CITY GUIDE 2022-2023
SET T I NG UP • HOME DÉCOR • TH I NGS TO DO • SCHOOLS • HEALTHCARE • D I N I NG
COMMUNE WEAR (#02-20) Known for their memory foam and buttery soft feel, the wide range of
handcrafted leather shoes at Commune Wear focus on detail, comfort and timeless design. From sandals to sliders and boots, there’s a pair for both women and men for any occasion. 8188 8047 | sg.communewear.com
CIA MARITIMA (#02-02/02A) Brazil’s number one
luxury beachwear brand has its flagship store in Cluny Court, featuring the 32-year-old brand’s
THE AFFOGATO BAR (#01-04B) The first of its kind in Asia, The Affogato Bar is a place designed for coffee lovers. It features a repertoire of aromatic coffee and decadent affogato desserts that are both sinful and picture-perfect. 9238 9005 facebook.com/theaffogatobar
100 percent house made range. Their
Lycra Xtra Life fabric is proven to resist up to 10 times more chlorine than any other lycra. 9690 1215 | ciamaritima.sg
RUE MADAME (#02-11) If Parisian style has always tickled your fancy, check out this spot. The unique and carefully curated collection of affordable luxury fashion is
PRAIRIE BY CRAFTSMEN (#01-05C) Pet-friendly and backed by the folks behind Craftsmen Specialty Coffee, this café serves specialty
coffees and delicious cuisine in a pretty space that includes a cosy alfresco setting. 6972 9142 facebook.com/prairie.sg
guaranteed to give that touch of elegance and je ne sais quoi! 6463 5347 | ruemadame.com
Oasis Beauty Kitchen Relish by Wild Rocket rue Madame rye
The Children’s Schowcase The Elly Store The Gallery Hair Studio The Linens Company The Master Hair Salon The Room by Nail Bar @ Cluny
Bukit Timah Road
Botanic Gardens MRT
Simply Bread Sweaty Betty The Aesthetics Studio Wellness
Cluny Park Road
Farrer Road Flyover
501 Bukit Timah Road | clunycourt.com
WELCOME NOTE If you’ve just arrived in Singapore, or you’ve been here for a while and you’re doing your research, we hope our handy guide will fill in some gaps! Inside, we’ve got views and tips from a panel of contributors – everyone from recent arrivals to those who’ve lived here their whole lives. There’s also everything you need to know on public transport – from trains to taxis – to parents’ views on dozens of internationals schools, and all-important tips on where to buy your furniture. It’s important to buy what you love and what will last because you may have to live with it for a long time. I moved here for “two years” and here I am 23 years later! There’s plenty this little island has going for it – from top-notch medical facilities to a wide range of food and entertainment options. And, of course, it’s a great location for visiting the region – so make some plans! The weather is hot, yes, and your hair will probably frizz (we have solutions for that online at expatliving.sg) but you’ll be able to sit at cool outdoor bars and walk home at night without having to worry about carrying extra layers – all year round. Even if you get rained on, which happens quite often, you know you’ll dry out soon! Singapore is a city that changes and upgrades itself regularly – roads, train stations and buildings can suddenly appear, almost overnight. There’s plenty to do, so read our City Guide and get stuck in – and remember to subscribe to our monthly mag and newsletter to keep up to date. Enjoy the journey – and remember to get in touch with any queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus Singapore 059915 Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd (timesprinters.com)
SET T I NG UP • HOME DÉCOR • TH I NGS TO DO • SCHOOLS • HEALTHCARE • D I N I NG
Cover illustrations: GooseFrol & GoodStudio (shutterstock.com)
19 GETTING STARTED Your basic survival guide Learn everything you need to know about your new home, from some of the challenges facing newcomers, to transport options, networking, finding friends, hiring a helper, and looking for work.
57 DESIGN YOUR SPACE Furniture and interior inspiration Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll want to spruce it up and make it your own. Get interior design tips and furniture shopping recommendations to suit your style and budget.
45 FIND YOUR HOME All the neighbourhood knowledge you need
The all-important question is where to live! Find out more about the various neighbourhoods and housing options, from high-rise apartments to garden homes in the suburbs.
89 LEARN & PLAY
165 RECHARGE & UNWIND Retail therapy and tips for exploring From hair salons to running trails, plus info on entertainment, museums, temples and other things to see and do, you’ll find it all here.
A guide to schools, preschools and more Schooling in Singapore is world class, and children get the opportunity to learn in culturally diverse environments with fantastic extracurricular activities. Hear more about the range of preschools, schools and enrichment centres so you can make the right choice for your child.
145 HAPPY&HEALTHY Stay well, inside and out Our health is more important than ever right now, and the quality of Singapore’s state-of-the art hospitals and services provides peace of mind on this front. Whether you’re looking for a dentist or a counsellor, there’s expert medical help at hand.
193 LET’S EAT Hot cafés, restaurants and bars In Singapore, there are some amazing foods to try, from hawker classics to vegetarian favourites. Go here for restaurant recommendations, foodie tips and other advice for the curious or just the plain hungry!
Exploring Expat Living!
