Yi Lian Ng, Assistant Fashion News Editor at Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, has shared her exclusive guide to the city where she lives and works and the home of Mulberry’s Asian flagship store in Mandarin Gallery.
The cityline of Singapore has changed so rapidly over the past few years that I can barely keep up. I lived in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2010 and ever since my return to my home country, I can’t stop marvelling how pretty the city has become.
First, in 2008, the Singapore Flyer launched that promised a great bird’s eye view of the city, then the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and ArtScience Museum popped up in 2011 and since, Singapore’s landscape has never been the same. Last year, Gardens by the Bay opened, confirming Singapore’s Garden City status. All these landmarks are at the Marina Bay (south of Singapore) area and I love driving past them on the elevated Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Despite the numerous times I’ve seen them, I still attempt to catch a good shot on my iPhone, hoping for a good photo to put on Instagram!
If you have time to visit Gardens by the Bay, check out the Supertree Grove. I walked past it a few weeks ago to attend the annual Laneway Music Festival and it reminded me of the Tree of Souls in Avatar.
Since I’d returned from Hong Kong (a city loved by many), many had asked me whether I miss it there. Truth is, as much as I’d enjoyed my time in Hong Kong, nothing quite beats Singapore. Besides the fact that my loved ones are here, the people are friendly, the safety is top-notch, the architecture’s getting lovelier and the food.
Thanks to our geographical location and multi-racial society, our local cuisine has influences from all other the regions. The typical breakfast involves two semi-cooked eggs mashed up with dark soya sauce and white pepper. If you want the full experience, dip a toast with kaya (coconut jam) and butter spread. It’s the most divine culinary experience, in my opinion. To top it off, sip a mug of teh tarik (hot Indian milk tea made with black tea, condensed milk and evaporated milk). And that’s just breakfast…
One good way to combine both city viewing and relaxation is a treatment at the renowned homegrown resort and spa chain Banyan Tree Spa. Located on the 55th floor of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, it offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and there are even facilities such as a gym, Pilates and yoga classes and a juice spa. If you fancy a bespoke beauty range, it’s worth looking up Mmerci Encore (www.mmerciencore.com) and book an appointment beforehand. I’m a big fan and love how everything smiles so amazing, thanks to the use of fresh ingredients sourced from Paris, Melbourne and Indonesia.
Singapore is also known for shopping and a must-visit is, of course, Orchard Road. The newly renovated Mandarin Gallery has the Mulberry flagship, where we can finally get the brand’s full collection of ready-to-wear and accessories all under one roof.
If independent stores and quaint boutiques are what you are going for, visit the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, just five minutes by car outside of Orchard Road. Some of my favourites include Books Actually, Fleas & Trees and Nana & Bird. The area also has awesome cafes and restaurants such as Open Door Policy, 40 Hands and Plain Vanilla Bakery (the cupcakes here will change your life, I promise). It’s worth spending at least an afternoon paying a visit to this old but charming neighourhood of Singapore.