Exploring Singapore

New things to do in the ‘Lion City’

BY ELAINE GLUSAC — Spring 2018

Trips to Bawah Island begin with resort-arranged transfers from Singapore, virtually mandating spending a night or two in the city-state. Take the opportunity to explore one of Asia’s most dynamic cities with this hit list of new attractions.

SLEEP: Opened in November, Andaz Singapore fills a new honeycomb-patterned high-rise with 342 spacious rooms. If you don’t get one with the icon-framing waterfront view, head to the rooftop Mr. Stork bar to bask in the panorama. The 25th-floor lobby level hosts a swimming pool and five different dining concepts arrayed like a restaurant-lined lane. From $280. andazsingapore.com

A boutique alternative, the Vagabond Club hotel offers 41 rooms in former art-deco-era shophouses in the trendy Kampong Glam district. Credit French designer Jacques Garcia with the art-filled, jewel-toned interiors. From $199. hotelvagabondsingapore.com

SEE: Since 2015, when the stately former Supreme Court Building and City Hall were unified as the National Gallery Singapore (nationalgallery.sg), the city has emerged as a center for Southeast Asian art (left). For an in-depth look at its growing contemporary art trade, visit the Gillman Barracks. On a green campus with low-slung buildings that once served the military, 12 galleries showcase top talents such as Zai Kuning, who represented Singapore at the Venice Biennale last year. Guided tours take place most Saturdays. gillmanbarracks.com

Pickled vegetables at Blackwattle

EAT: The Singaporean love affair with food ranges low to high — there are even two street-food stalls here with a Michelin star — and across ethnicities. Sydney-based chef Clayton Wells so fell for Singapore that he opened his first Asian restaurant, Blackwattle, in October. Reserve a table at the 60-seat Chinatown gem for Wells’ five-course prix fixe of Instagrammable dishes. blackwattle.com.sg

In the year-old Warehouse Hotel, Po does Singaporean classics with creativity, including sharable “popiah platters” of stewed pork and shrimp that diners wrap into wheat skins. po.com.sg

For a true immersion into Singapore’s unique Peranakan traditions — foods created after the intermarriages of Chinese and Malaysians — dine at Folklore. Soulful chef Damian D’Silva faithfully replicates complex dishes from his grandparents’ era, all served family style. folklore.sg

DRINK: Only London and New York have more entries on the liquor industry’s World’s 50 Best Bars list than Singapore, which has six. Newcomers include Atlas (atlasbar.sg), an art-deco cathedral to gin with more than 1,000 varieties on display in a towering back bar; and its opposite, Native (tribenative.com), a tiny Chinatown spot where everything from the booze to the furniture and recorded jazz is made in Asia.

IN THE WORKS: Already an attraction with a butterfly garden and swimming pool, Singapore’s Changi Airport will expand in early 2019 when Jewel Changi Airport opens. With 1.4 million square feet spread over 10 floors (five below ground), the glass dome next to the terminals will feature indoor gardens with designated walks, play spaces with slides at the canopy level, and more shopping and dining. jewelchangiairport.com

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Fly There in Comfort

Singapore Airlines aims to make the long flights from the U.S. to Singapore much easier on travelers with the launch of its A350-900 aircraft, set to begin flying the world’s longest-distance route between New York and Singapore this year. Higher ceilings and bigger windows provide a sense of spaciousness. Innovations including appreciable humidity in the cabins and automated lighting that serves as circadian cues to sleep and to wake are designed to prevent jet lag after the 18-1/2-hour flight. Look for the same aircraft later this year in LA; a similar plane already makes the San Francisco-Singapore commute comfortable.

Also rolling out this year: the airline’s five new A380s, now with 50-square-foot suites, each with a separate seat and bed. Look for them on hub-connecting routes, including New York to Singapore via Frankfurt. In Business Class, the two center seats can be combined for couples to create a double bed. Both Suites and Business classes will be sequestered on the upper deck of the bilevel aircraft. 800-742-3333; singaporeair.com 

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