Singapore Travel Guide
A country of man made marvels and one of the best public transport system in the world, I cannot emphasise on how efficient the public transport functioning is in Singapore. Traffic? You’ll find yourself question what is that term by the time you are done with your trip in Singapore. That’s how good it is.
Where to stay
A country that is surprisingly small but still have so much to offer. We were staying at the Goodwood park hotel. Housed in a uniquely designed building dating back to 1900, the 5-star hotel is an endearing pioneer of the Singapore tourism industry. Much of her original beauty has been faithfully restored, with the Grand Tower gazetted a national monument in 1989. IF you want to shop this is the area to stay in. I really didn’t have a lot of time to explore the hotel itself. Here’s what not to miss in Singapore!
What to Do
Marina Bay Sands - There’s a lot to do once you enter this world. Yes I call it a world because we found ourselves going back over and over again to explore the place.
Art Science Museum: One of Southeast Asia’s leading cultural institutions that celebrates the intersection between art, science, technology, and culture, and features major exhibtions by some of the world’s greatest artists.
Spectra: A Light and Water Show : A stunning 15 minutes showcase of laser effects, dancing fountains, kaleidoscopic wonders and an inspiring orchestral soundtracks by the waterfront.
Digital Light Canvas: Step into an interactive digital experience and be amazed as shoals of fish gather in the ocean beneath you or paint your own calligraphic art with your footsteps.
SkyPark Observation Deck: Feast your eyes on the unforgettable panoramic views of Singapore from one of the largest cantilevers in the world.
Sampan Rides: Be gently paddled along the canal of the Shoppes in a Chinese wooden boat, and you might just catch Rain Occulus in action.
Gardens by the Bay is house to the world’s largest glass greenhouse. There’s lots to see and do here. You could easily spend 5-6 hours here. The main attraction here are the Flower Dome where you can see trees as old as a thousand years and various beautiful flower displays, and the Cloud Forest which has a 35 metre man-made mountain and waterfall with a completely misty atmosphere as you reach up, the Sky Way and Super Tree Grove. If you stay on until around 7:45 pm in the evening you can see the super trees coming to life with a spectacular light and sound show.
Sentosa Island - There’s plenty to experience in Sentosa. Starting from taking the cable car to the island, to witnessing the ever so famous Sentosa merlion, and the award winning whow with lasers, fireworks and water displays - the wings of time
Botanical Gardens: This is a really nice place to go for a walk in the early morning. I met a friend there, we took a walk fancying the different kind of plants, flowers along our walking trail. They also have a really nice restaurant where you can dine once you are done with your tour.
China Town: A bustling Chinese enclave with a colorful mix of old and new, you’ll find a town rich in history, from family-run goldsmiths and medicine halls, to textile stores, dim sum restaurants.
Little India: Fortune-tellers and their parrots, street cart vendors selling garlands of jasmine, kachang puteh (roasted nuts) and newspapers are just some of the interesting sights to be found in Little India.
Kampong Glam: Rich in Malay history and culture, its major landmark, the Sultan Mosque sits in the heart of this enclave and is open to all visitors.
Clarke Quay: Clarke Quay is a unique conservation landmark located along the Singapore river. Comprising of five blocks of restored 19th century shophouses and warehouses under a multi-colored illuminated canopy, Clarke Quay plays host to a kaleidoscope of over 60 restaurants.
Singapore Flyer: The largest observation wheel in Asia. Standing at a stunning 165m from the ground, the Flyer offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the Marina Bay.
Singapore Zoo & Night Safari - I think I wouldn’t recommend the night safari personally. The wait was long, but it was too dark to see anything clearly. Not even good for the gram either.
Sungei Bulah Wetland Reserve - The wetlands of Sungei Buloh are a dream come true for keen nature lovers. At this sprawling 87-hectare ecological site, you can catch migratory birds escaping the cold on their way to the warmer climes of Australia–with some having come as far away as Siberia.
Woodlands waterfront park - Woodlands Waterfront, is a park that hugs the northern coastline and consists a 1.5km long waterfront promenade. The park is about 11-hectare and one of the two main attraction are a large playground that will caters to both young and old and a 400m ex-naval jetty that supports a variety of recreational activities and community events.
Go Shopping - Explore the shopping square, and most definitely shop for Charles and Keith here. The shopping square can have you lost because there are iconic malls one next to the other extending in all directions. All of them have uniquely interesting exteriors, and interiors as well.
Jurong Bird Park - Jurong Bird Park is one of Singapore’s great family attractions, situated on Jurong Hill. It is also the largest bird park in the world, featuring 8,000 birds of more than 600 species.
Try the Kaya Toast with half boiled egg for breakfast - a simple but really sumptuous and delicious meal for breakfast. One of the best places to try this is at Ya Kun Cafe and you can find their branches in many malls and all over the country. Founded by Loi Ah Koon in 1944, Ya Kun remained a small family-run stall for decades, but have expanded rapidly since Loi's youngest son headed the business in 1999. The best branch to try it is the original outlet at 18 China Street. You’ll taste why when you savour the perfectly toasted slices of bread enveloping cold slivers of creamy butter and a generous spread of melt-in-your mouth kaya (traditional jam made from coconut and eggs). Make it a set meal; dip the toast in runny yolks of half-boiled eggs and wash it down with a cup of local kapi (coffee) or teh (tea). A set would come up to about 4.8 SGD
Singapore’s number one culinary export to the world is none other than chilli crab, practically cementing its status as one of our unofficial national dishes. Said to be invented by Madam Cher Yam Tian in the 1950s, the original chilli crab was stir-fried with bottled chilli sauce and bottled tomato sauce, then sold from a pushcart. Today, the version of chilli crab we know consists of sambal, vinegar, tomato paste, and egg – an “improved” recipe by chef Hooi Kok Wah, one of the four “heavenly kings” of Chinese cuisine in the 1960s.
Things you would want to keep note of:
If you are in Singapore for only three days make sure to take the Singapore Tourist pass. This pass gives you unlimited rides on public transport and is all you need to go around during your time there.
Grab and Uber Taxi services operate in the country. So, if you are in a rush, and can’t wait, surprisingly hitting the road is the best way as there is no traffic in the country that could stop you.
We did go for the night safari. However, if you want to have a great experience I think you should go in around sunset. Otherwise, it’s not worth the hype at all.
If you are into walking tours, there’s several free ones. Some of the morning tours you could look into are Kampong Glam, China town and Little India, and Afternoon tours you can be part of are at Marina Bay Sands & Gardens by the bay, the civic district and Singapore River, and Bugis & Bras Basah. You can find more info at www.monsterdaytours.com
If you pick up the tiny tourist guide booklets, make sure to go through them. They always come with some kind of offers or souvenirs that you can pick up from places. I only saw these when I came back home as I didn’t read through the entire booklet while on tour and I hope you don’t miss out on those like me.
Some of the Hotels have phones with Sim cards in your room. You can get mobile data on it and even make calls. Soif you are staying in a hotel with one, you don’t even need to get yourself a SIM card. How convenient!
Qatar Airways flies daily from Doha to Singapore non-stop. So just hop on a flight and enjoy this gem of a nation.