Singapore - A colourful treat to the explorer's eyes

22nd Jul 2019
Photo of Singapore - A colourful treat to the explorer's eyes by Manasa Kunala

Singapore is a tiny island located in South East Asia. Being a global financial hub, it is well known for it's multicultural population and is also one of the hottest tourist destination. Residing in Chennai, Singapore is quite close (with a travel time of 4 hours) and I have been planning to visit this place for a long time. You can plan your trip within a budget if you plan well in advance.

For my trip in July, I started to check flights from May. We did not have any check-in luggage I managed to get my flights for around 9k. The city being small and since they have tourists round the year , hotels in Singapore is expensive. The rooms are also comparatively smaller. Keep checking for deals and book your stay according to your requirements. I booked my stay in Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong. Unlike Little India or Chinatown this place was not crowded and has a very calm neighbourhood. This place has still managed to retain it's old traditional houses and you can come across many colourful homes which adds beauty to the place.

Day 1

I reached around 8:30 A.M in Singapore. Changi is the best Airport in the world and has inbuilt parks, waterfall etc., Jewel located in Terminal 1 is the world's tallest indoor vortex. After collecting my baggage I headed straight to visit the vortex. It is surrounded by lush green plants and pathways from which you can view the vortex. Also, light shows are held every night. If you happen to visit there in the night check in the Information Centre for the light and sound show timings.

Singapore is well connected with busses and MRT. You can get a prepaid card which can be used for both busses and trains in the airport itself. If you are planning for a stay between 1-3 days check their website for more information on the available passes.

After refreshing we headed straight to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. It offers you a high end shopping experience. After exploring the shops head to the Casino located there. Ensure to carry your passport as it is mandatory for the tourists. You can try your luck in the CASINO if you wish. By dusk we headed to the Skypark observation deck located at the 57th floor of the hotel. The Skypark offers a panoramic view of the city. I personally enjoyed the spectacular view of the sunset. Charges are applicable to visit the Skypark. Do check their website for some offers and discounts. We finally wrapped up the day by watching the wonderful light and water show 'Spectra' held at the Event Plaza of the hotel. It is a 15 minute show and the entry is free. Make sure to get there at least 15 mins before the show to ensure you get a good spot to witness the show.

Photo of Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Singapore by Manasa Kunala
Photo of Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Singapore by Manasa Kunala
Photo of Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Singapore by Manasa Kunala

After loading ourselves with breakfast we headed to the Bird Park. The park offers spectacular bird shows and there are dedicated timings to feed the birds. Check the timings for the shows and do be there on time. If you are taking your kids they will definitely enjoy these shows. Before exploring the park take a ride on the tram. You can also hop-on and hop-off at specific locations. There is also a wet and dry play area for the kids. I loved Lory Loft where you have colourful birds and you can also feed them anytime. Try to spend some time over there as you can enjoy feeding the birds.

On our way back we headed to Mount Faber Park. The Southern Ridges is a ten kilometre stretch and Mount Faber Park is a part of this. You have restaurants and bars located at this place. The cable car located here links to the Sentosa Island. Once it started to get dark we headed to the Henderson Waves which is located nearby. The bridge is located 36 metres above the road and connects two hilltops. It looks beautiful in the evenings with those lights in the stretch.

Photo of Jurong Bird Park, Singapore by Manasa Kunala
Day 3

We headed towards the Botanical Gardens in the morning. The entry is free except for the Orchid Gardens. You can explore either on your own or you can get assistance in the information centre. The park is vast and is also a picnic spot. There are different gardens in the park and if you wish to explore all the gardens you definitely need a lot of time. Make sure to visit the Tembusu tree which is present in the five dollar note.

Day 4

Instead of visiting the attractions, I decided to visit places inside the city. My first stop was at the Old Hill Street Police Station. It is a former police station and the windows are painted in rainbow colours. After clicking few pictures, I headed towards Fort Canning Park which is one of the historical landmark in the country.

Since I was craving for some South Indian food, I then headed towards Little India for lunch. People residing in this neighbourhood are mostly Indians and if you crave for some Indian Food head straight to Little India. Komala Vilas is one of the oldest Indian restaurants located there and I definitely enjoyed the lip smacking food. The restaurant is located in Serangoon Road and Buffalo Road. The Veeramakaliamman temple located in Serangoon Road is quite famous too.

Photo of Singapore - A colourful treat to the explorer's eyes by Manasa Kunala
Photo of Singapore - A colourful treat to the explorer's eyes by Manasa Kunala

Our next stop was the Gardens By the bay which I was looking forward to visit. The Garden has two domes namely the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The Cloud Forest has a waterfall at the entrance. The top of the mountain is accessible by an elevator. An artificial mist is created in the cloud forest. The misting is done during the even hours (10 AM, 12 PM etc.,). The flower dome has an array of flowers displayed. Spend as much time as possible to explore the domes. After exploring the domes I headed towards the Super Groove Tree. There is a skyway in which you can walk and charges are applicable. The light show known as Garden Rhapsody is held at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM daily and is a must attend show. The trees come to life during the light show and was a wonderful way to end the day.

Day 5

Being a Sunday we wanted to relax and start late. After having brunch, we headed towards Bugis Street which is known for it's cheap shopping. Since it was shopping festival, I managed to buy some clothes on sale. Our next stop was Masjid Sultan Mosque located nearby. It is must visit for it's architecture and so many cafes and restaurants located on both sides of the road. Walk through the Haji Lane which has colourful buildings and beautiful boutiques. As our last stop for the day we headed towards Merlion Park. After clicking pictures of Merlion we walked along the path via the Helix Bridge.

Photo of Singapore - A colourful treat to the explorer's eyes by Manasa Kunala
Day 6

The whole day was dedicated to Universal Studios. There was a sudden outburst of rains in the morning and I had to delay my start. I reached around 11:00 AM to Universal Studios and it was very crowded. I planned to buy the Express Entry Pass but since it was a peak season the cost of Express Entry pass was higher than usual. I had to drop the idea of buying Express Entry Pass and managed to go through regular tickets. The wait time for the rides was more than an hour. After 3:00 PM the park started to become less crowded and the wait time reduced gradually. There is a chance of getting wet in the Jurassic park ride and I reserved it for the end. You do get coats outside (around 5 SGD) to save yourself from getting wet. It did not buy it and I did not get drenched much during the ride. There are two roller coaster rides which gives you an adrenaline rush. If you love roller coaster rides do not miss the CYLON ride. Since the wait time for the other roller coaster ride HUMAN was around 1.5 hours I skipped it in the morning. On my way back around 7:45 PM the wait time was only mins and YAY me and my brother ran to complete the ride. Overall, I would say it was worth the wait time.

I did want to spend one separate day to visit the other attractions in Sentosa. But since I had travelled with my parents who were quite old and I had to cancel few attractions due to the lack of time.

Day 7

This was my last day at Singapore and I woke up with a heavy heart. After having breakfast we visited the Orchard Road famous for it's high end shopping. Later we went to the Mustafa Shopping mall which is open 24/7. Mustafa Shopping is also know for it's gold ornaments. Tourists who shop for more than 100 SGD can claim for GST return in the airport. Make sure to carry your passport while shopping and ask them for GST returns if you shop for more than 100 SGD in one shop. If you are unsure on how to claim the returns in airport please do contact the Information Centre. It hardly took minutes for me in the airport.

With a heavy heart we headed back to the Airport. My friend had recommended me to try Onde Onde a local sweet from Bengawan Solo. I found this shop in the Airport and bought the a small pack of the sweet over there completing my trip in the most delicious way.