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Geetha [GG] Priscilla Yeo [PY] Xiu Juan [XJ] Xiangyun [XY]

Design and Layout Priscilla Yeo [PY]

Special Thanks to

Singapore Tourism Board Singapore Changi Airport Tiger Beer Brewery


Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

CONTENTS 04 Emergency/ Important Numbers: Numbers you need to know for any kind of emergencies 05 Welcome Address 06-07 Singapore, the Asian Metropolis: An overview about Singapore 08-09 A day at the Zoo: Trip Highlight Explore the zoo through the eyes of the zookeeper. 10-13 Singapore Shopping 12 shopping places you should check it out 14-15 Lion and Dragon Dance Experience: Trip Highlight Learn the secrets to the moves and the ways.

16-17 Tiger Beer Brewery: Trip Highlights The roar behind the local malt drink. 18-19 Take home a piece of Singapore 9 Unique souvenirs to bring home 20-23 Makan! Eat! : A glimpse into the heritage of traditional Singaporean food. 24-29 40 Singaporean food we can’t live without A list of our 40 favourite food that we eat it over and over again. 30-33 See and do in Singapore Some of the unconvetional places 34-35 Frequently Asked Questions


WELCOME TO A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE Dear Student, Welcome to Singapore! Congratulations on taking a leap faith on this extrodinary journey. You may already noticed that this Summer programme is going to be intensive and challenging one. You will be learning a new language and be whisked off to places like Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pulau Tioman, Malaysia to be immersed in the wealth of the Southeast Asian biodiversity. In this issue of the handbook, you will have a sneak peek into the highlights that have been exlusively planned for you that is not found in your usual travel guide! If you are visiting Singapore (or even Asia) for the first time, you can be sure that you are in for an unforgettable journey and experience more than books or television will give you. We hope that you will have an enjoyable and rewarding academic experience with us this summer and take home many fabulous memories to share with everyone else!

xx Lovex eristy iodiv B me m S a U r g N Pro r e m Sum Team



Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

SINGAPORE: The Asian Metropolis

Singapore, located at the heart of Southeast Asia, is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia and is called the “Little Red Dot”. It is a gateway to neighbouring countries and islands via short air flights, coaches or ferry rides. Located near the equator, it has a tropical climate and the weather is generally hot and humid with the temperature never dropping below 20 degrees celcius, the day temperatures are usually between 25 and 32 degrees celcius, with frequent rainfall. The population of Singapore is approximately 5 million, with a multicultural population comprising of the 3 main ethnic groups the Chinese (75.6%), the Malays (13.6%) and the Indians (8.7%). Minor ethnic groups make up the rest of the population. The four main languages we speak in Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. English is the official language and which is most commonly used by the different races. This diverse mix is a mosaic of contrasting cultures and can turn a ten-minute walk across town into what seems like a hop from one country to another. Also, a variety of religions across the races such as Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs etc. are found here. In addition, Singapore’s unique ethnic tapestry affords a wide array of sightseeing, festivals and variety of food to choose from.

Singapore is a modern cosmopolitan country and ever changing, dynamic global city. It pushes new frontiers and efficiency. It is an education hub and excels in trade and tourism. Lying at the crossroads of East and West, it resonates some of the oriental culture and the contrasting western lifestyle. The city’s mix of traditional, colonial and futuristic is best seen at the mouth of the Singapore River. Singapore has excellent infrastructure and instills a safe, clean and green environment. As it is relatively small, getting around is generally very quick and accessible. Different modes of public transportation are available such as taxis, buses, and MRT. We will introduce you to all you need to know about Singapore. Our CULTURE, FOOD, SHOPPING and ATTRACTIONS. There is so much you can learn about Singapore as we have so much to offer. We hope this interesting read will help you know more about this exciting island. In 1 day, it is possible to trek through a rainforest at the MacRitchie, visit various places of worship from a multitude of religions that exist together in harmony, and shop in a sleek mall on Orchard Road as well as have a sumptuous dinner prepared by a Michelin-starred chef, in this one-stop city. Singapore has always been, and will always be, a nation that blends the best of all worlds into one city….



Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

A DAY AT THE ZOO Trip Highlight

Ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in caring for the collection of over 8000 animals at the Singapore Zoo? This two-in-one tour takes you on a visit to our Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre and Central Kitchen. Peek into the treatment and postmortem rooms at our world-class animal hospital and catch a vet in action on a lucky day! Step into the largest kitchen in the zoo and be amazed by the large variety of food that is being fed to our animals. Learn also about how the dentition of an animal affects its diet. All in all, understand that both medical and nutritional care are vital to ensuring that our animals stay in the pink of health! In addition you will also be able to explore one of the world’s finest zoo on your own.

About Singapore Zoo Singapore Zoo is situated in the north of the island at Mandai, by the Seletar Reservoir. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. For example White Rhinos, African Lions, Sumatran Orangutans, Banded Mongoose, Mountain Lion, Spider Monkey, Hamadryas Baboons, and many more.

Get up close and personal to the animals with the open zoo concept where animals are kept in their naturalistic enclosure, featuring landscaped gardens and minimal cages. You can find more information from their website at:

About Night Safari The Singapore Night Safari - the world’s first night zoo and award-winning night time jungle safari. From the safety of the visitors’ tram, you will be able to spot many types of wildlife and wild animals in their natural habitats, from fierce predators to timid forest dwellers, hailing from different parts of the world. For example, kangaroos,Asian Elephants and Lions, the Giant Anteater, Clouded Leopards, Red Giant Flying Squirrels, Emus, Wallabies, Dingoes, Crocodiles Fairy penguins and Tasmanian devils. The Night Safari houses over 1000 animals from 120 species which many are considered threatened. Besides the tram ride, you will be able to go on a guided walking trail to see close-up views of the nocturnal animals. [GG] The zoo has agreed to give us a discounted rate of $21 for group booking… So do let us know if you are interested!



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SINGAPORE SHOPPING Malls & more malls

Alongside ‘eating’, shopping is considered the national past time on our island. Singapore is fondly called the paradise of shopping. Ranging from hi-tech wares to designer wear, there is something for everyone. Browsing around local markets and shophouses in the ethnic enclaves to the glitzy portals of Orchard Road, the experiences are wide, varied and even intriguing. Fabulous knick knacks and other memorable finds are also found in Chinatown, Arab Street, Little India and suburban areas like Serangoon and Tampines. Unlike most Western countries, shopping hours are usually from late morning to 21:30 or 22:00 at night and these can extend to as late as midnight during festive season. The mid-year Great Singapore Sale (25 May – 22 July 2012) is a much awaited time when prices come down heftily in all precincts. Even during non-sale times, visitors will do well to BARGAIN, particularly, in electronic stores at Lucky Plaza, Sim Lim Square or Far East Plaza. Tip: A general rule of thumb for haggling is to begin about 25% -30% below that being offered. Do make it a point to compare prices at various shops. For convenience, most stores accept credit and charge cards.

