity! Especially with the night market going on. Should have a lot of food to try!

I went to Little India quite few times and I thought that the place was fascinating because there were many interesting shops there. Sure, it might be a tad too organized but it nevertheless has some traditional stores like those that grind spices and those that sell Indian candies (very very very sweet!). The MRT station also has Indian motifs as part of its design.

Chinatown is another place I like to go because of the nice poop you can find there! You can also discover some very cheap things to buy that cost twice as much in town!

Most people may not associate cultural heritage with City Hall but it's sure is home to many historical buildings and monuments. There are lots of places to visit such as Chijmes and Supreme Court (which will be moving soon). You can even visit the museum in Raffles Hotel for free where you may discover the origin of Singapore Sling.

Places: Beaches (East Coast Part (ECP), Pasir Ris Park, Sentosa)
To do: Bake in the sun, BBQ, sports, camping, use sea breeze to enact toilet paper in the wind effect

Easily one of the cheapest activities around. Don't moan about the "cleanliness" of the beaches in Singapore lah. You can hardly find places in the world where you can enjoy beach weather almost everyday. No worries about typhoons and snow here. National Parks Board has more suggestions on what you can do at the beaches but here are some of my own.

ECP seems to draw the younger crowd. You can sit at the breakwaters and contemplate about life and the universe. Or you can rent a pair of blades and enjoy the smooth tracks (saved for some bumps).

Pasir Ris Park is good for eating at Fisherman's village and BBQ! I prefer to BBQ there because the bladers do not go at speeds that kill. And playing kites there is also not a bad idea because there are lesser trees.

I've blogged quite a lot about Sentosa but not much about its beaches. I think there are number of beaches in Sentosa but I like Siloso beach! I think Sentosa pretty much changed the beach culture in Singapore. Prior to its beautiful if man-made beaches, almost no one in Singapore wore bikinis. But with the pristine beaches, we see shops such as Roxy, Tannlines and Quiksilver enjoying immense increase in the sales of their two-piece swimsuits (I assume). Beaches in Sentosa are good for beach volleyball, suntanning and having a cool beer in one of the beach bars. And the toilets are simply beautiful!

Places: Museums and Esplanade
To do: Catch free performances, view exhibits, find the arty farty side of you

There are quite a lot of museums in Singapore besides the National Museum. A list of some of the more prominent ones can be found at the National Heritage Board. Then you can also try to find other kinds of museums that are lesser known like the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity in NUS, Changi Chapel and Museum at Changi (duh?) and even a digital museum in the form of Lin Hsin Hsin Art Museum on the Internet (duh? x 2).

If you want to see and be seen as someone with "ink", Esplanade is a good place. Dear durian frequently plays host to world-class acts and sometimes offer free performances. This year during Chinese New Year, they had lion dance puppet shows in the open. Over the weekends they frequently have outdoor concerts by local musicians. Or enjoy hawker fare at Makansutra Gluttons Bay where they serve delicious fried oyster. You can also borrow Arts related books and multi-media from the library. Sitting by the breezy outdoors and crapping with your friends is a fantastic way to enjoy the scene durian has to offer.


With so many activites that I have painstakingly listed out, you still find Singapore boring? Where got? If still got, please find yourself some new friends. :P


kukukucinta said...

yeah, i do wish sg beaches are cleaner. i cant lie on the sands peacefully without those flies, ants and mozzies buzzing around my body!

oh yes, i love finding new places to eat ard singapore. that alone is a lot to do...

Adrian said...

Anyplace is boring if you're a boring person. :)

Heavenly Sword said...

The Esplanade is one of the great countervailing forces against 'sianization'... :)

fabz said...

hey hey, go catch the AEP exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum, got my artwork in it. :) if you on fridays after 6pm it's free admission.

starstar said...

u should have taken some geography tourism modules hehe :)

Ivan said...

Quite true. It's always up to the individual to decide whether his/her free time is boring or not.

Perhaps they meant 'boring' as in there isn't much after 10 pm, when all the shops close. Well, perhaps then they just need to know more friends who can always come up with ideas like staying over at the beach, or chilling out at a pub with some drinks. *shrugs*

jllt said...

kukukucinta: There's lots of sandflies in local beaches! Disgusting scars they give you!

adrian: Not with you around! (*-*)

heavenly sword: Great only when free!

fabz: I going to leave Singapore soon le. ): But I saw the pics on your blogs. What is it about? About the notebook I don't think I have money for a $9 thing. Heh heh..

starstar: I only too "Changing Landscape of Singapore" for the SS. And got a lousy B. Sianz... All the cross fac and SS modules are there to kill me CAP.

hai~ren: They complained about having no place to do after 10pm. I wondered if they need to study? The compere of the show (Qian Yi Feng) then enlightened them on the midnight curfew for teenagers in parts of Taiwan. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Problem is 'been there, done that. Anything exciting will be all over in the papers, news, radio, magazines, media bla bla. Always the same landscape, the same people, the same activities, the same decorations, the same events year after year. Seriously, there's really nothing more to see or do with the exception of interests like sports & misc (checkers below HDB blocks).

Please beg to differ, because I have been trying so hard to search for reasons to prove that sg is not that boring after all.

jllt said...

Actually I don't see the need in having to go places to have fun. Having a few friends over for sleepover would be a riot provided they are great company. Or visiting craft stores like Spotlight to seek new projects to do will also be fun.

But it's all up to the individual. Perhaps crafts, cooking and crapping are not your cup of tea. (:

fabz said...

hey, bon voyage! my work is abt the hypocrisy of human nature. do rem to post the interesting sights and sounds in auz. :)

ei|een said...

most times, its not so much the places you go. its the company you have.

the most happening place can end up boring if the company you're with acts damn "sian". fun is best shared!

then again. most of the time, in my case, wherever there is alcohol and good music, i will enjoy. hahaha