Singapore sits just one and a half degrees north of the Equator, so it’s fair to say it’s steamy year round, with tropical temperatures and no defined seasons. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat. From channelling your inner Ariel to riding a wave, here are our favourite ways to make a splash in this vibrant, Asian city-state.
Swim Like A Mermaid
At Singapore’s Mermaid School, you too can learn to twirl like Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Pull on a tail and hone your aquatic flips and flourishes at classes held by company owner Syrena, who says “it's a fantastic way to keep fit, and works to tone those core muscles while you have fun. Get ready to torch some serious calories when you're frolicking around mermaid style. The best thing? You’ll be having a blast the entire time!”
Don Flippers And A Mask
Colourful marine life might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you picture Singapore, a city-state home to around six million people, surrounded by some of Southeast-Asia’s most populous countries. But its waters are remarkably pristine and happen to be the perfect place to get a feel for the region’s underwater attractions. If you have young kids in tow, head to Adventure Cove Waterpark on Sentosa Island, where you can snorkel with more than 20,000 friendly fishes without the worry of being in the open ocean. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can join GS Diving trips around the nearby island of Pulau Hantu. Whether you dive or snorkel, once you dip your head under water here you’ll be rewarded with sea fans, anemone, flower crabs, seahorses, barracuda and turtles.
Paddle This Way
Straits, reservoirs, bays and lakes, there are plenty of places to pick up a paddle in Singapore. Some of our favourites are Ola Beach Club, where you can row down Siloso Beach and then swap your kayak for a stand-up paddleboard or jetpack. Ola is the perfect place to end your day, with delicious sunset cocktails and an extensive Hawaiian menu. The Paddle Lodge at MacRitchie Reservoir is a popular base among serious kayakers, who take off at speeds across this enormous waterway. Whatever your level of experience, you can rent single and double kayaks here and explore the jungle-laced shores.
Make A Splash
Singapore does waterparks well, and there are plenty of places for young ones (and the young at heart) to make a monumental splash. Adventure Cove Waterpark within Resorts World
Sentosa is the granddaddy of waterparks. In addition to snorkelling with all those fish mentioned above, you can scream your way down high-speed waterslides and test your endurance on balance beams and cargo nets that come with a watery landing should you fall. It’s perhaps only rivalled by Wild Wild Wet which has rides that range from white water rafting simulators to freefall slides and tubing—there’s also an elaborate playground stilted over a swimming pool. If you happen to be touring Singapore Zoo, Rainforest KidzWorld is a great place to cool down between animal visits, while Singapore's very first floating aqua park, Hydrodash, is a thrilling experience and fun for all ages.
Jump In On A Wave
Singapore may not have the natural waves for surfing, but that shouldn’t stop avid surfers from practising tricks while in town. Newly opened Surf Cove by Wave House Sentosa, is a reincarnation of this popular wave rider facility on the Singapore mainland. The main attraction is the Double FlowRider, which caters to beginners and experienced surfers by generating non-curling sheets of water, flowing at 32km/hr. Carve up and down the surface, perform tricks, and then refuel at the on-site restaurant and bar.
Dive Right In
When it comes to swimming, it’s hard to look past the blissful palm-lined beaches that ring Sentosa Island. As an added bonus, many of the swanky beach clubs here come with pools overlooking the sand. Popular hangouts include Tanjong Beach Club, with daybeds and plenty of space for alfresco cocktails, FOC Sentosa at Palawan Beach, and the aforementioned Ola on Siloso Beach. If you prefer chlorine to salt, the Pasir Ris Swimming Complex comes with paddling pools for tots as well as lanes for those wanting to clock up a few laps, or you can book a night at one of these hotels with chi-chi pools. You can even do a few laps if you’re in transit at Changi Airport, with Aerotel boasting a blinging alfresco pool replete with Jacuzzi and bar. How many international flight hubs around the world offer that?
Enter The Dragon
If you’re inspired by the thumping drumbeats and high-paced watery action of Singapore’s Dragon Boat Festival, you can try your hand at this exciting sport by borrowing your own boat. The Singapore Dragon Boat Association has a fleet of crafts you can float—but take note, there are minimum and maximum numbers of people permitted to be paddling at any given time. This traditional Chinese sport has a history that dates back more than 2,500 years, and it’s an exhilarating showcase of athleticism and teamwork. Why wouldn’t you want to be involved?
Use Your Core
Located just off Changi Coast Road at NSRCC Sea Sports Centre, is a one-stop sea sports centre, Constant Wind Sea Sports Centre. Nestled in a tranquil yet open space in the south-eastern part of Singapore, you can choose between kayaking, SUP boarding and windsurfing and hit the water no matter how experienced—or inexperienced—you are. Hire your gear for the day and set out to sea—just be sure to reward yourself for all your hard work with a cocktail or two at the end of the day.
Leave Water In Your Wake
If you like your watersports high octane, you’ll want to make a beeline for the Singapore Wake Park, a dedicated cable-ski park built in a lagoon—it comes with three levels of cables, so everyone from beginners to those experienced in the sport can participate. Book a session with Ryders or Wake Time and you’ll head out onto the harbour, either wakeboarding or wakesurfing at speeds of close to 40 kilometres an hour.
Come Sail With Me
Surrounded by the sea, Singapore is the ideal place to try your hand at sailing. But you don’t have to leave the heart of the city to jump on board a boat. Join DBS Sailing At The Bay and take in jaw-dropping views while sailing around Marina Bay— just be sure to book early, as it’s a hugely popular way to get your bearings while learning a few sailing techniques. Know your way around a yacht? You can charter one and sail off into the sunset from Sentosa Cove’s One°15 Marina.
Blessed with beautiful beaches and equally attractive freshwater lagoons, Singapore’s watery attractions are just waiting for you to dive in. From adrenaline-pumping water sports to chilled out kayaking, whatever your passion, Singapore has you covered. Head to Singapore Tourism for more info.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Singapore Tourism and endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.