The Projector - cinema history


The Projector cinema SG

Singapore's newest cultural icon is tucked away inside a shabby shopping mall on Beach Road. Take the lift up to the fifth floor of the Golden Mile Tower, and you'll step into a secret arthouse paradise, where you're greeted by a low-key bar area well stocked with popcorn, snacks, top-notch coffee and local craft beers. Head through one of the two innocuous doors and you'll find yourself in their retro screening rooms, a unique throwback to the cinemas of yesteryear, with rows of blue flip-up chairs with wooden armrests still intact.

Back in the 70s, the Golden Theatre was the biggest cinema in Singapore and showed all the latest releases, but it eventually lost out to competitors, sliding into Bollywood and adult film screenings in the 90s before shutting down its operations for a short time. Preserved within though, the screens still retained their vintage features, and in a world of identikit Golden Villages, this became its unique selling point. In 2014, the old Golden Theatre opened its doors again, reinvented this time, as The Projector - Singapore's first independent cinema - this time showing the best and most diverse indie, foreign and cult favourite films, classics, arthouse, horror, local flicks, retrospectives and hosting a multitude of special themed nights.
Created via an Indiegogo campaign, masterminds Karen and Sharon Tan and Blaise Trigg-Smith were running the design consultancy and management company Pocket Projects when the opportunity arose to take over the cinema. Already specialising in breathing new life into old, derelict and historic spaces, the trio turned their experience onto the iconic movie theatre, and after struggling to find a cinema operator to inhabit the space, simply decided to do the job themselves. After partnering with design practice FARM, they used their crowdfunding campaign to carry out basic renovations and purchase two brand new digital projectors.
The cinema has three themed screening rooms. The first, the 230-seat Green Room is the main screening room, and the neighbouring screen Redrum (referencing The Shining, but pronounced Red Room) includes a stage, bean bag seating and is the go-to space for cultural events and alternative performances. The third dedicated screening room Blue Room, opened in late 2017 and focuses on cinema screenings, taking its name from the Instagram-friendly rows of blue seating inside.
But what makes The Projector such a cultural gem isn't the quirky interior or nostalgic atmosphere. It's the timetable. The Projector's listings are totally unique. From cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and so-bad-it's-good movie The Room, to the latest acclaimed indie flicks like Beautiful Boy and The Travelling Cat Chronicles, the selection is the result of a careful curatorial process. Creative and marketing brain Jerome Chee has a painstakingly careful approach to acquiring films, which is more than visible with a glance down their listings.
Local film consultancy Luna Films also works in partnership with The Projector on the programming, and is partly responsible for the brave film choices they are known for. Often, the cinema is faced with issues from international distributors who are often difficult about releasing their film in just one cinema in Singapore. Despite this, The Projector has become home to some of the numerous annual film festivals held in Singapore, from the German Film Festival held in partnership with the Goethe Institut, to smaller, ground roots festivals like The Freedom Festival, which focuses on human rights films and documentaries.
Conceived as more of a cultural space then simply a cinema, The Projector has also played host to multiple film festivals, launches and premieres, as well as music events and gigs in their atmospheric screening rooms. The lobby area is also home to Clockwork, a co-working space that inhabits the space during the day. The inviting cinema cafe and versatility of the space - with its lo-fi lobby area and outdoor car park, which often doubles as an outdoor bar and event space (and has a killer view of the Kallang area) - means The Projector can play multiple roles.
There's no doubt The Projector is one of the best cinemas in Singapore, if not in Asia, and with its continually evolving use of the space and its creative film and event programming, its success is bound to continue.


From farm to table


singapore farm news

Singaporean culture celebrates food. In this cosmopolitan city-state, you can find a myriad of hawker centres, cafes and fine dining restaurants which fuse together the many cultures that call this island home. You'll often be asked “have you eaten?” in lieu of a greeting, and in this city humble street food sellers are awarded Michelin stars.