We’re so much more than just a magazine. To discover everything going on in Singapore, here are some of the ways you can make the most out of EL.
WHERE TOWALK SORE BACK SOLUTIONS August 2022 Issue 241 HOME OFFICES • ANTI-AGEING • CAR RENTALS SPOTS MELBOURNE Around CAR RENTALS
September 2022 Issue 242
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In ourmonthlymagazine andour annual guides, we give you an overview of life in Singapore to help you on your way! As an ideal supplement to this, our website offers instant access to an almost endless source of information for when you’re out and about. From readers’ reviews of their neighbourhoods and where to get the best blonde highlights (very important) to perfect spots for watching the sun go down, expatliving.sg is really all you need! Just a few of our online features: • 35 cool and fun things to do in Singapore • Top websites for getting your groceries • The expat’s guide to where to live in Singapore • Escapes: Top Singapore staycations • Where are the best hair salons? We round up our favourites! • Furniture shops for buying online or browsing in-store • Our reviews of the best facials in Singapore • Great breakfast spots on the island! • 10 cool things for teens to do • Fab gyms to help you get fit • Where to walk, hike and jog • Parks and other places for a picnic • Singles guide: Top bars for meeting people ... and that’s only for starters! For more handy guides and tips, visit expatliving.sg
| Meet the Panel |
ANU Anu is co-founder of a
Femtech start-up and has called Singapore home for close to two decades. She reluctantly followed her husband here in 2003 and has since been charmed by the city. In her spare time she loves to walk or run in the island’s beautiful parks and reserves, picnic at the Botanic Gardens and eat her way through Singapore’s diverse cuisines. Her daughter Jiya, now 12, was born here and goes to Dulwich College. They’re a family of foodies and love to travel – and Singapore provides many opportunities for both! Favourite Singapore spot? “I love all the green pockets this city has – and I especially love the Lower and Upper Peirce Reservoir and the Botanic Gardens.”
Each year in our City Guide we feature a panel of Expat Living readers who provide useful tips and opinions on a wide range of topics that are helpful for newcomers to Singapore, and provide a fresh insight for the “old hands”!
CERI Ceri is from Pembrokeshire in Wales, and recently retired after 32 years of working in the energy industry in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Dubai and Brunei. Arriving in Singapore in 2020 with her husband, a gas and renewables professional, she has thrown herself into opportunities to utilise her knowledge of sustainable energy, workplace health and safety, and leadership coaching. She also finds Singapore is ideal for pursuing her interests of gardening, jungle-trekking and photography. Favourite Singapore spot? “Standing on Cavenagh Bridge looking toward Boat Quay at sunset and imagining the scene 100 years ago; the hustle and bustle of the tongkang boats waiting for the monsoon wind to change to set sail laden with nutmeg, mace and pepper.”
| Meet the Panel |
STEPHAN Stephan grew up the son of a professional chef in Austria and has worked in restaurants for over 20 years, starting at Innsbruck’s Grand Hotel Europe at age 15. Since then, he has worked in Switzerland, Portugal and the UK, including at world-renowned The Fat Duck. His new chapter started in 2008 as one of Singapore’s youngest executive head chefs, at Novus. In 2013, Stephan co-founded cooking studio My Private Pantry, and he has since launched themed pop-up restaurant Nutopia, and his own restaurant, Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, in Tras Street. Favourite Singapore spot? “I like riding my bike up to the Mandai area and stopping at Upper Seletar Reservoir – it’s quiet there, and I can switch off for a bit.”
CALVIN Singaporean health coach and fitness trainer Calvin helps patients with chronic diseases become physically stronger and healthier through lifestyle healthcare intervention. He’s a firm believer that the body is capable of “healing” itself with proper nutrition and exercise, and he has experience training
NINA Nina is new to Singapore, moving here only in May
2022. She’s originally from the UK, but also lived in India in her childhood and the US for six years, before settling in Sydney for two decades. Moving countries therefore isn’t new to Nina, but she says
in taekwondo, jump rope (he’s Secretary General of the Jump Rope Federation of Singapore!), gymnastics, massage therapy and more. Calvin is married with three children – two teens and an eight-year-old. Favourite Singapore spot? “Changi Point and Changi Village. I have great memories of being there with my parents, watching planes close-up, and lying on the nearby beach.”
it doesn’t get any easier! Happily, she has friends of friends (of various nationalities)
here in Singapore, and by pursuing a policy of never turning down an invitation, has managed to create a little niche for herself. Nina was posted to Singapore for her job in IT, but continues to do plenty of Australia-based work – which means lots of early morning starts! Favourite Singapore spot? “Newton Food Centre – I live a five-minute walk away and I’m there every week!”
AMBER Amber is from Pennsylvania and has been in Singapore for the past seven years and China for six years before that. After a five year stint at the US Embassy here, she has just started a new role at Boeing. Amber enjoys creative writing, yoga and sound healing, and is married to British scientist Jerome who she met while backpacking in Vietnam; he’s working on curing cancer via his company, Hummingbird Bioscience, and enjoys cooking and making travel plans. Together they love to explore, drink good red wine, and go boating. Favourite Singapore spot? “I love being on the water. Sometimes we forget we’re on an island surrounded by the open sea.”
| Getting Started |
How much do you know about your new (or old!) home? Try our 20 questions.