12 unique places to shop in Singapore Orchard Road (Luxury Shopping)

Similar to London’s Oxford Street or Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui, this bustling boulevard got its name after the nutmeg and pepper plantations that once lined it in the 1800s. Flanked on both sides by local and international department stores, tiny boutiques, offices, spas, beauty salons, hotels, entertainment spots, restaurants, and cafes, one could spend a whole day trawling the stretch starting from Tanglin Mall on Tanglin Road down to Takashimaya Department store to Plaza Singapura at the lower end of Orchard Road. And if you are weary, take a breather at one of the many alfresco spots along the road and watch the world go by. The changing skyline along Orchard road never fails to amaze. Malls or buildings are either sprouting up or being spruced up to keep up with competition. Buskers and performing artistes are seen staking out favourite spots on sidewalks on the weekends. On Saturday night, Orchard Road goes upbeat when participating outlets extend their shopping hours till 23:00.


Far East Plaza (Young & Trendy)

A popular hangout for the young crowd, Far East Plaza is a lively centre stocking everything from the most trendy and sometimes bizarre street wear to precious gems, eyewear and CDs. In the basement, you will find carts selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items from fashion wear to funky accessories and knick knacks. You can even get a tattoo here or do an urgent alteration to an outfit purchased. There are lots of nail bars and hair salons offering competitive prices.

ION Orchard (Largest mall in Orchard Road)

A stylish architectural wonder, ION Orchard glows like a futuristic beacon at the end of Orchard Road enticing fashionistas and luxury shoppers inside. Welcome to Singapore’s most glamorous shopping complex, a glass, marble and steel work of art where there are special extra features for high spending customers and celebrities. Superior services include butler style concierge and a celebrity chef fine dining establishment. Louis Vuitton is present on a grand scale alongside the other fashion greats including Bling King Harry Winston, Miu Miu, Cartier, Prada and YSL. Glittery, swanky and unashamedly lavish, ION Orchard takes Singapore shopping malls to a whole new level.


With the Chinese forming over 75% of the population, one can expect Chinatown to be a prominent landmark that evolved from the time of the first immigrants in the 19th century. Today, it is a vivid and energetic gazetted conservation precinct. Interspersed amongst modern tall buildings, the appeal of the old era is still preserved in the charming pre-war shophouses, temples, markets, Chinese medicine halls and tea houses. Streets are filled with stalls touting their wares – foodstuffs, clothes, pottery, plants and other household items.

Kampong Glam Shopping (Exotic Perfumes, carpets, scarfs & kebabs)

Attracting traders and immigrants from Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Middle East in those days, the area has grown into a rich cultural


and flourishing hub. Browse around quaint shophouses restored on streets named after exotic Middle Eastern cities such as Baghdad, Bussorah and Kandahar. By day, the streets teem with shops selling Islamic books, textiles, batiks, sarongs, handwoven baskets, oil-based perfume scents, indigenous art and craft. By night, out comes the carpets, cushions , kebabs, and shisha or hookah (water pipes filled with aromatic tobacco) and one gets the feeling of being transported to a Middle Eastern hub. Style mavens love Haji Lane and the Arab Street which is lined with shops that sell Malaysian and Indonesian batik cloth, tailored dress shirts and other décor items and gifts. Most shops are open by 10:00 and closed on Sundays.

Little India

One of the most colourful and vibrant ethnic enclaves in Singapore, Little India is a hive of activity from dawn to midnight everyday, the focal point of the Indian community, Little India has become a gazetted conservation area with its own MRT stop and another one called Farrer Park. Your senses will be pleasantly assaulted by the heady mix of colours, sounds and captivating scents of shops teeming with spices, rich sari fabrics, flower garlands, jewellery, brassware, silverware, traditional snacks and more. Here you might even spot a parakeet fortune telling service along the shop fronts.

Mustafa Centre (24hrs of shopping. Sells everything including the sink) Only mall in Singapore which is open 24 hours, the Mustafa Centre offers a unique market-style shopping experience. Designer products are in abundance on sale at low prices with everything from textiles to watches and electronics. The mall is actually the size of two department stores joined together with goods sold under the Mustafa name and different types of goods and products streamline the shop layout.

Sim Lim Square (Electronic stuff AT A BARGAIN!)

Sim Lim Square is Singapore’s biggest IT mall, stocking everything electrical from televisions to videos, camcorders, mobile phones and

Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

computers. Whether you’re in the market for a brand new purchase, a second hand bargain or to repair an existing piece of technology, Sim Lim Square is the place to visit. Tourists flock to this mall to snap up a product or gadget that is usually a fraction of the price of what they would pay back home. There are plenty of authorized dealer shops selling brands such as Sony, Canon and JVC and lots of variety at great value prices. However, due to the huge competition in prices amongst the shops, it’s best to do your research or reccee first and know the prices before committing to buying something.

Funan The IT Mall (One stop IT mall)

Funan Centre is seven floors of computer hardware, software, accessories and other electronic gadgets as well as sportswear, jewelry and luggage shops. Visitors are assured of its reputation for reliability and competitive prices in town. Retail names like Harvey Norman, Challenger, Lenovo, Samsung, VAIO, Futjitsu and more are located here.

Bugis Junction (Hangout for the cool and easy)

Bugis Junction, located above Bugis MRT Station, features Singapore’s first glass-covered, air-conditioned shopping streets amidst a nostalgic architectural setting. From Straits Chinese-style facades to shop houses with fivefoot walkways, Bugis Junction exudes a touch of historical charm while serving the needs of the modern shopper. The exciting retail space houses friendly shops and sidewalk cafes, delighting you with an old town atmosphere within a new city. At Bugis Junction, you are invited to discover and explore while sauntering under a comfortable sun or shopping under the stars.

The Cathay (All about movies)

Experience life beyond the big screen! The Cathay is just a short distance away from Plaza Singapura. Indulge in fun entertainment plus a host of life’s pleasures. Once a structure synonymous with classic entertainment, The Ca-

thay building is today an architecture of vibrant culture, embracing both linear Art-Deco design and modernism with its rich history. The Cathay Building has been a distinct landmark since 1939 when it first opened its doors to avid movie-goers. Now a shopping mall infused with fashion and trends, five storeys house retail and dining indulgences while two floors are dedicated to an eight-hall multiplex cinema, including The Picturehouse which is Singapore’s first arthouse theatre. Get ready to be surprised!!

