It is often said about Singapore that you only need 2 to 3 days to see the good sites within city-state. Distances to most major locations exceeds no more than 20 minutes walking from any one to another (zoos and major parks excluded). Most tourists can bust out the country in this time, except a few with more focused desires other than site seeing may wish to stay longer.
My girlfriend flew in to Singapore on December 27th, my fourth full day within the city. With two more days to site see together, my visiting time within the country almost hit one full week. So with my new found time freedom, I did all the site seeing attractions I wanted to see on my own, and then repeated them just a few days later when she arrived.
The scary thing is, they were all just as good, and Singapore is a city I could picture myself living in, or at the very least having a timeshare rental or visiting very frequently.
Unfortunately we’re heading to Thailand tomorrow, so more focused posts on Singapore will have to wait until later to avoid delayed posting. But here is a sample highlights reel of some of the sites that was seen in Singapore, and a must for all visitors to this wonderful country (* denotes multiple visits). Of course, look for full fledged topics on each of these sites coming in the near future!
Singapore Botanical Gardens*
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are found in a massive complex right outside of Orchard Road that is more park than gardens. With several lakes, many exotic trees and flowers, a private orchid garden ($5 entry fee), and themed walking trails such as the ginger trail, the park is fun not only to explore but to take tons of amazing flower photos. This park was so good, I went twice, and having zero entry fees made it especially worth it for all lovers of the outdoors.
Chili Crab and Giant Shrimp
I would be lying if I said that the reason I stayed so long had anything to do other than the food in Singapore. I love food, and the impressive Singapore hawker centers were #1 on my list of places to visit. Being a collective city that it is, the hawker centers in Singapore are reflective of the neighborhood that they are in, and majority of the stalls serve similar style cuisine (Chinatown centers serve Chinese, Little Indian centers serve heavily Indian/Malay, etc). The most impressive in terms of grandeur is the Smith Street Hawker Center in Chinatown that boasts over 200 stalls!
Orchard Road Christmas Display*
Orchard Road is the mall capital of Singapore, as every building is another mall with upscale shops and eateries. During Christmas, the malls like to have a little rivalry between each other on who can have the best Christmas tree and festive display, and the entire street is decorated to the nines with some amazingly beautiful decorations. During the week of Christmas, there are also nightly float parades and live music of Christmas songs throughout each Mall and outside walking street!
All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream and Dessert Buffet
This one is something I only heard about after arriving in Singapore. Run by the Swensen’s restaurant chain, in the Orchard Road Ion Center branch, is the unique all-you-can-eat ice cream and dessert buffet for approximately $19 SGD per person ($14.60 USD) – additional discounts available with food purchase. Not traditional Singapore food in the slightest, but I’ll bite. The buffet includes 50 flavors of ice cream, sorbet, and gelato; milk and white chocolate fountains with marshmallow, strawberries, and more; as well as a toppings bar that will put most normal ice cream stores to shame. Between the two of us, over 21 chocolate covered strawberries, 25 scoops of ice cream, and an untold amount of toppings were consumed. Perfection.
Singapore Night Safari
The most unique zoo in the world is located in the country of Singapore. The reason it is unique is that it is dedicated solely for the viewing and observation of nocturnal animals. As a result, the Singapore Night Safari is only open for 5 hours each day, and draws a massive crowd of visitors year round. Visitors can either walk around the entire park through long and winding trails, or observe from the comforts of a tram ride – or both! Bonus points go out to the walk through giant flying squirrel enclosure and the bat cave that allows you to be, quite literally, a foot away from the animals. (No photos due to being at night, oops. You’ll just have to go to Singapore to see this one for yourself!)
As I mentioned previously, this post is to serve as a brief teaser for all the sites, sounds, tastes, and attractions of Singapore. Due to our quick return to Thailand, I am unable to write anymore about the country at this present time to keep up with real-time updates. But don’t worry, Singapore posts will be on the way soon enough! If you happen to be heading to Singapore in the near future and have questions regarding the country, feel free to discuss them below!