Places in Singapore to snap your OOTDs this Chinese New Year

There are many places both near and far, where you can take your OOTDs this Chinese New Year. The Gardens by the Bay is among our humble picks.
There are many places both near and far, where you can take your OOTDs this Chinese New Year. The Gardens by the Bay is among our humble picks.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Amid the Chinese New Year festivities, come the familiar four letters that have become a significant part of this joyous cultural celebration.

We are of course talking about OOTD, the acronym for Outfit Of The Day, a social media hashtag for people showcasing what they are wearing to meet people they may or may not wish to see actually.

If you are out visiting at a relative's house this Chinese New Year and want to get away for some fresh air (don't say you heard it from us), you probably don't have to go too far for a photo op as well.

So grab your props (read: hongbao and oranges) and say "huat ah", here are some places where you can take your CNY OOTDs:

1. Void decks

Where there's an HDB block, there's a void deck.

While you're not allowed to play football there, you can most certainly make it your photo studio. Sit on the benches, stand between pillars, squat in the big holes in the walls. The void deck is your canvas. Some void deck walls are also decorated with cool murals which make for lively backdrops.

2. Parks

Take a stroll to a nearby park. Nature and greenery always make beautiful, gentle settings for photographs. Some parks even come with marvellous landmarks.

Over in Bukit Batok Town Park sits the majestic Little Guilin, a towering granite rock looming dramatically over a large lake. It is nicknamed after the formations in Guilin, in southern China's Guangxi region. So you could even pretend that you went overseas for Chinese New Year by picking the location tag. Now how cool is that.

At Lower Seletar Reservoir in Yishun, there's a jetty whose design was inspired by stilts, a homage to kelongs of the old days. Just don't drop your hongbao into the water!

3. Playgrounds

Where else more suitable for fun photo shoots other than a space built for fun itself?

Playgrounds somehow awake a vibrant sense of youth in everyone, even for parents who are taking their children there. Go crazy sitting on the slides, climbing the ladders or whatever it is playgrounds have these days (read: electronic interactive play areas).

In Toa Payoh Lorong 6 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, there are dragon-themed playgrounds. The mythical beasts are an auspicious symbol of power and fortune, so it's definitely appropriate for Chinese New Year.

From here on, the suggested OOTD sites require slightly more effort. But they are worth it.

4. Changi Airport

Just like how you greet people bu bu gao sheng (may you scale new heights), your Instagram game can also take flight, like the airplanes at the airport.

One of the world's best airports, Changi has a charm in the simplicity of its aesthetics, which is perfect for OOTDs. The venue is air-conditioned, so you can pose, snap, check, feel disappointed and try again as many times as you want, without breaking a sweat.

Some of our favourite spots are the Kinetic Rain sculpture at Terminal 1, featuring metallic raindrops in motion (just don't do what this lady did), and the viewing gallery where the planes could be your backdrop.

5. National Gallery Singapore

As with the Chinese New Year greeting qingchun meili, which means to stay forever young and pretty, the National Gallery has certainly preserved its splendour having been converted from City Hall and the former Supreme Court.

Since its opening in November 2015, it has been an ever popular location for photo-taking.

It is aesthetically interesting, with its neat pillars, pristine walls and sleek architecture.

6. Lim Chu Kang Jetty

Water is known as the symbol of life and wealth in Chinese culture. Take a trip to one of the most remote points on mainland Singapore, and walk on water this Chinese New Year.

The jetty, which has been around for about 30 years and extends 100m out over the Strait of Johor, is a fine place to take your OOTD.

Be careful not to fall off the wooden jetty bobbing up and down with the tide. Smile as boats return with their catches, and this will help you fulfil your quota of nian nian you yu - the Chinese phrase which means "may you have abundance every year". The Chinese word for abundance rhymes with the word for fish. Not sure if the fishermen will take a break during Chinese New Year though.

7. Gardens by the Bay

Located near the border of the Marina Basin and the sea, it is our recommended site for your "'sea-ng' nian kuai le" OOTDs at night.

If you go in the daytime, you can enter the two conservatories, but you'd have to spend a bit of your hongbao money, as you have to get tickets to enter, along with the skywalk.

While pussy willows and lucky bamboo are the order of the day in most households every Chinese New Year, switch it up and visit the towering Supertrees at the Gardens instead. They glow and sparkle every night, looking mesmerising.

Also, keep your eyes wide open, because sometimes if you are lucky, the infamously adorable family of otters will pop up in the Gardens too. Just thought you "otter" know that.

As a bonus, just a short walk away is the Marina Barrage, sitting right by the sea. Say "gong 'sea' fa cai" as you enjoy the sea breeze.

8. Chinatown

Well, it is Chinese New Year after all...

Just don't wear your best outfit, as you will get warm and sweaty amid the hustle and bustle.