Marina Bay Sands (Shop Dramatically)

There is nothing quite like it in the world. Pulsating with life day and night, Marina Bay Sands offers a host of sensational entertainment options. This masterpiece of design is home to three luxury hotel towers, the magnificent Sands SkyPark, top designer boutiques, gourmet dining, contemporary theaters and the picturesque waterfront event plaza. Feel the beat and sense the excitement with the region’s first world-class casino, only at Marina Bay Sands.

Suntec City Mall

Suntec Mall is Singapore’s largest shopping mall. If you are a shop-a-holic, then Suntec City mall will change your perceptions for shopping. It redefines shopping as amazing, luxurious, unique and refreshing. Get lost in this splendorous and gigantic 83,850 square metres of shopping mall. This shopping mall is so big that it is divided into four thematic zones. It houses Mango’s largest Asia store, G2000 flagship store and a range of other specialty shops selling almost anything and everything from electronics, home furnishing, leisure products to casual wears, fashion clothing. Singapore’s first hypermarket, French Carrefour, offers some of the lowest prices in the town. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the ‘Fountain of Wealth’, also known as the world’s largest fountain in the Guinness Book of Records, is located at the centre of the mall and has stunning laser shows daily. A truly distinct shopping statement is redefined in Singapore and downtown! [GG]



Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

LION & DRAGON DANCE EXPERIENCE 体验舞狮舞龙 Trip Highlight Lion Dance 舞狮

A form of traditional dance in Chinese culture believed to bring blessings and good luck. This dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year or on the opening day of a new company by the Chinese in Singapore. Back in the earlier days of Singapore, firecrackers were often lit to scare away any evil spirits during the lion dance. The ‘lion’ dances to the rhythm of loud drums and clanging cymbals in the background. Like the firecrackers, the drums and cymbals are meant to scare away evil demons. Sometimes, lion dancing is accompanied by Buddhist “BigHead Monks”, which was introduced during the Song Dynasty and helped to ease the tense atmosphere of the dance and provided light entertainment for the crowds that gathered around to watch the dance. The objective of the dance is for the ‘lion’ to overcome various obstacles before eating the lettuce. The lettuces are the lion’s reward for the good fortune its presence has brought. The origin of the lettuces was meant to signify the start of new gvrowth in the farmers’ fields after each harvest.

Dragon Dance 舞龙

is another form of traditional dance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance, it is most often seen in festive celebrations. The dragon dance is a highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore, such as Chingay. Dragons are believed to bring good luck, which is reflected in their characteristics that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both frightening and bold but it has a benevolent disposition and is an emblem to represent imperial authority. In the dance, a team of people carry the dragon — which is an image of the Chinese dragon — on poles. A dragon can be held up by up to 50 people. The dance team mimics the supposed movements of the river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner. The movements in a performance traditionally symbolise the dragon’s wisdom, dignity and strength, usually with many magical abilities. [XJ]

Basic lion dance fundamental movements can be found in most Chinese martial arts. In the past, the dancers are usually martial art members of a local Kung Fu club or school. In general, if a school has a capable troupe with many ‘lions’, it demonstrates the success of the school. Lion Dance is also commonly practised together with Dragon dance.



Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, one of the largest brewery companies in the Asian region, engages in the brewing and sale of beer. It owns a portfolio of approximately 40 beer brands and brand variants, including Tiger, Heineken, Anchor, ABC Extra Stout, SOL, Erdinger, Baron’s Strong Brew, Archipelago, Guinness, Anglia Shandy, Malta, Monteith’s, Tui, Fuse, Barrel 51, SP Lager, Niugini Ice, South Pacific Export Lager, SP Gold, Cheers, Biere Larue, Bivina, Amber Stout, Gold Crown, BGI, Baron’s Lager, Hainan Beer, Kingway, Reeb, Sengur, Cannon 10000, Bison, Kings Stout and many other imported beers. Asia Pacific Breweries operates in Singapore, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. The company was formerly known as Malayan Breweries Limited, a joint venture founded in 1931 by Heineken and Fraser & Neave, and changed its name to Asia Pacific Breweries Limited in 1990. The new brewery facility is based in Tuas, Singapore.


Learn about the raw materials used to the brewing processes, refrigeration systems and the stringent quality control. Go on the factory tour of the Brew House and Packaging Hall led by friendly ambassadors. Fresh beer appreciation and sampling of imported beers will be available during the brewery tour. Other local small breweries include Archipelago Brewery Company, Brewerkz Restaurant and Microbrewery, Paulaner Bräuhaus, Pump Room and RedDot Brewhouse. • Learn the history of Singapore’s local brewery from the past to its present day operations and the various beer brands brewed locally. • Gain insight into the fine, natural ingredients which go into the brewing of beer. • Discover the innovative packaging process and interesting beer trivia which you can bring back to share with your friends. • Tantalise your tastebuds with the wide variety of quality brews at the Tiger Tavern and pick up tips on enjoying your beer.

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9 Uniquely Singapore gifts to bring home






8 6 4 2


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Everytime I travel overseas, It is always when I am about to head home that I would realise that I will sorely miss that place and I want a piece of something to takeaway and hold on to forever, for we may never pass this way again.. 1. “Singapore Is A Fine City” T-Shirt

It’s a cheap and cheeky gift that is sure to bring on the smiles. It’s also the perfect reminder for visitors to obey the country’s gazillion rules when they are visiting Singapore or risk being fined!

2. Tiger Balm

It’a an old traditional remedy that works where it hurts! A popular local product among Asians visitors and gaining popularity in the Western countries.

3. Vacuum-packed BBQ pork

BBQ pork or “bah kwa” as the locals calls it, is a sweet-caramel juicy barbeque pork jerky that is a top on the list item on the Chinese New Year goodies list. Now available in vaccumed pack that is safe to carry in your check-in.

4. Bengawan Solo Kueh Lapis

A simple savoury sweet cake that is meticulously made layer by layer. Bengawan Solo is a local brand that specialises in the making of nonya pastries. It is also an approved brand at the Australia airports.

5. Laksa / Chicken Rice Pre-Mix from Prima Taste Anyone who has visited Singapore will bound to miss our foods when they touch down back home. These pre-mix allows you to bring the local flavour home with you, so you don’t have to miss Singapore too much.

6. Kaya from Ya Kun

A coconut and egg spread used in our local favourite breakfast, the kaya toast.