Despite Singaporean's love of food, historically the same focus hasn't been given to where ingredients are produced. Due to the extreme space constraints on the island, 90% of Singapore's food is imported into the country. This has created a lack of connection between the ingredients used and their origin.
However, this connection is slowly being forged. In the last five years, locavorism has spread across Singapore. The worldwide movement champions locally produced food, encourages people to consider where their food comes from and think about its impact on the planet. Despite the population still being dependent on imported produce, there are now over 1,000 different community farm projects on the island - many of which have sprouted up in public housing estates - and countless new agricultural businesses.
A key part of this change is due to Singapore's chefs. A growing group of local and international chefs who call Singapore home are outspoken advocates of the locavore movement and celebrate the Singaporean produce they use. The message they send to fine dining fans is that local is best, which fights against the common Singaporean perception that produce from the city is of poorer quality, and that ingredients from Australia, Japan and Europe are preferable. At Open Farm Community, a farm-to-table restaurant in Tanglin, head chef Oliver Truesdale-Jutras creates their menus by exploring the best produce available on the island: “We go out and visit farms, such as those in Kranji, to see what is good, and then we build the dish[es] from there.”
As well as this, more urban farms are being founded. Fish farm Ah Hua Kelong has worked on the coasts of Pasir Ris and Sembawang for a long time, but recently 27-year-old entrepreneurs Bryan Ang and Wong Jing Kai joined the company, managing it in partnership with the previous staff. Since then, they've worked hard to champion sustainable methods of fish farming and promote it to restaurants around the city. They've now supplied many of Singapore's top fine dining restaurants. Meanwhile, organic farming company Citiponics, led by Teo Hwa Kok, has repurposed the rooftop of a multi-story carpark into an innovative vertical farm. On 164 “growing towers”, the space accommodates 25 different varieties of vegetables and herbs, such as lettuce, spinach, dill and sweet basil.
Despite these successes, finding space to promote local agriculture is still a problem. Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in Asia, and sourcing places for local growing is a constant challenge. While there are still rural areas in Singapore - in particular Kranji, in the north of Singapore, where Hay Dairies (an organic goat farm) and Bollywood Veggies (a farming collective with an onsite bistro) operate – most farmers have worked on integrating farming into the urban landscape, rather than farming on large plots of land which are often expensive and hard to come by.
This has been successful so far, with many food producers using urban farming initiatives like vertical farming and hydroponics, and the government supporting schemes to grow food in public spaces, like rooftops and common areas in public housing estates. If their innovation of urban farming continues like this, Singapore may well be able to transform the practice of urban agriculture and create a blueprint for other cities around the world.
From the Kranji countryside to the roofs of car parks, Singapore is becoming even more of a “garden city” as it skilfully integrates farming into the fabric of its urban landscape.


Vegetarian or vegan in Singapore


vegetarian restaurant in Singapore

Singapore's fascinating mix of cultures has created a food-crazy city with no end of options, from Malay to Indian, Chinese to Peranakan, and Western to Japanese. If you're vegetarian or vegan and visiting Singapore, there is a huge array of dining options available that will allow you to explore the city's food culture just as well as any omnivore.

