Travel in Singapore: Off The Beaten Path

Travel in Singapore: Off The Beaten Path

When you think about Singapore, you probably think of the array of skyscrapers, concrete roads lined with rows of trees. Being one of Asia’s most important business hubs, Singapore has many 5-star luxury hotels, restaurants and high-end shops on almost every corner, and many other tourist attractions that are bustling with people every day.

But this isn’t all that Singapore has to offer. After visiting said tourist spots, such as Sentosa, Universal Studios and Marina Bay Sands, there are many other places to go. Singapore is, after all, more than just urbanization.

1. Bukit Brown Cemetery 

source: photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Located in the central area of Singapore, bordering Lornie Road and parts of the Pan-Island Expressway, Bukit Brown Cemetery (BBC) was the first Chinese municipal cemetery in colonial Singapore. It is a burial ground home to many of the first pioneers in Singapore, making it a historical attraction.

The government has, however, expressed the desire to pave a road though it to widen the expressway. Visit it when you still can (during the day, of course)!

2. Fort Canning Park

Located on a hill, Fort Canning was once called “Forbidden Hill,” for it was once the seat of royalty for the Malay rulers during the 1300’s. The Park was once the residence of colonial leaders and an important military base in World War II.

Its attractions include The Keramat, which is a sacred burial ground of an unknown Malay revered leader.

3. Bollywood Veggies, an organic farm

For a scrumptious yet healthy dining experience, head to Bollywood Veggies for a down-to-earth organic meal. Once you in the ten-acre organic farm, you feel that you’re no longer in Singapore. It’s a definite fresh change from all the restaurants of the city.

4. Pulau Ubin

Explore Pulau Ubin, a 1,000-hectare island that offers a glimpse of what Singapore used to be. It is home to Chek Jawa, one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems.

Go there a live a life of peace, away from the bustling streets.

5. Dining at home

Travel in Singapore: Off The Beaten Path

For a taste of home, try eating with locals in Singapore at their very own homes. Meet a local family, have a taste of authentic home-made food, and go back home having made some new friends while on a holiday!

Explore BonAppetour for a range of such dining options.

Image Credits: banner / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

An Authentic Kerala Indian Cuisine dining experience with Rani and her family in Singapore

An Authentic Kerala Indian Cuisine dining experience with Rani and her family in Singapore

I have never considered having a dining experience with another local from my own home town – Singapore. Afterall, it does not make complete sense for me to dine with a local when I am already one myself. But dining with Rani and her family was such a joy, that it completely proved me wrong!

‘Hello! Come on in!’ were the first words of my hosts for the night and I had to double check the unit number to make sure I was indeed in a strangers’ house. I felt so at home with the warm friendly welcome by Rani and her husband. Besides the cordial company that embraced our arrival, the interior of the house could be easily summed up in 3 words: modern, spacious, and homely. We had a nice chat while sipping the Mango Smoothie that our local host, Rani has prepared for us as a welcome drink. We later learned that Rani was from South India, and had been living in Singapore for a good 12 years with her Singaporean husband!

Rani and her husband were a perfect team in the kitchen! They worked like a pair of cutlery; it was a wonderful sight to see! As cheesy as it might sound, to me, Rani and her family feel like long-lost relatives. A gathering like this felt like a mini strangers’ reunion- unfamiliar yet heartwarming.

While preparing for Kerala curry dish, Rani would share with us the different spices that she used to enhance the flavors of the chicken. These authentic spices were hand-carried by Rani from India. Not only do they work great to elevate the taste of the dish, but spices such as turmeric powder also have a medicinal effect that could cure cancer and boost the immune system. It would be safe to say that Rani’s cuisine really does the job of nourishing the body while satisfying my Umami cravings.

A dining experience like this provides a sneak peek into the work behind the local food that I have always taken for granted. Despite being able to easily spot a Papadum, lightly roasted crisps in the public canteen, the process of frying one was an entirely foreign experience for me. Nothing comes more fascinating than seeing a flat dough crumbling into golden crisps upon meeting the hot oil. Perhaps this almost-magical experience was how the name of Rani’s kitchen magic came about?


I’ve got to say the spices and their fragrances does a great job in whetting my appetite because my stomach was grumbling by the time Rani and her family formed a human chain in setting up the tables in serving me and Fai, my friend who accompanied me for this experience. 


No authentic Indian cuisine experience would be complete without eating your meal with your bare hands! Rani and her husband tutored us on the art of eating with your hands, before long, Fai and I were able to eat Indian cuisine the authentic way. Scooping rice into our right hands, and moving our thumbs skillfully to push food into mouth. I guess we must have looked pretty amateurish because Rani snapped some shots of me and Fai out of great fascination.



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I really love how there were multiple conversations happening concurrently during the meal times, it was as if they are all fighting for air time. This dining experience is a really precious one to me because it is not an everyday affair for me that the whole family get to spend some common time collectively. Rani and her family definitely did a fabulous job in granting me the opportunity to indulge in an authentic and genuine company of true blue Singaporeans. Book your Rani’s homely dining experience here!  

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Vegetarian Food and Sichuan Cuisine in Hong Kong With Meenu

Vegetarian Food and Sichuan Cuisine in Hong Kong With Meenu

Hong Kong promises its travellers “every moment a different world”, and I have come to understand the gastronomic sense of this phrase when I was invited to dine with Meenu, one of BonAppetour’s hospitable hosts in Asia’s world city.

Meenu grew up in Hong Kong all her life, her international background and experience in Hong Kong has allowed her to study and perfect recipes from all around the world. Today, Meenu teaches various types of cuisine in her home, ranging from Middle Eastern, Indian, Sichuan, to Italian. She also helped to revamp the menu in two restaurants around Hong Kong.

I was lucky to be invited to a taster’s night at Meenu’s place. Her home is conveniently located near to Jordan, a shopping district featuring multiple night markets and malls.

Meenu's awesome table setting

Upon stepping into Meenu’s apartment, I found that she had taken the trouble to beautifully set up her dining table for her guests.

Meenu serves up some Sichuan cuisine

Meenu prepared two different cuisines for the night: Sichuan and Indian Vegetarian. The Sichuan menu included spicy dumplings, sauteed prawns in a sweet and spicy sauce, and deep fried sweet buns.

Glorious spicy dumplings

Guests that night were delighted with the dumplings and prawns, commenting that the sauce was really tasty and went great with the food. Meenu says that the dishes are really popular among her students in her cooking class, as the sauce is versatile and goes well with most other main ingredients.

Sauteed prawns in Meenu's secret sauce

The Indian Vegetarian menu featured home-made chapatis, mung dhal and aloo baingan (a potato and eggplant dish).

Vegetarian Indian food in Hong Kong

The aromatic flavours and rich texture of the aloo baingan was well complimented by the light and soft chapati and well-cooked dhal.


The food tasted great and also has a very manageable spiciness level – great for people who are just trying out Indian and Sichuan food!

Meenu and her daughter made a pair of lovely and chatty hosts. The night went on with conversations about food in Hong Kong, Meenu’s passion for food and her eye for detail when it comes to hosting guests in her house.

Meenu and her lovely daughter

If you want to book a flavourful evening with Meenu, check out her experiences for Sichuan cuisine and Indian cuisine on BonAppetour!

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