SINGAPORE! - Sightseeng,,shopping,great culinary experience,astounding civic facilities and the factor of safety of roaming around the city at odd hours make this island so unmissable.I was here on a five day work and conference jaunt.Although there are many spots where you can go clicking, I focused on these five1. Jurong Bird Park2. Chinatown3. Little India4. Haji Lane5. Clarke Quay area ( focus on MCI Building)Jurong Park was on my unmistakable No. 1 on the list. With its dream landscaping and as 'natural' a setting as possible, a feast awaits photographers and birders here. I normally shy away from zoos and bird parks as you don't really feel valiant clicking birds behind cages. But in Jurong Park, except for Penguins (obvious reasons of climate) and large birds like vultures and eagles you don't find the rest of the inmates behind cages. Well, the fact is they are still enclosed with a net so high that you feel they are actually cavorting around in a forest.How to reach Jurong Bird Park: By MRT - Take the East-West (Green Line) train towards Joo Koon station. Get off at Boon Lay station. Through Exit C go over to Boon Lay Bus Intercahnge by crossing Jurong Point shopping arcade. Take Bus 194 that will drop you at the Park gates.Here is a photo tour
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Universal Studios Singapore
From there we reached Falcon MRT station. This opens up in Vivo city Mall. This was a big shopping mall housing all the international brands. From there we took Sentosa Line which has been designed specially for Sentosa, Universal Studios and Siloso beach Singapore.We already had booked tickets for Universal Studio so we avoided long queue and headed straight. If you are an adventure lover then this is must go. It has 7 different sections. My favourite was Hollywood specially Lights Camera Action. Each section has set of rides, some amazing food, shopping arena to get some goodies and activites. IF you really want to pump up your adrenaline then try rollercoaster rides in every arena. If you are travelling with kid then you can rent a stroller here. One can easily spend whole day here.Tip: If you want to save time on rides and avoid long queues then go for singles line instead of regular ones. In case you have some extra bucks to spend on, you can buy VIP pass that will give you entry in priority queue.
Gardens By The Bay
I started my third day in Singapore from ‘Gardens by the Bay’, if there is heaven on earth here it is. This place has various international awards and accolades to its name. Featuring the best of horticulture, sustainability, architectural design, Gardens by the Bay provides the perfect edutainment opportunity for all ages. There is so much to discover here. From diverse plant life in the award-winning Cooled Conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest), to towering vertical gardens that extend into the sky, this must-visit destination will awaken the explorers and inquisitive minds alike. It also houses world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Another sought after attraction the ‘OCBC Skyway’ stands 22 meters tall above the ground and these Supertrees are perfect for panoramic skyline views. ‘Garden Rhapsody’ comes alive in the evening with its exhilarating visual and audio effects.(TIP: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories along with the OCBC Skyway are the paid attractions.)The Marina Barrage is a dam in Singapore built at the confluence of five rivers, across the Marina Channel between Marina East and Marina South. Though this is not a celebrated tourist spot in Singapore however it lies near the two conservatories (Cloud Forest and Flower Dome) and if you are going to miss this place, you are surely going to miss a lot. Once you reach at the top of this barrage, there is a lush green field which plays a perfect role of a wonderful picnic spot, you can see locals enjoying with friends and family, having food, flying kites.After witnessing the beautiful sunset on Marina Barrage, I directly headed to Clarke Quay, Singapore’s hotspot to enjoy the nightlife. There is no dearth of good pub, bar, clubs, restaurants in this place. If anyone wants to witness how Singapore comes alive at night, this is the place to be. After spending sometime here I directly headed to my Hotel to catch some good sleep as I knew that my next two days will be very tiring.
I started my next day exploring Chinatown, it is a bustling mix of old and new, filled with traditional shops and markets as well as cool stores and cafes and as its name implies it certainly gives you the feel as if you have entered China. There are many places to explore in this area like Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple (oldest Hindu temple in Singapore), China Street Market, Jamae Mosque, Thian Hock Keng Temple, China Town Heritage Centre, to name a few. If you’re a foodie, try 'char kway teow' (stir-fried noodles) and 'satay' (barbecued meat skewers) at Chinatown Food Street, a row of hawker stalls, shophouse restaurants and kiosks along Smith Street. Buy souvenirs in Pagoda Street.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
The only botanic garden in the world that opens from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight every single day of the year, and does not charge an admission fee, except for the National Orchid Garden.This is the place where one can spend some peaceful time. It includes National Orchid Garden, Rainforest, Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden, Botany Centre and Tanglin Gate, Jacob Ballas Children's Garden.