Whole Earth, 76 Peck Seah Street, Tanjong Pagar (in photo)
This affordable restaurant located in Chinatown focuses on Thai, Chinese and Peranakan (Straits Chinese) cuisine, and aims to cook food that appeals to both vegetarians and meat-eaters. They do this by emphasising the texture of their food and exploring soy products and tofu. A highlight is the Penang Rendang, which blends the umami bite of shiitake mushrooms with a delicate mix of traditional Peranakan spices. The eatery has also earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, a testament to its skilled mastery of vegetarian cookery.
Loving Hut, 229 Joo Chiat Road, Geylang
For a vegan restaurant serving local, Asian and Western favourites, Loving Hut is a great option which also happens to be easy on the purse strings. The global vegan chain, with over 200 outlets worldwide, plays with meat free versions of local classics with great results. Start with their soy-based version of hawker favourite chicken satay and enjoy their char kway teow (stir fried flat rice noodles), made with mushrooms. Subtle Teochew dessert Or Nee, made from yam paste, is the perfect way to finish off. This is undoubtedly one of the best places in Singapore for vegans to sample local food.
Veganburg, 44 Jalan Eunos, Eunos
For trendy vegan fast food by way of San Fran, Veganburg is well worth a visit. Their branch in East Singapore cooks up vegan patties with soybean and mushrooms - try the locally inspired Rasa Sayang burger, exclusive to their Singapore branch and topped off with spicy sambal and vegan fried egg - then finish off with a side of seaweed fries. Everything on the menu is handmade, cholesterol free, GMO-free and sustainable - a sin free way to get your junk food fix.
Afterglow by ANGLOW, 24 Keong Saik Road, Tanjong Pagar
Hip health food restaurant Afterglow doesn't just focus on plant-based cookery, it's also a forerunner in the farm-to-fork movement sweeping Singapore, and sources many of its fresh veggies from local farms. Start with their avocado sushi rolls, filled with homemade kimchi which is aged in house for seven days. The raw pizza here makes ample use of locally sourced ingredients, and tops off an almond crust base with flax seed and seasonal veg.
Komala Vilas, 12/14 Buffalo Road, Little India
Komala Villas is a historic institution in Little India, serving tasty, no-frills South Indian food since it was founded in 1947. All food here is 100% vegetarian and served on freshly cut banana leaves, and chefs here take basic components like rice and lentils and transform them into local delights like dosai (fermented rice and lentil pancakes), vadai (savoury fried snacks) and idlis (steamed rice cakes.) Combine them with a wide selection of currys, raitas and pickles and don't forget to wash it all down with a frothy glass of teh tarik (pulled tea.)
Peace Cafe, 4 Dalhousie Lane, Little India
Pizza joint and dessert specialist Peace Cafe, located in historic neighbourhood Rochor, serves pizza, wraps and salads with vegan and gluten free options available, and eggless desserts with a multitude of vegan options. Try their Sambal Pizza for a classic with a spicy local twist, and follow up with a mouth-watering banana walnut cupcake with chocolate chips. At Christmas, order their vegan gingerbread or triple ginger cookies to take away with you. They also offer island-wide delivery.
Brownice, 8 Sin Ming Road, Bishan
For all-vegan ice cream, visit one of Brownice's two outlets in Singapore. Most central is their store in Bishan, which produces sixteen different flavours, from Chocolate French Kiss and The Perfect Matcha to locally inspired Gila Gula Melaka, combining palm sugar and organic brown rice milk. All varieties are made using the latter, along with organic evaporated cane juice and fresh fruit and nuts, bringing each scoop to a healthful 80-140 calories each. And you can also arrange for your ice cream fix through Uber Eats or Food Panda, or if you're in the neighbourhood, visit their second branch in Jurong.


A Vending Machine for Every Need


singapore Vending Machine

With an estimated of 20,000 vending machines scattered throughout in Singapore, retailers are switching from bricks-and-mortar stores to vending machines to cut their costs, as well as to maintain and scale their physical presence. When high rental and manpower costs might put a brand out of business, vending machines are the perfect solution for the brand to survive. As a result, you can buy anything from toys to electronics and jewelry from one of the many vending machines spread out in various locations around the island.

You can even purchase gifts from one of these vending machines as Kalms, a gift-shop chain, is one of the Singaporean brands that have embraced vending machines. The gift-shop chain might have shut its last four stores, but thanks to the vending machines scattered throughout the city, the chain remains in the retail business. The brand, which started as a record store in 1964 and then transformed into a household name for greeting cards and gifts in the 1980s, launched a collection of “automated retail machines.” These machines have about 70 percent lower operating costs than a retail store.
Although the gift shop chain's 25 vending machines only display 10 percent of Kalms' bricks-and-mortar inventory - including plush toys, jewelry, and electronics - the benefits “far outweigh the benefits of operating a retail store:, said Kalms' operation manager Masataka Mukai. For instance, the vending machines cost less and they are easier to be relocate to maximize profits. Thanks to the machines' monitoring system, stock can be replenished more efficiently.
Masataka Mukai said: “We used about 18 square meters of space, compared with the 250 square meters of (store) space previously, to generate about 50 percent of our previous turnover in the first five months of our operation.”
Other brands are also finding alternatives to brick-and-mortar stores and one of them is the sporting goods retailer Crazybadman. Kegan Tan, the owner of Crazybadman also shut down his store at Tampines Safra to focus on online and vending platforms. “I saw a lot of repeats in daily purchases, so I put those into a vending machine outside the store and saw a marginal growth in revenue,” he said. Thanks to the flexibility of his vending machine - which sells healthy snacks and drinks, towels and shuttlecocks - he was able to move it to a new more promising location near the upcoming Tampines East MRT station.
Convenience stores have also joined this trend and two launched at the Metropolitan Y hotel and Singapore Management University. An automated retail technology distributor SelfX Singapore houses food, drink and other necessities in glass “cabinets.”
According to Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer in marketing and retail Amos Tan, vending machines can help to reinvent retail space, if they are well-utilized and well-located.
“It's a very flexible platform, you don't need a lot of space and inventory can be centralized in the cloud,” said Amos Tan. “But for it to work, people have to embrace vending as a new shopping channel.”
According to Spring Singapore - an enterprise development agency - such automated retail solutions are in line with the transformation of the industry, and interested retailers can work with Spring Singapore to adopt them.
What's most striking, though, is that a “vending machine” in Singapore is now offering up luxury vehicles. With vehicles on display in 60 slots, you can buy anything from a Bentley to a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.
This futuristic 15-story showroom was launched by used car seller Autobahn Motors, which marketed it as the “world's largest luxury car vending machine.” From a touch screen display, customers can choose which care they wish to see and within two minutes, the car arrives thanks to an advanced system that manages vehicle retrieval.
General manager at Autobahn Motors Gary Hong said the vending machine format was aimed at making efficient use of space in an already crowded island as well as standing out from the competition.
He said: “We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative.”
The company's Automotive Inventory Management System is also attractive to developers interested in upgrading parking services.


