Excercise is not always, strictly speaking, fun. Look here for generally sporty and fitness listings, from yoga to scuba diving.
SINGAPORE GUN CLUB
National Shooting Centre
990 Old Choa Chu Kang Road
T: (+65) 6466 1575 / 6466 3124
Super fun, ulu place to go to on a weekend with some friends to shoot the hell out of as many clay pigeons as you can…and all before you’ve even eaten lunch (go early or it gets too hot). Guns are over and under shotguns vs side by sides and the clays are quite low (ie harder to shoot than if they were high flying), so you can really separate the men from the boys. They also offer handgun shooting and other types of target practice but it requires a whole lot more training. With clays, first timers to the club get a 10-15 minute safety briefing and then you are good to go. Essentials to bring: water bottle, mozzy repellent, suncream, NRIC or FIN card, $65 in cash, per person. If you are a lame ass spectator (guilty as charged) then you obviously don’t need to pay. Lastly, it is worth calling them ahead of time to book a slot. You can just turn up but it can get busy, especially on weekends.
Opening Times: 10am-5.30pm daily
YVETTE TEE’S KRYOGA
T: (+65) 9793 0283
Yvette used to teach Kryoga (her own version of a cardio based yoga) at Spaboutique off Orchard but has now gone solo. She runs private classes but also has group classes on a Wednesday and Friday morning. SMS or call her for more details. Yvette is amazing and we love her!
Opening Times: Wed or Fri mornings (classes) or by appointment
Forum Shopping Centre (#06-01 Office Block)
583 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6735 2163
They offer pilates as well as yoga and both are recommended. Prices for drop-in classes are $32.10 but if you take a package they drop down to $26.75. Check their website for class times and requirements (e.g. if you are pilates virgin, then you will need to complete 3 introductory sessions before you can join their proper classes). The yoga schedule is pretty good with plenty of lunchtime classes.
Opening Times: 9.30am-8.15pm daily
CH’I LIFE STUDIO
Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade (#02-13)
T: (+65) 6735 8812
Ch’i Life is THE martial arts academy in Singapore – the founding master (Robin Leong) has even starred in action dramas you never have heard of (Triple Nine and The Challenge)…but…we are impressed. This is the place to go if you want to learn tai chi, wushu or kickboxing. Master Guo Zhi Feng leads several of the courses and began his training at just 8 years old at the legendary Shaolin Temple. His is an official 34th generation fighting monk and has a packed schedule of clients from all over. They also run a Mind & Body programme that includes pilates (taught by Pearlin Siow who is a health/sports writer for several of the Singapore glossies) and hatha yoga.
Opening Times: Dependant on class times – see website for details. Open daily
Jalan Perigi Raja Parcel A11 Lagoi
T: (+62) 770 692 868 (ext 122 for golf reservation)
Billed as the best golf course in Asia, some of the holes on the Ocean Course are breathtaking and on one (hole 9), you actually have to tee off across a bay. Worth the trek for that alone. Whilst coming here may not really save you money by the time you have factored in a return ferry crossing and a visa on arrival in to the equation, you do get a serious calibre of course to play on…..compared to what you’d get for your money if you were playing in Singapore. Take the Bintan Resort Ferry (www.brf.com for timetable) from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan, with a journey time of one hour. They rather annoyingly force you to check your clubs in (they are S$50 if you’d prefer to hire them from the resort). However, on arrival, hunt out the resort rep and give her your check-in receipt and she will organise for your gear to be collected and transferred straight to Ria Bintan, while you hop on their shuttle bus with no hanging around. BTW: Public holidays can get horribly busy, but great for a regular weekends game. Don’t forget your US$25 to pay for your visa on arrival with. Otherwise, everything else is in S$. Don’t bring the girls here (by that we mean non-golfers)…there is a spa which opens at 11am and is actually quite good (ask for Sumi), but otherwise, it’s all about golf. There is not even wifi. Prices are from S$150 per person, net.
