The tropical climate in Singapore doesn’t always lend itself well to cooling off, with temperatures easily hitting up to 35 degrees Celsius during the day. What’s more, the high humidity makes the heat cling. How is one to keep cool in weather like this? Here are some of the tried-and-tested ways we love.
1. Hit the water
Singapore’s a tropical island! It’s surrounded by the sea! Of course there’s no lack of water for you to dip into to cool off. Apart from hotel pools – the most famous of which is probably the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands – and sandy beaches, here are other places to try out.
SKI360° at East Coast Park is Singapore’s first cable-ski park, an artificial body of body built just for waterskiing and wakeboarding. With courses suitable for beginners and up all the way to expert skiers, SKI360° provides something for every level of experience. Safety is at the forefront of the cable-ski park’s concerns, so be assured that the park works with in-house as well as external bodies to ensure safety is never compromised at this family-friendly cable-ski park.
Find out more: www.ski360degree.com
Wave House on Sentosa island is perfect for surfers looking to get their boards wet. Although the seas surrounding Singapore are too flat for surfers, Wave House fills the niche with the perfectly engineered FlowBarrel® sheet wave that can approximate a roaring, 10-foot wave when pushed to the max. Flowboarders can also get their fix at Wave House. And with great bars, restaurants, DJs and live acts within arm’s reach, you know it’s a great place to chill and hang out.
Find out more: www.wavehousesentosa.com
Water parks such as Wild Wild Wet at Downtown East, Pasir Ris, are perfect for the whole family. Adrenaline junkies will find no lack of thrills as flume rides, water ramps and free falls await. Shallow sloshing pools and water playgrounds are suitable even for young children, while those who simply want to relax can unwind by floating along the Shiok River or letting the Jacuzzi work on those muscle knots. The Adventure Cove Waterpark at Resorts World Sentosa is another alternative.
Find out more: www.wildwildwet.com
2. Hide in air-conditioning
If ever there was a city that necessitates sweaters indoors and T-shirts outdoors, Singapore is it. Apart from air-conditioned shopping centres, though, there are other cool spots to hide out in.
Visit the adorable giant pandas at the River Safari, where Kai Kai and Jia Jia live in a special climate-controlled biodome. The space is shared with the equally charming red panda, meaning you can see the real life counterparts of both Po and Shifu from the Kung Fu Panda animated film series in one place! The rest of the River Safari is not to be sneezed at either, with animals from a diverse range of river environments and the world’s largest freshwater aquarium.
Find out more: www.riversafari.com.sg
If plants are more your speed, the two cooled conservatories at Gardens by the Bay can provide an educational respite from the heat. The cool and dry Flower Dome contrasts with the cool and moist Cloud Forest, showcasing the mind-boggling differences in plants that come from these climates. The floral display in the Flower Dome changes every season, and provide lovely backdrops for those vacation snaps.
Find out more: www.gardensbythebay.com.sg
The Rink at JCube
Ice Skating Rink at Marina Bay Sands
Glide on ice at The Rink at JCube, near Jurong East MRT station. As Singapore’s first and only Olympic-size ice skating rink, it also hosts ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating and ice curling tournaments. Be sure to check the public skating sessions schedule on their website to ensure you’ll be let on the ice. There is also a smaller ice skating rink at Marina Bay Sands that is suited to novice and intermediate skaters, right next to the Rasapura Masters food court.
3. Indulge in ice-cold desserts and drinks
Make use of local knowledge that has been honed by decades of living here. Local food and drink can’t be beat for really knowing how to make the best of what’s available.
Whether you’re wandering around Chinatown or Orchard Road, keep an eye out for the ice cream uncle. With his motorcycle sidecar filled with delicious and affordable ice cream flavours, chances are there’s already a queue lining up in front of him. He has flavours ranging from mint chocolate chip and raspberry ripple to red bean and durian, any of which you can have sandwiched between crispy wafers or a slice of soft rainbow bread. If the flavours you see on his sidecar don’t appeal, you can also have a local version of Neapolitan ice cream with chocolate, sweet corn and attap chee (palm seeds) served in a cup.
Desserts from a hawker centre or food court are an indispensable part of the Singapore dining experience. Ice kachang and chendol, introduced in a previous article on local foods, are stalwarts of the dessert scene, but other shaved iced desserts are just as popular. Ice jelly served with various cocktail fruits, for example, is a light and refreshing milk-free alternative to ice kachang and chendol.
Of course, don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate in the heat! Chilled or iced drinks will get some much needed fluids in you. Take your pick of freshly squeezed juice at any food court. Here’s a tip: You don’t have to stick to what’s available on the board – you can create whatever combinations you want from the available fruits. If you’re in the mood for something richer, try a Milo Dinosaur (iced chocolate malt drink with undissolved Milo powder on top) or Milo Godzilla (a Milo Dinosaur with an added scoop of ice cream). Just want a regular local iced coffee or tea? Check out our handy guide to ordering drinks at a kopitiam and you’ll be all set.