Travel: Singapore Highlights

Going home to Singapore after living away for more than a decade always feels new and old at the same time. Catching up with old friends at new hip places and going to the same places I’ve been going to for decades with my parents. I still feel displaced, alienated, happy, sad all at once and I am honestly not sure if I would ever go “home”. Still so much growing up to do to face the demons of all my baggage.

marine terrace market

My friends live in this area and it’s also home to Singapore Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling. Right in the heart of the market, there’s a lady selling, grinding fresh spices and you tell her what you’d like to make and she grinds them fresh for you. Here you can also buy candlenuts and buah keluak, if you’re planning to preparing a full Nonya Peranakan meal.

Hawker centre breakfasts are the best thing ever. Here, we were doing a lontong tasting, both equally good!


Near my parents’ house, Bedok market breakfasts.


Visited my friend Ryd in Marine Parade and there’s a famous Nasi Lemak stall in his ‘hood.


Art & Science Museum


I always call this the inverted sky facing palm, some people call this iconic building a lotus, but I think it still looks more palm than lotus flower. Designed by Safdie architects, the interiors are a little less stunning and impressive and it’s a very odd use of space. Going into the museum gives you a weird sense of spatial disorientation and I think a pity that exhibitions aren’t as well curated.


I regret going to the Big data exhibition which was more government propaganda than real value info. For starters, the most interesting and engaging thoughtful pieces were by my friend Jonathan Harris, a Fabrica Alumni, and they were showing his works from 2004-2005, that’s over a decade ago to illustrate big date today in 2016. Truly still very relevant, but… you can hazard a guess about the current content.

I wish I had chosen the other exhibition Future World instead, given the opportunity cost of time.

Arab Street

I used to go to Haji Lane often over a decade ago when my brother ran a shop called Pluck. And wandered the neighbourhood. That was pre-fabric interest days. I only really got into fabric shopping and making clothes when I lived in Beijing and found so much joy in looking for fabrics and working with my hutong tailor on getting clothes made. So, this time visiting Arab Street and shopping with Crafty Academic was so much fun. My top shops for getting cool fabrics here.

Whampoa Steamboat for great har cheong (shrimp paste) deep fried chicken and pomfret steamboat. So good.

Supper at Zam Zam near Arab Street. An institution serving great mutton murtabak 24 hours a day, a popular spot for all my muslim friends on a regular day or during Ramadan when they break fast.

Tiong Bahru for kuehs!

There’s still good food to be found in hipster central! Friends swear by the Kaya here at Cheng’s at No.27, I didn’t buy any to lug home, but the turnip cake and earl grey chiffon was pretty good.


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