7. Orchid Accessories from Risis

Risis transforms real orchids into timeless and precious gifts. With technology, the orchid is preserved and dipped in 24K gold for everlasting lusture. You can pick up a pair of ear studs for as low as S$35.

8. Samsui Woman Doll

Samsui women are the greatest contributors in the building of Singapore’s infrastructures. They are the early migrant construction workers. Unlike modern society with the hard hat, these women wore a red scarf on their head (so it’s prominent) when they are working in the construction site. And they always remind me of ‘hard work pays off’/ You can find out about them at the Chinatown Heritage Centre.

9. Singapore Sling

The pink national cocktail, created by Raffles Hotel’s Hainanese-Chinese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon at some point between 1900 and 1915, is world famous. It was meant to be a lady’s drink originally, hence, the attractive pink colour. The cocktail is made of gin, cherry liqueur, Dom Bènèdictine, Cointreau, grenadine, pineapple juice, lime juice and a dash of Angostura Bitters. You can get them at Raffles Hotel Arcade at $45.00 for 6x50ml shots. {PY]



Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012


Tantalising taste buds is the nation’s favourite pastime Singapore is a city that loves to eat. It is a wellestablished fact that eating is often recognized as a national pastime in Singapore. Singaporeans are spoilt for choices when it comes to food and visitors to Singapore have never failed to be amazed by the extensive selection available. The population of Singapore is served by over 6,500 restaurants, 4,000 food courts, cafes, hawker centres and coffee shops, as well as over 17,000 food stalls. In the past decade, there was the emergence of food courts, or air-conditioned coffee shops. The eating places are brightly lit and commonly fully air-conditioned; recently there have been additions of smoke-free zones, providing consumers a comfortable environment while enjoying their food. Some fast food centres also offer free Wi-Fi internet access. There are now also themed food streets or restaurants serving food from a particular nationality and multi-purpose shopping malls which allow you to both shop and dine. First generation of fast food in Singapore The history of affordable, ready-to-eat food is largely related to Singapore’s history of immigration, as most immigrants were male and lived in dormitory-style housing, preparing meals were difficult. In the good old days, you can find food stalls along streets operated by Chinese, Malays and Indians, providing a wide range of choices. It was fast-food-on-foot and food was served within a short notice. With the modernization of Singapore, this form of peddling came to a close for hygiene purposes. Many of these kinds of stalls were moved into permanent stalls inside the hawker or food centres or coffee shops. Breakfast was usually coffee or tea with boiled eggs, and toasted bread. During lunch, the stalls will start serving all sorts of local delicacies of

excellent quality and cheap prices, and continuing on for dinner and supper-time. Tipping is not a general custom in Singapore as we have the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In addition, a 10% service charge is usually applied in restaurants. For convenience, most stores accept credit and charge cards. With the many races, nationalities and cultures in Singapore comes with a huge variety and selection of food. Indulge at culinary hotspots or mix of a selection of Chinese, Indian and Malay flavours to French, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Myanmar and Turkish cuisines and signature favourites. With after hours supper and local eateries on every corner and headlining chefs, you will be eating all day. Looking for various choices of cuisines? Look no further as Singapore has it all and also there is Sentosa which main theme for dining is: “Sentosa, the ultimate Island Dining Destination, where meals are always served with a splendid view”!

Local hangouts Dempsey Hill Dempsey Hill is not just a stylish shopping area; it has become one of Singapore’s favourite dining locations for many different kinds of restaurants. Dempsey Hill is a cluster of about 30 restaurants that cater to any taste or crave. Rochester Park Launched in early 2006, Rochester Park features several double-storey black-and-white colonial bungalows which were built in the 1940s to accommodate the British military soldiers stationed


at Pasir Panjang Military Complex and their families. This is a symbol of Singapore’s colonial past. In 1971, after the British military pulled out of Singapore, the bungalows were handed over to the Singapore government who rented them out mainly to non-Singaporeans. Rochester Park is a heritage site located off North Buona Vista Road and has since been “transformed” into a cultural and recreational and features unique dining and lifestyle retail. Holland Village Holland Village is a colourful commercial, leisure and dining area. It has become an attractive venue for younger Singaporeans, expatriates and tourists. The place is sometimes referred to as “Holland V”. Holland Village is well known for its wide variety of restaurants and bars that are spiced with a young lively atmosphere. Robertson Quay, Boat Quay, Clarke Quay The Singapore River forms two central arteries in Singapore known as the Central Business District. Between the two are the bulk of Singapore’s nightspots, which are found along the riverside streets of Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay. It is a place to relax and dine and watch the river boats along the Singapore River. The newest addition is Robertson Quay. Robertson Quay has many new luxury and boutique hotels, night spots and many fine dining and casual restaurants and coffee places. Robertson Quay is at the western end of the river and houses a significant Japanese expat community. The Japanese restaurants nearby serve up some of the best fare this side of Tokyo. Bottle Tree Park Enjoy the relaxing and kampong style at Bottle Tree Park with Australian flora like Grasstrees and Bottle Trees. In 2005, the Bottle Tree Park was born and it is now the centrepiece of the Yishun area. This 7 hectares park took 2.5 years to build from scratch. What used to be forest and scrubs is now transformed into a beautiful serene sanctuary boasting a restaurant, a pond, kampong-style buildings, mini-zoo, basketball and volleyball courts, an obstacle course, a paintball field and more! Bottle Tree Park is created as a concept village where there will be sports, recreational facilities, and seafood eateries and more, all in a natural setting. Examples of others sharing the same objective are Poison Ivy Bistro at Bollywood Farm and Sembawang Shipyard.


Upper East Coast / Siglap-Katong area This street is lined with several restaurants, alongside low-rise properties. Situated close by is the Bedok Food Centre which is known for its cuttlefish kangkong, cheng teng, satay and hokkien mee. Glutton Bay by the Esplanade This old retro street food carts concept was brought from the Orchard carpark to its present premises at the Esplanade by the balmy alfresco Marina Bay area. There had been a recent makeover in 2010 to spruce and brighten things up but the charming character of the cool, openair, huge umbrella seating eatery remains by the looming Marina skyline and the Singapore Flyer and celebrates the original Singapore supper culture of all ages, creed and race. All well-loved classics are still churned out piping hot out of “naked” performance cart kitchens. The trendy Marina Bay restaurants are referred to as “Celebrity Chef Restaurants” where you get to enjoy “Fine Dining” at the restaurants the Marina Bay Sands has to offer.

