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The Essential Guide to a Singapore Staycation
Planning a solo staycation or a couples’ self-care holiday in Singapore?
There’s no denying that these are uncertain times. Yet, nothing is certain in life—the best you can do is make sure you’re primed and ready to handle the challenges that come your way.
For this to happen, it’s essential to prioritise your mental health. On a regular basis, set aside time to relax, recharge, and forget the cares of the world. Whether you can spare a weekend, a day, or even a few hours, your goal is to take a break from your daily routine and make the most of it.
We recommend a short stay at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Singapore, to brighten your day and boost your spirits. Whether you’re seeking solitude, or quality time alone with your significant other, we’ve got some perfect self-care staycation ideas for you.
Heading out? Escape the Everyday with a Novel Experience
To see Singapore in a different light, think about how you can engage with familiar surroundings in a refreshing way. Venture into a place that you haven’t set foot in before, join a tour or workshop to learn something new, or try something that you ordinarily wouldn’t. As an exercise in mindfulness, you can focus on how each experience stimulates your senses, and keep a journal to record your observations.
If you’re planning to book your staycation in a centrally located hotel such as PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Singapore, here’s what you can do.
Learn To Live In The Moment
Did you know that museum visits can be therapeutic? Research has shown that our responses to museum objects can tell us something about ourselves—objects resonate with us when they evoke emotions or memories, and if we pay attention to our reactions, we can develop greater self-understanding. According to the Smithsonian Institution, museum visitors gain the most rewards from their visit when they choose museums that offer:
Opportunities to see unusual, valuable, or beautiful things
A chance to gain knowledge and understanding
The ability to imagine a different time and place
Pick up A New Skill or Hobby
An under-the-radar museum in Singapore—which offers all of the above—is the Indian Heritage Centre. This hidden gem museum explores the roots of Singapore’s Indian and South Asian communities, and depicts their experiences from the 1800s to the present day. You can also sign up for a guided tour, as well as activities such as craft demonstrations and cultural talks.
While you’re there, pick up a copy of the Little India Heritage Trail booklet (also available as a download) for recommended walking routes to explore Little India. If you’re on your own, you may want to give “mindful walking” a try. This is an activity where you focus attention on your own movements, as well as the sights, sounds, and smells around you. To do this effectively, search for mindful walking meditations and guided tutorials on sites like Mindful.org.
To engage your taste buds instead, join a food tour that will give you a deeper appreciation of how local delights are prepared. Wok ‘n’ Stroll has a Wet Market Adventure in Little India tour, while BonAppeTour runs a similar tour at Geylang Serai Market, which is frequented by Singapore’s Malay community.
Get in Touch with Your Spirituality
If you’ve been pondering about the meaning of life, you can turn part of your staycation into a spiritual retreat, where you seek out sacred spaces to broaden your perspective, or find solace in prayer and meditation.
Some individuals harness their intellect and values to make sense of the world, while for others, religion provides the framework for a life well lived. Whatever spiritual beliefs you subscribe to, a glimpse into another’s faith can propel you to make positive changes in your own life. Or, perhaps you already have a faith that you would like to connect more strongly with, during this time of deep contemplation.
For guests at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Singapore, you can easily get to the following places of worship in and around the Little India district to recharge your soul:
- The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is home to a 300-ton Buddha statue, surrounded by a chain of lights—it’s also known as the “temple of a thousand lights.” If you examine the base of the statue, you’ll see a fresco that depicts milestone events in Buddha’s life. Architecture buffs should also visit the nearby Leong San See Temple, which is considered one of the more ornate Buddhist temples in Singapore. To find out more about Buddhism, consult a beginner-friendly reading list, or sign up for a free Coursera programme on Buddhism and Modern Psychology, conducted by Princeton University.
- Two Hindu temples that you shouldn’t miss while in Little India are Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple. If you’re planning a January or February staycation, you can time it to coincide with the Thaipusam festival, which is celebrated in honour of the Hindu god of war, Murugan. The grand street procession held on this occasion has traditionally kicked off from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. To discover more, enrol in a free edX course to learn about Hinduism through its scriptures, by Harvard University.
Hoping to visit a local mosque? Visitors are welcome at the Masjid Abdul Gafoor (or Abdul Gafoor mosque), and robes are available for those who are not conservatively dressed. One of the highlights here is the sundial at the main entrance, which has 25 rays, each featuring a prominent Islamic prophet’s name in Arabic calligraphy. For more information, bookmark this list of five books to better understand Islam.
To visit heritage churches in Singapore, such as Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, the Armenian Church, and Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, enquire with Jane’s SG Tours to find out when they will be conducting their church walks. Of course, you can also visit these churches on your own, and if you’re interested to delve deeper into the history of Christianity, you can take a journey through Western Christianity online, thanks to Yale University.
