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Things to do in Singapore

Check out the sweet chirpings

Away from high-rise buildings, Singapore's Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a wonderful place to spot birds, particularly during the migratory season from September to March.

Cook like a local

Singapore has numerous cooking classes, but many specialise in European cuisines. Seek out those that do local dishes instead. For fans of laksa (chicken and noodles in spicy coconut milk soup), check out Food Playground (foodplayground.com.sg) and Cookery Magic (cookerymagic.com).

Cycle around Pulau Ubin Island

Widely considered as the last 'kampong' (village) in Singapore, Pulau Ubin is an island with crisscrossing cycling and walking trails and plenty of rustic charm. Take a 10-minute boat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin, then rent a bike from one of the shops near the jetty and visit the star attraction, Chek Jawa Wetlands.

Get a free fortune-telling

Thousands of devotees visit the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (178 Waterlook Street) every day and pray to the Goddess of Mercy. To have your fortune told for free, go to the counter and get a container with a bunch of numbered bamboo sticks in it, kneel down and ask the Goddess a question while shaking the container till a stick falls out. Give the stick to a person behind the counter and you will be given a piece of paper with an answer to your question. Alternatively, you can have your palm read by one of the fortune tellers outside the temple for a fee.

Get your heart racing with a reverse bungy ride

Thrill seekers should try the G-Max Reverse Bungy (tel: +65 6338 1766; www.gmaxgx5.sg), where willing participants are strapped into seats and shot skywards to a height of 60m (180ft) before gravity pulls them back down. The ride may be short-lived, but the views over Singapore River are great - that's if you can keep your eyes open.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Ibis Novena

There are three Ibis hotels in Singapore and all of them are of good standard. The three outlets are in Bencoolen (within walking distance to Bugis MRT station), Novena (with a free shuttle service to Novena MRT station) and MacPherson (with a free shuttle service to Orchard Road). The rooms are clean and modern.

The Pod @ Beach Road

There are quite a few capsule hotels in Singapore catering to those seeking an authentic and fuss-free experience. Located in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood, The Pod @ Beach Road offers a basic sleeping pod for a reasonable fee. Bathroom and toilet facilities are shared.

Raffles Hotel Singapore (closed for restoration)

A national monument, named after Singapore's founding father, Thomas Stamford Raffles, Raffles Hotel Singapore is a high point on the sightseeing trail. This hotel is currently closed for restoration with a plan to reopen in the second half of 2018.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

This high-rise luxury hotel in Singapore has some of the best rooms on the island. The top-floor Ritz-Carlton Club has a lounge with 360° views and cocktail bar. Location wise, it is within walking distance to the Singapore Flyer and Marina Square Shopping Centre.

Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa

Located on a cliff top overlooking the South China Sea Sofitel provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Each room decked out in soothing pale fabrics and dark-wood floor is modern and spacious.

Lodge 41

From 4-bed to 12-bed to a room and some rooms are exclusive to females only, this basic but clean hostel is popular with young adults looking for a cosy place to stay.