Yesterday Once More: “Retro” Singapore Attractions Worth Visiting Again (And Again)
STORY: Pearlyn Tham
11 November 2021
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Now that there’s a new acronym in town – hello, VTLs! – some of us are happily dusting off our passports and re-familiarising ourselves all over again with vacuum-packing winter clothing into our luggage bags.
But if you are staying put in Singapore, give these nostalgic attractions some love again.
Science Centre Singapore
Around since: 1977
Why you should visit again: The centre hosts many exhibitions that make science relatable – yes, even to you who slept through Physics or Chemistry classes. Where else can you find the intriguing “Know Your Poo” which shows you what going to the loo was like 60 years ago?
And, of course, the Science Centre Singapore is home to the iconic 221-seat Omni-Theatre, a childhood prelude for many of us to 3D movies. It is said to have the largest seamless dome screen – think 23m in diameter – in Southeast Asia so you can sit back and watch dinosaurs “live”. Well, almost.
Singapore Discovery Centre (SDC)
Around since: 1996
Why you should visit again: It started off being an idea to showcase the history of the Singapore Armed Forces, but today, the SDC is more than that. Using multi-sensorial elements, it gives you an insight into our country’s challenges and aspirations.
For instance, at the Permanent Exhibits Gallery, “Through the Lens of Time” lets you experience Singapore’s history through augmented reality games that allow you to be a part of the rescue mission in the 1983 Cable Car Tragedy.
And there’s more. Few of us actually know that the SDC has an XD Theatre where you can take 4D simulation rides (no need to go to Disneyland!), a Discovery Lake where you can hop onto a pedal boat (subject to existing COVID-19 restrictions) and a laser tag battlefield.
Jurong Bird Park
Around since: 1971
Why you should visit again: Bet you didn’t know that Jurong Bird Park, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is Asia’s largest bird park with more than 3,500 birds across 400 species, including endangered breeds. You can do your part for wildlife conservation in the most fun way by buying bird food online and then heading down and taking part in pre-booked feeding sessions with lories, penguins and pelicans!
Haw Par Villa
Around since: 1937
Why you should visit again: Besides the just opened Hell’s Museum with a newly air-conditioned Ten Courts of Hell, this kitschy, eclectic one-of-a-kind theme park will be home to a shipping container hotel concept next year. So, yes, you can fall asleep surrounded by some of the most bizarre and creepiest vintage sculptures and dioramas that you will ever find in Singapore.
Wild Wild Wet Singapore
Around since: 2004
Why you should visit again: Because it’s so hot and humid in Singapore, what would be a better way to cool down than being in water all day long, right? This water park has a whopping 16 rides for all age groups, and includes Asia’s longest water slides (be warned: it’s a near-vertical plunge), an outdoor pool affectionately named the Shiok River, and even a make-believe water-rafting concept, complete with “rapids”.