Shop till you Drop in Singapore


orchard road singapore

Historically a trading hub, what better place than Singapore to embrace your inner shopaholic? What once was a great market for tea, silk and tin, now is home to glittering shopping malls offering state of the art electronics and designer fashion. Singapore might appear as a small red dot on your map, but it packs in more malls per square mile than any other country in the world, which makes it one of the top shopping destinations on a global scale.

Most of the shopping malls center along Orchard Road - the commercial heart of Singapore - and they specialize in specific items. Given Singapore's cultural diversity, there are also various shopping alternatives, including jumbled markets and hip boutiques. Some of the best places to shop in Singapore come in the form of outdoor markets, bustling roads and clusters of quaint boutiques. While Chinatown and Little India offer great shopping opportunities, you shouldn't miss out on the vast Bugis Street Market.
Orchard Road
Once a quiet, market-lined street, nowadays the 2.2 kilometer street of Orchard Road is home to megamalls, making it the best place to shop in Singapore. With its front molded into futuristic metallic curves, the most impressive mall is indisputably the ION Orchard mall. Consisting of four stories extending both above and below ground, the glistening mall is lit up neon at night and contains designer labels, mid-range brands and plenty of dining options. While you'll find all the designer brands in Paragon house, bargain hunters should head to centers such as Far East Asia, famous for its cheap food and fashion, and Lucky Plaza. For arts and crafts, head to Tanglin Shopping Center, one of the first buildings to be set up here. There are also plenty of dining options after burning all those calories while shopping.
Chinatown Street Market
As 75% of the population is of Chinese descent, you can expect Chinatown to be massive and so are the shopping opportunities in the area. If you want to soak in the shopping spirit of the area, head to Chinatown Street Market, which houses stalls selling traditional candles, artwork and clothing as well as street food stalls.
One month before the Lunar New Year, either January or February, Chinatown's streets are filled with stalls touting their wares, which include foodstuffs, clothes, pottery, plants and other household items. An alternative to the Orchard Road is Ann Siang Road, which is lined by old shop houses and stand-alone boutiques that sell something more out of the ordinary than Singapore's mega malls. The area is also a great place to shop for clothes. Some of the shops you'll find here include Willow & Huxley, an umbrella shop for funky international womenswear brands, Mythology on Club Street offering colorful party dresses, head to Asian Region for independent labels, and Aston Blake offers smart-tailored shirts and suits for men. Rose citron French Design is perfect to shop for homeware, particularly the patchwork cushions.
Book lovers will also find their place herein Books Actually, an independent book store that offers a wide variety of titles - including some they have published themselves - and supports Singaporean writers. From fiction to history, they have everything to satisfy your reading needs.
Haji Lane
For a whole different kind of experience, head to Haji Lane in Kampong Glam, a historic Malay District. With small historic shop fronts repainted in pastel shades, independent boutiques, tattoo parlors and record shops, Haji Lane is Singapore's most bohemian area. Bargain hunters will probably go on a shopping spree as soon as they step on the Blog Shop, a uniquely Singaporean phenomenon. This is a big store that sells the stock of many independent internet retailers.
Shopping Tips
Bargain hunters are in for a treat during the months June and July, which is the time when the Singapore Sale takes place. During this time, the prices are reduced almost everywhere, except for big designers the likes of Chanel. You can also get discounts some other times of the year in some of the older shopping malls like Lucky Plaza. There you can haggle even to bring down the price of electronics and other goods. Shopping in Singapore can be gratifying but it can also be overwhelming; it's good to be prepared for it or take someone who is familiar with it.