Jurong Bird Park
Today was the last day in Singapore typically you should spend a week here but since my itinerary was packed so it was a bit hectic. Jurong Bird Park is very different and enjoyable especially with the bird shows and the owl museums. After coming back I went for shopping at Orchard Street. I am a fan of exquisite cosmetics so for me Skin Products like Mandy T and other local brands were just like paradise. All of us had our flights at different times travelling to different places. I was the last, also I had a transit flight through Bangkok. I felt so nice after visiting Singapore that may be I would try to shift here for some time.p.s I have not been very particular about the photographs posted here, I just posted few most are in my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Hope you liked my travel blog (safarnama)
Changi Airport Singapore
Changi Airport in Singapore is a great airport with a butterfly garden, massage chairs and a huge shopping complex. But if you don’t want to do any of those, or don’t want to be stuck inside, there is good news! If you have a layover of more than five and a half hours and less than 24 hours at Changi Airport, they offer two types of tour - the city sights tour and the heritage tour. Both are two and a half hour tours with the first one starting at 9am and the last one at 6.30pm. The city lights tour hits the usual spots such as the Singapore Flyer and Merlion Park. On the heritage tour you are taken to different neighbourhoods in the city such as Little India and Kampong Glam. You can find out more here.How to do it: Skip immigration and head to Transfer Lounge F in Terminal 2 or Transfer Lounge A in Terminal 3. There are two city sights and four heritage tours per day. Both run on a first come, first serve basis.
Ann Siang Hill Singapore and Clarke Quay
The areas of Ann Siang Hill and Clarke Quay really come alive at night, even on weekdays. We spent a fun evening at Club Street on Ann Siang Hill (a short walk from China Town), which is closed to traffic from 7 pm onwards. Tables brimming with people flood the street and there are so many watering holes to choose from-we headed to Gem Bar for a couple of drinks. Clarke Quay comes highly recommended, too, especially by the locals. It’s located along the Singapore River, so pick an open-air pub and you’ll get a riverside view. See clakequay.com.sg for a list of restaurants and bars to visit in this former fishing village.
Orchard Road Singapore
I came to Singapore via road from Melaka (Malaysia) the immigration process was smooth and we reached Singapore shortly. We checked into Chancellor@Orchard which is in the heart of the city , almost next to the President's house which was amazing. You can actually explore the city by walking a lot more. So we started our journey, after arriving we first went to Marina Bays , I always wanted to be at the infinity pool staring to the city with a glass of wine in my hand relaxing in my bikini, but there is a difference between dreams and reality ..looks like I need to be a guest in the Marina Bay hotel to fulfil my dream ..(hahah sighs..) but nevertheless the view from the top was amazing. It cannot be expressed in words, one must experience it. And yes indeed my dream infinity pool . After enjoying Marina bay we headed off to Gardens By the Bay which is another enthralling place, especially both the observatories "the flower dome " and the "cloud forest" ( don't miss the cloud forest at any price) . After that we went for a river cruise across the city seeing all the famous hotels and the banks and the companies.
Singapore's national icon, the Merlion (Half lion, half fish) resides in the Merlion Park and a visit is totally imperative. This significant monument perfectly encapsulates the history of the city and the park is therefore one of the most important places to visit in Singapore.
River Safari Singapore Singapore
The concept to show animals is little different at river safari. They have created different zones based on river name, which shows the animals and reptiles found in those regions. like Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze rivers. With the pristine Upper Seletar Reservoir as a backdrop, River Safari is also home to the Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and the enchanting Amazon Flooded Forest. We also sail on an exciting adventure known as the Amazon River Quest, this is South American river where you’ll meet the amazing wildlife that come from the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
Merlion Park Singapore
To see the Merlion up close, you can go to Merlion station by MRT. MRT usually cost 1.4SGD per trip. You can get the ticket at the station using automated machines and recharge the same ticket for next trip. You will get 0.10 SGD discount after 6 trips on the same ticket :)
Pulau Ubin Singapore
How about camping right in wilderness with your loved one as the only company? I would have shuddered at the thought of it had it been here in India, but it was an experience worth living right at the heart of this unspoilt beauty. You could also go on a day trip Pulau Ubin and experience its rustic village life that presents a stark contrast to the urban life of Singapore. Pulau Ubin an island off the eastern coast of Singapore that is also the last village or ‘kampong’ of this island-nation.
