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An artist visits: Singapore

An artist visits: Singapore

See my highlights of what to see on the island nation of Singapore, as seen through different colours.

This incredible country was home for a large chunk of my childhood and going back now, it still feels like a part of me is there, even with all the changes that are constantly taking place.

We stopped over for three nights on our way to Australia.

The garden city of lush greens & tropical brights

Lush planting in Singapore's Botanical Garden.

Singapore Botanical Gardens

Looking down the lake in Gardens by the Bay with Singapore flyer and supertrees on horizon.

Gardens By The Bay

The first colour I think of when I think of Singapore is green. It's every green hue I can think of, from lime to forest. The humid one-season climate is perfect for creating lush planting with vibrant colours.

Inspiring tropical orange floral colours in Singapore's Gardens by the bay.

A big focus has been on Singapore as a garden city and two places I love are the Botanical Gardens and Gardens By the Bay. Both are free to enter (the National Orchid Garden in the Botanical Gardens requires a ticket purchase, as do the domes in Gardens By the Bay). The Botanical Gardens is a UNESCO Heritage Site, founded in 1859 and split into three themes - heritage, tourism and education. A personal highlight is the Rainforest area, with a lovely boardwalk that runs through the trees.

Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay lit up in blue at night in front of Marina Bay Sands.

The boardwalk that surrounds the Dragonfly lake in Gardens By the Bay is also another favourite. The lake is soothing and tranquil and the gardens are beautifully planted. Whether you're gazing up at the Supertrees or wandering different garden pockets like the Indian or Heritage Garden, the colours are inspiring. Vivid lime greens to a deep dark forest are punctuated with splashes of pinky-reds, bright oranges or punchy yellows. It all looks stunning no matter what the weather, be it stormy and overcast or cloudless blue skies. The Gardens also have a nightly light show with the Supertrees - try and catch it if you can, it’s a beautiful sight.

The skyscraper city of grey blues

Marina Bay Sands and Helix Bridge Singapore.

From the towering skyscrapers of the financial district to possibly the most recognisable skyscraper on the Singapore skyline, the incredible architecture of Marina Bay Sands, you could spend a lifetime photographing the different neighbourhoods and skyscrapers. In a city full of remarkable buildings, Marina Bay Sands really stands out. Its location gives the architecture room to breathe so that you can absorb it. If you're not lucky enough to be staying in the hotel itself with that infinity pool, you can purchase a ticket for the Sands Skypark observation deck. It's quite fun to be out in the open air so high up with its far-reaching views - you get a feel for how sprawling and built-up Singapore is. At night, there is a light show against Marina Bay Sands which is a lovely sight to see, especially from across the water.

Marina Bay Sands Light Show at night from across the river.

Other stunning architectures around Marina Bay Sands include the Zaha Hadid designed ArtScience Museum, shaped like a lotus, and the Helix Bridge, which has fantastic views of both Marina Bay Sands and the Downtown city skyline.

A city of colour-popping neighbourhoods

Different neighbourhoods have distinct looks and characters. Whether you're wandering around Chinatown, Little India or the Financial District, it's full of contrasts. Buildings that are full of colour and feel like they've been there forever sit against backdrops of steel and glass towers, creating a delightful colour burst. The neighbourhoods have so many hidden gems - delicious places to eat waiting to be discovered with trendy cafes alongside Hawker Centers and glamorous hotels.

Favourite places to eat and drink

Dempsey Hill. Our family friend took us here and you’ll find every kind of cuisine. It used to be military barracks but is now full of restaurants and cafes.

Afternoon Tea at Goodwood Park Hotel. Part of my love - and possibly obsession - with this hotel comes from childhood memories of seeing the hotel lit up at Christmas and dreaming of going there as a ‘grown-up’. You’ll generally find impeccable service, and the afternoon tea is buffet style. Traditional sandwiches sit alongside Singaporean treats, there’s a mix of hot and cold plates and the desserts are so dreamy!

Night-time view from 1-Altitude Singapore.

View from 1-Altitude

For a skyscraper with fabulous night-time 360 views, 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar (there is an entry fee that includes a drink) is located on top of Raffles Place. It's the highest alfresco bar in the world and makes you feel as if you can touch the stars. For a more chilled vibe closer to the ground with views of Marina Bay Sands, Smoke & Mirrors at the National Gallery is definitely worth a visit.

Hawker Centers - you absolutely have to visit a Hawker Center! We went to Maxwell Road Hawker Center in Chinatown on a mission for chicken rice, one of my all-time favourite dishes. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken rice did not disappoint, the incredible queue is always a good sign!

Add tropical colour in your home

If you'd like to bring a flavour of these lush tropical colours into your home, perhaps try the following paints:

  • Paint & Paper Library’s Deep Water Green, Hunter Dunn and Chelsea Green II;
  • Little Greene’s Baked Cherry, Marigold or Mister David;
  • Mylands Notting Hill, Haymarket or Theatre Land.

Art inspired by Singapore

 

The Boardwalk art print, inspired by Singapore.

 

The Boardwalk

 

Marina Bay Sands art print.

 

Marina Bay Sands

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