Nooks in Singapore that come alive after dark

Discover a “dark” side of Singapore you might not know exists

Photo: EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG
Photo: EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG
02 Dec 2015

Photo: EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Singapore has come a long way. Once described as dull and sterile, the Little Red Dot is now beaming with activities to keep you entertained round the clock.

Over the last few weeks, we have been celebrating all things nocturnal in Singapore, from the unusual activities to the food we love to indulge in after dark. This week, we turn the spotlight on a “dark side” of Singapore you might not know exists. Curious much? Read on.

Toa Payoh East
Toa Payoh East
02 Dec 2015

Toa Payoh East

Driving along Toa Payoh East, one would never guess that this road has a secret night life.

Six days a week, this nondescript road in front of Toa Payoh South Community Club transforms into a make-shift vegetable wholesale market at night. At around 11pm, lorries carrying crates of vegetables from Malaysia arrive and set up shop along the road.
Frequented by wet market vendors and restaurant owners, fresh produce here are substantially cheaper and mostly sold in bulk, with a couple of stalls that sell in small quantities.

The market, which has been around for around 40 years, is open from 11pm to 6.30am daily except Sundays. There is a similar market in a car park at Ubi Avenue 3.

Open field beside Marina Bay City Gallery
Open field beside Marina Bay City Gallery
02 Dec 2015

Open field beside Marina Bay City Gallery

You’ve probably passed the open field beside Marina Bay City Gallery countless times but did you know this open space hosts a light show of sorts every Friday and Saturday night?

Kite-flying enthusiasts gather here weekly to fly their remote-controlled LED light kites, performing tricks and aerobatic maneuvers, and the result: a stunning neon light show against the backdrop of Marina Bay. Organised by the folks at Go Fly Kite, the mesmerising light display starts at around 8.30pm.

Photo: Flickr/Fred 001

Club Street
Club Street
02 Dec 2015

Club Street

Club Street is the closest thing we have to Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong. Lined with trendy restaurants and pubs, this charming area of conserved shophouses on the outskirts of Singapore’s business district is a quiet haven by day, but after dark, Club Street and the adjoining Ann Siang Hill come alive.

After 7pm over the weekends, Chinatown’s hippest enclave is closed to vehicular traffic and this centre of late-night revelry becomes packed with people spilling onto the streets and bar-hopping. Get in the thick of the action on the roads or watch the antics from one of the upper floors.

Photo: Snelladventures.com

Tiong Bahru kopitiam / Day & Night Bistro
Tiong Bahru kopitiam / Day & Night Bistro
02 Dec 2015

Tiong Bahru kopitiam / Day & Night Bistro

In the past, anyone looking to grab a bite after 3pm at the kopitiam at 56 Eng Hoon Street would be greeted by shutters. But all that changed in December 2012, and along with it began a trend.

Old-school coffee shop and home to popular stalls selling yong tau foo and affordable Italian food in the day, it transforms into a pizzeria and hipster magnet, Day & Night Bistro (formerly known as Two Face Pizza & Taproom), after dusk. Blackboards are used to conceal the stalls and it takes just ten minutes to transform the space. Apart from pizzas, you can expect pub grub with an Asian twist such as ha chong gai (prawn paste chicken) and fried pork belly, as well as craft beers.

Other double life F&B establishments include Hua Bee coffee shop (indie film Mee Pok Man was shot here), Bincho at Moh Guan Terrace and nail salon-cum-bar Jekyll & Hyde at Tras Street.

Photo: Day & Night Bistro Facebook

Red Dot Design Museum
Red Dot Design Museum
02 Dec 2015

Red Dot Design Museum

One Friday night of each month, the usually quiet Red Dot Design Museum at Maxwell Road transforms into a buzzing marketplace, showcasing works and creations by local artists and designers.

One of Singapore’s longest-running creative marketplaces, MAAD (Market of Artists And Designers) has become a platform for budding designers and craft-makers to “test market” and attracts thousands from the artistic and creative community for a spot of late-night shopping and mooching. There are also live performances by home-grown bands and musicians, and free admission to the museum during MAAD. Sure pays to be a night owl!

Photo: Red Dot Design Museum Singapore Facebook

Prawning spots
Prawning spots
02 Dec 2015

Prawning spots

Prawning, an urbanite’s answer to fishing, has become an unlikely past-time in Singapore in recent years. And we’re not surprised. Instead of doing it in the open waters where one is exposed to nature’s elements, we Singaporeans would rather rent a rod and bait, and hunt for crustaceans from an enclosed tank.

It’s a lot tougher than it sounds and the charges don’t come cheap – around S$30 for three hours - but it still draws the crowds, especially at night (most prawning spots are open round the clock). Maybe because it’s cooler or we just like the thrill (and sense of accomplishment) of catching our supper and barbecuing it ourselves.

Photo: Simon Yik Wai Mun via Hai Bin Facebook

Related:
10 delish hotspots for late night cravings
Top 5 KTV joints in Singapore to sing your heart out
8 things in Singapore that are more fun to do at night

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