So you just got together with your girlfriend whom you met on Tinder a while back.
She’d agreed to the “couple-date”, and you’re never more excited than you were the first time you dated her.
As you furrow your brows browsing frantically through places you could bring her, one thought crosses your mind: you’d spend half your month’s paycheque on a very expensive gift for your mother.
That hand-wrangling moment is the one I’m gonna resolve almost perfectly for you.
The rest is up to how you are gonna conduct yourself on the big day.
1. Henderson Waves
Winner of the President’s Design Award in 2009—but that’s hardly the point. The point is, you’re walking Singapore’s highest designer bridge that spans lush forests and the cityscape of the Southern Ridges, and leads you to the sea eventually.
End up at Mt Faber where you can catch your breath beside the waves after having lost it on the bridge when you and your girl were holding hands and catching the wind beside the views.
Don’t forget to wait for sundown. Or time your visit there as such. You’ll never regret that first date, trust me.
2. Rooftop Picnic @ Esplanade
What’s a date without a picnic? Woo your girl with promises of the future in the lush navy horizons when you bring her for a rooftop picnic @ Esplanade.
Yes—Esplanade does have a rooftop garden—if you’re clueless as I was. Bring some champagne from the house and uncork it here (two champagne glasses if you please).
Sip slowly and savour (food) the unbridled view of Marina Barrage as you soak in the pleasure of your partner’s companionship. It’s going to last for a lifetime, so why not capture a little eternity now in the deepening shades of dusk?
Avoid those expensive restaurants below afterwards (it’s gonna be a little test of your partner’s frugality as she goes through life with you!).
3. Moonlit Walk @ East Coast Park
A long walk, picnic, and now, a long walk again.
Except this one’s gonna be done under the moonlight. Enter East Coast Park, one of Singapore’s largest public spaces yet fewer of those annoying strangers nearing dusk. Embark on a long walk as the sea sashays beside the both of you and whispers sweet nothings in your ears.
At night, you’d meet other couples, a few rollerskaters and cyclists. Quite the interchange for love, innit?
End up at Amber Beacon Tower. This three-story high tower is both lookout and rest-spot for the flight-worn. Finally, unload your picnic there.
Amber Tower does carry the vestiges of a haunted past.
I shan’t…erm… bother you with it.
4. Botanic Gardens
City life is what we’re used to, and city life is what we often yearn to get out of. Barring Malaysia, that land of the Cendol and More Kampung Life, Botanic Gardens is the perfect alternative spot for a sweet respite. It’s also Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site (who doesn’t know this, hands up!).
Stroll with your loved one among the land of flowers (over 60,000 of them!), catch a performance at the Gardens’ open-air theatre by Symphony Lake or end up swan-watching at Swan Lake.
(The more Westernized) locals and foreigners alike spread their mats on the lush grass for a little fiesta, then a siesta. Gentlemen, you can follow suit with a flower for your girl’s hair!
Only, you’ll likely be dressed in shorts instead of the usual tuxedo. It’s a cheap date for broke states, no?
Psst. Beauty (of nature) is free.
5. Treetop Walk @ MacRitchie
It took a bunch of Filipino friends who introduced me to this treetop walk for me to know it. Likewise, I pass it on to you (knowledge is power).
Nature is our world’s most… natural state. So you too will be in your best elements when you take each other for a long walk across this 250-meter suspended pathway between the highest points at MacRitchie.
Allow yourself the brea(d)th of a few relaxed, no-rush hours to explore fully the trail at MacRitchie. Besides the plenitude that lies in the waters of M. Reservoir, your city-oriented breaths will be fully rejuvenated by mother nature.
Then find a spot to snuggle up and… PICNIC!!!
Oh and don’t forget to find where Jelutong Tower is. ‘Nuff said!
6. Pulau Ubin
That’s right. More nature. Henry David Thoreau was famous for living in the woods for two years at Walden surviving on the spoils of nature.
