For those who are planning to visit Singapore, here are the top ten places to see:
1. On your first day, go right away to Esplanade Theatre and the Merlion so you can experience the Singapore ambiance right away.
How to get there – take the train to City Hall MRT. When you get off the City Hall MRT, two malls will greet you, Raffles Place (left side) and Citylink (right side). Take the Citylink entrance. Follow the signs. Esplanade is about 10 minutes walk. From the subway, the exit goes to the middle part inside the Esplanade building.
Outside the Esplanade building, you will see the Merlion. It’s another 10-minute walk. I recommend walking below the bridge to avoid the heat outside. Remember, pictures here at day time and night time look totally different. So if there is time, go back at night.
From the City Hall MRT, take the same way going to Suntec City, just follow the signs. Suntec is one of the biggest malls. There are 5 towers (from an aerial view, the towers look like the sun). Each tower has a mall, the 5 buildings are interconnected. At 8:00 PM there’s a free fountain show. It’s one of the biggest fountains in the world. I recommend you watch this one. The dancing fountain is mesmerizing.
In front of one Suntec tower is a mall called Marina Square. This is my favourite because it’s not too big and not too small.
2. Clark Quay. The place is located beside a river, which is the mouth of Singapore harbour. There are a lot of restaurants and bars in the area. Foreigners like to hang out here. The food is a bit expensive, dinner for 2 persons is about S$70. However, there is a mall here called Central Mall. Inside there are fastfood chains like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, etc. When we come here, we eat inside the mall and stroll outside feel the sea breeze. What I highly recommend though is the boating ride here, it’s a 30-minute cruise around this area up to the Merlion and Esplanade Building. Boating per head is S$13. It’s worth it.
How to get to Clark Quay — take the train to Clark Quay MRT station. Recommended time — late afternoon like 6:00 PM. Sunset in Singapore is 7:00 PM.
3. Orchard Road. This is the shopping capital. There are lots of malls here. A newly opened building called “Ion” has the biggest Louis Vitton store in Southeast Asia.
How to get there — the MRT station is Orchard. MRT stations have several exits, some have 2 exits, the big ones have 4 to 6 exits. So read first which exit to take.
4. Bugis. It’s the name of the area. The MRT station is also called Bugis. When you go up from the MRT station, you will find Bugis Junction, one of the biggest malls. Across the street is a shopping centre called “Bugis Street” where you can buy cheap merchandise. You can buy Singapore souvenir T-shirts here for “3 pcs for $10.” Even “4 pcs for $10.”
Within the area is Kwan Yin Temple, a Buddhist Temple. If you want to see other faith’s house of worship, this one is popular for tourists. There are also many Catholic churches
5. China Town. A must see. Clean and huge, you can find here cheap souvenirs like T-shirts, key chains, wallets, just about everything. Don’t buy right away. Go around the place first because there are much cheaper stuff at the other end.
How to get there — China Town MRT station.
6. Singapore Zoo. I highly recommend this over the Night Safari. The reason is, in the Night Safari, there are limited animals to see. Taking pictures with flash is not allowed because the animals will be disturbed. The Zoo and Night Safari are in the same area.
The MRT station near the Zoo Ang Mo Kio, which is 40 minutes away from the city proper. And then from Ang Mo Kio, you will take a bus to the Zoo, another 40 minutes. But I find the 40-minute bus ride very relaxing because there are lots of trees which is very unlikely of a highly urbanized city like Singapore. The Zoo is big. You will need half a day minimum to enjoy the place.
7. Jurong Bird Park. The main attraction here are the birds. I still prefer the zoo. But you will be amused to watch the birds doing exhibitions. The shows have a schedule, so before coming here, check first
How to get there – Boon Lay MRT station. Then take a 15-minute bus ride from the MRT station to Jurong Bird Park.
8. Sentosa. A must see. The only beach resort in Singapore. It’s full of rides and entertainment. Everything here is man-made, the white sand is imported. You need half a day minimum to see the place. I recommend you go there in the afternoon like 3:00 PM. In the evening, watch “Songs of the Sea.” Don’t miss this one! There are free tram rides so you won’t get tired going around the place. The place is just huge!
How to get there – take the train to Harbour Front MRT station. Outside the station is Vivo City – one of the biggest malls. At Vivo City, you take a bus or mini train or cable car to Sentosa. I recommend the cable car ride, the $13 roundtrip is worth the experience. Take note, buy ticket for “Songs of the Sea” ahead. This is always sold out. Better, buy a day ahead. Or early morning when the mall opens. Ticket costs $. Again, don’t miss this one!
9. Botanical Garden. This place is for plant lovers. The place is huge, all kinds of orchids are here. But there’s no MRT station nearby. You will have to get out of Orchard MRT station, then take a cab to Botanical Garden. Taxi fare is much higher by 35% during peak hours (7:00-9:00 AM and 5:00-8:00 PM). This is to discourage passengers from taking taxis at peak hours to decongest the road. It’s also much higher after midnight because drivers are working overtime. You can use credit card in paying. They also issue receipt. But as much as possible, avoid taking the taxi because it’s expensive. When you get lost, tell the driver to take you to the nearest MRT station. From there, take the MRT to your destination.
10. Mustafa. It’s the name of the shopping mall located at Little India. This is the place of the Indians. Come here on a Sunday and you will be surprised to see how many they are in Singapore. Mustafa is a 24-hour shopping mall. Everything you need is here. Even at 3:00 in the morning, the mall is packed with people. Perfumes are really cheap here. The reason is, they buy in bulk from the factory.
How to get to Mustafa – the nearest MRT station is Farrer Park. From the exit, Mustafa is 2 blocks away.
If you stay for 3 days in Singapore, these should be enough. Where to stay in Singapore??? There are cheap hotels at the city center at S$90 for 2 persons. Enjoy your stay. Hope this guide will help.