Kenya has won the World Rugby Sevens in Singapore, true or false?
What is the most common Singaporean surname?
Dating back to 1827, what’s the oldest building still standing in Singapore: Sultan Mosque, Sri Mariamman Temple or Old Parliament House?
Is Singapore in the southern or northern hemisphere?
If you like your coffee black, would you order KOPI-O or KOPI-C ?
In Singapore politics, what does PAP stand for?
Which plant, known for its massive flowers and unpleasant odour, takes its name from the founder of Singapore?
“NUDE JAIL”, “TREE MOSS” AND “NACHO TWIN” ARE ANAGRAMS OF WHAT SINGAPORE MRT STATIONS?
When was the Battle of Singapore, 80, 100 or 120 years ago?
WHERE IS THE FOUNTAIN OF WEALTH?
Does the word “Ubin” in Pulau Ubin mean tin, lead or granite? Kaya is what kind of jam? Which is further north, Clementi or Bukit Timah ? What is the most widely practiced religion in Singapore?
Who are Kai Kai, Jia Jia and Le Le?
Singapore and which two other places are the world’s only surviving city-states?
What are Singapore’s four official languages?
Complete this Singlish expression: “Die die must…”?
Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage – which is the busiest?
What anniversary did Expat Living magazine in Singapore celebrate in 2022: 10 years, 15 years or 20 years?
Answers : 1. Tan 2. Yes, in 2016 (they beat Fiji in the final) 3. Old Parliament House 4. Kopi-O 5. Northern, but only just! 6. People’s Action Party 7. Rafflesia 8. Aljunied, Somerset, Chinatown 9. 80 years ago 10. Suntec City 11. Granite 12. Buddhism (around 31%) 13. Coconut 14. Bukit Timah 15. The three pandas at Singapore Zoo 16. Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English 17. Monaco and Vatican City 18. Shanghai, China 19. Die die must try (referring to something so amazing that it has to be tried or tasted) 20. We turned 20 this year!
| Getting Started |
GETTING STARTED Your basic survival guide
tanatat | Shutterstock
What are some things you would advise any newcomer coming to live in Singapore?
Reach out to expat groups and meet with people. Being the expat-y and multicultural city that it is, you’ll definitely find a community of people that you enjoy being with. Also, do try all the amazing local food – ask your friendly Grab/Gojek/Comfort taxi uncle for his favourite hawker stalls. Oooh, and if you’re a reader, don’t forget to join the National Library. It’s amazing and the online app they have, called “Libby”, is great for reading books on the go. Anu
Join an Expat Living walk! You get to explore unexpected gems in the company of expatriates who have great experience of Singapore. Ceri
I WOULD RECOMMEND MEETING FRIENDS EARLY THROUGH SHARED HOBBIES, AND VISITING DIFFERENT NEIGHBOURHOODS AND PUBLIC PARKS ON THE WEEKENDS. Amber
Try the Hainanese chicken rice from a hawker centre (Food Centre); don’t bother getting them from restaurants; experience the “Q-ing culture”! Calvin
Live where you want to live; it doesn’t have to be close to work, as commutes in Singapore are rarely as bad as in other cities. Be adventurous in your food choices – there is so much to experience! Nina
DON’T BRINGANYWINTER CLOTHES – ORMAYBE JUST YOUR FAVOURITE HOODYOR JACKET (THE ONLY PLACE YOUWILL EVERNEED IT IS IN THE CINEMA!). YOU SHOULDALSO TRY TODISCOVER THE CITY BY FOOT OR BIKE –YOU’LL FINDWAY MORE INTERESTINGANDUNUSUAL PLACES THANYOU CAN INA CAR. Stephan
SAFETY IS THE NUMBER ONE LUXURYWHEN IT COMES TO LIVING IN SINGAPORE, AND CONVENIENCE WOULD BE NUMBER TWO. A NEGATIVE WOULD PROBABLY BE THE LACK OF GOOD MUSIC CONCERTS. Amber
Tell us two positive aspects and a negative about living here or being an expat here.
