With Singapore’s National Day 2021 upon us, team Sassy Mama takes a moment to reflect on what we love about Singapore
Whether you’ve lived in Singapore all your life or are a more recent arrival, chances are there’s much you love about this amazing country that’s about to celebrate 56 years of independence. From our favourite kopitiam drinks to beautiful nature reserves, not to mention incomparable safety and efficiency, there is just so much to celebrate. This year, the theme for dialled-back National Day 2021 celebrations is “Together, Our Singapore Spirit”. Join us in taking a moment to appreciate 56 reasons – big and small – to love Singapore.
1. A WOMAN PRESIDENT
Who run the world? GIRLS! In 2017 we saw the walkover election of Madam Halimah Yacob, Singapore’s first female president. Besides being an accomplished former Speaker of Parliament, she’s also a mother of five (which do you think is a tougher job?!). We’re so proud to live in such a progressive country where we can show our daughters that they can absolutely do anything they put their mind to!
2. WE’RE ALWAYS LEARNING ABOUT DIFFERENT CULTURES
Living alongside multi-cultural neighbours often means we get to experience their traditions, like cooking for neighbours during Hari Raya, watching Indian/Hindu neighbours draw their Rangolis in front of their houses during Deepavali, and exchanging oranges with Chinese neighbours during CNY. We love these opportunities for teachable moments about race and inclusivity.
3. KID-FRIENDLY PLACES EVERYWHERE
There is SO much to do with kids in Singapore from free playgrounds to kid-friendly activities. Plus we love how most bathrooms in malls are well-equipped for diaper changes & feeding, too. Kids’ activities take place all year round, not just during schools holidays. There’s never a lack of things to do with kids on Singapore. Love it!
4. AN AMAZING SENSE OF SAFETY
We love how safe this country is – so safe that we feel comfortable teaching our kids how to commute on their own when they are old enough! Some parents have started this as young as 8!
5. WEARING FLIP-FLOPS 365 DAYS A YEAR
For those of us who grew up with harsh winters, it’s a never-ending delight getting to wear sandals (and never having to deal with heavy coats) all year round.
6. AMAZING CITY VIEWS
It’s not hard to find the best spots to get gorgeous views of the little red dot. You can watch the sun set over a cocktail at Marina Bay Sands or hop on the Singapore Flyer (for no reason, obviously) and check out how beautiful SG is from all angles…
7. RELIABLE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Sure, we may complain that the next bus is due to arrive in 7 minutes (which can be easily checked thanks to apps like My Transport SG, etc) which may be long by our standards, but we can definitely count on it! Getting from one end of Singapore to the other is so easy and usually involves just a couple of transfers. It’s also great that buses and trains are increasingly getting more wheelchair- and pram-accessible.
8. HAVING HELP AROUND THE HOUSE
As busy mamas, we totally dig that we can get support around the house from the wonderful hard-working women who often sacrifice time with their own children to come to work for us here. Whether it’s night nurses, cleaning services, babysitters or full-time live-in helpers, there’s a level of support whatever your personal taste.
9. HOW SPICY CAN YOU GO?
As a cultural hotpot (literally), Singapore might specialise in more cuisines than anywhere else on earth. Chinese food, Indian food, Malay food, Peranakan food, Thai and Vietnamese food…this is truly a foodie paradise!
10. SWIMMING POOLS
Perhaps both a luxury and necessity in this heat, but the fact that most condos and houses come with a pool or are close to one rocks! Mamas can relax poolside with a magazine and an iced bevvy while the bubbas splash around (read: tire themselves out)! A win-win situation every single weekend. And if you don’t have a pool on your doorstep – there are so many amazing public pools in town!
11. AMAZING HEALTHCARE
Even government hospitals provide top notch healthcare services. Everything is also super high-tech with hospitals equipped with the best and latest information and equipment to help any health issues.
12. STREET ART
For a place that is strict about graffiti, the street art here is certainly something to search out. We love wandering the streets and taking pics of our kids blended in with the fun scenes painted on certain walls.
13. WORLD CLASS MUSEUMS FOR [MANY] A RAINY DAY
Whether you’re taking out-of-town visitors to the Asian Civilisations Museum or the Peranakan Museum, or you’re keeping kiddos occupied at Sassy Mama faves like the fire station, Science Centre, Playeum or ArtScience Museum, Singapore’s perpetually rotating slate of amazing exhibits means there will always be something new to discover.
14. GRABBING A $2 MICHELIN-STARRED MEAL
Singapore is proudly home to the world’s only Michelin-starred street food. Whether you’re craving a $2 plate of chicken rice or some $4.50 bak chor mee, you’ll be eating the cheapest Michelin-starred cuisine in the world. Talk about value!
