Whether you’re visiting Singapore for the first time, or have lived in Singapore for a long time (or all your life), there are many interesting local tours that bring you through an educational day of culture, history, food, and nature, that will let you see the country in a different light.
Forget the usual tourist attractions and the common ‘same-old’ tours, and go on one of these local tours that will enrich your understanding of this island nation.
The OG Female Badass Tour: An Untold Tale of the Samsui Women & Majies
Ever wondered how women in the early years contributed to the development of modern-day Singapore? Leaving their hometowns as young women, arriving in search of work to send money back home, discover how the Majies and Samsui Women went against the tide of a patriarchal tradition to live independently as sisterhoods. Learn about their courage and sacrifice; an inspiration for young women today to be empowered to find their own independence and financial freedom on the 3-hour walking tour that gives you an almost first-hand view of the lives of Singapore’s faceless female labourers.
Explore Hidden WW2 Bunkers
If you are a history buff and enjoy a little off-the-beaten-track experience, it’s highly recommended you go on this 3.5-hour expedition to the Marsiling Bunkers, abandoned WW2 structures leftover from the time of British colonial rule. Hidden in a forest without walking trails, follow your guide as he brings you into the heart of nature to visit two bunkers that used to be where the British (and later the Japanese army during the occupation) kept their ammunition and supplies. This tour is made fun with some challenges (nothing a 5-year-old kid or 65-year-old grandfather cannot overcome!), and it’s pet friendly too so if you have any fur kids, feel free to bring them along.
Singapore Disappearing Trade Tour
The advancement of technologies has automated many processes that used to be hand-laboured, with many traditional trades finding that they may soon disappear. Go on this Disappearing Trade Tour in Singapore, and be introduced to some of Singapore’s thriving trades from the 1960s to 1980s. Visit a coffee roaster and learn how the fragrant local ‘kopi’ beans are roasted, and go behind the scenes to one of the oldest traditional bakeries to see how these freshly-baked ‘roti’ are made – both quintessential of Singapore’s local kaya toast breakfast. Meet a master of paper house making and the Chinese custom behind these houses, and learn how with time, these trades are slowly disappearing.
Intertidal Walk – Singapore’s Hidden Marine World
Led by an experienced marine naturalist guide, go up close and personal with the rich marine life that’s found in the intertidal areas in Singapore. Get your feet wet during the 2-hour walk, and get to see hermit crabs, swimmer crabs, starfishes, anemones, sea cucumbers, and other interesting animals. Learn how these marine animals adapt to survive the harsh intertidal environment as they make these shores their home in this interesting tour that gives insight into basic marine ecology.
Balestier Magic Walking Tour
If you’re keen to learn more about how different districts in Singapore came to be and the stories of how they transformed, while being entertained, the Balestier Magic Tour is one interesting tour you should not miss. This walking tour brings you through Balestier, as you listen to these stories through magic-infused storytelling performances by local magician Mr. Bottle and explore the precinct filled with distinct architectural shophouses and buildings.
Hawker Centre Food Tour
Intrigued by the hawker centre food scene that you’ve always read (or watched) about, want to venture beyond the tourist trap of Newton Circus Hawker Centre but have no idea where to begin? If you’re an adventurous foodie, treat your taste buds to a culinary journey through different hawker centres in Singapore with your Singaporean host. Try famous classic dishes like chicken rice, to street food favourites like popiah, and cool down with freshly shaved Ice Kacang. Your dietary preferences or allergies will not be a hindrance to this tour as your guide will personalise it to your requirements and ensure you’ll enjoy a delicious treat!
Find out more about this tour here.
BONUS: Free walking tours
Low on budget but still keen to explore and learn more about precincts and landmarks in Singapore? You can check out free walking tours that are conducted by a licensed tour guide, bringing you through heritage sites to learn about their history, culture, arts, and the diverse community within. Their urban tour series brings you through iconic precincts like Marina Bay where you’ll discover Singapore’s modern development and futuristic innovation.
Stay in the heart of Orchard Road at Concorde Hotel SingaporeVisit Hotel Website