By: Rebecca Brill
While Singapore’s got its fair share of tourist attractions that visitors simply have to see – MBS, Raffles, the Botanic Gardens and so on – there are a few extra things to do that may get overlooked. But it doesn’t mean they’ll be any less fun! Take having a coffee with a cat draped across your shoulders, for example, or staring at over 1,000 mildly disturbing statues from Chinese folklore. Worth an afternoon, we reckon. Presenting some of Singapore’s weirdest and wonderful(est?) things to do…
One of the most unique places in the actual world, Haw Par Villa has over 1,000 statues, not to mention the 150 dioramas, that each dramatise and bring to life Chinese legends and folklore. Witness characters such as Fu Lu Shou, Confucius and the Laughing Buddha – key characters in the very legends that How Par Villa is based upon. Ten Courts of Hell, Journey into the West and numerous other exhibits aim to take you on a journey through ancient times, complete with blood, gore and, er, human crabs. Open daily from 9am-7pm with free admission, Haw Par is not to be missed. 262 Pasir Panjang Road, 6872 2780.
This spot is just like any other cute café, except it’s filled with cats. Lots of cats. Enjoy a coffee or bite to eat while friendly cats roam freely around, looking for a cuddle or play. The owner of Neko No Niwa believes cats create a therapeutic environment and welcome people to their café to interact with their felines and chill out. It’s $12 per hour, but the menu is pretty affordable and, considering this is the first cat cafe in Singapore,we reckon it’s worth a novelty afternoon out. 54A Boat Quay (Level 2) 049843, 6536 5319.
Floating Baby in Gardens By the Bay
This giant sculpture of a floating baby was created by the internationally recognised artist Marc Quinn and was donated to the Gardens for permanent display. It is a recreation of the artist’s infant son. Er, why not? 18 Marina Gardens Dr, 018953
A bronze statue of Yoda was revealed earlier this year at the opening ceremony of the ‘Sandcrawler’ building. The huge eight-level building is pretty awesome, with a sloping structure, lavish gardens and 100-person theatre. It’s the new headquarters for Lucasfilm Singapore – and it’s already gone and won six architectural awards. Within one of the gardens sits a bronze statue of Yoda, sculpted by Lawrence Noble, and built upon boulder waterfall. The Sandcrawler, 1 Fusionopolis View, 138577
Want to see dozens and dozens of tiny buddha statues? Head to Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in Singapore. Free admission, plus you’ll probably learn something too! 88 Bright Hill Road, 574117
During the occupation of Singapore during World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army built a Shinto Shrine, the Syonan Jinja, in the forest around MacRitchie Reservoir. It was destroyed by the British forces, but the ruins remain and it was declared a historic site in 2002. Check out the video above for more info on tracking it down.
Fancy a good old fashioned scare-fest? Check out one of these haunted sites around town…
The Red House: This house currently remains abandoned and empty and does admittedly look pretty eerie, even in daylight. It’s said that a doll was sighted swinging on a rocking chair, alone in the house. It’s also believed that a pair of stone lions guard the house and stare at whoever attempts to sneak into the compound. Around Loyang Drive 4
Matilda House: The house is currently fenced up and outfitted with CCTVs. The home, abandoned in the seventies, is said to be occupied by evil spirits, who try to see off anyone who attempts to enter. 21 Punggol Way
Hillview Mansion: Located at the top of Hillview Hill and also known as the Green House. The previous owners were killed in a fire and renovations were never fully completed, due to the belief that evil spirits were lurking in the house. It was demolished in 2004, with only an old gate and a pile of rocks left behind. Jalan Dermawan
Old Changi Hospital: One of the most popular locations for bold ghost-seeking types. The most famous tale associated with this place is that screams and shadows could be seen and heard around some of the wards. It’s rumoured to be because the Japanese had used these rooms as torture chambers. Netheravon Road
View Road Hospital: This was a mental hospital in Woodlands that has since been converted into a foreign workers’ dormitory. Some believe that the spirits of the patients were trapped here were never able to escape. Admiralty Road West