15. AWESOME PARKS
Sure, you might get a bit sweaty (and don’t forget the sunscreen/mossie repellant/hat/snacks/massive diaper bag) but Singapore really kicks ass when it comes to its awesome selection of parks to wander and playgrounds, wherever you live.
Read More: Our Favourite Parks in Singapore
16. ALL KINDS OF INCREDIBLE FOOD (24 HOURS A DAY)
Want to grab world-class noodles, or chicken satay, or roti prata, or dumplings (the list goes on and on)? Singapore’s got you covered with its amazing foodcourts, hawkers and all the amazing food delivery.
17. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Okay, okay, Singapore doesn’t have as many public holidays as our sisters in Hong Kong, but we get days off for Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Diwali… all the cool multicultural ones!
18. ACTIVITIES GALORE
There are over 101 things to do (yeah we counted and wrote about it here) so you and the kids will never ever get bored. But if you do get bored, know that being bored is good for you!
19. TAXI UNCLES
In a city where the price of owning a car is prohibitive, we’re lucky to have the friendliest taxi drivers anywhere! They are always so happy to chat about everything, and make you feel “at home” during your ride.
20. THE FOUNTAIN AT JEWEL
How can you not feel filled with wonder every time you lay eyes upon the world’s tallest indoor fountain? Besides the fact that it offers even more fun things to do with kids and has oodles of outstanding restaurants, it’s simply an architectural marvel. As if MBS, Gardens by the Bay, and condos like D’Leedon didn’t already make us feel like we were living in a city of the future!
21. MONKEYS AND COBRAS AND CROCODILES
Ok so this can be a little terrifying, but we love that the wildlife our children see in their storybooks actually comes to life in Singapore and somehow manages to coexist alongside our urban metropolis. There’s nowhere better for budding naturalists!
22. HIT THE BEACH…
So fine, we live on the Equator and it’s unlikely we’ll ever see fluffy white snowflakes, but this means we can hit the beach all year round!
23. THE FRESHEST FRUIT JUICE
Fresh and delicious – the ABC addiction comes cheap as chips from just about any hawker stall!
24. DRAMATIC LIGHTNING STORMS
Singapore holds the world record for number of lightning storms, and they are amazing to watch (but not so much fun when trees get knocked down!).
25. THE BEST EDUCATION IN THE WORLD
As parents, we’re pretty stoked to live in the country that leads the world in Math and Science performance. It’s not every nation that has its own brand of math named after it!
26. SHOPHOUSES GALORE
From the painted ladies of Koon Seng Road in Joo Chiat to the pretty tiles on Duxton Hill, Singapore’s pockets of architectural delights are an immediate mood enhancer.
We LOVE that Singapore is a cycle-friendly city! If you accept the fact that sweating is inevitable and try to cycle early mornings or (early) evenings, it’s a fantastic way to get from A to B with or without kids.
29. TEH HALIA
Pulled ginger tea with condensed milk just might be the world’s most perfect drink. A little bit zingy, comfortingly sweet and slightly frothy, it’s the only way to kickstart the day!
30. COOL BRUNCH SCENE
Sunday brunch is definitely the new Saturday night out… If you’re an old-feeling, tired parent like us that is! Neck some free-flow champers, allow the bubs to run wild in the play area, and head home for a good nap at the end of it. Phew!
31. MUSTAFA CENTRE
You can get everything here. It’s your one-stop shop for everything from diapers, to spices, to ice-cream to smokeless camphor (!), to hard-to-find beauty products.
32. WI-FI AT HAWKER CENTRES & MRT STATIONS
Free Wi-Fi at a hawker centre?! Seriously, you can connect anywhere and ‘gram away! Check out other cafés with free Wi-Fi here.
33. THE SINGAPORE ZOO
Probably one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. In typical Singapore fashion everything is very clean and orderly and all the animals (over 2,800) look healthy. Definitely a must-see.
34. SEAMLESS HARMONY BETWEEN THE CITY AND NATURE
No matter how much concrete there is in Singapore, there’s always an abundance of trees, bushes, flowers and the like, everywhere you go. Plus there are so many parks and even a few untouched habitats (Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, Pulau Ubin), we can discover once we’ve exhausted all the hipster cafés and photogenic architecture.
35. IT’S ALWAYS SO CLEAN
We love the fact that we have such clean streets!
36. BILINGUALISM (AND MORE!) IS THE NORM
While kids in local schools are required to have proficiency in at least two languages, plenty of international and preschools also take advantage of our multicultural landscape to promote Mandarin immersion and true bilingualism among children. How chuffed were you the first time you heard your little one conversing with a taxi uncle?
