Skip to main content

Quick Stop in Singapore


I took advantage of a long stopover on my return trip from Bali to visit Singapore. As soon as I arrived I realized that Singapore is a clean, modern, safe city, where the rules are strictly respected. It was funny for me, because I was coming from Bali, which although wonderful, has a lot of pollution and a chaotic traffic. But about Bali I will speak in another post.
View from the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Singapore Landscape (view from Marina Bay Sands Hotel)


Talking about Singapore...

All the prohibitions we all hear about are really true. It is forbidden to spit, to throw garbage to the ground, to eat or to drink on public transport, to chew gum, to smoke in certain areas, even in the open air, to throw cigarette butts to the ground and, of course, drug use and trafficking is also prohibited. The fines are very high, so all these rules are respected. If, on the one hand, these rules seem excessive, the truth is that they allow us to always feel safe and all places are immaculately clean. Although we do not see much police on the streets, we easily see surveillance cameras everywhere.
interior of a subway station
Subway Station

sign with subway rules: no durians; no flammable goods; no smoking; no eating or drinking
Subway Rules

subway interior: cleaned and organized
Subway


Changi airport

Changi airport is great, with lots of entertainment options: movie theater; playroom; outdoor garden; gym; hotel, various dining options. So, it's really great if you have a long stopover. 
Changi airport is very efficient and well organized, without crowds of people at the same place. The connection between the terminals is fast and efficient, via the Skytrain. The internet is free.
If you want to drink something buy your drinks in the supermarket, at the airport. Drinks at the airport restaurants are very expensive and I received this recommendation from a lady working in the restaurant itself while I was trying to buy from them.
Changi Airport indoor garden
Changi Airport

Changi Airport Gym
Changi Airport Gym

Sunflower Garden at the rooftop of Changi Airport
Sunflower Garden

Movie Theatre at Chagi Airport
Movie Theatre

Playroom at Changi Airport with different types of games
Playroom

Transportation

I arrived in Singapore at night and chose UBER to get to the hotel. The airport has a specific area for those who are waiting for the driver, easily accessible and well signed.  In this area there is no wifi, so you need to call UBER before the pick up area. From the airport to the city center you can take the underground (East West / green line). I just didn't use this option because I arrived outside the subway opening hours.
To travel around the city I bought the Singapore Tourist Pass, which can be purchased at different stations (see here). This pass allows an unlimited use of public transport (metro, train, bus). More information about prices, required deposit and duration here.

The pass that allows you to use all public transports
Singapore Tourist Pass

The map below was prepared by me during the planning of this trip, and in it you can find all the points that I have visited and which I describe in more detail below:



Main Attractions

1. Chinatown: this neighborhood was born because of the politics of ethnic segregation maintained by the old English settlers, just like Little India of which I will write ahead. It is worth walking through Chinatown, meet the different religions temples, shops and lots restaurants. You will find Chinatown Food Street with several options to eat and drink. One of the places I liked the most to visit at this neighborhood was the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. In addition to the temple you can also visit the museum, just as I did. While leaving this temple I witnessed the unpredictability of the Singapore weather. It started to rain a lot and after a few minutes the sun was shining and it was very hot. By the time I was in Singapore (September) there was a festival going on in this area, with a live show and lots of people watching. You can find more information about this neighborhood here.

Chinatown Food Street with several restaurants
Chinatown Food Street

the entrance for the Chinatown Subway Station
Chinatown Subway Station

street from Chinatown
Chinatown

Chinatown

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple interior with people praying
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

the building of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

a Buddha sculpure
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Museum


2. Little India: As in Chinatown, when I entered Little India I felt like I was in another country. It's the perfect opportunity to taste delicious Indian food, enjoy the colorful houses and to shop. The gold stores are fantastic!
Little India elephante sculpture
Little India

colorful Little India Market
Little India Market

ornamented Little India Street
Little India 

3. Arab Street:  near Little India we find another reality -the Arab Street. Here you will find bars, coffees and shops with Arab products and you can visit the mosque (Sultan Mosque).
Singapura Club near Arab Street
Singapura Club near Arab Street

mosque and the street near by
Mosque

4. Bugis Street: It is not a street but a market where you can find everything (clothes, accessories, souvenirs, food, drink).I had lunch here and tasted delicious food. I highly recommend the visit.
several shops of Bugis Street
Bugis Street

some products of Bugis Street
Bugis Street

Bugis Street shops
Bugis Street

Peking duck with rice
Peking duck

food at Bugis Street
Bugis Street


Bugis Street - Food Court with some people eating
Bugis Street - Food Court

5. Orchard Road:  I can't talk about shopping in Singapore without mentioning Orchard Road, where I found streets full of shopping malls and luxury shops. I don't think this is an essential place to visit but if you have time and curiosity you can walk down the street, just like I did.
Orchard Road shopping
Orchard Road

6. Merlion Park: it is worth visiting the symbol of Singapore, a statue with a lion's head and a fish body. From this location you have a fantastic view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It's a very touristic place, always with lots of tourists taking pictures. Near this location you will find the Fullerton Hotel, now transformed into a luxury hotel was in time a historic building of the city. 
Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Merlion

7. Clarke Quay: close to Merlion Park, in front of the river, it is the ideal place if you are looking for bars, restaurants and nightlife. 