Singapore has great food and great transport options in a relatively small area, but it can be lonely as people lead very busy lives. Nina
It’s safe to walk alone on the streets at night as they’re always well-lit and clean. And you can’t run out of a good variety of food to eat. However, inflation in Singapore is the real deal! Calvin
There are several positive aspects to live in Singapore, including obvious ones like the choice of food, which I would compare with bigger cities like New York or Tokyo, and the great bar scene. Another plus is the efficient transport and internet; Singapore is a world city that moves fast. The fact that the whole year has the same weather, with no change of season, is a positive and a negative; it makes things very easy with the choice of clothes, but the heat can be unpleasant. The alcohol tax is a negative – it’s so costly to drink and enjoy. When you’re having a great meal and wines, the drinks are more expensive than the actual food. Stephan
Pros: It’s a pocket-sized city and you can go from one end to the other quite easily. Singapore is also the best place to pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Everything is within reach and easy to get to. If you’re looking to start a business, this is a great place to do that. The paperwork is super easy, there’s a vibrant entrepreneur community and the market is diverse so you’ll be able to find your niche segment to test with. Singapore is also a great base for the neighbouring Asian markets. Cons: Living in Singapore can sometimes be like living in a perfectly ordered, safe, efficient alternate reality. Especially for our daughter who is born and growing up here, as parents, we worry how well equipped she will be to live elsewhere. Anu
My top positives would be the diversity of eating out in authentic neighbourhoods and then the excellent museums, both large and small – for example, the India Heritage Centre, the Civil Defence (Fire Station) Heritage Gallery and the moving Changi Museum. One negative would be the increasing cost of basic fresh foodstuffs, driven by the pandemic restrictions and now overall cost of living. Ceri
Unless you’re driving al l of your suitcases across the Woodlands or Tuas links, or you’re coming on a slow boat from somewhere, you’ll be landing at Changi when you arrive in Singapore. The question is: has the famous airport’s crown slipped? We don’t think so (big Changi fans here!). Having said that, after countless consecutive wins in the World’s Best Airport category in the international Skytrax awards, Changi Airport has now had to settle for a bronze – and for two years in a row! In both 2021 and 2022, the top spot went to Doha’s Hamad International Airport in Qatar, with Haneda Airport
in Tokyo taking second spot. There’s still a huge amount to admire about Singapore’s main airport, though, which efficiently deals with over 100 airlines flying from 400 cities in about 100 countries and territories around the world. In 2019 – the last “regular” flying year before the pandemic wreaked havoc with statistics – more than 68 million passengers passed through. It was the airport’s busiest year yet. In addition to four terminals, the airport is also home to Jewel Changi Airport, an enormous lifestyle and retail complex that’s worth visiting even if you’re not flying anywhere.
TERMINAL 4 RETURNS! Changi’s newest terminal, T4 only enjoyed a couple of years of operation after launching before it was closed indefinitely in May 2020, on account of the collapse of air passenger traffic caused by COVID. As this City Guide goes to press in September 2022, the terminal is reopening and will be fully operational after a hiatus of almost two and a half years. Airlines that had previously flown in and out of T4 include Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, VietnamAirlines and others.
| Getting Started |
CHANGI TRIVIA TEST #1 How old is the airport: 21 years, 41 years or 61 years? #2 Changi opened with just two restaurants – McDonalds was one of them, true or false? #3 The HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel is the “World’s Highest Indoor Waterfall”. What country was home to the previous highest? #4 How frequently does someone lose a smart phone at Changi: every 3.5 hours; 30 seconds; or 52 minutes? #5 What airline that served as the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, flying five million passengers around Southeast Asia, ceased operations last year? NEW & NOTABLE Plans are underway for Terminal 5 to open in the 2030s; the terminal will be bigger than T1, T2 and T3 combined, and will help Changi serve an additional 50 million passengers per annum in the initial phases. The design of the terminal was unveiled in September 2022, and construction is expected to begin in 2024. Terminal 5 will be an environment-friendly terminal, using sustainable aviation fuels for aircraft.
Answers! #1 40 years; #2 True! The other restaurant was Swensen’s; #3 Also Singapore! The indoor waterfall in the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay previously held the mark; #4 52 minutes (approximately 10,000 mobile phones per year); #5 SilkAir (the airline was absorbed by Singapore Airlines) Also… Did you know that Changi has its own distinctive fragrance diffused in various areas throughout the airport. It has notes of ylang-ylang, damask rose and orchid tea, and is designed “to leave you invigorated for your journey ahead”.
| Getting Started |
Everything you need to know about Singapore’s travel network! GETTING AROUND
The MRT and LRT (Light Rail Transit) system is the island’s train network, offering reliable, air-conditioned and cost-effective transport. Expats from other big cities in the world with long-running subway systems tend to wax lyrical about the quality of the MRT in Singapore compared to what they’re used to! New for 2022 • Eleven more stations on the new 32-station Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will open by the end of 2022. They include some very useful locations for getting around Singapore such as Orchard, Outram Park, Maxwell and Gardens by the Bay. • Looking forward, the Jurong Region Line (JRL) will fully open from 2029 as an above-ground line using smaller trains to accommodate 150 to 200 commuters. • The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is upgrading the North-South and East-West Lines, two of Singapore’s oldest and most heavily utilised train routes, with dozens of new trains already in service, and all old trains to be phased out by 2026.
MATCH THE MRT LINE WITH ITS COLOUR!
North-South Line East-West Line Circle Line
North East Line Downtown Line Thomson-East Coast Line
Answers: North-South, red; East-West, green; Circle, orange; North East, purple; Downtown, blue; Thomson-East Coast, brown
The Circle Line Controversy In 2020, around three-quarters of respondents in a Twitter survey said that they believed the Circle Line was yellow in colour, while a quarter claimed that it was orange. The official answer? It’s orange. The LTA posted a tweet to clarify, before adding: “’Orange’ you glad we cleared that up.”
| Getting Started |
Editors’ tips: EZ-Link card tips The EZ-Link card is a Singapore essential, allowing you to get around on all public transport types with ease. • The easiest place to buy one is at a 7-Eleven or Cheers outlet, but many MRT stations also sell them. • Don’t forget to tap in at the start of your journey and tap out at the end. • Your card can be used in various retail venues, including big-name fast food outlets, a large number of hawker centres, various cinemas, Cold Storage, the Singapore Science Centre and more. • Get the EZ-Link app so you can reload your card using your phone. Various limited-edition EZ-Link cards, charms and wearables have been released over the years, with themes ranging from Star Wars to the hawker centre artwork of Singaporean artists for National Day 2022.
