Singapore: The Istana

Istana-15Infrequent in most Singapore travel guides is perhaps one of the city-state’s most prized possessions. The Istana, Malay for “palace,” is the official residence and office of the country’s president.

Situated along the materialist paradise that is Orchard Road, its unambitious white gates certainly seem oddly misplaced and are often overlooked by passersby. It is also rarely included in the plans and itineraries of travelers as it is closed to the public for most of the year. In fact, it only opens its doors to everyone (locals included) for four days annually in celebration of Singapore’s public holidays.

Istana’s Open House features various cultural performances on the palace’s sprawling grounds and offers a chance to explore selected function rooms and view the exhibit of gifts from different parts of the world presented to the President and Prime Minister.

While the impressive and interesting collection of fancy presents was easily the highlight of the Open House for me (No photography was allowed), I didn’t think much of the other activities that seemed to cater more to families and to locals. But I did get to bump into the President and his wife out of nowhere and be 2 feet away from them while they were being interviewed, so that randomness was pretty cool too.

Top tip: Make sure to take a senior citizen or a toddler with you to skip the bizarre queue under the face-melting heat!

For the Open House’s schedule and rates, visit its official webpage.





  1. Cherry Ann

    this is great. I’m thinking, why can’t jake write blog posts about his style (OOTDs and stuff) but hey, this is a travel blog so forget what i wrote hahahah!!!!

  2. Miko

    I do agree with that. OOTD by jake will be awesome. It will be helpful for us men to know how you dress up. It’s more of a pogi points tip from you 🙂

    May I also suggest that you add your travel essentials on each places you go so we can have more ideas 🙂 thanks jake 🙂

  3. Mark pauco

    Hi jake i know this is out of the line. But man you have a nice skin. That is one of the things I notice while you post a picture of yourself. Haha #nohomobro may I just ask what soap and facial wash you use? I might have a chance of having that type of skin. And may I also know your top 5 fave perfumes? I hope you can find time answerin my simple request. Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Hey there, Mark! I use facial product from Lure Aesthetics! You could get more info on their website,

      For perfumes, I usuall wear La Nuit de L’Homme by YSL and Bleu de Chanel 🙂

  4. Alvin lonzame

    let me just say that you are such a nice guy. You accomodate your readers well. Thank you for that. In relation to Mr. Pauco’s question what body soap do you use? I mean it is natural for men to have a hard time finding the perfect soap most especially for men who are vain haha! Thank you jake you are really kind!

  5. Rob santiago

    Hi jake, i just want to add on to the above comments from your reader. I really feel that you can pull off an outfit post since you dress well 🙂 can you give me some tips of your preferred clothing line when it comes to jeans, tshirt and longsleeves 🙂 much appreciated for you response!

    Looking forward for more post!

  6. Hi Jake. I just visited Lure aesthetics. Do you really use them? What specific products do you use from them? And is it your fam busness too? I find the ingredients a bit of organic 🙂 love it! Will try it too!

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