Other People Got Domestic Travel, Singaporeans How?
STORY: Audrey Phoon
03 June 2020
I don’t know about you, but every time I read the news about how domestic travel is an option before international routes reopen, I feel like screaming: GOOD FOR YOU LAH BUT SINGAPOREANS HOW?!
Because the reality is, we’re just too small to have truly transportive options within our 724.2 sq km. Say “domestic” here and most people will think “helper”. Not because we’re elitist, but because the concept of a helper is less alien than that of domestic travel.
Sure, once upon a time there was a flight from Changi Airport to Paya Lebar Airbase. (True story - it was a ferry flight for a retired aircraft.) But that stopped a few years ago, and anyway who would want to fork out for a flight that lands a mere 9km away?
So how to keep those pangs of wanderlust at bay while we wait for “travel bubbles” and “travel corridors” to be established before we can take to the skies again? Virtual tours are a good way to see and learn about a place, but since the true magic of travel lies in how it makes you feel, here are a couple more options to help you recreate that vacation vibe.
1. TFW you take off
Nothing really beats the feeling of physically lifting off from the ground to make you feel like you’re escaping the daily drudge. And while you can’t do that right now on a commercial plane, you can fashion a bare-bones experience for yourself.
Go on a joy flight in a Cessna or Piper and learn the difference between the aircraft. Try a sightseeing tour on a helicopter and rediscover Singapore from the air. Or replicate that feeling of landing on the tarmac with a session on a Boeing-approved flight simulator.
2. TFW you’re in a totally different environment
Even if you can’t step out of the country, you can still switch up your immediate surroundings. So once we’re allowed to venture out of our homes, why not take the opportunity to check out some of Singapore’s more exotic staycations, like this Japanese-style Onsen Suite at Le Meridien Singapore, or this Bali-inspired baller Beach Villa at Resorts World Sentosa?
Or board a ferry and spend a day out on St John’s Island or Kusu Island, where you can socially distance yourself amongst cats and turtles. For the more adventurous, “cruises to nowhere” may soon restart, as cruise ship operators such as Dream Cruises begin to explore that option.
3. TFW you shop and eat in another country
Why let a pause on international travel stop you from carrying out Singapore’s two favourite pastimes? Lots of popular international experiences have moved online, so you can still spend your moolah on exotic treats and cool gear from virtual markets like ShopJJ, which curates local goods from Chatuchak, Artbox, Siam Square and other Bangkok top spots.
You can even poke around rural UK artisan markets with the newly launched Artisans Online collective, where you can score souvenirs like limited edition whisky from a boutique distillery (perfect for lonely nights spent in isolation) or a hand-carved bee house (if the pandemic has you wanting to turn your home into a self-sustainable unit).
Or wait for Taiwan’s Shihlin Night Market to make its online debut for the Singapore market come June 12. Billed as the country’s “largest digital festival”, it will offer everything from the market’s famous street snacks to live-streamed entertainment and games.