Opening Times: Tee off times start from 7am until 3pm
Same but different: It’s also worth checking out the LAGUNA BINTAN GOLF CLUB (at Banyan Tree; T: (+65) 68495885 -booking are managed centrally here in SG). Designed by Greg Norman, they offer relatively good value ‘Golf Escape Day Packages’ (prices vary according to which day you want to play but range from S$130-S$180 net per person). What makes it good value is that they also include a return ferry ticket to Singapore, collection from and post-game drop off at Bintan ferry terminal, green fees, twin share buggy and caddy, express immigration clearance and a light lunch. Not bad.
Laguna National Golf & Country Club
11 Laguna Golf Green
T: (+65) 9238 3622
Slightly smug English golf pro, but helpful if you need to get your swing sorted. Lessons are conducted on the driving range at the Club and cost $107 per hour (or $550 for 6 hours).
Opening Times: By appointment
T: (+65) 9758 2478
On the basis that there are so many great dive sites a stone’s throw from Singapore, living here provides you with a great reason to learn to dive. Davy is a darling and hugely recommended for his vast experience, he is one of the pioneer divers in Singapore, and really knows his stuff. He’s taught diving since 1981 and is accredited to just about every school, from PADI (Master Instructor) to TDI/SDI (Instructor Trainer). So many scuba instructors have huge, conveyor belt type classes – churning out dive cards without educating people properly – Davy is the opposite and what’s more, he is flexible about numbers and he is happy to teach a couple, or more, as required (you may have to pay a little more if you are a couple, compared to, say, four of you…..but that’s obvious). Your theory and pool lessons are all done in Singapore and his fees are also inclusive of the Open Water weekend away (usually at Pulau Aur). Prices vary according to class size, but we paid $800 per person, for a class of 2.
CABLESKIING OR WAKEBOARDING:
1206A East Coast Parkway
T: (+65) 6442 7318
OK, so it may not be nearly as classy as mono-boarding off the Côte d’Azure but you can bet it’s a damn sight cheaper. Waterskiiers and wakeboarders are pulled by an overhead cable vs a boat and it’s a great place to practice before doing the real thing abroad.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily
WALKING / RUNNING:
1 Cluny Road
Quite possibly one of my all time favourite places. Packed at weekends, this is an oasis of calm green if you time it right. It opens at 5am until midnight every single day of the year (pretty impressive), so the earlier you come, the more peace you get. Come for a stroll and watch people doing tai chi, fan dancing and even line dancing. Great place for walking, running, dog walking…and they also have a sweet children’s garden (Jacob Ballas – see CHILD’S PLAY/Things to Do). There are also open air concerts here that are hot, but great fun on a slow Sunday evening. BTW: The food at the restaurant near the visitor centre entrance gate is really quite respectable and the pizza comes highly recommended as well as their fresh fruit juices.
Opening Times: 5am-12 midnight every day of the year
BUKIT TIMAH NATURE RESERVE
Upper Bukit Timah
About 12km outside the city, this is 400 ares of the only substantial area of primary rainforest left in Singapore. Great for proper walkers (vs strolling), I made the mistake of coming here is wedge flipflops only to be ver taken by hikers with poles and boots. Lots of trails you can follow including a 6km cycle path which takes 30mins -1hour to complete depending on how good you are. Quite hilly so be prepared. Visitor centre worth going to before you wander aimlessly in to the rainforest as there are 4 trails which do vary according to walking ability, time and distance.
Visitor Centre Opening Times: 8.30am-6pm
MacRitchie is manicured. Don’t come here and expect a wild, untamed space. For that, see above (Bukit Timah Nature Reserve). A great place for running though, as it’s nice and flat and you can run the perimeter of the reservoir if you are so inclined (you may or may not be surprised to know that I have not done this – but I have it on good authority that it can be done in around 1 hour). There is a Chinese temple and several different hiking trails all around the 10km mark which you can follow if you want to. Otherwise you can just turn up and wander aimlessly. Busy as hell at a weekend after about 10am. Be warned.