It might be a small island, but Singapore is home to more than 5,000 bus stops! The bus service is a safe, comfortable, affordable and reliable way of travelling that reinvents the clunky, dusty systems found in many major cities. New for 2022 • The LTA has committed to using a full fleet of cleaner energy buses by 2040 to reduce its carbon footprint; 60 electric buses have already been added in recent years. • Singapore continues to trial driverless buses, with recent trials at Jurong Island and elsewhere. Expect to see more rolled out in the next few years. • Brand new Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) panels will be progressively installed at over 300 bus stops over the next few years.
27 CITYGUIDE2022/23 Public transport up in 2021 Not surprisingly, last year saw a rise in MRT and bus usage over 2020, when lockdowns kept more people at home for longer. An average of around 2.25million people used the MRT each day in 2021, while over 3 million caught a bus.
| Getting Started |
3 TAXIS & HIRE CARS If you fancy a quieter ride across the city, you have two options. Either hail a cab from Singapore’s well-established taxi system, or use one of the rapidly-growing private companies – Grab (which took over Uber’s Southeast Asian operations in 2018) and Gojek are the two most popular, while Ryde is a car-pooling app that now offers private-hire services too. Speaking of apps, taxi provider Comfort Del Gro upgraded its app in April 2022, relaunching it with the name CDG Zig. Fare Facts • Base fare for travelling in a standard taxi ranges from $3 to $3.40. • During peak hours (6am to 9.30am, and 6pm to midnight), you’ll pay an additional 25 percent of the metered fare; and 50 percent between midnight and 6am. • Expect to pay around $12 for a 10-kilometre off-peak trip. • ERP charges incurred during the trip are chargeable, and there is a CBD surcharge of $3. • You can pay for taxis and private hire cars with cash (smaller denominations preferred), credit card, NETS, EZ-Link cards, or via the company’s app. • Although drivers speak English, accents can occasionally cause confusion. If you’re concerned, just write down the address to show the driver. • One benefit of pre-paying for a journey via an app is that there are always LTA road improvement projects in progress around Singapore – current projects in 2022 include new interchanges on the KJE and TPE expressways. If roadworks slow your journey, you won’t need to fret about the fare going up.
FIGHTING FUEL COSTS! A sharp hike in petrol prices in 2022 has seen taxi companies implement a temporary one percent increase in distance and waiting-time fares for standard taxi rides to help cabbies cope. It’s in effect until 31 December 2022, as is an extra $3 surcharge on taxi rides from Changi Airport. For private hires, both Grab and Gojek have fare hikes in place until the end of 2022 – an extra 50 cents for Grab trips, and between 50 and 80 cents for Gojek. Several ERP rates went up by $1 from August 2022 too.
| Getting Started |
It’s not worth buying a car – you can always rent one if you need one. Nina
Is it worth having a car here? If you have a car, do you rent or buy, and why?
When our daughter was young, we had a car and we felt it was worth it then. We could load a day’s worth of stuff – gym, beach, shopping and so on, and be out and about the whole day. But now that we both work from home and our daughter is older, we have given up our car and don’t miss it. In fact, we feel better without it. We order all our things online. The fantastic public transport is a joy to use. Grab and Gojek make it easy and much more economical to get a car when one needs it. Goodbye to the stress of driving on the expressways or finding parking spots! Anu
Having a car is incredibly expensive here. It’s also not really necessary, though we did recently lease a car through my husband’s company and it has made exploring the island more convenient. We would never pay the full COE though. It’s now nearly $100,000! Amber
I DON’T THINK DRIVING MAKES MUCH SENSE IN SINGAPORE, AND I’VE NEVER THOUGHT OF GETTING MYSELF A CAR. FIRSTLY, THE INVESTMENT IS TOO HIGH, AND ALSO PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS SO EFFICIENT THAT THERE’S NO REAL NEED TO DRIVE. ALSO, DRINKING AND DRIVING IS A NO-GO HERE, SO I’D RATHER HAVE A FEWDRINKS AND LET OTHERS DRIVE ME! Stephan
If it wasn’t for the kids – three of them – I may not own a car. It’s expensive to buy a car in Singapore, so as a compromise, I own a weekend (off-peak) car. Recently, I have been contemplating to change my car and still evaluating if it would be better to rent. No conclusion yet! Calvin
We don’t have a car, but we’ve rented one during weekends occasionally and loved the freedom to explore far-flung corners of Singapore beyond the public transport system. Renting was very easy. Ceri
| Getting Started |
A POPULAR PICK 2022 Toyota Yaris Cross 1.5 The Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid comeswith the addition of Toyota’s i n - c l a s s H y b r i d technology. Nimble and quiet, the car is ready for anything that you throw at it. With its clever design cho i ce s s uch a s multi-storage spaces and a roomy 390L boot space, this is a popular choice among Carzuno subscribers.