37. TRAIL RUNNING IN MACRITCHIE
You might be dodging monkeys at MacRitchie Reservoir — but this amazing park is well worth it for the shade and uniquely rugged terrain at one of the few truly hilly places to go running in Singapore.
38. PALM TREES
Singapore is dotted by palm trees in more shapes and sizes than you can imagine. These exotic shrubs always make us feel like we are resorting in a tropical paradise.
39. YOUNG COCONUTS COLD FROM THE FRIDGE
The most refreshing thing, basically ever, and a totally affordable luxury!
40. MILO DINOSAUR
A great way to beat the heat (and a treat for the little ones too), this icy cold bevvy has vitamins, protein, and minerals inside, not to mention chocolate deliciousness!
41. NEVER-ENDING FOOD PROMOS
Whether you get a sweet discount with your bank’s credit card, or a bar’s running a nice happy hour special, there are always enticing reasons to go out to eat here (or order that takeaway when restos are shut).
42. WORLD-CLASS SHOPPING
Whether you’re after the luxury international brands on Orchard Road (Singapore has more malls per square mile than anywhere else on Earth!), looking to score a bargain in Chinatown, or keep up with the latest hip up-and-comers on Haji Lane, you are definitely in a shopping paradise.
43. PETROL UNCLES
Those of us who have lived abroad know this is not the norm everywhere. We love chatting to the petrol Uncles as they fill our tank and wish us a good day!
44. CHICKEN RICE
This must be one of our favourite things about Singapore. Chicken rice along with chilli crab are Singapore’s signature dishes. What do you get? Amazingly tender chicken and super tasty rice. It’s delicious and totally child-friendly.
45. THE WORLD’S GREATEST AIRLINE
Ranked the world’s best international airline 21 years in a row! The service, the food, the nice planes and up-to-date entertainment options — they’ve spoiled us for flying anyone else. It’s been a while since we have actually seen the inside of an airplane – but still!
46. EVERYTHING IS SO CLOSE
Singapore is really tiny; you can get to anywhere within minutes (longer if using public transport) but nothing will really take you long. By saving time commuting we get more time to spend with our family, friends or doing things we love.
Singapore has lots of taxis and plus GRAB, Gojek, etc. so you’re only just a hail (or a few finger taps via app) and a ride away from anywhere.
48. FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN
There’s always something to do with the whole family and many of them are affordable – from bowling to going for an amazing scenic walk along the seafront.
49. COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE
Singapore has done a great job preserving colonial architecture built by the British in the 19th century. Some examples include the Raffles Hotel and the old Supreme Court but we also totally love the island’s many black and white bungalows.
50. PM LEE HSIEN LOONG’S SASSY PINK SHIRTS
We’re partial to pink here at Sassy, and one of the few (literal) bright spots of all the government updates and Facebook Live addresses has been our natty PM’s sartorial choices. And we love that he’s even in on the joke.
51. SPORTY FUN!
Thanks to the sunny weather most of the year – it’s always a good time to go out and try a new physical activity – our kids get so much Vitamin D here!
52. VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES & COMMUNITY SPIRIT
There is a myriad of charities and volunteering opportunities available in Singapore. It’s a reflection of the “kampung spirit” and is evident everywhere from the schools to local politics, and truly rubs off on us expats!
53. CHANCE TO BE MULTICULTURAL
Thanks to all the different nationalities in Singapore our kids have friends from all around the world and it’s wonderful to see them relating to different people and learning about different cultures.
54. SO MUCH FOR KIDS TO DO
It’s really worth saying this again and again, thanks to the proximity of everything in Singapore our kids here get to experience so much! From new indoor playgrounds to animal farms, beach action at Sentosa, trips to islands like Lazarus and Pulau Ubin – the experiences to be found are so enriching!
55. AWESOME LOCAL GETAWAYS
We’ve already mentioned how fricking awesome Changi is, but if you don’t want to get on a plane at all (ciao annoying luggage allowance!), then there (used to be pre-pandemic) myriad possibilities via boat and car.
56. LANDING AT CHANGI AIRPORT
Again, we can’t remember the last time we had this feeling (no travel is hard!) but coming home from even the best vacation is made a little easier when you can breeze through automated immigration gates, find your suitcase waiting for you, and hop in a cab within a matter of minutes at what’s without question the world’s greatest airport. Someday soon we’ll get back to experiencing this!
There you have it, mamas! We could go on all day. And don’t forget to check out our Singapore Bucket List if you’ll be leaving this beautiful island sometime soon (or simply want to hit up some of our favourite sights). Now tell us what YOU love, and have a very happy National Day. Majulah Singapura!