As much as I love to travel, I also treasure the moments when I can be a tourist in my own country. You will be surprised at how much there is to discover about a place as you explore its hidden gems.
Before you think about visiting another exotic country, I encourage you to explore your own first and appreciate the place that you live in. It will be a real eye-opener.
Over the weekend, I got to go on a cycling tour with travel company, Let's Go Tour Singapore and it was SO MUCH FUN!
They recently launched 'Trails of Tan Ah Huat - Singapore 1920s', a storytelling tour which transports visitors back to the 1920s as they follow Ah Huat's journey to some of the most iconic places in Singapore. Just so you know, Ah Huat's character and story are fictional, but it helps to explain the history of Singapore in an interesting manner.
Our journey began at the Let's Go Tour Singapore office in Lavender, where we started off with an introductory video followed by a briefing.
Other things we received before we set off were:
1) An old school hat and a Good Morning towel to complete our 1920s look;
2) A portable receiver connected to earphones so that we can listen to the tour guide's instructions;
3) A bottle of water to hydrate ourselves throughout the morning.
We also chose our bikes, and obviously, petite me had to go with the smallest one. Thank goodness they had baskets attached to their bikes for us to toss our belongings into.
Since this is a cycling tour, it is a basic requirement to know how to cycle. They do not have tandem bikes or three-wheelers. Nonetheless, they do have e-scooters so you can get an upgrade to this mode of transport if you do not wish to cycle.
Although we were given old school hats, you can choose to wear a helmet if you prefer. I didn't want to wear my hat because I was afraid that the wind would blow it away.
We had a tour guide who doubled as a storyteller to lead 11 of us on this 4-hour cycling tour. Our cycling paths were relatively smooth and largely devoid of human traffic, although there were some parts of the tour where we had to cross road junctions or navigate through a slightly busy street.
That said, our tour guide gave us clear instructions and kept a close watch on us, stopping frequently to make sure that no one was left behind. He was also humourous and engaging as he shared about Ah Huat's story using props, building our suspense and encouraging us to find out more at the next stop as the plot thickened.
Although it was a 4-hour tour, there were plenty of stopovers. Thus, you need not worry that you would have to exert yourself and cycle continuously for hours.
We also covered a lot of places, namely:
-Central Business District (CBD)
If I was a foreigner visiting Singapore for the first time, I would be overjoyed at being able to visit so many places within the morning.
You'll get to check out the different sides of Singapore and learn about the history that leads us to where we are today. For one, there is the iconic side in the CBD area where you can cycle past our famous landmarks. In Chinatown, you can immerse yourself in cultural sights (I never noticed how beautiful the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was until that day) while at Marina Bay, you can enjoy a scenic ride back to the starting point. There is so much to see!
At various stops, we were given a tablet to view a short video of what Singapore was like at the particular stop point many years ago.
Through the video, I saw how crowded and murky the Singapore River used to be; how unhygienic the opium dens were and how Death Houses looked like. I also picked up interesting facts, such as how the bridge at Clarke Quay used to be called the Read Bridge, and people would gather there to listen to Teochew storytellers as their entertainment.
When we reached Chinatown, it was very packed so we parked our bicycles at Chinatown Food Street and walked along to Pek Sin Choon Pte Ltd.
Pek Sin Choon Pte Ltd is one of the few shops in Chinatown that still blends their tea leaves in a traditional style.
They have free tea tasting outside their shop so go ahead to help yourself to a cup!
We walked to our next stop and took a tea break at Nanyang Old Coffee.
I was so intrigued by this eatery because it really reminded me of an old coffeeshop. Just look at the decors!
As part of the tour, we got to order a drink each and enjoy yummilicious kaya butter toast.
We went for Iced Coffee to cool ourselves from the sweltering heat.
I wanted to order their lime juice (which was apparently served in a bottle just like the olden times) but it was not available so we got Lemon Honey instead. It's great for my throat so I'm not complaining.
The Kaya Butter Toast was SO GOOD!!!! I want more I want more I want more!
We also took a couple of group photos and this was my favourite one!
In all, I would definitely recommend this tour to my overseas friends. Personally, I felt that this tour would also make an enriching experience for students who are keen to learn about the heritage of Singapore. Although I'm neither a tourist nor a student, I still enjoyed myself immensely so thank you Let's Go Tour Singapore for the wonderful and insightful learning journey. Shoutout to ATMC for facilitating this media preview!
If you are interested to check out 'Trails of Tan Ah Huat - Singapore 1920s', it costs $99 per pax and you can sign up for a tour here. Enjoy yourself to the fullest!
Let's Go Tour Singapore
Block 462 Crawford Lane #01-57
Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Let's Go Tour Singapore and ATMC. Event feature is based on personal experiences.