Hawker centres and food centres Lau Pa Sat Situated right at the heart of Singapore’s Centre District (CBD), it is a place where all tourists must not miss. It was built in 1894 and is the largest remaining Victorian building structure in Southeast Asia. It was formerly a wet market known as Telok Ayer market and is now restored to a hawker centre at Central Business District (CBD) area offering a wide range of Singapore local food. During day time, the food it serves could be found in most of the hawker centres and food courts around Singapore. At lunch time, it is packed with people from the neighbouring offices around the hawker centre but the hawker centre is special during the night. During night time the whole stretch of Boon Tat Street, south of the Lau Pa Sat is blocked out to give way for an open air hawker. The road is filled out with tables and chairs for people to eat BBQ food, satay etc. It creates an unique ambience and feeling when you eat your food surrounded by lighting and tall buildings. You must try the teh tarik which you may order from the only drink stall that is setup along the street; this is the stall that serves the best teh tarik.

Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

Old Airport Road Food Centre (at Kallang) An amazing Food Centre that has many good things to eat and is one of the best Hawker Food Centres in Singapore. You must try the Foo Chow fishball noodles, Lor Mee, Handmade chee cheong fun and many more. Chomp Chomp market (at Serangoon Gardens) Famous for grilled sambal stingray on banana leaf and satay bee hoon. Maxwell Food Centre (at Tanjong Pagar) One of the most well-known and well-loved hawker centres in Singapore. Many stalls here are award-winning, “die die must try”, famous types. Naturally, the queues at all of these famous stalls are crazily-long. Most of the hawker stalls at Maxwell Food Centre operate largely in the morning and afternoon. These famous stalls are so popular that they mostly sell out by midafternoon. Newton Circus Food Centre A major food centre located in Newton. The food centre was promoted by the Singapore Tourism Board as a tourist attraction for sampling Singaporean cuisine. It was first opened in 1971. Bedok Blk 85 Hawker Center (Currently under renovation; Temporary makeshift at Blk 86) The food that this hawker is famous for are Rojak (mixed vegetables and fruits tossed in sweet black prawn paste and drizzled with fragrant sesame and crushed peanuts); Newton Hokkien Prawn Mee; BBQ Seafood, BBQ Chicken Wings,

Porridge, and of course the best Bak Chor Mee soup (minced meat noodle) in Singapore. Golden Shoe Hawker Centre Smack in the centre of the CBD area, this hawker centre is the haven for the office workers in that area. Extremely crowed during lunch, it offers a wide variety of super yummy dishes that is to crave for.

Seafood For seafood lovers, tuck into some real seafood at East Coast Seafood Centre or try the local cuisines such as satay, stingray or fresh coconut drinks/sugarcane juice at Lagoon Food Centre. The East Coast Seafood Centre was opened at the same time as the East Coast Park, with eight restaurants serving seafood. Its initial name was known as UDMC Seafood Centre. Popularized for housing several major local seafood restaurants, the seafood centre serves local favourites such as chilli crab and black pepper crab. The seafood restaurants located within the seafood centre include No Signboard Seafood, Fisherman’s Village, Redhouse, Jumbo Seafood and Long Beach Seafood Restaurant. The Seafood Centre has become a popular dining spot for tourists and locals alike. Given that most of the dining tables are placed outdoors, diners are able to dine while enjoying the sea breeze and sights of the numerous ships anchored in the Singapore Strait. [XY]


40 SINGAPOREAN FOOD WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT So, what do we Singaporeans love to eat day after day?

Singaporeans live to eat. We will queue tirelessly and comb the entire island in search of good food. Migrants still flock back to Singapore just because the miss their favourite dishes. Much of these insanely yummy street fare can be found in hawker / food centres and coffee shops all over the island. So, what do we Singaporeans love to eat day after day? Here’s a list of 40 die-die must try food while you are here.






Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

1. Chicken Rice Often called the “national dish” of Singapore, it is a steamed or boiled chicken served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. 2. Char Kway Teow Flat rice noodles stir-fried with lard (for best flavor), dark and light soy sauce, chilli, de-shelled cockles, sliced Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, Chinese chives and sometimes prawns and egg. Many now choose to omit the cockles but char kway teow will always be incomplete without the sinfully rich fried pork lard pieces. 3. Wonton Mee / Wanton Mee The name “wonton” literally means “swallowing of cloud” in Cantonese. The dumplings with their flowy translucent skins resemble wispy clouds when suspended in soup. Most Singaporeans prefer the dry version of the noodles. 4. Carrot cake (char kway) No, not the sweet Western cake loaded with orange carrots. This “carrot” is a white radish (daikon). Rice flour and grated radish are mixed and steamed into large slabs or cakes. These are cut up into little pieces and fried with preserved turnip, soy sauce, fish sauce, eggs, garlic and spring onions. It’s amazingly good. You can have it “white” or “black” (with sweet dark soy sauce added). 5. Chilli crab Another national signature, Chlili crab is one of the most requested dishes for anyone who comes to Singapore. There are more than a dozen ways to cook crab (black pepper, salted egg yolk, cheese-baked, etc) but chilli crab remains the bestseller. 6.Bak kut teh Bak kut teh, meaning “pork rib tea” is most likely of Hokkien or Fujian origin. Meaty pork ribs are lovingly boiled for hours with lots of garlic, pepper, medicinal herbs and spices. Early 20th century port coolies often relied on this as a tonic to strengthen bodies and health. These days, bak kut teh is simply enjoyed for its taste. There are two styles -- the clear, peppery Teochew broth and the darker, more herbal Hokkien stew. 7. Sambal stingray Singaporeans love their seafood and they love their spices. Sambal is a versatile chilli paste blended with spices, shallots, candlenuts and of-

ten belachan (fermented shrimp paste). Sambalcoated cuts of stingray are wrapped in cleaned banana leaves and grilled to smoky perfection. 8.Fried Hokkien mee Another dish favored by hardworking laborers of the past. Thick yellow egg noodles mixed with rice vermicelli are cooked in a rich seafood stock, and tossed with prawns, squid, small strips of pork belly and deep-fried lard pieces. A small kalamansi lime is always given should you prefer some tangy juice to cut through the greasiness of the dish. 9. Rojak Rojak is actually a Malay word used to describe something made from a random mix of unrelated things. Rojak does have an odd mixture of ingredients. Bite-size pieces of fruits, vegetables, dried tofu, fried you tiao (dough fritters) and cured cuttlefish are tossed in a prawn paste sauce topped with crushed peanuts. Grated bunga kantan (pink ginger buds) add a sensuous fragrance. The result is a wild mix of sweet, spicy, sour and savory flavors. 10.Bak Kwa This chewy snack is like salty-sweet BBQ jerky. Bak kwa (dried meat) is made from pork although now halal versions made from chicken exist. These squarish BBQ meat sheets are popular as gifts for friends and relatives at Chinese New Year. Throngs will form at shops despite elevated prices. Bak kwa can be eaten on its own, with bread or with homecooked food. 11. Economy rice Possibly one of the best value meals you can get at hawker centers and food courts. Choose from a wide array of meats, vegetables and side dishes to accompany white steamed rice. Popular choices include sweet and sour pork, curry chicken, steamed egg custard, braised tofu and stir-fried mixed vegetables. It’s predominantly Chinese food, and very much like what many Singaporeans would make at home. 12. Kway Chap The Chinese have always made full use of the animal they eat. Here, pork offal (stomach and intestines in particular) are braised until tender in soy sauce and herbs along with meat, tofu, boiled eggs and fish cake. If you are lucky, pig’s tongue and ears may be available too. Best eaten with kway (rice flour sheets) in broth but some opt for steamed rice or yam rice. Tangy chilli dipping





Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

sauce is a must. 13. Oyster omelette Known as “or luak” or “hao jian” locally, this Southern Chinese dish is another grease-laden supper favorite. Potato starch is mixed into the egg batter to give it a thicker and semi-gooey consistency. Oysters are added just a few seconds before serving, so that they are not overcooked. 14. Katong Laksa This is a Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese) influenced dish consisting of thick rice vermicelli in a rich, spicy coconut gravy. The soup is thick, opaque and slightly gritty from the abundance of ground dried shrimp, which gives it the umami kick. The Katong version has noodles cut into smaller lengths, so it can be easily scooped up with a spoon alone, along with a good amount of soup. No chopsticks or forks are given. Stir in the dollop of sambal and fragrant laksa leaves or daun kesum and inhale. 15. Fish head or fish soup bee hoon The freshwater toman (snakehead fish) is boiled in milky fish stock along with a handful of healthy greens. Fish head aficionados will devour the bony meat, lips, cheeks and eyeballs. If you’re squeamish about fish head or prefer boneless convenience, go for the boiled fish slices or fried fish chunks, which are just as popular. 16. Yong Tau Foo One of the healthier options in the hawker food arena because it features fresh vegetables and tofu. Yong tau foo (stuffed beancurd) will see items stuffed with fish paste or minced meat paste (Hakka-style). Pick the items you like (including choice of noodles) and have it served either dry-style with generous lashings of sweet sauce and chilli, or soup-style with clear soybean and anchovies broth (some stalls offer a curry gravy option). 17. Bak Chor Mee Bak chor mee (minced pork noodles) gained some notoriety a few years ago when it starred in a satirical podcast. A good rendition of this popular Teochew dish will have fluffy minced pork, succulent stewed mushrooms, crispy tee por (small deep-fried pieces of flatfish or sole), springy noodles in a dark vinegary sauce.

18.Peranakan kueh These desserts are a carnival of color, much like the culture of the creators. Under the Peranakans’ deft touch, simple local ingredients like tapioca, banana, glutinous rice, coconut milk and gula melaka (palm sugar) are transformed into a huge assortment of delectable kuehs. 19. Bak Chang The legend is somewhat morbid -- Chinese peasants throwing rice dumplings into the river to distract fish from eating the body of beloved poet and patriot Qu Yuan who drowned himself as a protest against corruption. Today, more than 2,000 years later, these dumplings commemorate his life during the Duan Wu Festival. The rest of the year, they are a great snack in a pack. The Hokkiens who love salty food fill the glutinous rice dumplings with braised pork belly, mushrooms and chestnuts. The Peranakans lean towards the sweeter side with minced spiced pork and chopped sugared melon strips. 20. Kaya toast Kaya is a coconut custard jam, sweet and fragrant. When slathered onto thin slices of warm toast with ample butter, the sandwich it makes is simply divine. Down it with a cup of thick black coffee. Many locals have this for breakfast supplemented by two soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper. 21. BBQ chicken wings In many a hawker center, you will see rows of chicken wings glistening and turning on a roasting spit. Singaporeans love ordering these wings as a side dish, frequently as a large plate to share among family and friends. Best eaten hot and with a garlic chili dip. A spritz from calamansi limes add sweet tang to the wings. This finger food is great with beer or sugarcane juice. 22. Chin chow grass jelly The kids love the slippery jelly, and the adults appreciate its yin or cooling properties. Dubbed chin chow (immortal grass), grass jelly purportedly helps prevent indigestion and lower blood pressure. The herb Mesona Chinensis is boiled and cooled to make deep black slabs of firm yet chewy jelly. It can be made into a drink or served in a bowl as dessert. 23.Teh tarik Teh tarik or pulled tea is tea with showmanship. Indian tea-makers pour a stream of hot milk tea back and forth between two vessels held as far


apart as possible. It looks a lot easier than it is. The result is a frothy drink that’s well-mixed. 24.Satay This is Southeast Asia’s rendition of the kebab with a few unique twists. There’s the peanut dip, sweet and spicy. The marinade of local spices that totally transforms the meat. 25. Ayam Penyet Large pieces of chicken are smashed with a mallet to allow the marinade of many spices to permeate thoroughly. The chicken is then deep-fried to a crisp golden brown. It’s originally Indonesian but has taken Singapore by storm in the past few years. Ayam penyet is usually served with lots of crispy batter, fried bean curd, tempeh (soybean cake) and vegetables. The real star is the delicious sambal belachan relish that’s an explosion of complex flavors. 26. Ngoh Hiang Once the snack of choice at street wayang (theatre) performances, this medley of fritters is now popular as a teatime nibble. It’s a strange combination of deep-fried bean curd, prawn fritters, pink pork sausages, liver rolls, fish cakes, century eggs and cucumber slices. Ngoh hiang (five spices) itself refers to the Hokkien mincedpork roll that is made with lots of five spice powder but can also be used as the generic name for the fritters. 27. Nasi Lemak Singaporeans are in love with lemak (richness bestowed by coconut cream). The Malay breakfast dish of nasi lemak (rich rice) has rice cooked in coconut milk served with a spicy sambal, fried anchovies, fried peanuts, and perhaps an egg and cucumber slices. It’s simple but satisfying. 28. Mee Siam Despite its name, Mee Siam (Siamese noodles) did not come from Thailand. It’s a Malay breakfast dish. Pre-fried thin rice vermicelli is served in a spicy light gravy made from taucheo (fermented bean paste), dried shrimp, sugar and seafood stock. Tamarind gives the dish its signature tartness. 29. Indian Mee Goreng This Indian-Muslim classic of spicy fried noodles is a hybrid invented in this region in the 1950s. Indian immigrants borrowed the use of the wok from the Chinese and started frying yellow egg noodles with their own favoured ingredients --