Carzuno is a new way to get your own wheels without buying or leasing – and without hassle. With a model based on the simple premise of “Search, Subscribe, Drive”, the company offers a fully flexible and 100 percent digital experience that allows you to select your preferred ride from a wide range of vehicles and then subscribe (for as little as a month or up to 24 months), all in under three minutes! With each subscription, you enjoy: • no deposit or down payment • insurance coverage • servicing and maintenance • concierge support Keen to get on the road in Singapore but worried about hefty upfront payments when you purchase a car? Buying second-hand is an option, but then there are those unexpected maintenance worries to think about.
For more information or to book your vehicle, visit carzuno.com.
| Getting Started |
HOME SERVICES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Moving to Singapore or changing apartments? Get your Wi-Fi and other home services sorted with new app COLLATE. Here, founder KENNETH TAY explains how it works.
Customers who buy service packages through COLLATE
What is COLLATE, in a nutshell? It’s an on-demand household services booking app and the first fully-digital sales partner for the biggest telecommunications company in Singapore. It was created to help new expats set up their home Wi-Fi, TV and mobile connections prior to moving into their apartments. We usually start liaising two to three weeks prior to the move-in date, and can sometimes even start the consultation process with clients before they arrive in Singapore. Beyond our core expertise in telecommunication services, we provide cheaper electricity options via selected partners. We also offer laundry cleaning (doorstep pick-up and return) and aircon cleaning, and we’ll be launching home cleaning and handyman services before the end of 2022. What else should readers know about your services?
receive automated reminders to book their next appointment via the app. It’s a full digital experience when it comes to maintaining your household chores! You’ll also enjoy exclusive promotions and in-app discounts when you sign up for home Wi-Fi services. Are there extra fees to pay on top of the regular booking fee for the service providers? There are no extra charges when you sign up for home Wi-Fi, TV or mobile packages via the app, or book any other household service. The price of our service providers on the app is the same as a customer making a purchase directly with them.
Download the COLLATE app from the Apple or Google Playstore to get started.
| Getting Started | FAB APPS 44 Keen to know some useful apps to
FOOD & DRINK Deliveroo
TRAFFIC & PARKING Parking.SG Pay for parking
Get food delivered to your door in a flash; type in your postcode to see what’s available. foodpanda Another of the island’s food ordering apps that puts menus at your fingertips. Chope Make instant reservations at your favourite restaurants, and check prices, menus and dishes. Burpple Get clued up on the newest and hottest eateries in town, and read honest reviews. WhyQ A delivery service that partners with 2,500 hawker stalls and delivers 3,000 meals daily. GrubHub You guessed it: another food-ordering and delivery marketplace app! UberEats Uber mightn’t be around in Singapore now but the food delivery arm of the business is. Openrice A dining guide with hundreds of restaurant listings, plus regular promotions. BottlesXO Delivers high-quality wine and beer to wherever you are in Singapore. The Entertainer One-for-one drinks and dining at participating bars and restaurants. FairPrice Get all the groceries you need delivered within two hours and enjoy exclusive discounts.
using your mobile devices at all coupon parking car parks. Checkpoint.sg Traffic Shows the traffic situation at the links between Singapore and Malaysia.
TRANSPORT & NAVIGATION iChangi
Up-to-date arrival and departure info so you’ll never be too early at the airport. SG Buses Locate your next bus or identify buses and routes if you’re lost with this user-friendly app. Singabus Great for checking bus arrival times, real time bus locations, and the nearest bus stops. Singapore MRT Map Route updated MRT and LRT maps, plus the fastest route to your destination. EZ-Link Monitors your EZ-Link transactions and highlights available discounts. Citymapper Find real-time routes via bus, MRT, LRT, train, ferry, taxi, walking and cycling. Simple access to Singapore’s most
download to your phone? We’ve got dozens of them! From food delivery to navigating public transport, our recommendations will make Singapore life just that bit easier.
| Getting Started |
TIKTOK TAKES TOP SPOT
PROPERTY & WORK PropertyGuru
atome SG A buy-now-pay-later
Like in 2020, the world’s most downloaded app in 2021 was TikTok – however, there were almost 200 million fewer downloads of the app from the previous year. Instagram replaced Facebook in second place.
