By Nigel R.
Roaming beyond borders with the full freedom of any immersive journey are promising experiences that invigorate the senses and provide new paradigms with which we can appreciate the everyday. But we don’t always have to wander off so far from home despite so many possibilities and inspirations at our doorstep, it’s easy to look right past them as we go searching and dreaming of distant shores.
Here we present some very special micro-travel experiences to enjoy – that can reinvigorate the mind and soul, just like any great journey should.
Singapore was once covered entirely with jungles, and one doesn’t have to venture too far off the main roads to be back in it. Here the humidity is lighter, and the trees provide respite against an unforgiving sun. You’ll easily escape the traffic noise and the dull roar of civilisation, and turn corners which are filled with surprises, as Blue Sky Escapes’ founder, Krystal Tan, discovered by chance one Sunday afternoon: “Abundant and untouched forests still exist in Singapore, and my husband and I discovered an ecosystem of unmarked paths and trails in and around the Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetery. Here you’ll find lush foliage, towering raintrees and trails that follow a natural stream.”
Access to the area is from Kheam Hock Road, and the sense of getting safely lost comes on quickly and serenely. The Bukit Brown Chinese cemetery which links to this is a gem of a place to discover: old tombstones, many adorned with colonial-era memorials with statues of Sikh soldiers, Chinese deities and lions, all of which sleep endlessly under trees that are long grown over with creepers and foliage. Many of the city’s founders were laid to rest there, their names memorialised in some of the more prominent landmarks in Singapore: Chew Joo Chiat, Tan Tock Seng, Eu Tong Sen, among others.
Voyage around Singapore and watch as views of the Southern Islands unfold before you. Accessible only by private charter, gain access to Kusu, St. John’s, Lazarus and over sixty others of these little visited places, where you’re sure to share the destination with few others.
Our favourite itinerary for this route is for 2 days, 1 night, exploring the Northern and Southern islands. Start from One15 Marina Club and head directly to the Sisters’ Islands, a critical landmark for all vessels arriving to or departing from Singapore. From there, have a stop-off at Lazarus Beach for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and some beach frolicking.
Lunch is served onboard, and then it’s off again as we head towards Changi Sailing Club, navigating between the ships of the Singapore Straits. Our evening is spent with dinner on the waterfront and an overnight stay, docked by the sailing club.
On the second morning, we set off to explore the Northern Islands and Pulau Ubin, starting from Changi Sailing Club, where you can take in the island from a distance. End your voyage back at One15 Marina Club that afternoon.
Sitting comfortably at arm’s length offshore, but still within Singapore’s territorial waters, is Pulau Ubin, an island loved by visitors for its kampong villages, lush ecological diversity and quiet, local restaurants.
Chartering your own yacht offers personalised, individual and private exploration of the coastline. Pulau Ubin is a popular stopping point, where pathways meander aimlessly through jungles and mangroves, alongside some preserved villages belonging to traditional fishermen.
Venture off the beaten path with the occasional monkey and wild boar as your travel companions. Maybe you’ll even want to catch your own fish for dinner at a kelong restaurant. Or, if the weather’s cooperating, take a kayak and explore some more on your own.
Pulau Ubin can be reached by bumboat from Changi Point, and a short journey spirits you away to a quieter place that recalls Singapore’s history – some of which is still very much living and breathing here.
Singapore is blessed with a dazzling array of spaces for wellness staycations. Who needs to get on a plane when you can be in your suite within half an hour? The city may be busy, but immediate escapes to tranquil resorts are within easy reach.
With a Blue Sky Escapes Wellness Staycation, you’ll get inside access to our black book of personalities offering restorative sessions in yoga, reiki, meditation, mindfulness and sound healing.
To allow you full respite and time to recharge with complete serenity, children too can be looked after and stimulated with mindfulness workshops with a certified practitioner or creative art activities.
In some of our favourite havens in the city, you can indulge in a relaxing staycation to feed your mind, body and soul. You may wish to pamper yourself and be served by your very own butler at Raffles Hotel, one of the world’s most iconic heritage hotels, or feel right at home at The Warehouse Hotel, where you can nourish your body with delectable home-cooked specialties of modern Singaporean cuisine. Alternatively, escape the bustle of the city and immerse yourself in a luxurious stay at Capella Singapore, where you can commune with the sights and sounds of nature and choose from a variety of spa retreats and signature treatments as the perfect wind down.
What’s more, we provide a 24/7 concierge service via WhatsApp while you’re there to ensure that your every wish, whim and detail are effortlessly taken care of.
With so much to discover right here and the travel bug biting down on us harder than ever before, there’s no better time than now to step out and allow the wonders of the world to come flooding back to you in all its glory.
Staycation with us and enjoy exclusive VIP amenities such as complimentary upgrades, dining credits and late check-outs.