Here’s our latest interview with a tour guide or certified local as we seek to learn from some of the top experts from the places we love.
If you are a certified tour guide and would like to be considered for an interview, drop me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about specifics.
My questions are in bold and the responses follow below. Please excuse us if you see a mistake in grammar, we are travel bloggers not English writers. 😉
What’s your name and how old are you?
Answer: Janice Chua Wee Har, 33
Do you have kids? If so, how old are they?
Answer: no kids, got married last year
Where are you originally from and what city do you currently live?
Answer: born, breed and lived in Singapore! My grandparents are from China
How long have you been a tour guide?
Answer: Close to 365 days!
Why did you want to become a tour guide?
Answer: There are push and pull factors. Push factors: I was working in a regular, stuffy, boring office job for 10 years before becoming a tour guide. Throughout the 10 years I couldn’t stay at any company for longer than 2 years.
Pull factors: After leaving the job, I started travelbuddee.com to help travellers connect to local guides in south east asia. I thought what better way to understand the market than being a local tour guide and I went ahead to get my license.
Are you a licensed tour guide? What cities? If so, from which organization?
Answer: Yes, I’m a Singapore Tourism Board Licensed Tour guide. I have put in heart and sweat for the 1 year course.
How many tours have you provided?
Answer: On average I conduct tours 3 times a week, so over a hundred tours for now I guess
Lets get to the exciting stuff, why anyone should visit the city on the subject?
Answer: Singapore is the little red ruby! There is so much to explore! We are so small, yet so diverse in terms of culture and beliefs. The many historical buildings preserved from British colonial times, we have modern skyscrapers of spectacular designs, back alleys bustling with street art and activities. Oh and did I mention the yummylicious street food of the Singapore Hawker Centres with Michelin star and bib… just to name a few of what makes us unique and a must visit!
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Answer: Singapore is super safe! We are ranked second just behind Tokyo on the safest city index by economist. It is because we have strict (to some absurd) laws that make us one of the cities with the lowest crime rate.
What’s the average temperature in the city?
Answer: there are 4 seasons in Singapore, Hot / Hot & Wet / Hot & Humid / Hot, Humid & Wet. Average temp 32 deg C, humidity can go up to 92%
What languages are spoken? English spoken?
Answer: Our main language is English, spoken and written. Each race can speak and write their own mother tongue
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
Answer: Goods and services are in SGD only!
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
Answer: Marina Bay Area is the best!
What’re your Top 3 hotels and why?
(1) Marina Bay Sands, where in the world can you stay on a ship that’s 57 storeys high and swim in the infinity pool at the skypark?
(2) Raffles Hotel, 130 years of history + home to the Singapore Sling
(3) Fullerton Hotel, 90 years of history, private, cosy and homely, right in the heart of the city
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
Answer: Public transport is great! Bus, MRT (subway), Taxis showing green lights are available. Apps: Grab (bought over Uber’s South East Asia’s business)
Can you highlights the MUST sightseeings? Minimum of 5, feel free to share as many as you would like.
(1) Marina Bay Area: Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, Singapore River Cruise, Marina Barrage, Marina Bay Sands Hotel
(2) Civic District: Learn about the colonial history and Singaporean’s way of life today
(3) Chinatown: Trace the footsteps of our early immigrants in Chinatown
(4) Kampong Glam + Little India: learn how did the various ethnic quarters come about and explore the diversity of each culture through religious buildings, shops and various experiences
(5) Sentosa: Visit Resorts World Sentosa, with world class attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, Sea Aquarium, Sentosa Cove, beautiful beaches, Michelin star restaurants and world class hotels
What’s the best place to take a photo?
Answer: Marina Bay Area
What about the Top 3 restaurants?
Answer: My restaurants are for local hawker centre!
Satay at Lau Pat Sat (malay influence)
Laksa at Katong, Roxy Square (Chinese influence)
Murtabak at Zam Zam, Kampong Glam (Indian Muslim influence)
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
CelaVi at Marina Bay Sands
1 Altitude at One Raffles Place
Aura at National Gallery
Can you recommend best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
Answer: Orchard Road – ion orchard, takashimaya, paragon, 313, plaza singapura and many more
VivoCity – Singapore’s largest retail mall right next to Sentosa
Mustafa at Little India – Everything you need and its open 24/7!
What about food markets?
Answer: refer to restaurants
Do you recommend any tour outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
Answer: Palau Ubin, the island still very much retains highlights from earlier days, a fishing kampong with natural intertidal flat comprises coral reefs and other marine wildlife
Where does one should go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or district you recommend?
Answer: clark quay, boat quay or marina bay area
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables?
Answer: yes! We have 2 casinos, 1 at Marina Bay Sands, the other at Resorts World Sentosa
Any last advice for people visiting your city?
Answer: Be prepared for the humidity! Be adventurous! Apart from downtown Marina Bay area, explore out and immerse in the history, culture, people, buildings and food!
Thanks for your time! How can people learn more about you?
Feel free to share your phone, email and contact info below.
Thanks again! Your insights will help the next traveler.
Be jetting & buy experiences!