Search for all types of property in Singapore and filter by price, area and more. iProperty Another app for searching the latest listings of available real estate in Singapore. you to see stock activity, company exchanges and more (App Store only) Singtel Dash Why withdraw cash from banks? Make transactions on the go with this app instead. FastJobs SG Looking for work? Browse part-time, temporary, freelance and holiday jobs with this app. JobsDB Another job-search app providing a wide range of work opportunities and vacancies. JobStreet Jobs on offer from over 230,000 employers in Singapore and the region. Singapore (SG) Stocks Easy-to-use app allowing Singapore’s best-known cab companies, Comfort and City Cab. Grab Get an estimated fare and full details of your taxi driver, and rate the journey afterwards. Gojek This ride-sharing app aims to get you around the city faster, cheaper and better. Tada Another new app for hailing a ride, this one driven by blockchain. TAXIS CDG Zig Easily book a taxi with
(BNPL) app that allows you to shop what you love, both online and in-store. Zalora Browse local and international brands on the go, with free delivery in Singapore. Lazada Shop thousands of products across health, app for buying and selling using your phone; good for bargains. Qoo10 Newest products and trends from Singapore and the world at discounted prices. ASOS Keep up to date with popular fashion trends and personalised recommendations with a variety of products to choose from. beauty, home, living, electronics and more. Shopee Another popular rates for any country – a handy tool now that people are starting to travel once again! SG Weather Check the weather in Singapore with a radar map display, PSI alert and rain alerts for any location. Singapore Air Quality Skies looking a little hazy? Get an air quality report for your area. XE Currency Find live exchange
Carousell An active marketplace
for second-hand products, from tech and gadgets to designer handbags. ShopBack Cashback rewards app ShopBack gives you money back on purchases from a range of online stores
Singpass Mobile Access your personal government verified data and a range of digital services WhiteCoat Consult Singapore registered doctors via live video with medication delivery options available. Sistic Keen to see a show? Sistic is the largest ticketing service provider in Singapore.
| Getting Started |
HELPERS: 10 THINGS TO KNOW
Struggling to juggle the cooking, shopping, cleaning and childcare? Happily, there are diligent and conscient ious women l iving in Singapore and working to support their families in their home countries who can lend you a hand. Here are some key things worth knowing about helpers and how to hire them. 1 There are around 250,000 Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) in Singapore. 2 Most of these helpers are from the Philippines and Indonesia, with a much smaller percentage from Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand. 3 Part-time helpers are available for between $10 and $20 an hour, and can be hired independently or through a company. 4 Full-time, live-in maids cost between $450 and $750 a month, depending on their experience. 5 Employers must also pay a monthly government levy ($300; or $450 for a second helper), plus a one-time security bond of $5,000 (not paid upfront but covered under the insurance scheme). Some deductions and waivers are available on the levy.
6 Employers are responsible for providing accommodation, insurance, food and medical care for maids, in addition to hiring costs, airfares for bi-annual home leave, transfer costs and an annual bonus. 7 If you’re a first-time employer or you’ve changed helpers frequently, there’s a compulsory Employer’s Orientation Programme out l ining your ro l e and responsibilities (three hours, $30); visit mom.gov.sg for details. 8 Most expats give their helper every Sunday and public holidays off, plus a two-week holiday every two years to their home country. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandates that all employers must give helpers one day off per week (or fairly compensate them, should they be required to work). 9 For around $400, amaid agencywill find you a maid, and will usually give you the chance to interview several. Alternatively, you can source a maid yourself and complete the paperwork on the MOM website.
CLASSES & COURSES Singapore has a huge variety of enrichment classes for helpers, from cooking and baking, to sewing and first aid. Some are held during the week, others are subsidised through charitable organisations and take place on Sundays.
| Getting Started |
“CAN YOU COOK WELL?” “HOWWOULD YOU HANDLE SOMEONE WHO ACCIDENTALLY BURNT THEMSELVES AT HOME?” Calvin
Hired a helper before? What
10 Expats leaving Singapore s ome t ime s he l p t he i r maid find work by advertising on noticeboards or forums. Note: be wary of taking an ex-employer’s word if they’re transferring a helper and changing to a new one; they can sometimes be generous with the truth in order to “move them on”.
WE HAVE INTERVIEWED A FEW HELPERS, BUT WE DON’T HAVE ANY KIDS SOWE ONLY HAVE A PART-TIME CLEANER THROUGH AN AGENCY. IF WE DO GET A HELPER, I WOULD WANT TO KNOWWHAT THEY LIKE TO DO IN THEIR FREE TIME AND ENSURE THERE IS NO DRAMA. Amber I usually treat it like hiring any other employee. So, explain the job expectations, benefits and house rules. Ask about their expectations, experience and willingness to learn, any hobbies that you could support. Get ex-employer references and check the helper’s record on the Ministry of Manpower website. If there is childcare or baby care involved, then I would recommend a high level of due diligence including asking about vaccines, stating your preferred style of interaction when the helper interacts with the child or baby (for example, no hitting, no scaring the child into submission and so on), safety rules (using baby seats or seatbelts in cars), and you could also consider sending them for some sort of first-aid training. Anu
We were lucky to find a helper who suits us very well – she’s lived with us since our second boy was born in 2014. I’m not sure if there are generic questions to help find the right one. We asked ours if she could help with the usual house chores and cooking – her cooking is very good. Our helper is seen as a part of our family, but such decisions needs to be taken family by family. Respect from human to human is key to having a good helper; I don’t understand how someone would ask a helper to sleep on the floor or in a bomb shelter. Stephan “What would you do if a five-year-old child started choking in their food?” “How do you work a fire blanket to put out a fire in the kitchen?” “What was the most difficult aspect of working at your last place?” Ceri are some questions to ask in an interview?