Singapore Travel Tips


Singapore Travel Tips

Over the last few years, Singapore has become one of the most popular destinations in Asia and the continent's most travel-friendly country. With a diverse and world-class offer of entertainment, cuisine and shopping, who wouldn't want to visit this interesting island-state that went from that has experienced an outstandingly rapid growth over the last few decades?
With its economic architectural marvels - such as the Marina Bay Sands and the creatively shaped Art Science Museum - and its important historical sites - including Boat Quay and Palau Ubin - Singapore won't disappoint.
Customs, law and etiquette
Although Singapore is a very safe and easy place to travel, there are certain local customs and laws that must be followed. While some offenses might be seen as insignificant or inexistent in some countries, they might be seen as serious offenses in Singapore. For instance, it's against the law to spit anywhere on the island. Meanwhile, chewing gum is strictly prohibited for sale, import and personal use, so if you have any breath problems, you might want to resort to another method. You can also get a massive fine for littering, jaywalking and throwing cigarette butts on the ground. Some of these rules might seem harsh to you but just picture how clean and safe the island is. And if you thought you could get away for being a tourist, think again, as some officers will still fine you despite your ignorance of the law.
While drugs are illegal in most countries, Singapore takes a step further and getting caught with them can land you in some really dark waters. Although getting caught with small amounts of drugs might get you arrested, larger amounts might lead to charges of trafficking. In the best scenario, you would get a massive fine or jail time. That is why you should always check your luggage or not carry any stranger's belongings.
While it is not customary to tip on top of your bill, tipping is commonly accepted by the service industry. The majority of restaurants charge a 10 percent service charge plus 7 percent GST on top of your bill; you can find these extra costs indicated on the menu next to the prices. If restaurants do no already include a service charge, then you may add 15 to 20 percent tip. While tipping or service charge might be common in hospitality, it is not common to tip taxi drivers, hairdressers or others.
Best Time to Travel
Singapore may be a melting pot of cultures, but what makes the island such an appealing destination for sun-soakers is its fabulous warm weather year round, offering good conditions for outdoor activities. As Singapore is located in the tropics, temperatures rarely dip below the mid-20s, which means you must pack light clothes to beat humidity, and stay hydrated at all times. Don't worry about the heat at night; most places feature air conditioning. Although Singapore is warm and humid year round, the coolest season is from December to February and it rains more from June to October.
Remember that humidity makes temperatures feel higher, so always carry a water bottle and keep an eye out for fountains so you can refill it from time to time.
Although the severity of the haze varies from year to year, it is at its worst during September, therefore you must avoid it traveling during this time as the pollution can affect your health and it's not an ideal time for sightseeing.
The local currency is the Singaporean dollar. Although all shops in major shopping centers accept cards for payments, street vendors accept cash only. While most major hotels and local banks offer currency exchange services, it is cheaper to do it at any of the many money exchanges throughout the city. You can also withdraw money from most of the ATMs scattered throughout the island.
Also keep in mind that Singapore may be expensive compared to other Asian countries. While there are many budget-friendly activities, others like visiting a museum (around $20), going out for drinks (one costs between $15-25) or eating out can be expensive if you are on a budget.
Duty-free rules
Although duty-free rules tend to be somewhat standard, they do vary slightly from country to country and it is important to know the ones from Singapore as they are very strict about what is give duty-free concession. When it comes to alcohol, duty-free rules vary depending on what you are buying. For instance, you can never exceed one liter of spirit but you can buy two liters of wine or beer. There is no duty-free allowance on cigarettes and tobacco products, and if they catch you bringing these from abroad, you might face massive fines. You are allowed to bring in one packet (not box) of cigs for personal use (not for sale).

