AsiaEuropeInterviewsJournal

Singapore Travel Guide

By April 22, 2020 May 1st, 2020 No Comments

The tree lined city has many parks and natural landscapes. Singapore is the main capital city of the country Singapore. It is one of the most desirable tourist destinations and in other words can be listed among celebrity countries. 

 

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Why should anyone visit the city?

 

You will find a mix of cultures like Eurasia, East Asia, South Asia and majorly Malayan culture. There is a lot to discover and experience. You will get a huge variety of foods, traditions and activities. The food is the fusion of Japanese, Indian, Malay, Arab and Chinese. The other thing to see is the diverse wildlife. Despite of all the urbanization, you will see a lot of interesting and unique native wild species in zoo, parks and reserves.

 

Is the city safe?  What areas are not safe?

 

Singapore is among the top safe destinations when it comes to security. Public transportation is very well maintained. You only need to be careful while paying the rent of accommodation to unknown person through internet. While booking boats, try to hire a company because the coastal areas far from the city are not safe on private boats. The problem occurs with the strict laws of the country.

What’s the weather like?

 

Most pleasant time to see Singapore is between February and April (Spring). The months of September to February are wet and filled with unpredictable rainfalls. However, the time from April to August is very dry but sometimes it rains. 

 

Is the US Dollar widely accepted?

 

Money management is not an issue in Singapore because there is a lot of tourism. Pounds sterling, Australian dollar, US dollar and Yen are acceptable in most of the shopping areas including duty free. ATM machines are easily accessible to withdraw currency through overseas bank cards. The currency under $20,000 is allowed for Singapore whereas amount more than that should be declared on arrival.

 

What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?

 

Orchard Road Area

This place is entirely for the shopaholic people. You will find a lot of international famous brands of the world at this area. The lanes of both sides have shopping stores and malls in a row that sell everything from fashion to electronics. You will find a plenty of cinemas, restaurants, cafes and bars in the shopping malls or between the shops. It is a very expensive place and accommodation in this area is not suitable for the budget travelers.

 

Colonial/ Historic Area

This the city center of Singapore and one of the most interesting places are in Colonial district. You can reach every corner of the city from this area easily. There are many architectural wonders, parks, museums, galleries and historical monuments in this areas. You can visit most of the places by walk. While roaming around, you have to be careful because the places close before 11pm in this area and the accommodation is very expensive.

Marina Bay 

This the most modern and booming side of Singapore. This is the home of the most important attractions, skyscraper, the famous Merlion statue, futuristic botanical garden (gardens by the bay) and many more. The accommodation is not affordable in this area but nobody should miss visiting it.

 

Bugis and Kampong Glam

This is the Arab Street whereas it has a mix of Islamic culture and hipster cafes. You will find a lot of chic restaurants and cafes in this area with very lively environment. You can find a variety of food like Malaysian, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mexican in economical price ranges. There are a lot of places to visit in Kampong Glam like museums, Sultan Mosque, Buddhist temple, Street Market, Murals of Haji Lane and live music, Projector cinema and many more. It is a little distant from the main city but everything is very reasonable priced in this district.

 

What’re your top 3 hotels and why?

  1. Shangri-La Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel is located on the Orchard road among the wonderful shopping areas. Their treat their guests like Kings and Queens with very friendly service. There are huge tropical gardens, small pond, waterfall, swimming pool, plenty of palm trees and orchids. The Oasis garden wing is more like a place of resort bungalows and the Tower wing has multiple rooms designed with unique theme for each room. You can select according to your choice to enjoy the luxurious hotel.

  1. Somerset Liang Court hotel

This four-star hotel is located near the Fort canning park and Singapore river. It has its own outdoor pool, gymnasium and free Wi-Fi service for each room. The river side location and the proximity with a lot of tourist attractions and wonderful skyline make it very special. It is a best option for the families because unlike other hotels they offer apartment hotel. The apartments have their own washing machine and a small kitchen.

  1. Andaz Singapore 

It is the idea inspired by the Hyatt Hotel due to that it is becoming quickly popular among the tourists. The rooms are very spacious and well decorated. The 25th floor has infinity outdoor pool with breathtaking views of the city and the sea. The snacks and drinks from the minibar at the pool are free. It is located in the Kampong Glam and different tourist attractions are very close to it including Changi airport. It is a good value for the money.

How does one get around the city?  Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs? Include links to public services

It is not easy to explore Singapore city by walk whereas some places can be accessed according to their proximity. The public transport system is very well maintained and clean. The MRT subway reaches almost every part of the city. Renting a car is not recommended because there is a lot of traffic and some places have very crowded or expensive parking. You can hire a taxi or cab (use a Grab app). They are charged reasonably according to the meter and most of the drivers speak English. Grab app is like Uber car service that is very common around the world. Buses are also widely available in reasonable fare but the problem is remembering the routes. First time travelers get confused due to the buses with similar routes.

Can you highlight the MUST see sight?  Minimum of 5, feel free to share as many as you would like.

