Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Ten Great Places to Write in Singapore

Looking for some great places to write in Singapore? Whether you enjoy the stimulation of city vibes, the lushness of a tropical destination, or the delights of international cuisine, you’ll love the variety that Singapore has to offer.

1. Write while you soak in scenic water views.

Singapore is an island city-state at the end of the Malayan Peninsula. It’s surrounded with water and there are plenty of great places to write where you can soak in scenic water views.

Look for prime seating at Clarke Quay where you can enjoy a free waterfront view and write as long as you want.

You can find similar steps to the water along the waterfront near Merlion Park. If you’re interested in more of a beach atmosphere, head over to Sentosa Island which also offers lots of great places to write.

2. Write in one of Singapore’s many green spaces.

If you’re looking for a park at ground level where you can write for a while, check out one of Singapore’s beautiful parks such as Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, or one of the many National Parks in Singapore. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to getting to a park, don’t worry. You can find green spaces everywhere, between buildings, on rooftops, near the waterfront, in neighborhoods and on random floors in skyscrapers. If you want to find a green space, go to Google maps and turn on the satellite view. From here you can surely find some places to write in green spaces nearby. Singapore ranks as one of the greenest cities in the world. Although there is much debate about how to measure the greenest cities in the world, there’s little debate about whether or not Singapore should make the list. It usually does. According to Treepedia, a map-based platform that measures tree canopy coverage in cities across the globe, Singapore ranks number one in the world.

Although the Cloud Forest can be crowded during peak hours, there are some interesting resting spots, such as this wood carved alligator bench, where you can take time out to write inside this massive dome.

The Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay is a soothing retreat from the bustle of the city. It’s a big maze that you begin on the first floor at the base of a tall waterfall. From there you ascend up the elevator several flights and then you slowly work your way back down. It’s designed to keep people moving, but if pay look for rest stops along the way, you can find places to sit and journal along the way.

3. Look for tables or benches in public spaces.

Singapore is surprisingly comfortable, especially if you enjoy tropical weather. Regardless of where you are in the city, you don’t need to go far to find a bench, a table, or other places to sit and linger. If you enjoy people watching, you’ll find lots of great places to write in Singapore’s public spaces.

One Raffles Place Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Singapore, hosting 63 floors of city views. Yet here at the base of the building you can find a park with benches, tables and public art. The green space provides a calming relief from the tall skyscrapers made of glass, metal and concrete.

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is dedicated to making Singapore a “great city to live, work and play.” Yes, it’s a big city, but it’s surprising how cozy and inviting it is. In addition to large-scale parks with water views, it also offers lots of public spaces nestled in and among the skyscrapers where you can sit down and enjoy life among the locals.

4. Search for “best places to work” with free Wi-Fi and power plugs.

Although Wi-Fi can distract you from your writing, there are times when you need to do some research, send chapters to your editor, publish a blog post or do some social media marketing. If this is the case, look for cafes that offer free Wi-Fi, power plugs and public restrooms. If you find a spot where you can make some good progress on your writing, it’s helpful to inquire about easy access to a restroom rather than having to pack everything up and go searching for one later when you need it.

Lowercase is a hip cafe nestled in among the classrooms at LASALLE College of the Arts. They offer snacks, food, smoothies, desserts, Wi-Fi and bathrooms. You have everything you need here to put in a full day of writing!

Look for coffee shops near colleges where they cater to students who want to meet up with friends or spend a few hours studying before a test. They tend to be more tolerant of people who want to stay for a while. If you want to avoid the noise, remember to bring a comfortable set of earbuds so you can listen to your own music. Coffee shops can be great places to write.

5. Enjoy alfresco restaurants where you can write and refuel.

If you enjoy writing outdoors and in cities, you’ll love Singapore. Singapore offers countless opportunities to dine alfresco at outdoor restaurants on rooftops, by the beach, in nature and along the streets. Grab your journal or computer and head out for your favorite cuisine.

You can enjoy alfresco dining year round in Singapore. Even if it’s raining, you can find lots of restaurants with covered spaces where you can stay dry while you write and eat.

Instead of feeling distracted by the surrounding noises, use the time to do some freewriting, savoring the sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Writing in a restaurant gives you the opportunity to turn on all your senses, triggering new ideas about culture, food, service and human interaction. During my stay in Singapore, I especially enjoyed writing and outdoor dining with live music at The Halia in Singapore Botanic Gardens. I also enjoyed writing and outdoor dining at Chinatown Food Street and at Clarke Quay.

