This is home, truly: Local celebs and filmmakers tell us their favourite spots in Singapore

PHOTO: Paul Foster, Instagram/ yungraja

Singapore is a patchwork of people, places, and significant events stitched up together, and on this National Day, we ask a few Singaporean celebrities and filmmakers to share their favourite place on the island and why it's special to them.

Yung Raja, 25, rapper-entrepreneur

PHOTO: Instagram/ yungraja

"Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai at Rowell Road! This is where I hang out with my friends for late-night prata and teh! It's a famous South Indian restaurant and ever since they opened an outlet here, I've been a regular. Plus, it's right in my neighbourhood — Little India!"

Yung Raja recently released his song Spice Boy. Check out his newly launched made-in Singapore fashion label Peace Oeuvre.

Anthony Chen, 37, filmmaker

PHOTO: Netflix

"Anywhere but the city centre (Orchard Road). I love hanging out at neighbourhood kopitiams, in older estates particularly. Prata with teh tarik or teh peng makes me happy. My heart is in the heartlands. I live quite near Toa Payoh, so I frequent the area a lot. The heartlands are so rich, full of authenticity and life. And it makes for inspiration for a filmmaker."

Anthony's Golden Horse-nominated film Wet Season was just added to Netflix's slate of Singapore-made films, series, and documentaries. You can also catch his award-winning film Ilo Ilo on Netflix now.

Hans Hamid, 31, TV personality

PHOTO: Hans Hamid

"The greens of Clementi Forest. It's quite the hidden gem of our island where we retreat from the bustling city life and immerse ourselves into nature. Things tend to slow down as I marvel at the green surroundings and enjoy the peace it brings. I bring my six children there to fully let kids be kids and enjoy the wilderness within Singapore. It's a wonderful place to explore and discover more about nature right where you least expect it.

Hans is currently involved in an apocalyptic zombie Malay drama Apokalips for meWATCH. You can catch him on his YouTube series Santai, where he explores the greener side of Singapore, and on season six of Manja on meWATCH.

Don Aravind, 38, filmmaker

PHOTO: Don Aravind

"My favourite place in Singapore is the beautiful Esplanade. I have admired and enjoyed being in and around that space since it was being constructed. It brings back lots of good memories with people whom I have been close with in my life.

"I have spent so much time from watching performances to studying in the library and having so many conversations with people who matter to me. I am an avid cyclist. I cycle around the Marina area at least thrice a week and always stop by the Esplanade just to soak in her majestic beauty. A few years ago I did a commissioned film on the Esplanade; it's something from my heart."

Don's film on the Esplanade is titled 2002, and you can watch it below.

Paul Foster, 40, actor-host

PHOTO: Paul Foster

"So I recently picked up riding and have been exploring more of Singapore! Trails in particular have been so much fun to ride through because they are literally in the forests and jungles. For someone just learning the sport of mountain biking, the Chestnut [Nature Park] trails have been a beautiful source of inspiration.

"They connect all the way up north to Mandai, but also through to Bukit Timah and also down south along the Green Corridor! I love being outdoors and with friends showing me these trails, I have really experienced so much more of Singapore's nature."

Catch Paul in the series Singapore Social, available on Netflix.

Eysham Ali, 35, filmmaker

PHOTO: Eysham Ali

"The Arts Belt is one of my favourite hang-out places. An eclectic mix of indie boutiques and tasty food along the narrow lanes of Haji Lane, a quiet and conducive work space at the Central Public Library — even my wedding was at a hotel tucked away along Victoria Street! I could spend my day just soaking in the vibes of this district."

You can catch Eysham's short film Kattumaanar (Builders) below.

Tan Pin Pin, 52, filmmaker

PHOTO: Netflix

"My favourite place in Singapore is the Kampong Glam neighbourhood. I love walking as a mode of exploration and Kampong Glam is one of the few street-level neighbourhoods left. There are many surprising nooks and crannies here.

"In between the Sultan Mosque which broadcasts the prayer calls five times a day and my boxing gym, there is also the country's best nasi padang, best swiss rolls, and the iconic Fuzhou fishball stall."

Pin Pin's documentary Singapore Ga Ga was just added to Netflix and you can also catch In Time to Come on the platform.

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com