A 10-day event dedicated to all things wholesome, holistic and slightly hippy, the inaugural Singapore Wellness Festival has something for everyone.
In these stressful times, most of us are at least a tiny bit curious about potential new ways to boost body and soul. And whether it's a herbal tonic, fitness class or new yoga trend, you're likely to find it at the Singapore Wellness Festival, on from June 3-12. The lineup includes more than 120 free and ticketed events throughout the city, from immersive multi-day retreats for a health makeover, to bite-sized activities to squeeze into a busy schedule.
The bustling built environment may be a feature of Singapore, but that doesn't mean city-dwellers should have to miss out on the benefits of the natural world. Lush gardens and green indoor spaces are designed to bring nature into town, and they also provide the backdrop to a range of classes and events for the Wellness Festival. There's forest bathing and mindfulness workshops at Changi Airport's Jewel indoor rainforest, exercise classes in scenic hotel gardens, and guided sensory walks through the city's parks.
Bored with the gym? The festival's yoga and Pilates yacht cruises have you covered. Set sail on the historic Royal Albatross tall ship for a yoga class on deck, followed by breakfast with views of the sunrise. There's also a couple's massage and spa cruise with a romantic dinner to finish the evening, or for something a bit different, a meditation and singing bowl workshop, where the ocean surrounds are thought to enhance the healing vibrations. For those who prefer to be on dry land, other pampering experiences include an aromatherapy session where expert perfumiers can help you find your own signature scent and indulgent relaxation retreats at the Raffles Hotel.
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With modern life forcing many of us into faster gear, finding ways to slow down and embrace a moment of stillness is a key theme of the festival. For those in need of some stress-busting, there is a range of art therapy sessions, breathing workshops and relaxed cookery classes that focus on using traditional herbs and plants. Wellness-seekers are also invited to stroll the 10m-long Becoming Still mural, where paintings of lotus flowers and gentle sounds are designed to calm the senses.
Although the new Wellness Festival is a haven for health-curious travellers, you don't have to be on a quest for inner calm to enjoy the sights of Singapore. Alongside the festival, other attractions include the National Gallery Singapore, the ultra-creative Red Dot Design Museum, and the Marina Bay Art Trail, which weaves past some of the city's top sights including Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade and Merlion Park. Foodies should check out the city's lively Chinatown, or sign up for one of the many food tours that offer tips on the best markets and street vendors. Gardens by the Bay, Jurong Bird Park and River Wonders are all hotspots for nature-lovers, while nearby Sentosa Island boasts sandy beaches, theme parks, and a cable car for soaking up the scenery from above.
Travellers to Singapore require an International Vaccination Certificate, uploaded into the Vaccination Check Portal prior to departure. See visitsingapore.com/en_au/ for details, or check with your airline or travel agent.