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5 Reasons Why Singaporeans Should Read THE SMART LOCAL (TSL)

TheSmartLocal (TSL) was founded by Bryan Choo, an entrepreneur with a passion for travel, food, writing and film making. Having realised that there was no existing portal (back in 2012) that provided the true local voice, he started TSL to build a hyper-local resource from the inside-out that both locals and foreigners could use. Well, something like TripAdvisor but with more focused and organised content.

I first came across via Facebook shares of their articles and it was almost always the topic or title of the posts that made me want to read them. They touch on interesting subject matters in and around Singapore and actually make me become/feel more Singaporean after reading. Why? Here are 5 reasons below:

1. They have the Most Popular Guides. Literally.

We all love to complain about how boring Singapore is, that there’s nothing to do here – no scenery, no entertainment, no mountains, no lakes, just plenty of buildings and malls (that have the same shops). But, we really love the variety of food here! You’ll be able to satisfy practically any craving you have, though there are sooo many places to eat that you really need a guide to help you narrow down your options. Most naturally, you will whip out your smart phone and start googling. Pretty often, you see an article on TSL telling you just what you want to know.

“A Guide to Singapore Nightlife”

“EPIC Bars you won’t believe exist” 

“Cheapest & Best Buffets in Singapore” 

There you have it.

For most couples, when we think of going on a date, only 2 things come up instantly, almost on reflex: Dinner and Movie. That can’t be more predictable. However, with TSL’s tips and hints, we get to discover the “Most romantic places for dating” and “Dating ideas for Singaporean couples”. I like the idea of conquering a cycling route together 🙂

I have to give it to TSL  for 52 Things to do in Singapore before you die. That sure took a lot of time and effort to compile given such a long bucket list, covering almost every type of activity you can think of, from recreation to entertainment to sports, education and shopping!

For those who live #forthegram, you need to check out “20 Most Instagram-worthy Places in Singapore”. No more excuses for the lack of Insta-worthy backgrounds to pack your feed!

2. Their Articles are as Easy to Read as Bedtime Stories

Sometimes, I scroll through my Facebook feed as one of the last things to I do before I go to bed. Although we can’t choose what we want to see due to the feed algorithm, I find myself clicking through light-reading articles rather than those which leave me gasping for air (too much brain juicing there). So those with lots of pretty images tend to catch my attention for a nice visual feast before I crash. I will usually go for my topics of interest as well e.g. fashion, beauty, shopping and entertainment. The short and sharp style of writing and “Singaporean lingo” help in making their articles relatable and engaging too. *proceeds to like and share!*

My latest favourite article, “10 Best DISCOUNTED Staycations Over The GSS Weekends Because You #EarnedIt” for the obvious reason: Who doesn’t like staycations on sale?!

3. Great Video Features & TSL TV

We know video is such a necessity here and now. There is so much content out there on the web, even beautiful photos and images are competing for eyeballs. Videos are able to capture attention much faster and also portray experiences, details and information in more compelling ways. TSL recognises that and I love how they film travel destinations around Asia. Nice cinematography, cool edits and a great summary of the places of interest!

Here’s a travel one from 2014 hosted by Andrea Chong:

And one of the latest from their signature Pretty Smart series:

You may also like the fun TSL Acoustic Sessions, Travel Like a Local and Singaporeans Try playlists on TSL TV! Extra tidbits for you if you prefer watching videos over reading. You get the same local flair and relatively high entertainment value from its quality content with a humourous touch.

4. Discovering Influential Brands with Intriguing Perspectives

So there’s a section labelled “Influential Brands” that TSL uses to present and showcase brand stories and in TSL’s words, “a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today.”

I thought it’s interesting to recognise the most influential brands in Singapore and tell their stories because consumers today make smarter and more informed purchasing decisions. Most of them want/hope to know as much information as possible, including whether the brands are serving a good cause on the side, whether they are environmentally friendly, and even details about the brand’s historical background, who are the brand owners and partners. These knowledge help consumers understand the brand on a deeper level, and establishes a stronger connection between both parties.

For example, positioning SK Jewellery within an article like “12 Prized Possessions Every 90s Singaporean Girl Grew Up With” seems quite intelligent yet subtle to me, as I wouldn’t have guessed it’s a brand feature until I scroll until the end of the article.

Pretty smart, TSL.

5. The Singaporean Frequency

Driving home the point, why Singaporeans should read TSL, is what I would call the “Singaporean Frequency”. That wavelength. That spirit of kiasu-ism. The same love for cheap deals, good food, convenience and most importantly, our familiarity with the Singaporean culture after years of going through the education system, our diverse population, cosmopolitan lifestyles and everything else. All these elements unite us.

I think this article is the perfect piece to illustrate what I’m talking about:

“10 Bizarre Things Singaporeans Do That The Rest Of The World Won’t Understand”

Yup. Speaking 5 languages in one sentence is what we grow up with. And we can switch from one language to another faster than you can ask “Whut?”

And this is another: “Why Young Singaporeans Think Their Lives Suck”.

Unrealistic expectations, blindly chasing goals, impatience, bombarded with choices, etc etc etc. Singaporeans, read on and find out if you can’t stop reading because you can’t stop nodding.

And if you are a Smart Local, click here because TSL has provided a solution to the above sentence.

? This is a sponsored post but it consists entirely my own views and opinions. ?


About The Smart Local 

TheSmartLocal is an independently owned media publisher that focus on travel and lifestyle stories for Singaporeans. It gives locals trusted hyper-local information on what to do in and out of their country. It is one part blog/magazine with editorial content and one part community review database where members can have their say about everything Singapore.

Today, TheSmartLocal reaches over 3 million Singaporeans each month. Businesses looking to advertise can check out the digital media solutions and advertising services provided.

TheSmartLocal also has its own video channel – TheSmartLocalTV, its own mobile discount app SNATCH and they have expanded their online publication regionally into Malaysia and Australia.



Love, everyday. Till next time!
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