Singapore as a source of inspiration


Singapore as a source of inspiration

Sometimes referred to as the Lion City, the Garden City or the Little Red Dote, Singapore is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia. Founded by Stamford Raffles in 1819, colonial Singapore was set up as a trading post of the East India Company.

Despite its small size, Singapore has featured on stories and here's a compilation of them. One of the most evocative quotes of Singapore is by Harry de Windt, published in From Peking to Calais by Land (1889): “Singapore: a vision of green hills and red dust, a sickly odor of pepper, cocoa, nut-oil and drains.”
Even Rudyard Kipling mentioned Singapore in his “The Song of the Cities published in 1893. That mention, however, might be a tad dramatic. “No one talks about the unhealthiness of Singapore. A man lives well and happily until he begins to feel unwell. Then he feels worse because the climate allows him no chance of pulling himself together - and then he dies.”
Awash with green spaces, Singapore is sometimes referred to as the “City in a Garden.” Home to 300 parks and four nature reserves, Singapore is one of the greenest cities anywhere in the world. This impressed Harold Nicolson back in 1957, who rote on his Journey to Java: “It is about the greenest place I have ever seen. It is like entering Dartmouth on a muggy August afternoon.” Singaporeans are aware of their status and they are encouraged to support conservation; they are proud of its many environmentally friendly spaces.
The academic Paul Scott described Singapore as “that modern apology for a romantic Eastern port.”
“Getting to places like Singapore was a hell of a sweat. But when you got there it was the back of beyond. It was just a series of small tin sheds.” - Sir David Attenborough.
“Flat, steamy, thickly humid, the island lies there in its hot seas, fringed with mangrove swamps, and from the air it looks as it always did, a slightly desperate place that ought to be inhabited. It looks like an invented place, and so, of course, it is.” - Jan Morris, Travels, 1976.
William Gibson wrote on his Distrust That Particular Flavor that “Singaporeans... loathe to discuss these more intimate policies of government with a curious foreign visitor who was more than twice as tall as the average human, and who sweated slowly but continuously, like an aged cheese.”
Some people have also criticized Singapore's strict rules. In Twisted Travels, Jessica Zafra wrote “Singapore is what your city could become if everyone obeyed the rules, did their jobs diligently, and just shut up. When your city gets to be this paragon of efficiency and discipline, would you still want to live there? Singapore is a model city, which is terrific if you happen to be a model human.”
Also, as to the control over the population, Peter L. Berger said: “Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore's, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy.”
Fareer Zakaria said: “The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore.”
There are also more positive opinions about Singapore. For instance, Romain Grosjean said “Singapore is a pretty fantastic place, and the race is always a challenge.”
Despite being a society with a strict set of rules, Dan Buettner said “Singapore is the happiest place in Asia.”
Other people have also commented on Singapore's multiculturalism. For instance, Nicolas Berggruen said, “Singapore has been incredibly well-managed. It was created out of the swamp, with a strong emotional idea: a safe place for mostly Chinese, but accepting other cultures and other races.”
Some other quotes are quite enlightening. “Nobody in Singapore drinks Singapore Slings. It's one of the first things you find out there. What you do in Singapore is eat. It's a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment,” sated Anthony Bourdain.
It seems that food in Singapore is appreciated by everyone. The famous Spanish Chef Jose Andres said “I was very impressed with the street food of Singapore. I was very impressed with the dishes that they did.”


Top 10 Festivals in Singapore


Lantern Festival

From dragon boat racing, spectacular military displays and mesmerizing bazaars, there is always a celebration taking place somewhere in Singapore.