While you don’t need to be that jialat, you can still enjoy the sweet abundance of nature @ Ubin for a relatively low cost of peanuts.
Take a bumboat from Changi Ferry Terminal for $3 each. Bring your picnic baskets, if not, get ready to rent bicycles and explore the island on metal horses. It’s never an either-or case, right?
It’s back to the wild for you and your partner right there! The choice of camping overnight is available too. The old-time thrills of kampong life still exist, or something close to it. So go there and revel in the simple pleasures that our technology-laden life may rarely offer!
7. Skywalk @ Gardens By the Bay
O aristocratic artificial artistic Garden of Singapore! Thou art the most sublime creation ever beknownst to mankind. Thou shalt be the backdrop on which my lady and I, Knight in Casual T-shirt Armor and Flipflop Boots, serenade!
Okay, so much for verses. Gently steer her hand as you guide her across the Skywalk bridge @ Supertree Grove, O gentlest of men. Pay—even though I know you are scraping the deep bottoms of your pockets—for her entry across. Protect her from the UFOs and alien-spaceships dotting the vicinity of the skies…. the Supertrees certainly do lend wings to imagination, don’t they!
The Garden Rhapsody is a spectacular show you wouldn’t wanna m… oops I forgot I’m not the advertiser! But hor, the point is hor, your damsel can be serenaded for relatively peanuts.
Who wouldn’t want, right?
8. Kite-Flying @ Marina Barrage
This one doesn’t need much introduction.
With Singapore’s skyline serving as a backdrop, and Nature having laid out her lush verdant picnic mat for your flipflops and stiletto heels alike, the Marina Barrage’s Green Roof is a haven for you wannabe kite-flyers.
The options of picnic and lotsa selfies are available, not to mention holding a string and letting the ball of your future unravel together in your enjoined hands… Winds from the shoreline are gusty and take your kite into the skies effortlessly to meet its own mate…
Only… get entwined down here, can. Up there, cannot.
I mean hands lah, not the strings!
Oh, and gentlemen, don’t let your partner fly kite on you, hor!
If not, I’ll be hearing all about it…
The wind does, after all, tarry here… for thee.
9. The Projector
Coming back to earth, The Projector is what you need if you ever run out of movie ideas. Okay, so you’re… not exactly broke, right? I mean, c’mon, a little amount made up of coins and tokens are okay, right?
Okay, so you don’t need to spend beyond $30 here. One ticket each for you and your lover. Oh, I’m sorry to have suggested something a tad more expensive than Golden Village on a weekend. Maybe they cost the same. Break your piggy a little lah, guys!
But hor, the movies here are more well-curated, a little bit more Indie and not at all your usual Holywood shows available at all Golden Village Outlets!
I mean…Hollywood. Sorry lah, thou atas directors!
After all, short of bringing your gal to Golden Village Gold Crass, you can be more sophisticated in the choice of the ticket rather than the size of its bill, right?
10. Lorong Buangkok @ Hougang
Chinese got this saying hor… 我愿意跟你走到天涯海角. It means “I will walk to the ends of heaven and earth with you”.
You’ve brought her to heaven, then earth, then heaven again. Now you can bring her back to earth. Or rather, allow me to.
Okay, earth. I’m tired of English. So upper class. Now use Singlish, okay? After all… we’re both broke, and cheap. Language is also a currency of your tastes and preferences. But hor, one can be upper class yet down-to-earth, if you geddit?
Lorong Buangkok @ Hougang is probably one of the last standing kampongs in Singapore. The other one might be at Ubin.
In 1956, a TCM seller named Huang Yu Tu purchased the land at Lorong Buangkok and gave it to his children. Currently, only one daughter lives on it and it is a close-knit community of about 30 houses/families.
Its Malay name is Kampong Selak Kain. You can read the story here.
The point is, you can return to the earthy aspects of life in this kampong even if it’s for one morning. Try to visit between 9 am and 5 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Villagers must have their own siesta in their private vintage haven.
Good luck on your date with your mate, mate!
With love, Goody Feed.