Clarke Quay - singapore river with some typical boats
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay- singapore river, boats and colorful houses
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay- singapore river, boats and colorful houses
Clarke Quay

8. Marina Bay Sands: the most famous building in Singapore with one of the most well known infinity pools in the world. There are several ways to get to the last floor: stay at the hotel; book one of the fantastic restaurants/bars; buy the ticket to the Observation Deck, from where you can get a breath-taking view. I bought a ticket for the Observation Deck and I was in doubt if it wouldn't have been more rewarding to have enjoyed one of the restaurants. At the observation deck there is no bar/restaurant, only a small convenience store selling drinks and ice creams. The ticket to the observation deck costs 23 Singapore dollars per adult. To purchase tickets and get more information about the observation deck see here.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel - view from the Merlion Park
Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Marina Bay Sands Hotel- view from de Observation Deck
Singapore Landscape (view from Marina Bay Sands Hotel)

Marina Bay Sands Hotel- view from de Observation Deck
Singapore Landscape (view from Marina Bay Sands Hotel)

Marina Bay Sands Hotel- view from de Observation Deck
Singapore Landscape (view from Marina Bay Sands Hotel)

9. Gardens by the Bay: situated right next to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, it is a kind of a giant and spectacular garden. Here you will find lots of attractions, from fantastic statues to wonderful gardens, amazing lakes and the famous vertical gardens (supertree grove) that measure between 25 and 50 meters. At night, it is even more fantastic, a spectacle of light and color. It takes quite a while to visit all the gardens and attractions but it is worth it. Unfortunately, I had no chance to explore this place as I would like. As I had little time I chose to buy the ticket for the OCBC Skyway at Supertree Grove ( 128 metre long aerial walkway), where it's possible to get an up-close look at the technical marvels of the Garden's futuristic Supertrees. The ticket costs 8 Singapore dollars.  More information about attractions and prices here
Gardens by the Bay - vertical gardens
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay - lake
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay- sculptures
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay - lake
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay - vertical gardens
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay panoramic view
Gardens by the Bay


To sum up, 


Singapore is a city that combines modernity and skyscrapers with huge and pleasant green areas. Tranquility is a constant and Singaporeans are extremely friendly and helpful. Do not be surprised if someone approaches you while you're looking at the map, they're just being kind and willing to give you the information you need. It happened to me and that's how I have found about the event happening in Chinatown.
Singapore surprised me and left me wanting to stay for a few more days because, in 24 hours it wasn't possible to visit all the attractions it has to offer. If your stay is longer, do not miss Sentosa Island, a spin on the Singapore Flyer, the zoo and the Singapore City Gallery where you can find a Singapore model in 100 years.
If you still need more information, on this page you can find maps, applications, guides and useful information about Singapore.
If you want to go to Singapore and need more specific information let me know and I will try to help you. On the other hand, if you have already gone to Singapore share your experience and tips.

Grace






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

amsterdam

December in Amsterdam!

Travel in December has become a tradition for us a few years ago. Despite the cold and the rain, the magic of the holiday season makes traveling special and turns all cities even more beautiful. In Portugal, December 1st and 8th are holidays, so we always travel on these dates. For this year (2017) we chose Amsterdam, a city that was already in our bucket list for some time.
Before describing all the wonders of this city I have to admit that I was a bit discouraged by the lack of Christmas atmosphere I encountered. In recent years, at this time, I have traveled through Germany, France and Belgium and it was WONDERFUL!

amsterdam

Lovely Zaanse Schans

I couldn't leave Netherlands without visiting the famous windmills of Zaanse Schans, so close to Amsterdam. This lovely place is one of the main tourist attractions in the country and in Amsterdam it's possible to find several tours for sale, but it is very easy to visit this historic village without these tours.
berlin

Berlin, let it snow!

I flew from Porto to Berlin-Schönefeld airport and as soon as I left the airport there was SNOW waiting for me, which added even more excitement and beauty to this trip.