Chinese New Year
You can't miss the two-week-long party that takes over Chinatown in Jan or Feb. With its exuberant mix of vibrant colors, sounds and tastes as well as age-old traditions, Singapore's Chinese New Year is one of the biggest events that take place on the island. During this celebration, temples open their doors, stalls sell raw fish salad and decorations glow under lanterns of the night bazaar. The floats and performances at the Chingay parade in Marina Bay are a feast for the eye.
Over weeks of celebration, cheerful Singaporeans get together to exchange mandarin oranges for good luck and feast on traditional dishes. Whether you visit seasonal markets, join the colorful processions or admire the riotous lion dances, there are endless opportunities to soak in the festive mood throughout the island.
Thaipusan Hindu festival of faith
As Singapore is a truly multicultural society, festivals also reflect this reality and this is reflected in Thaipusan, which takes place in February. Each year Singapore's traffic comes to a halt to make way for this large and colorful procession that brings Hindu devotees together to seek blessings, fulfill vows and offer thanks.
The festival honors Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who is worshipped for being the destroyer of evil, and for representing virtue, youth and power. The chariot procession (with the Lord Murugan statue) sets out from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.
Over two days of procession - give or take - devotees carry milk and wooden ornate frames - kavadis - from temple to temple, some pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a kavadi decorated with flowers and peacock feathers over their shoulders. The faithful who carry the kavadis walk 4.5 kilometers, along with relatives and friends who chant hymns and prayers to support and encourage them. The procession is a demonstration of faith and “kavadi” means “sacrifice at every step” in Tamil.
You don't have to take part in the procession to enjoy the festival. This colorful and interesting procession is an attraction in itself. You can watch the spectacle anywhere between Sri Srinivasa Peruma temple at Serangoon Road and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.
Hari Raya street bazaars
Every August and September during Hari Raya, street stalls offering mouthwatering Muslim food line the streets around the Sultan Mosque and Arab Street. If you fancy something sweet instead, head to the Malay neighborhood Gelang Serai, which sells rainbow-colored biscuits.
The Lantern Festival (photo)
Novelty and animal lanterns light up the autumn nights in the pagoda and bridges of Chinese Garden in Jurong. The festival, which takes place in Chinatown, features lion dances and moon cake pastries.
Traditionally a time to give thanks to the gods, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also the time of the year that the moon is at its brightest, which explains why lunar legends have always been attached to this celebration. One of the most outstanding legends is the one that tells the story of Chang Er, a merciless king's wife who saved her people from his tyrannical by pouring the elixir of immortality he had intended to drink. According to the legend, after that heroic act, she ascended to the moon, ever since the Chinese have worshipped her as a Moon Goddess.
When the sun goes down, the night comes alive as festival-goers sit in gardens lit by the soft glow of paper lanterns, sip tea, nibble on moon cakes, and even compose poetry in Tang Dynasty fashion.
Singapore Arts Festival
International dance performances, plays, music and art installations are some of the spectacles in store for those who attend Singapore Arts Festival. Not only local artists but mostly international acts take over the festival to display a great variety of contemporary and avant garde. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the events are put up by international artists. One of the most significant events in the regional arts scene, during the Singapore Arts Festival shopping centers, playing fields and museums transform into theater and gallery venues.
Since its opening in 1977, the festival aims at celebrating local arts from the diverse communities in Singapore. Over the last three decades, the festival has played a key role in transformation of the city's cultural landscape.


Chinese New Year 2019 restaurants


Mortons  Chinese New Year 2019 restaurants

Chinese New Year Public Holidays for 2019 in Singapore will begin on Tuesday, February 5 and ends on Wednesday, February 6.

Chinese New Year Singapore is one of the biggest celebrations on the event calendar. Chinese New Year is one of the most significant holiday seasons in Singapore. Marking the first day of the year on the Chinese lunar calendar, the date fluctuates from year to year. The celebrations can last for two to three days, and they are colourful and abundant.
The Chingay Parade is one of the important events in Singapore with street floats, dancers, acrobats and other performers. Also the street lights in Chinatown are not to be missed. Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome also welcomes the Lunar New Year with its first floral display of 2019.
Despite many places closed for holidays, there are still lots of restaurants that will be open during Chinese New Year 2019 including
Baristart Coffee Singapore - Hokkaido based concept cafe that focuses on Hokkaido dairy in all their food, beverage and desserts.
Famous Treasure - Located at Capitol Piazza (level 2), Famous Treasure offers guests a feast of local Chinese favourites and seafood signatures. Open daily till 10.30pm.
Fatburger 238 Thomson Road - An all-American, Hollywood favorite, Fatburger is a fast-casual restaurant serving big, juicy, tasty burgers, crafted specifically to each customer's liking. With a legacy spanning 70 years, Fatburger's extraordinary quality and taste inspire fierce loyalty amongst its fan base, which includes a number of A-list celebrities and athletes.
Jai Thai Restaurant - Delicious! Authentic! Affordable! Thai!
JiangHu Hotpot - Located within Bedok Point, Jiang Hu offers those craving steamy hotpot delights an experience of both gastronomy and ambience. Upon entry, one would be greeted with a Chinese autumn courtyard-themed interior embellished with traditional tableware and furnishing, as well as decor which includes overheading autumn trees. A galore of Szechuan-style, yum!
Morton's The Steakhouse (in photo) - Morton's The Steakhouse in Singapore is located on the 4th Storey of Mandarin Oriental, which is situated in the heart of the Commercial and Central Business District. The restaurant is also nestled at the Marina Bay waterfront and nearby to the newly opened Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, world-class Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay and Singapore Flyer. Every detail, from the succulent steaks and seafood and vast wine selections to the seamless service, makes Morton's the classic dining experience. The Bar at Morton's is also a popular destination with local bar-goers and travelers, becoming an institution on the local bar scene over the years.
Putien Restaurant - 2006 - Voted as one of Singapore's best 50 restaurants by The Sunday Times. 2009 - Won the "Press Ad Single/Campaign - Chinese" in the SPH Ink Award


