I’m living in Singapore for the month of June with my family and with an extended period of time to explore the island I want to make the best of it.
There are a few tools that I have been using to find the good stuff: TweetDeck, Blogs, and just recently FourWhere and YourSingapore.
As a Twitter user I’ve been using TweetDeck’s search feature for months and setup a new search column “Singapore.” I have found out about good (and bad) restaurants, events and just today YourSingapore (ups to @rikaokd who tweeted it) which is a GORGEOUS website created by the Singapore Tourism Board that allows me to browse stuff to do by category and complemented with beautiful photography. I simply drag and drop things that interest me to a shopping cart and then organize by day and view each day on a map so I can make sure that what I want to do isn’t going to be too much to handle. This is imperative for a place like Singapore where it is very hot and humid during the day and you probably want to limit your time outdoors. This app isn’t just for tourists, I think it’s a great way for locals to find things to do as well. Any time I travel and chat with the locals I usually surprise them with some fun thing to do that they hadn’t heard about. Seriously, every city should have this app.
fourwhere is built on top of the popular foursquare check-in application. You are presented with a map of Singapore and you simply click on the area that you are interested in and list of comments and tips pop up for places in that section of the map. It has definitely saved us from making bad choices in restaurants!
After talking to some of the locals, it became clear to me that one of their favorite pasttimes is eating at the many many incredible restaurants and stands. Even Anthony Bourdain has declared Singapore “food heaven!” There are some good blogs that focus on FOOD like ieat|ishoot|ipost and CAMEMBERU, both of which have mouthwatering pics of food and great reviews to go along with.
I would like to find some local Singapore Tweeters that talk about what’s happening here, so if you know any or can recommend even just one, please add to the comments.
I’m also looking for things I can do with a baby. Next week I am going to hang out with Singapore Blissful Babies and also hope to do the canopy walk. Hopefully I don’t have any run-ins with the monkeys as I heard they can be aggressive!
So far so good in Singapore!
It looks like it’s been over a year since the last post here and since this is my 5th trip to Singapore in that same time, I thought I might as well make some posts. I’ll be here for a month which will double my “on the ground” time here and likely start giving me enough local knowledge to start offering some advice to newcomers, and if nothing else this will be a fun place to keep track of travel notes and thoughts. And if it ends up breathing some live back into this blog, well, even better.
I had resisted posting here before because my trips were pretty short and usually single purposed, where as this time it’s definitely more just ‘living here,’ even if for just a brief period. At Metblogs we’ve used the “you can’t post on a site unless you are going to be in a city for more than a week” rule because when people are traveling somewhere for only a few days (even if only a few days on several occasions) their posts, and I include myself in this, sound like that – like someone passing through looking for locals to help. Since we want the sites to be interesting for locals, well, you can see the problem. We don’t want a site full of tourists.
Speaking of, when I travel somewhere it’s very important to me that I don’t stick out too much and generally try to blend in. This is more effective sometimes than others, but I usually ask friends in a city how they spot tourists. We all do it, in every city, without even trying you can walk down a busy street and easily point out the people who aren’t from there. This is because those people aren’t blending in and don’t match the “social baseline” of the residents. Sometimes one simple action can be the tell. In Singapore, it’s wearing sunglasses. On my second trip here I started asking friends about how to spot tourists and they all said “anyone with sunglasses is a tourists.” I started paying attention to this then, and while there are tons of sunglasses shops around, it does seem that almost no one wears them on the street, except a few folks who accurately don’t seem to be from here.
What are your tips for spotting tourists? What advice would you have for someone like myself trying to blend in a little better?