BEING A GOOD BOSS While it’s not mentioned s p e c i f i c a l l y i n a n y employment agreement, it goes without saying that everyone should strive to be a good employer. To do this, it’s useful to try to put yourself in your helper’s shoes; they’re in a foreign country, away from family (often young children), working for a different family with different expectations and viewpoints. So, strive to be understanding and kind. If there are bumps on the road – and there will be, since you’re living with each other – be calm and constructive; work through the issues like you would in a business relationship. It’s a good idea to do regular reviews, perhaps quarterly, to nip any potential problems in the bud. And be sure to ask feedback from your helper, too.
| Getting Started |
Plant-based Cleaning Soapnut Republic started when New ZealanderBOBBYMITCHELLandAustralian KIM GILLILAND had their first child; they wanted to ensure their home was free of toxic chemicals arising from day-to-day household cleaning. Tell us about Soapnut Republic. We’re a chemical free personal and homecare brand. Our products are powered by Soapnut extract, blended with plant-based ingredients and essential oils. What are soapnuts? Soapnuts have traditionally been used in natural hair and body care products, and as a laundry wash for centuries in China, India and Indonesia. They’re rich in natural saponin, a natural alternative to conventional soap that’s gentle on skin. Is it safe for young children and pets? Our produc t s a re a l l e rgen- f re e and biodegradable. They have no art i f icial fragrances or synthetic chemicals, making them safe for homes with young children. Essential oils naturally scent the products but don’t linger on surfaces, so they’re non-toxic to pets.
SOME BEST-SELLERS Soapnut Republic FoamingHand Soap: Luxurious foaming hand soap that’s gentle and non drying on your hands. Available in lemongrass, lavender andmint. Soapnut Republic Multi Purpose Cleaner: A no-rinse formulation that cleans and deodorises surfaces of grease, mould and grime – from stoves to kitchen tops, and even non-removable fabric sofa covers. SoapnutRepublicLiquidLaundry: Gentle detergent that’s naturally scented wi th l emongrass essential oil and naturally anti bacterial with tea tree essential oil. Leaves no chemical residue on clothing, retains fabric texture and preserves colours. Soapnut Republic Fruit & VegetableWash: Removes pesticides, fertilisers and dirt from fruit and veg by using natural soap from soapnut berries extract.
WhatsApp 8875 5722 soapnutrepublicsg.com
| Getting Started |
This drinking water is full of the minerals our bodies need to function, with less of the “other stuff”’ found in old pipes in Singapore! It’s easy to book and schedule deliveries, and it tastes great too.
WHY WE SHOULD DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
WHY NATURAL SPRING WATER IS BEST Minerals are what our body is made up of, so drinking water with natural minerals in it is a huge step in helping the body maintain itself. Drawn directly from Victoria’s Black Hill Mountains, Natural Springs Australia is naturally filtered with all natural minerals and electrolytes intact. It has a pH of 8.1 and undergoes no chemical treatment. This water is as pure as it gets – additive-free and free of contamination – as it’s transferred straight from the springs into export containers. And, at $19 for a huge recyclable bottle, it’s definitely worth it!
It takes at least eight cups a day to keep your system in good order, especially when it’s hot and humid. Water also increases the body’s resistance to stress, as it thins the blood, fights fatigue and supports the immune and cardiovascular systems. As the primary substance your body needs for flushing out toxins, water is vital to the body’s metabolism and digestion – and a sufficient intake is linked to our skin staying soft and supple too. Finally, dehydration can cause you to feel lethargic and tired, and even mild dehydration can impair brain function, limit memory and increase fatigue.
For new sign-ups, quote code “EL3” on the online Note when ordering to receive three free bottles for your next order.
6872 3468 | email@example.com naturalsprings.com.sg
| Getting Started |
IN THE BEDROOM The bedroom is your sanctuary and should be a calm and restful place. • Place your bed with the head against a solid wall, not under a window. • Don’t point the bed’s feet towards the door; this is called the “funeral position”. • Find out your good directions according to your Kua Number and place your bed with the headboard facing one of these directions. • This also applies to children’s bedrooms – and it can instantly turn kids into good sleepers! Bringing feng shui into your home is easier than you think – and it doesn’t mean completely revamping your space. According to LUCY RICHARDSON of Feng Shui Focus, small changes canmake a huge difference. Here are her tips! for Home
WORKING FROM HOME Not everybody has a home office but even if you just use a small work corner or the dining table, there are feng shui recommendations for creating a space where you can focus and be productive and successful. • Sit with your back to a wall. • Choose the “command position” fromwhich you have a good view of the room and the door. • Hang a mountain picture behind your seat to receive continued support from your superiors. • Check there are no “poison arrows” coming from sharp corners pointing at your work station. • Face one of your auspicious directions, especially your “Success” direction, for a great advantage! SAFEGUARD YOUR HEALTH To protect your family’s health, you need to locate the East sector of your house or apartment, as this is connected to health luck. • Use wooden furniture in your East room or add objects made of wood. • Place plants here (but not in a bedroom), ideally upward-growing plants with rounded leaves. • If neither is possible, using the colour green is a good alternative.
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