Google Cloud Platform in Singapore


Google Cloud Platform in Singapore

After a 100 percent growth of paid customers in the region in from 2016 to 2017, Google Cloud Platform launched regional center in Singapore. Called “asia-southeast1”, this is the first Cloud Platform region in Southeast Asia.

According to the search giant, this initiative means improved latency speeds for developers in Southeast Asia. In fact, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok have seen 51 to 98 percent reductions in round-trip time latency, in comparison to its services delivered from Taiwan or Tokyo. The improved issuance speed across the region is thanks to the opening of Singapore's Google Cloud Platform, as previously the closes Google cloud center was in Taiwan.
Thanks to the Google Platform regional center in Singapore, customers in the region have access to Google's core services, such as Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, App Engine Standard Environment, Container Engine, Cloud Datastore, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud DNS, Cloud VPN, Cloud Router, and Cloud IAM products.
GCP customers are also able to combine any of these services deployed in Singapore with other GCP services around the world such as DLP, Spanner and BigQuery.
This initiative is also aimed at getting more startups in Southeast Asia on board. “With startups, we always find that the demand comes from their developers - there's no big procurement department or what have you,” said Tariq M. Shaukat, Google Cloud president for customers. This explains why the company offers such a strong tech support to its customers: to educated them about the service and help them tailor it to their needs.
Shaukat said the company aims at increasing the scale of such collaboration: “We find that startups value the ability to sit down with a solution architect and just map out what they want to do - they value it as much as, if not more than, more traditional companies because in many cases they're trying to do things that are harder, more innovative, different.”
“Google is dead serious about the cloud,” said Diane Greene, the Chief of Google Cloud, at the launch event. Therefore, the company is setting up new regions quite swiftly.
Singapore is not the only new Google Cloud Platform center. GCP, which connects more than 1 billion individuals users on a global scale, has also expanded to other APAC regions, including Sydney and Mumbai.
Google is expanding its products across the world as a response to the tough competition amongst tech giants. According to Google representatives, some of the tactics for keeping up with competition include grabbing market share and the ability to leverage G Suite - Drive, Docs, Gmail, etc.
“The things we care about are the number of customers working on our platform, and how many of their workloads are with us versus with one of our competitors,” Shaukat said. “We're probably the most public in talking about how much of the world will end up being multi-cloud. So we don't see this as a zero-sum game by any stretch, we see it as something where there will be multiple winners.”
Addressing one of the key concerns large customers have about the cloud concerning how sensitive data is handled, Google presented a new data loss prevention API for GCP. API identifies personally information such as email addresses and allows customers to choose to have the information classified or redacted.
Customers are also able to grant access to applications based on certain risk factors thanks to new feature the search giant introduced for GCP, which is the Identity-Aware Proxy.
Some of the large clients Google Cloud Platform has include HSBC, Deloitte, Netflix, Avaya, Adidas, Verizon and the New York Times, among others.
Its customers, which include BBM Messenger, Carousell and Go-Jek, have expressed their excitement with the launch of GCP in the region. In a statement, Ajey, CTO, Go-Jek, said: “We are extremely pleased with the performance of GCP, and we are excited about the opportunities opening in Indonesia and other markets, and making use of the Singapore Cloud Region. The outcomes we've achieved in scaling, stability and other areas have proven how fantastic it is to have Google and GCP among our key service partners.”


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