The most cherished mascot of Singapore is the Merlion. The iconic structure with the head of a lion and body of a mermaid, this piece of architecture is splendid. You get to know the history behind the Merlion through a small documentary shown there. It is one of the best place to spend late aftrnoon and evening time.Photograph lovers will love this place. A laser show called 'The song of the Sea" was shown to me. It was done in the middle of the sea.
Singapore Zoo Singapore
The beautifully designed zoo where animals live in naturalistic habitats, you have options to trek along foot tracks or hop on to a guided tram to see natural endangered animals and the world’s largest collection of proboscis monkeys. Few place like rainforest will make your day, as few animals are left open in the area. We saw big monitor lizard, butterfly just crossing us. Elephant show and other shows are an amazing experience not to be missed so please be on time. The best part was to see the orang utans jumping all over. You can either carry your own meal or try Ah Meng Kitchen, Casa Italia. however do not forget to carry water and some juice for instant energy.
Singapore Zoo Singapore
This is not a regular zoo the moment you enter it its like walking into a jungle. The whole atmosphere is so natural, there are so many water bodies and this place is full of greenery. Exotic breeds of animals can be seen here and it is a delight to see animals like zebras, giraffes and chimpanzees without cages living in an atmosphere just like there natural habitat. To see the panda i had to pay extra money for the river safari, but this creature is so adorable that i after seeing it in reality i do not mind the money now. My tips: 1. If not in a hurry then you should walk around the zoo take in its natural feel. 2. If you want to cover the whole place very fast then you can go for the coach.
Raffles Place Singapore
Who would have thought that a walk around Raffles Place is actually a walk down Singapore’s history? Raffles Place was formerly called Commercial Square and was designated for commercial activities by Sir Stamford Raffles himself back in 1822 as part of his Raffles Town Plan. The rectangular centre of Raffles Place was often referred to as Raffles Square. It was the first reclamation project in Singapore as it was swampy land next to the Singapore River. Part of the history of this place resulted in the naming of the streets such as Market Street and Chulia Street (know earlier as Kling Street) were named after Dr Jose D'Almeida, the surgeon, who had his dispensary and his business firm of Jose D'Ameida and Sons in Commercial Square.” Singapore’s very own (and oldest department store) John Little started their operations here in Commercial Square back in 1845. During World War II, and on 8 December 1941, Japanese planes made Raffles Place one of their targets of destruction. On 12 December 1987, Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Station was opened with accesses from each end of Raffles Square. The station's entrance has detailing reminiscent of the John Little Building's facade dated 1911 which was fashioned in a Spanish style.
Little India Singapore
Since we were vegetarian and hungry, we headed straight to Little India to grab some Indian Food after keeping our luggage. We were happy to find so many indian restaurants there. Mustafa center is a big shopping hub where you can shop ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Since our trip was short we wanted to experience everything.Traveller Tip: If you are plannning to get your currency exchanged then Mustafa Center is the place. You will get best rates here.
Visit the boardwalk armed with a strong insect repellent. The mosquitoes have undergone commando training here. Occasionally you'll see fiddler crabs scuttling across the sand. Marvel at the complex system of mangrove roots? The mangroves here are a hotbed for biodiversity research. When the trail heads out to the sea, spot rare corals peeking out at low tide. Otherwise, they can be found on information boards too! Just don't wander off the boardwalk unless you've signed up for a guided tour. Heheh...
S.E.A. Aquarium Singapore
In the evening we went to witness the beautiful SEA aquarium next to Universal Studios. Its just not a small one, its a big one housing all species ranging from small fishes to large and giant ones. After a tiring but great day we headed back to our hotel for rest.
Singapore Zoo Singapore
My first sight seeing encounter was with the Singapore Zoo also known as the World’s best rainforest zoo and you will surely agree with this when you experience it. Singapore Zoo has been known to have among the most beautiful settings in the world, where animals roam freely in open and natural habitats. There are other interesting activities (of course paid) which you can be a part of like wildlife tours, camps, dining with animals, animal feeding, etc.