Connect with the Community through Giving
Need a quick way to feel better? Try being altruistic—according to science, helping others not only makes you happier, it can ease chronic pain, lower your blood pressure, and increase your longevity.
Guests at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road can volunteer their services at the Willing Hearts soup kitchen (an 11-minute drive away), which is where many locals go to do something meaningful. Don’t worry if you haven’t helped out before, as all you’ll need is a warm smile, two helping hands, and the ability to ask the question, “How can I be of help today?” There are several shifts that you can join, from early morning to afternoon. Depending on what’s needed for the day, you may be tasked to prepare ingredients, cook, or pack food into lunch boxes. (Visit their website to find out more.)
Other feel-good things you can do to create a sense of community? First, make it a point to support small businesses in the area, such as family-run eateries and cafes. Second, open your heart to strike up conversations with strangers. It’s rewarding to connect with someone, however briefly—even introverts can benefit from this exercise. If you’re not sure how to begin, a simple “hello” or a genuine question might do the trick. (Or read up for more tips.)
Staying in? Take a Break and Find Your Spark
Sometimes, the best thing to do on a staycation is to do nothing at all. By giving yourself some well-deserved downtime, you can improve your mental health, mend relationships, and stimulate creative juices.
Alternatively, dine in at one of our in-house restaurants:
- Si Chuan Dou Hua: This cozy restaurant serves authentic Sichuan and Cantonese delicacies, skilfully prepared by a team of talented chefs. Savour traditional favourites including Braised Pork Belly served in Whole Pumpkin, and Chinese cuisine specialities such as nutritious double-boiled soups, succulent Roast Suckling Pig, and handmade dim sum.
- Tian Fu Tea Room: This is a dedicated tea room serving Chinese tea and exquisite dim sum. Choose from over 30 varieties of fine tea, ranging from the ubiquitous green and red teas, to the more exotic yellow, white, and flower teas as well as a collection of health teas. Pair your tea with dim sum specialties such as Minced Meat Dumpling in Chilli Oil, Steamed Glutinous Rice Roll with Minced Meat, and Deep-fried Green Tea Glutinous Rice Ball.
- Spice Brasserie: This all-day-dining restaurant offers a tantalising selection of Asian street food and local dishes. Enjoy the extensive a la carte and buffet offerings, which includes appetizers and sweet treats to complement your meal.
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Handy Resources for Slow Living
To help you embrace slow living, the team at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Singapore, has compiled some resources that you may find useful:
The New York Times has a Watching newsletter, where you can get TV and movie recommendations mailed to you several times a week. Lists include the 50 Best Shows on Netflix and the Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video.
If you enjoy TEDTalks, tune in to its most-watched talks of all time.
What are the best books to read while on vacation? Check out this list of 26 holiday-friendly books, as selected by the Buzzfeed community.
Are you a true romantic at heart? You’ll be head over heels for the New York Times’s Modern Love column, which is all about contemporary relationships—couples, families, pets, and more. If you’re new to the column, you may also want to browse the stories using this unofficial fan index. (There’s also a Modern Love book, podcast and TV series.) For a lighter read, try The Guardian’s Blind Date column.
Craving intellectual stimulation? Brain Pickings will give you plenty to think about.
Yale’s most popular course—The Science of Well-Being— is offered for free online. It’s a course that teaches you how to be happier, brought to you by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos.
One of the most sought-after courses on Coursera is Learning How To Learn by Barbara Oakley, a computer-science engineer at Michigan’s Oakland University. More than 1.8 million students from over 200 countries have enrolled in this free course!
If you’re a fan of philosopher/author Alain de Botton, you’ll enjoy the short videos on his “School of Life” YouTube channel, which explore the questions of our emotional and psychological life.
Have you heard of “immersion reading?” It’s a fancy term for reading a book while listening to a narration at the same time—do this by borrowing or purchasing a physical book or e-book, and getting hold of the audiobook as well. Audible has a vast selection of audiobooks, but be warned: once you’ve tried immersion reading, it’s hard to revert to regular reading!
A fan of podcasts? NPR has a good selection, or try these: Vulture’s 10 Best Non-Fiction That Changed Everything and Wired’s Best Podcasts in Tech, Culture, Politics, and More.
Need to pause, breathe, and refocus your thoughts? Download the Headspace app to stress less, focus more, and sleep better.
If you’re with your significant other, break away from run-of-the-mill conversations by using this list of 36 Questions that Lead to Love. According to research, these probing questions can help even total strangers to fall in love!
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