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Gone were the times when we could easily take a weekend trip to Johor, Bali or Bangkok for a short getaway.
The government may be arranging for travel bubbles to certain countries, but many of us are still feeling a little stir crazy from the lack of travel.
Well, there’s no better time to make the best of a bad situation and explore what’s in our own backyard, especially as the government recently announced that all Singaporeans aged 18 and above will receive $100 worth of SingapoRediscovers vouchers.
What are SingapoRediscovers vouchers?
Tongue-twisting name aside, SingapoRediscovers Vouchers are cash vouchers that can be used in Singapore on the following:
- Tickets to leisure attractions
They extend to all licensed hotels, tourist attractions and tours that have been approved by the Singapore Tourism Board to open or operate. The vouchers cannot be used at restaurants and bars, nor can they be used to pay for your shopping.
That means yes to a staycation at a five star hotel or taking your family to the zoo, and no to binge drinking at Orchard Towers.
You must be 18 years old and above to receive your SingapoRediscovers vouchers. Younger folks don’t really lose out on this tourism initiative because each of them gets to enjoy a $10 subsidy at attractions and for tours. Every adult can purchase up to six child or youth tickets at subsidised prices.
Want to learn new things about our little island or enjoy an offbeat activity in the company of others? Then you might want to take a tour led by a licensed tour guide.
1. Singapore Sidecars
Price: From $160 per person
What’s faster and more stylish than a trishaw with blinking neon LED lights blaring loud music from an attached speaker? Look up Singapore Sidecars and hop on a ride in the sidecar of a Vintage Vespa for an unusual sight-seeing experience.
There are several tours on offer, such as a 60-minute Sidecar Ride Date for lovebirds that comes with a selection of pretty preserved flowers encased in a dome from social enterprise Bloomback.
Other experiences on offer include a Crazy Rich Asians tour and a party tour to popular drinking spots. You can even ask to customise your tour. What you can’t do is to drive the Vespa sidecar yourself.
2. Oriental Tours
Price: From $10 per person
Oriental Tours conducts 2.5- to 4-hour tours, including some unusual ones that will have you exploring secret spots rather than popular tourist sights.
The 3-hour Creepy Tales of Singapore tour will take you to some supposedly haunted sites together with “ghost hunting” equipment, while the 4-hour Journey Across The Heartland tour will let you experience the charm of some local spots.
Fancy a tipple? Go bar-hopping on the 3-hour Nocturnal Gems tour at some of Singapore’s chicest locations.
While most tours are priced at $65 to $150 per person, they’ve got some bargains such as the Stories of Chinatown walking tour which costs just $10 per person.
3. Tribe Tours
Price: From $45 per person
Tribe Tours has 20 curated tours with a strong focus on traditional foods and Singapore’s fast-disappearing past.
Their Hawkerwalk — Old School Snacks tour will take you down memory lane as you tuck into food from yesteryear. Another memorable experience is the outdoor escape room game tour that will take you all over Chinatown on a search for a serial killer, while learning little-known facts about the area.
Choose from 2-hour walks to half-day tours, and expect group sizes to be kept small and cosy.
4. Lighthouse Adventure Co
Price: From $150 per person
Take a walk on the wet side on a dive trip with Lighthouse Adventure Co. The company offers scuba diving certification courses for novice and experienced divers.
Once you know how to dive, you can discover underwater Singapore on a dive trip. Their next trip will take you to Pulau Hantu and comprises two guided dives starting at $150 per person.
They’re currently offering dive promotion bundles for those who wish to buy their own equipment. For $840, you get a Tecline Peanut 16 BCD and a free buoyancy workshop worth $200. $1,825 gets you a Tecline Peanut 16 BCD, V1 ICE DIR regulator set and a free SDI buoyancy course with certification worth $350.
5. Chan Brothers
Price: From $488 per person
Chan Brothers is better known for its overseas package tours, such as its current 3D2N tours around Singapore that comprises a staycation, transportation and a day tour.
Its tours cover many popular tourist attractions in Singapore. There’s one dedicated to Joo Chiat, which includes a day tour focusing on the Peranakans of the area. Another tour takes you through Chinatown and Kampong Glam, while yet another transports you to Pulau Ubin.
Some unexpected tours include those to Black & White Houses for your daily dose of voyeurism and envy.
Rates are charged according to which hotel you pick. You pay $488 if you decide to stay at One Farrer Hotel, and $739 to $888 if you opt for Raffles Hotel.
6. Cuddlefish Divers
Price: From $110
Since you have to wear a mask everywhere, it might as well be a diving mask. Cuddlefish Divers conducts dive courses and dive leisure trips that will have you exploring the waters around Singapore.
Since overseas trips are not possible at the moment, their dive trips all go to Pulau Hantu, with slots available every week. There are two options: guided ($110) and non-guided ($138). Gear rental costs an additional $20, but you’ll need your own wetsuit.
Want to dive more often? Thanks to their 3-trip promo, you can purchase a set of 3 trips at $98 each with no guide, or $130 with a guide. You must have at least three divers on each trip.
7. One 15 Luxury Yachting
Price: From $883++
Can’t take to the skies on a plane to your dream destination — not even to nowhere? Think land tours can get too crowded? Your best bet is to head out to sea.
Sail away into the sunset on a luxury yacht trip with One 15 Luxury Yachting, leaving the pandemic behind you for just a moment, thanks to this sunset cruise with a staycation package.
It includes a 2-hour joyride on a private yacht for up to 5 guests, and a 1-night room stay with breakfast for 2. To sweeten the deal, you will also receive a complimentary bottle of prosecco.
8. Monster Day Tours
Price: From $70 per tour
Once a favourite of tourists, Monster Day Tours used to conduct very popular — and free — walking tours. Due to the pandemic, it is now charging for their walking tours in order to survive.
Each tour covers a specific tourist area such as Chinatown, Little India or Kampong Glam. You can also opt for tours focusing on culture, food and nightlife.
Thanks to a current promo, you can bring up to 4 people along for free each time you book a tour.
9. The Cycle Startup
Price: From $35 per person
Want to work up a sweat as you take in the sights of Singapore? If the hot and humid climate isn’t enough for you, hop on a bicycle with The Cycle Startup as they take you on a cycling tour. Its current tours range from 3 to 5 hours.
Most of its tours will take you from Punggol to Pasir Ris Beach Park, Lorong Halus and Coney Island. Each group comprises 1 to 4 participants, and you will cycle 15km to 20km, depending on the tour selected.
Until Oct 31, 2020, enjoy 20 per cent off all tours.
10. Yacht Cruise SG
Price: $89 per person
Yes, Singapore is a small island. But there are smaller islands surrounding it. Why not venture beyond our local beaches and check out these mini islands nearby? Yacht Cruise SG offers what you need to get you there.
Visit Singapore’s southern islands on a yacht, cruising past Pulau Hantu, Semakau Island (our national landfill), Raffles Lighthouse, Sister Islands, St John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Kusu Island, Marina Bay and Sentosa Island.
You’ll listen to commentary from a licensed tour guide while munching on onboard refreshments.
Check out offers on Klook to find tours at a discount. Simply book your coupons online, and then claim them before they expire.
To find even more tours and attractions, check out SingapoRediscovers.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.