Singapore Tourism Board Kicks Off Its Latest Campaign With A New Travel Series
From familiar neighborhoods to lesser-known destinations, SG has so much more to offer for fully vaccinated tourists.
There are certain tourist places that are top of mind when you think about a particular country. There’s Boracay and Palawan in the Philippines, for example. In Singapore, meanwhile, there are the likes of Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, and the many hawker centers where people flock for that coveted Singapore experience.
A deeper probe, though, would introduce one to a chock-full of other spots that are just as worthy of a visit—and the Singapore Tourism Board has taken it upon itself to highlight such places for everyone looking to hitch an overdue trip to Singapore now that borders have been easing gradually.
The Singapore Tourism Board has done it with the release of a new travel series called VicTour Singapore, which is helmed by Filipino stand-up comedian Victor Anastacio. Inspired by the Singapore Tourism Board's "Singapore Reimagined" campaign, the main goal of this series is clear-cut: to allow tourists to reimagine experiences in Singapore with the introduction of several spots in the country that are comparatively off-the-radar.
In the pilot episode, in fact, Victor gave a tour of Orchard Road and Dempsey Hill—and put the spotlight on places in the area and those nearby that deserve the attention.
Orchard Road and Dempsey Hill as featured in VicTour Singapore
While it’s largely frequented for the luxury shopping experience, Orchard Road, as it turns out, is also a place to shop local items and even shop for a cause—just pay a visit to the Design Orchard.
It is a vast boutique where items by local brands can be found—all of which make for a great pasalubong!—spanning from clothes and other fashion pieces to products like craft beer and preserved flowers. Several homegrown products are also there, part of the proceeds of which are forwarded to communities.
Minutes away from Orchard Road is Dempsey Hill, which is also a shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Up to the present, this area has been a nutmeg plantation, a military camp next, and finally the quaint neighborhood/lifestyle destination that it is now.
Among the establishments to visit when in Dempsey Hill is Candlenut, the world’s first-ever Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. Peranakan cuisine, in essence, features ingredients and cooking methods from Chinese, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisines. The restaurant aims to preserve the essence and complexities of traditional food, with astute twists that lift the often rich dishes to a different level.
The restaurant is fittingly helmed by Peranakan chef Malcolm Lee. The travel series featured one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Blue Swimmer Crab Curry, and Babu Buah Keluak or Softbone Pork Stew.
Also found in Dempsey Hill is a must-visit dining place in Singapore—the Open Farm Community. This is considered the country’s first farm-to-table concept restaurant, wherein the restaurant itself and the actual farm sit in one humble area, yet not without the premium feel, of course.
With the restaurant growing its own ingredients, it’s a significant practice for them to make as much use of said ingredients, even if it means trying out recipes that are not as common. Once you're there, consider ordering the Braised Local Eggplant, especially if you're on the lookout for more plant-based meal options.
There’s the Museum of Ice Cream, too, which is highly recommended for families with little ones. Beyond its snap-worthy rooms, guests can also enjoy free signature ice cream inside, buy adorable merch to take home, and lounge by the outdoor shop where drinks like milkshakes and coffee, as well as food, are available.
When it comes down to lesser-known yet must-visit establishments that would be truly a Singapore experience, go down Emerald Hill, a hidden gem found along Orchard Road. It is lined with shophouses with traditional fronts, mainly featuring a mix of Chinese, Malay, and European elements. Backdropped by skyscrapers, they’re definitely a standout and make for a nice visit.
Snapping photos around the shophouses and squeezing in some shopping are not everything to Emerald Hill. In the area is also the No. 5 Bar, Singapore’s pioneer cocktail bar that opened its doors back in 1991. Heed the call from Victor and try Original Infusion Chili Vodka if you’re feeling bold.
Catch the full pilot episode of VicTour Singapore:
The second episode, meanwhile, features Victor reimagining what a food trip in Chinatown means. There are so many undiscovered places and dishes to discover in the area, and we haven't even scratched the surface:
An out-of-the-country trip must have been a long time coming for a lot of people since the pandemic broke out, but as restrictions gradually ease up bit by bit, including Singapore’s, you know where to fly out next—without jumping on a long-haul flight, but with getting to experience first-world technology, infrastructure, and fun escapades.
Learn more about Singapore by visiting www.visitsingapore.com and by following Visit Singapore on Facebook.