 

There are a lot of amazing places to see but some of them are not to be missed. These are:

  1. Gardens by the Bay

You will never find such futuristic style gardens similar to a sci-fi movie. There are a lot of things to get amused like the Bay East Garden, Super Tree Grove, a variety of futuristic structures designed for environment stability, Cloud forest dome and the tallest indoor waterfall of the world. You can book the tour online and buy tickets.

  1. Singapore Zoo

A huge part of the city is dedicated to nature and eco systems. The zoo of Singapore is a very impressive and beautiful place. You will not find any garbage or bad odor. The animals and their enclosures are kept very clean and well maintained with lush vegetation and plants.

  1. Orchard Road 

Orchard road is the shopping heaven where you will find a huge variety of everything. There are international and local products. You will get everything from clothes to electronics, foods and entertainment.

  1. China Town

Singapore has a small area dedicated to China. You will find impressive places to see, Chinese food and shopping. There is a Chinese heritage center, Sri Mariamman, Buddha tooth Relic temple and the wonderful drum ceremony (4am). You will find it very entertaining and interesting.

  1. Universal Studios Singapore

Universal studios is a huge area with a number of thematic parks, roller coasters and recreational areas. You will find ancient Egypt, Madagascar, Hollywood, New York, Fiction and different Sci-Fi areas. There are a plenty of eating, shopping and fun options.

  1. Pulau Ubin 

You can see the natural Singapore at the Pulau Ubin. This is a granite island that is still unexplored. You can see the unspoiled forests, wetlands, sea life and diverse wildlife of the areas. It can be reached by the 10 minutes Ferry ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

 

What’s the best place to take a photo?

 

There are a lot of amazing places to click photos but the most important are:

  1. Super tree Grove and Cloud Forest if you want to show some Sci-Fi eco system.
  2. Merlion Statue is a mark of Singapore identity.

 

What is the one thing you MUST eat in the city?

 

Hainanese chicken rice is the national dish of Singapore. It is the most demanded traditional cuisines that is tried by almost every tourist. Singapore is famous for its seafood. Do not miss the seafood of Singapore especially crabs.

 

What about food markets?

 

The city is the foodies’ heaven so there are a lot of food markets to confuse their customers in selection. Everything is delicious and worth trying. Top food markets are:

  1. Newton Food Center

There are more than 100 hawker stores where you can find a plenty to dishes to try. It is one of the most famous places to eat in Singapore. It is near Newton MRT station. 

  1. Amoy street food center

You will find every type of traditional and international cuisines in affordable price. You will see a lot of local white collar professionals having lunch at this spot. It has a proximity to the Tanjong Pagar MRT and Telok Ayer stations.

  1. Maxwell Food Center

There are a number of attractions to see near the food center. There are many shops and worship houses from the pre-war times. It is located near China town, Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

  1. Lau Pa Sat

It is the 18th century historical market that is converted into a food place. You will find a number of international, local and fusion cuisines. Some stalls of Lau Pa Sat remain open for 24 hours.

 

Where should one go at night?  Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?

 

There are a lot of nightlife places to see in Singapore whereas the top most are:

  • Clarke Quay – a place of many bars and nightlife places with water body, skyline and modern surroundings.
  • Marina Bay Sands – It is a complete entertainment with casino, shopping areas, restaurant, bar and 360o observation deck.
  • Zouk – A massive warehouse is a heaven for dance and music lovers. This is an award winning night life place of Singapore.
  • Orchard Road- The shopping square has many bars and nightlife places among the eateries and shopping areas.
  • Sentosa Beach Bars- Perfect place for a beach party night. There are many bars and nightlife areas at the Sentosa Beach.

 

Can you recommend the best shopping areas?  Best shopping mall?

 

  • Bugis street- Budget place with almost 600 shops selling high quality products in low prices. 
  • Mustafa Center budget shopping- Shopping place with almost every type of product in very reasonable price. It remains open 24 hours around the year.
  • Ion Orchard- The stylish and futuristic building with expensive and exclusive shopping options. It is a perfect place to buy most popular luxury brands of the world.

 

Do you recommend any tours outside the city?  Islands? Boat Tours?

 

  • Singapore Southern Islands Yacht luxury tour to enjoy the beauty and history of the islands.
  • Singapore Night out is the music and lights show that you can enjoy in the night from the Singapore river.
  • Kayak Fishing tours to the Southern Islands. They offer a variety of outdoor activities and fun. 

 

Are Casinos allowed?  Blackjack tables?  If so, what’s the best Casino in town?

 

Casinos are allowed and Singapore is the only country in the East Asia with Legal Gambling. The best casino is Marina Bay Sands Casino where there is a proper dress code and it remains open for 24 hours. 

 

Any last advice for people visiting the city?

 

The last and the most important thing to remember in Singapore is the law. They are very strict about their rules and regulations. There is no lenience for tourists or locals on the breeching of the laws.

Take care of these things:

  • Drunk and disorderly are arrested or canned (hitting with Cane)
  • Keep your money carefully because over crowded areas have pickpockets.
  • Protests are illegal so avoid getting into a protest because you need a permission for that. You cannot film that either.
  • Never say bad things about government.
  • Chewing gum, Drugs and drinking in public is not allowed. 
  • Eating and drinking on public transportation is also against the law.