Night Safari Singapore
Another major attraction located just opposite the Zoo is ‘Night Safari’ - As dusk falls at the Night Safari, the world's first park for nocturnal animals comes vividly to life which you can experience through the ‘Tram Safari’ (A guided tram ride that takes you across 7 geographical zones of the world. See nocturnal animals in their naturalistic habitats and look out for the free-ranging ones which may just be an arm’s length away from the tram) and ‘Creatures of the Night Show’ (A must-see! The Creatures of the Night Show is a 20-minute animal presentation showcasing the amazing natural abilities of nocturnal wildlife from owls to binturongs and civets. This is an interactive show where you can watch, discover, participate and be entertained!)Though I was not fortunate enough to cover the other two major attractions ‘River Safari’ a river-themed zoo and aquarium and ‘Jurong Bird Park’ because I started my day a little late but one should not give them a miss.Jurong Bird Park often referred to as Asia’s largest bird paradise has almost every species to impress avian lovers, along with fun exhibits, interactive shows, and of course, its charming residents.All the attractions lies in the same vicinity so one can go and enjoy these in a day however do remember to make an early start because all these places take a good 2-3 hours each (minimum) but to enjoy thoroughly you should divide this itinerary into two days as covering all the places in one day would turn out to be hectic.
Esplanade: Esplanade is the arts and cultural entertainment of the city. From far off, the roof of the structure appears to be akin to a golf ball dipped half into the waters, but essentially, is a wire frame structure. What gives the structure its appeal is the spiked honeycomb design. This complex has been designed to meet the needs of a full scale musical and entertainment event.
Singapore, no doubt, is a green city dotted with parks and lakes everywhere. But Macritchie Reservoir is undoubtedly special. If you want experience the serenity of lush green Malaysian tropical rainforests right at the heart of Singapore, Macritchie Reservoir is the place to be. Let your inner child prance around in the woods or go kayaking on the reservoir. Or better still, languorously watch the sun set over the glistening waters while you sip on to wine at the Vava Bistro.
Arab Street Singapore
This is one of those few places in Singapore where i was able to get the joy of street shopping. The street walls have funky artworks done on them and there is a whole lot of open air cafes serving scrumptious Turkish food along with hookahs. There is a big mosque also which was under going some renovation i guess but there is one. This is a really nice place for shopping in streets, enjoying a drink or for having dinner. The Arab street surprisingly makes you forget that you are in Singapore and feels more like some authentic street of Turkey or Morocco. My tips: 1. Checkout the boutiques here they sell some really nice designer stuff at reasonable prices. 2. If you like to shop for fabrics and textiles then this place is for you.
Art Science Museum Singapore
ArtScience Museum is in the form of reminiscent of the lotus and has been called “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore”. It features an adjustable roof waterfall which uses rainwater collected when the roof is sealed in the day. The flower shaped structure at the bottom of the Marina Bay Sands adds a definitive edge to the spectacular architecture of the resort.
Mustafa Centre Singapore
In the evening we headed for dinner in the little India area and was exploring the streets of Mustafa market also explored through the Arab street . Also checked out Ramly Burgers one of the amazing dishes needs to be tried . You can get an experience of Chinese ,Indian and Malay foods.I also headed to the Manhattan Bar which is one of the best pubs where you can hang out.
S.E.A. Aquarium & Adventure Cove Waterpark Sentosa Gateway Singapore
It's not cheap but i had a great time in the company with many underwater creatures! Very nice place with large numbers of small fish of all colors . Tunnels are filled with sharks and number of dolphin. Each aquarium is huge and beautifully arranged. Indeed there is a great diversity of sea animals, with very large aquariums and several tunnels as if you are really in the middle of the ocean. In addition each aquarium is nicely decorated.
Sentosa Island Singapore
DAY 2-SENTOSA ISLAND: - On the second day we visited the Sentosa Island. It is a popular island resort. We reached the island by a rope way. This island gives a serene and tranquil aura to its visitors. The island offered some excellent landscapes. I enjoyed various activities with my brother. One of my favorite was the luge ride which is like go- karting downhill. We also watched a 5D movie, dolphin show, visited the underworld (which is a huge aquarium built under the ocean) and lastly saw the water light show called the Wings of Time. After a long and action-packed day we headed back to our hotel for the night. The Sentosa island is a must on one's to do list in Singapore.