There are many places in NUS which are perfect to chill out with school mates – the Starbucks at Town Green, Lover’s Park in the Faculty of Arts and even (gasp) the Central Library – but there will come days during your undergraduate stint where you will get so utterly sick of facing the school compounds. Not to worry, though: there are plenty of awesome spaces around NUS to grab a bite or simply chill out with lecture mates and close friends.
Here are 5 awesome hangout places near NUS which you can bookmark for future references when you just can’t stand being in school for any minute longer than is required of your day. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen too often.
1) Starbucks @ Rochester Park
I know, I know: the Starbucks located right in the middle of our lush greenery of UTown is pretty awesome – it provides with a comprehensive view of all the frisbee enthusiasts sweating it out. But here’s the thing. Rochester Park’s Starbucks is even more awesome than the one located in school – it’s housed within a grand, colonial pre-war bungalow setting with 2 storeys and al-fresco dining options are also available. Even though it takes some walking to get to, the serene store is definitely worth the hassle to get to.
No more pesky schoolmates asking you for an extra Macbook charger: customers of the Starbucks @ Rochester Park are likely to be armed with their own. Imagine spending your afternoon seated in one of their plush, cushiony sofas with natural light streaming onto whatever you happen to be studying that day: there, mugging for that dreadful pop quiz doesn’t seem that bad already, does it?
Starbucks Rochester Park: 37 Rochester Park, Singapore 138640 | Tel: 6684 8538
2) Eng Wah Cinemas @ 321 Clementi Mall
The Singapore icon – Eng Wah cinemas is finally back after a 2-year hiatus from the movie scene. Opened just 5 months ago, WE Cinemas (yes, that’s what Eng Wah is calling its cinemas now) is located smack in the heart of Clementi central at 321 Clementi Mall. It might be the smallest of all the movie operators in Singapore but it’s location just minutes away by bus from NUS is an absolute winner. You no longer have to head to JEM or Vivocity just for a movie and there’s plenty of good eats in the Clementi area. I’ve been there for more than 5 movies in the past 3 months and that says a lot. Anyway, it’s still a little known gem so you can watch your movies in great comfort and you won’t have to worry about jam-packed theatres.
Eng Wah Cinemas @ 321 Clementi Mall: 321 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 129905 | Tel: 6734 0028
3) SkyPark @ VivoCity
Located just a short 15 minutes away by bus, VivoCity is a popular mall frequented by many a NUS students seeking to get some shopping done. The highlight of VivoCity, other than it being a gateway to Sentosa, would be the SkyPark which can be found on the highest level of the mall. Featuring two sizeable wading pools, adults and children alike can splash all their worldly worries away at the SkyPark.
This rooftop is also a favourite hangout place for couples when night falls: the bright lights of the neighbouring stores and the rippling waters of the pools can pave the way for a romantic night. Hey, just a tip out there for all the forever alone students in NUS: bring your crush here for a night out. Who knows what might happen when it gets dark? Disclaimer: It’s all PG13 here.
SkyPark @ VivoCity: 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585 | Tel: 6377 6870
4) Teo Heng KTV @ NTU Alumni Club
Just right across the road from Buona Vista MRT, Teo Heng KTV studio is the perfect hangout place for all aspiring singers who have gotten sick of exercising their vocal cords solely in their bathrooms. Despite the rather bad reputation which surrounds KTVs (think siam-dius, drunk and puking friends and bad equipment), I can assure you that it’s all good and clean fun at NTU Alumni Club’s Teo Heng KTV. A family-friendly establishment, the KTV has put in place a ‘no alcohol’ policy so you don’t have to worry about covering your suede shoes from incoming vomit projectile.
Best of all? All equipment found in the rooms are well cared for so you don’t have to always run out of the rooms to complain about your malfunctioning microphone.
Teo Heng @ NTU Alumni Club: 11 Slim Barracks Rise, #08-03, Nanyang Technological University, 138664 | Tel: 6775 1500
5) Botanic Gardens
If you haven’t heard, our very own Botanic Gardens has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yes, you read that right: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, right alongside the likes of the historic city of Ayutthaya in Thailand and the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona! So if you’ve always just pictured our Botanic Gardens to be just a well-manicured garden with some water features, it’s about time you give it a visit. Located just a short 4 stops away on the Circle Line from Kent Ridge, NUS students will find it a breeze to get in touch with nature.
The well-maintained open grass patches in the garden are perfect for a cozy picnic session between friends and psst, for Instagram addicts: they also make for a breath-taking OOTD backdrop. Don’t say I didn’t tell you! Also, if strolling around the beautiful garden has managed to work off some calories, Food For Thought will happily put it all back into your body. Botanic Gardens can also be a perfect place for a nice, intimate night out with your date as well!
Botanic Gardens: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569 | Tel: 6471 7138
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