tomatoes, egg, green chilies, mutton mince, cabbage and diced potatoes. It takes skill to wok-fry the noodles to a moist but not mushy ensemble. 30. Popiah Sometimes lauded as the Asian burrito, this healthy snack is like a Chinese spring roll that’s not deep-fried. The name popiah refers to the soft, paper-thin skin made from wheat or rice flour. It’s smeared with a sweet sauce, chili sauce, minced garlic and is used to wrap ingredients like braised turnip or bangkuang (jicama), carrots, bean sprouts, Chinese sausage, shredded omelette, crushed peanuts and even shrimp or crab meat. 31. Roti Prata You will find roti prata (flat bread) in practically every neighborhood in Singapore. Watch as the Indians knead and flatten an oiled ball of dough, and flip it with practised flair until the dough is a tissue-thin sheet. This is then folded into multilayered pancakes and griddle-fried til crisp. It’s usually served with curry or a sprinkle of sugar. 32. Murtabak These are huge and for the very hungry. The dough is similar to that used in roti prata, but it is super-sized and stuffed with minced mutton and onions. Like roti prata, murtabak is often fried in a pool of ghee or oil. Chicken and sardine versions have surfaced for those who find mutton too gamey. 33. Otak/Otah It isn’t clear how the name otah or otak (brain) came about for this snack, but perhaps it is brain food after all, since it’s predominantly made of fish. Fish that’s mashed and mixed with coconut milk, chilli paste and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over charcoal. Otak is a frequent accompaniment to dishes like laksa and nasi lemak, although it’s also eaten as a snack on its own. 34. Fish head curry A whole large head of red snapper stew- ing in curry gravy. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of meat to be had on the bony head, but the best (and most tender) part is the cheeks. This dish is purely a Singapore creation. About 30 years ago, an Indian restaura- teur here decided to use fish head (not an Indian delicacy) in his curry to please Chinese customers. It became a runaway hit, spreading even across the Causeway to Malaysia.

Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

35. Nasi Padang The cuisine of Pa- dang from Sumatra, Indonesia, features many spicy dishes to go with rice. A bedaz- zling smorgasbord of more than 30 dishes is available at some places. Nasi Padang also suits communal dining as a group can share dishes and enjoy a bigger variety at the same time. 36. Dum briyani Briyani or biryani originated from Persia and eventually found its way into the hearts of spiceloving Singaporeans. The fluffy basmati rice grains, dappled gold and orange from saf- fron and spices, go so well with meat and gravy. Dum cooking is the method where pre-fried boiled rice is layered with par- cooked meat, and then pressure-baked in a sealed vessel. This way the meat infuses the rice with its flavours. 37. Curry puff The curry puff is possibly the country’s favorite tea-time snack. Deep-fried like samosas, these are generally filled with curried potatoes, chicken and a slice of egg. The popularity of the curry puff has spawned puffs with other fillings like sardines, black pep- per chicken, tuna and sweet yam.



38. Goreng pisang The Malay snack of goreng pisang (banana fritters) have found fans from all races in Singapore. The deep-frying helps caramelize the natural sugars in the bananas, making them even sweeter than before. Some Chinese versions have unusually deli- cate and puffy batter. 39. Ice kachang Shaved ice desserts are always a popular treat in the hot trop- ics. Ice kachang (ice with beans) evolved from the humble ice ball drenched with syrup to the little ice mountain served in a bowl, drizzled with creamed corn, condensed milk, gula melaka and brightly coloured syrups. Dig into it and you’ll dis- cover other goodies hidden within -- red beans, palm seedsand cubed jellies. 40. Chendol This dessert is named for the soft, greenish noodle bits it comes with. The very best chendol is still the simplest -- just coconut milk, shaved ice, gula melaka, light green chendol and a dash of salt. These days, other toppings like kidney beans, grass jelly cubes, creamed corn and even durian paste and vanilla ice cream have found their way into this dessert. [PY]





Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

SEE AND DO IN SINGAPORE Some of the unconventional places One of the “must do” for a tourist visiting Singapore is to go and see the various Singapore’s “mustsee” attractions and visit its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia as Singapore is a convenient gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia. So, do not miss this opportunity to revel in the diversity, richness and beauty of Singapore and Southeast Asia. In the following, we will be introducing some of the most attractive places to go in Singapore and many more to explore!

Singapore Botanic Gardens and The National Orchid Garden

Founded in 1859 by a horticultural society, the Botanic Gardens, sprawls over an area of more than 52 hectares and houses a wide variety of tropical plant life, including some very rare species. Orchids, which breeding programme began in 1928, have been closely associated with the Botanic Gardens and the Singapore National Flower is Orchids of Vanda Miss Joaquim. The beautifully landscaped Botanic Gardens is now accessible by MRT via the Circle Line. Visit website at:

Southern Ridges, HortPark and Henderson Waves Bridge

The Southern Ridges comprise nine kilometers of green, open spaces spanning the hills of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park before ending at West Coast Park.

It is ideal for walking enthusiasts, history lovers, photography buffs, nature lovers, bird watchers, families and friends. The Southern Ridges are accessible from Harbour Front MRT station. Visit website at:

Singapore Flyer (a moving experience at every turn)

Standing at a stunning 165 metres from the ground, with a diameter of 150 metres, the iconic Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest giant observation wheel. Have a scenic flight experience onboard the Singapore Flyer, taking in magnificent panoramic views of the Marina Bay waterfront, historical landmarks dotting the cityscape and garden city of Singapore and beyond. Visit website at:


Sentosa and Resorts World Sentosa

Sentosa is an island just off the southern coast of Singapore. Sentosa means “peace and tranquility” in Malay. Formerly, it was a British military fortress in World War II. In the 1970s, the island was renamed to “Sentosa” and revamped into one big tourist attraction, also popular among Singaporeans, as a quick island getaway and holiday resort. The Singapore Cable Car system was first built in order for it to link Sentosa from Mount Faber, followed by the causeway bridge link connecting Sentosa to the mainland. Now we have the Sentosa Express monorail from VivoCity shopping mall to the island, also now you can travel into Sentosa on foot via the Sentosa Boardwalk. Whether you are a thrill-seeker, nature-lover or beach-bummer, Sentosa which is most recently home to Resorts World Singapore, Universal Studios Singapore offers many attractions such as the Pink Dolphin Lagoon, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom, Images of Singapore, Songs of the Sea, Fort Siloso, Surrender Chamber wax museum, the Underwater World and many more. Visit website at:

Marina Bay Sands, Marina Barrage and Gardens by the bay

Located along the Marina Bay waterfront, Marina Bay Sands features three cascading hotel towers topped by an extraordinary 340 meter-long sky park and a 150-meter infinity swimming pool, a lotus-inspired Museum, retail stores and restaurants. The Marina barrage and nearby park, Gardens by the Bay, together with the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, the new Marina downtown area, and the Singapore Flyer in the foreground, are the newest additions to our vibrant Singapore city, where the Formula One


races are held and the interim park at Bay East is housed in support of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Marina Barrage is the first city reservoir set in the heart of the Marina Bay where kite-flying enthusiasts gather. It is a dam built across the mouth of Marina Channel to create Singapore’s latest green icon. The Marina Barrage’s ‘number nine shape is unique: “Nine” is traditionally associated by the Chinese with longevity. Its promenade bridge allows you to view the barrage’s gates and pumps at close range. Its iconic grassy rooftop serves as an insulation layer to lower indoor temperature, thereby reducing the building’s air-conditioning requirements. It also houses the largest collection of solar panels – Singapore’s largest solar park, at 1200 square metres or about one-third the size of a football field, with 405 solar panels, which convert solar energy into utility grade electricity to supplement the daytime power requirements of the Marina Barrage. The Sustainable Singapore Gallery aims to educate the public on the functions of a dam-cumbarrage and important environmental and water issues through interactive multimedia displays, exhibits and games. (In the pipeline) Gardens by the Bay, spanning 101 hectares, comprises of cooled Conservatories, and the Supertrees vertical garden. The two conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest are energy efficient showcases of sustainable building technologies. The Flower Dome, the larger of the two at 1.2 hectares, replicates cool dry conditions and features permanent displays of plants found in the Mediterranean and semi-arid tropical regions. The Cloud Forest, at 0.8 hectares, replicates the

Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions between 1000 to 3000 metres above sea level. It features a ‘Cloud Mountain’, and visitors will be able to descend the mountain via a circular path where a 35-metre waterfall provides visitors with refreshing cool air. Supertrees are tree-like structured vertical gardens that dominate the Gardens landscape with heights that range between 25 and 50 metres. The Supertrees are home to enclaves of unique and exotic ferns, vines, orchids and also a vast collection of bromeliads such as Tillandsia. They are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees. The Supertrees also serve as part of the conservatories’ cooling systems. There will be an elevated walkway between some of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a breathtaking aerial view of the Gardens and dine atop a 50-metre Supertree.

Singapore River

(Discover the past, present and future)

The history of the Singapore River can be divided into three distinct periods: pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial. When Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, the river was home to many merchants, businessmen and coolies, who were the forefathers of Singapore. The Singapore River is the very origin of Singapore’s prosperity, with the Merlion (Singapore’s tourism icon) situated at the mouth of the river.. Along the river banks, you will get to explore the malls, museums and enjoy a different nightlife. Highlights on the banks of the Singapore River include Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Raffles Place and Robertson Quay, landmarks and memorials such as Merlion Park and Parliament House, museums such as the Asian Civilisations Museum

as well as temples and mosques such as the Tan Si Chong Su Temple and Omar Kampong Melaka Mosque. Stroll along the banks of the river, or hop onto a glass-top boat or water taxi or bumboat so as to enjoy a leisure sightseeing tour on the river and soak in the tranquil ambience. For a different perspective of the city, a cruise down the Singapore River on a bumboat is a must-try, which takes about 30 minutes and offers different experiences by day and by night. The bumboat rides include interesting commentary of the surrounding cultural and historic sights as you pass by them. Singapore River is most likely the most photographed scene. Singapore’s first reverse bungee jump ride literally got off the ground at Clarke Quay beside the Singapore River. Unlike the conventional bungee jump, where thrill seekers leap off a bridge while tied to a bungee cord, riders of the reverse bungee jump are catapulted into the air, experiencing an adrenaline rush like they had never before.

Cable Wakeboarding at East Coast Park / Prawn Fishing at Pasir Ris Park

Cable-Skiing or Cable Wakeboarding is water skiing or wakeboarding using the pull of a cable system that goes continuously around the lagoon. Watch riders on the water get boosted in the air throwing down some sick tricks around the corners. There is a large variety of different obstacles such as kickers, funbox, tabletop, and wallrides. Prawn fishing at parks or kelongs (houses built on stilts over the sea) is also a good relaxation activity.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Campus Life I want to find out more about the National University of Singapore (NUS). Where can I get the information? You can visit and you will be able to find all the information you need about NUS. Where will I be staying in Singapore? You will be staying at the Prince George’s Park Residence (PGP) within the NUS Kent Ridge campus. You can find more information about the accommodation at this website: How do I make payment for my accommodation? Payment for your stay can be made at PGP management office within the first two days of checkin. Payment can be made by cheque/bank draft and telegraphic transfers. Cash payments are more complicated and need to be done at the Office of Finance. Will bed linen, towels and toiletries be provided? Bed linen will be provided. However, please bring your own towels and toiletries. Will there be in-room internet access? You will be provided with a student account in NUS and you can logon anywhere within our wireless campus. However, you may want to bring an Ethernet cable for use in your room for faster internet access. Do I need to bring my home university student card? Yes, you will need to bring your student card as proof of your student status.

Currency What is the currency used in Singapore? Singapore dollars are used in Singapore (exchange rate: USD1 ≈ SGD1.29). Money changers are readily available for changing USD to SGD.


Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012

How much do I need to bring for my stay in Singapore? Meals and transport are relatively cheap here. About SGD150 per week for simple meals and transport should be comfortable. You may want to bring more cash if you want to shop and buy souvenirs.

Getting Around How do I get around Singapore? Singapore is well connected by MRT (train system), public buses and taxis. MRT and buses are very economical ways of getting around. How do I get around the NUS campus? NUS campus is connected by free internal shuttle buses. Please refer to the internal buses schedules in the “Around NUS 2012� booklet enclosed in your welcome pack.

Electricity What is the voltage used in Singapore? Singapore uses 230V/50 Hz. The electrical sockets use 3 flat pins plugs.

Others Where can I find out more information about Singapore? You can find more information from these online sources: Singapore Tourism Board: Gateway to Singapore:


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Faculty of Science Dean’s Office National University of Singapore Block S16, Level 2 6 Science Drive 2 Singapore 117456 Contact Us: Tel: (+65) 6516 8471 Email:

Š 2012

Biodiversity Summer Programme 2012 Handbook  

Handbook for BSP2012 students

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