6. Write at a different coffee shop every day.

With more than 1200 coffee shops in Singapore, you can, literally, write in a different cafe every day of the year. Chye Send Huat Hardware Coffee Bar offers a spacious outdoor area where you can spread your wings, which isn’t easy to do in some of the smaller coffee shops in Singapore.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware is a coffee bar situated in the Jalan Besar community in Singapore. Although it’s camoflaged on the outside as a “hardware” store, don’t let this fool you. On the inside, it offers top-of-the-line coffee roasting with classy indoor seating as well as casual outdoor seating in a spacious courtyard-like setting.

As a writer, it can be easy to fall into ruts where you feel like you’ve got nothing new to say. If this happens, try writing in a new place. The simple change in perspective will spur new ideas. Since so many people are passionate about coffee, it’s easy to find reviews on best coffee shops.

7. Cool off and write in a quiet restaurant.

Even if you love the tropics as much as I do, there are times when it feels good to get out of the humidity and chill off. I was thrilled to find The Reading Room, a spot where I felt comfortable to read and write without feeling rushed. In addition to writing, it’s a fun place to browse through books and see vintage phones, phonographs and typewriters. As I did on this day, I often go to restaurants between meal times when there’s less demand for tables and the wait staff is more relaxed.

The Reading Room is a great place to write if you enjoy the feeling of being in a library but want the freedom to eat and drink.

Another casual restaurant I really enjoyed was The Book Cafe. In addition to offering food, they also offer a variety of beverages including fresh juice. I enjoyed a refreshing glass of fresh pressed carrot and orange juice. Similar to The Reading Room, they offer books and magazines that you can browse through.

8. Scenic view spots are great places to write.

In a city full of skyscrapers, you can find lots of interesting views in both public and private spaces. I was happy to discover Mr. Stork where I was able to write for a few hours while sipping tea and seeing great views of Singapore. In addition to sitting at my table, I also walked around the perimeter of the rooftop and saw 360 degree views of the city. When you’re writing in a place with a scenic view, take advantage of the larger perspective. When you can see far out in the distance, it’s a great opportunity to draft a new article or chapter or brainstorm new ideas for songs, poems or blog posts. View spots make great places to write.

Mr. Stork is a rooftop bar with stunning panoramic views of Singapore. I settled in here when it was daylight to watch the sun set and see the city light up . . . all this for the low cost of a pot of tea!

Because the weather is mild, I especially enjoy open air views in Singapore. In addition to Mr. Stork, you can find lots of other places with a view. But keep in mind that some of these desirable views require a cover charge. Other options include the Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck, Marina Bay Sands rooftop bars, or 1-Altitude at Raffles Place.

9. Write while you watch a light show.

Singapore is a small country with over five million people living on an island of only 278 square miles. With all those people in such limited space, the lights are always on. No matter where you look in the evening, you’re going to see lights. But be sure to take advantage of their unique light shows. Visitors from all over the world come to see the Gardens by the Bay Garden Rhapsody light and sound show at the Supertree Grove. It’s a free show that you can enjoy from afar, but it’s best to get close so you can experience the full impact of the lights and music.

Bring your journal and find a place to sit among the Supertrees. Come to enjoy the dazzling lights and uplifting music shows that take place every evening in the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay.

Marina Bay Sands Spectra also offers a light and water show every evening. Although the show is free to the public, don’t underestimate its value. The show includes a huge selection of water fountain techniques as well as lava and mist effects, plus much more. Position yourself on the Merlion side of the water for the best views. There are lots of great places to write along the walkway near Merlion Park.

10. Challenge yourself to do some timed writing.

If you enjoy the challenge of timed writings, Singapore offers a number of great spots to write in a short time. The Singapore Flyer is one of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the world. Each ticket buys you one spin so you need to make the most of your time in the air. I find it helpful to do timed writings. It’s a good exercise in staying focused. With all those great views, it’s tempting to move around and take a bunch of pictures, but remember that everyone else can get similar pictures, but what you write will in the Flyer will be different from what anyone else would write. If you want a great picture in the Flyer, take advantage of the professional photos they take for you. It costs a bit more, but it’s worth it.

It takes about 30 minutes for one rotation in the Singapore Flyer. Whether you go day or night, you’ll enjoy fabulous views of Singapore. Try to avoid peak hours so you can have plenty of space to sit on the floor or a bench and write as you take in the view.

In addition to the Singapore Flyer, there are a number of other options for timed writing. Try taking the Singapore Cable Car Sky Network for bird’s eye views of Sentosa Island. Or ride a Singapore MRT or LRT line from one destination to another. If you like writing out on the water, check out the options offered by Singapore River Cruise. It’s a great way to make use of your transportation time. And it’s also a great time to do some people-watching if you need some ideas for characters. I’m thankful to all the St. Regis concierge staff who helped me locate insider spots throughout the city and gave me additional tips for writers.

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