Night Time Is The Right Time To Rediscover Singapore

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Night Time Is The Right Time To Rediscover Singapore

STORY: Farhan Shafie
29 July 2022
Take a late night stroll within Bukit Brown Cemetery (left) or go on a gastronomical adventure In Balestier (right). | Photos: My Community Festival

Singapore is truly a city that never sleeps, what with quite a number of establishments that are open deep into the night.

Personally, the only thing that comes alive when the sun goes down is my stomach 🤣 but there are also a number of activities that you can explore as part of the annual grassroots event My Community Festival. Running from 5 to 21 August this year, the festival will give us an intimate look into the various facets of our Little Red Dot, including work offices, places of worship and even communal spaces.

But if a late-night adventure is what you're after, check out the After Hours @ My Community series of guided tours. From a creepy night walk inside Bukit Brown Cemetery to a tour about the inner workings of Senoko Fishing Port, we spotlight five of the 10 excursions you shouldn't miss.

Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival

1. My Bukit Brown with Andrew Lin

Warning: This is not for the faint-hearted. Learn about Chinese rituals, beliefs and taboos at the "eternal" home of many pioneer Chinese Singaporeans. There is much rich history to unearth at Bukit Brown Cemetery if you're garang enough to ignore the fact that the guided tours take place during the Seventh Month.

Highlights

  • Join long-time Brownie Andrew Lin who will be bringing you to "meet" the many pioneer Singaporeans buried here and introduce you to the different types of graves scattered around the cemetery.
  • Have your torchlights at the ready during the night walk, and keep your eyes peeled for the many "activities" occurring in the vicinity.
  • Enjoy Andrew’s animated narration that brings this resting place to life figuratively (in a good way, we hope).

About the host

Andrew is a Bukit Brown resident. No, he does not actually live in the cemetery but he does consider it almost like a second home, having visited it regularly for well over a decade.

"Those Malayan horror stories told to us back in the day alongside movie depictions of the Pontianak and the Oily Man become vivid and real in our minds when we enter a place like Bukit Brown at night," says Andrew, "...but don’t worry, I will be there to snap you out of your reverie!"

Errr, thanks for the reassurance?

Tour details

  • Ticket price: $35 (excluding Eventbrite service fee)
  • Tour timing: 9pm to Midnight
  • Tour dates: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 August 2022
  • Meeting Point: Farrer Road MRT – Exit B Street Level (71 Farrer Road Singapore 261006)
  • Ending Point: Farrer Road MRT - Exit B Street Level (71 Farrer Road Singapore 261006)

Book tickets here


Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival

2. My Geylang with Cai Yinzhou

Geylang is known for many interesting things *winks*. But if you delve further into its lorongs and back alleys, you'll discover some fascinating tidbits about this district in the east. This tour aims to change mindsets and battle stereotypes regarding the red-light district and its diverse inhabitants.

Highlights

  • Explore the neighbourhood with Geylang resident Cai Yinzhou, who will walk you through the complex issues that communities living in the area face.

About the host

Yinzhou founded Citizen Adventures in 2014 which designs experiences to help Singaporeans learn about various neighbourhoods and unpack the social issues unique to the respective communities.

They currently offers tours of Geylang and Dakota Crescent while also providing weekly haircuts for migrant workers on top of organising adhoc welfare events for them.

Tour details

  • Ticket price: $50 (excluding Eventbrite service fee)
  • Tour timing: 9pm to 11pm
  • Tour dates: 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 August
  • Meeting Point: Aljunied MRT POSB ATM (60 Sims Dr Singapore 380060)
  • Ending Point: Aljunied MRT POSB ATM (60 Sims Dr Singapore 380060)

Book tickets here


Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival

3. My Pasir Panjang with Pamela Loh

Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre is a bustling hub for the country's fruit and vegetable supply chain industry. Get to know the unsung heroes - vendors, truck drivers and more - who call this place home while the rest of the population is fast asleep.

Highlights

  • Find the freshest deals on your fruits and vegetables.
  • Join tour guide Pamela Loh as you explore the facility and learn about what goes into storing and packaging these goods.
  • Meet the stall owners and learn about how they stay relevant in a competitive industry.

About the host

Pamela is a community volunteer and licensed tourist guide. She will help you put on a traveller’s lens when exploring the nooks and crannies of Singapore after hours. You can count on her to share great anecdotes and personal stories about the people that make Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre tick.

Tour details

  • Ticket price: $30 (excluding Eventbrite service fee)
  • Tour timing: 9pm to 11.30pm
  • Tour dates: 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 19, 20 August
  • Meeting Point: Kopitiam next to the entrance of Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre (1 Wholesale Centre, Singapore 110001)
  • Ending Point: Kopitiam next to the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre (1 Wholesale Centre, Singapore 110001)

Book tickets here


Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival

4. My Senoko Fishery Port with Richard Kuah

If you've ever visited or heard of the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan, then you'll get a sense of the action at the Senoko Fishery Port when the seafood is unloaded at around 1am after being transported from a variety of sources, including Jurong Fishery Port or from across the Causeway.

The port is not only swimming with fish and good deals, but also the poignant stories of tireless fishmongers who are responsible for bringing us the freshest catch of the day.

Highlights

  • Learn about the rich (and surprising!) history of Senoko Fishery Port.
  • Interact with the stall owners and fishmongers, who are mainly of Teochew descent.
  • Watch the entire seafood unloading process as it happens in real time.

About the host

Richard Kuah loves to explore the offshore islands around our mainland and specialises in nature and island tours. He will take you to Senoko Fishery Port after hours to identify seafood and get up-close and personal with the port’s Teochew fishing community.

Tour details

  • Ticket price: $35 (excluding Eventbrite service fee)
  • Tour timing: 1am-4am
  • Tour dates: 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 20, 21 August
  • Meeting Point: Bus stop next to Sembawang MRT Exit C (B58211) (11 Canberra Road Singapore 759775)
  • Ending Point: Bus stop next to Sembawang MRT Exit C (B58211) (11 Canberra Road Singapore 759775)

Book tickets here


Photo: My Community Festival
Photo: My Community Festival

5. My Balestier with Lora Lee

If you're looking for an excuse to satisfy those late night hunger pangs, join the Balestier guided tour which is essentially a supper feast around the area. You'll also get to meet the many stall owners operating deep into the night. Did we also mention that you'll get to makan to your heart's content?

Highlights

  • A gastronomic journey peppered with historical nuggets about Balestier.
  • Visit the many stores working through the night to provide us these comfort foods - from freshly baked bread and mouth-watering bak kut teh to savoury dumplings and herbal jelly.
  • Food served is non-halal and not suitable for vegetarians.

About the host

Lora Lee has been a tour guide for the past four years. She strongly believes that Balestier is the best supper spot in the country, thanks to its hearty meals and relatively central location. Who are we to disagree?

Tour details

  • Ticket price: $35 (excluding Eventbrite service fee)
  • Tour timing: 9pm to Midnight
  • Tour dates: 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21 August
  • Meeting Point: Zhongshan Mall (20 Ah Hood Rd, Singapore 329984) – Outside McDonalds’
  • Ending Point: Near Whampoa Market

Book tickets here


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TAGS: Adventures At Home , Neighbourhood , Local Tourist , Cool Characters , My Community Festival
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