Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18

Tripoto
15th Dec 2018
Day 1

Arrived in Singapore from Kochi in the morning. The check-in time in our hotel in Chinatown was only at 3 pm, so left our luggage with the reception and proceeded to have some breakfast and take a stroll along the streets of Chinatown, which is home to quite a few heritage sites in Singapore.

Visited Sri Mariamman Temple & Buddha Tooth Relic Temple before going back to the hotel. The latter is a must-see attraction and is quite a big complex also housing a museum and supposedly one tooth taken from the pyre of the Buddha himself though this is questionable.

In the evening, bought the Singapore Tourist Pass (this will give you unlimited entry to MRTs and trains) and took the MRT to go to the very impressive Gardens by the Bay. The two plant conservatories, The Cloud Forest and Flower Dome must not be missed and exhibit a uniquely rich and diverse collection of flora from almost all corners of the world. It is the effort of the organisers in providing a protective environment to these plants that is laudable. Later, witnessed the grand Garden Rhapsody that lights up the magnificent Supertrees but the Skyway interconnecting these was not accessible due to a thunderstorm.

Chinatown

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Sri Mariamman Temple

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Gardens by the Bay

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Flower Dome

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Cloud Forest

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Cloud Forest

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Gardens by the Bay

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon

Gardens by the Bay

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Day 2

Walked around Little India to get up close with the Indian community here. The streets are lined up with primarily Tamil stores, so the resemblance to an commercial street in Chennai won't go unnoticed except that things are more orderly here. Later in the day, went to Orchard Street that is home to several high end shopping malls. Took the bus to head to the famous Merlion. Saw the Singapore Parliament and Supreme Court around the way. The Victoria building overlooking Fullerton road and Anderson bridge that take you to the Merlion is beautiful and has the statue at the front of Sir Stamford Raffles, the architect of colonial Singapore. The Merlion, for obvious reasons, attracts a lot of visitors who keep their cell phone cameras busy. You can cross the Esplanade bridge by foot and head to the Esplanade outdoor theatre, which hosts cultural and musical events regularly. The spot is also excellent sit and cool your heels while you enjoy the riverfront view. It is difficult to take your eyes of the Bay Sands hotel and the lotus-shaped ArtScience museum.

Supreme Court

Photo of Little India, Singapore by Bala Menon

Victoria Memorial

Photo of Little India, Singapore by Bala Menon

Sir Stamford Raffles

Photo of Little India, Singapore by Bala Menon

Merlion

Photo of Little India, Singapore by Bala Menon
Photo of Little India, Singapore by Bala Menon
Day 3

I took the trip up north and outside the usual urban hustle and bustle to visit the Singapore Zoo. It's another green space with a lot of care given to maintain the serene surroundings. Though it's not extraordinarily big, it does have a very interesting exhibits of animal species. Aside from the entry fee, you can actually pay a bit extra for a sumptuous breakfast in the company of the resident family of Orangutans. You can then hop on a tram that will take your around the exhibits. There are quite a few exotic species to see like Cheetah, Chimpanzee, Kangaroo, Lemur and Cassowary among others. The joeys are kept inside enclosures with short fences, so don't be taken aback if they hop over and cross your path. The zoo also organises a sea lion show where Philip will enthrall the audience with his gimmicks.

In the afternoon, decided to visit the Singapore Botanical gardens which is a huge and lovely green space inside a metropolitan city. This is what makes the city special. The planners have let no stone unturned in ensuring that development does not just equate to extravagant concrete towers.

Then took a couple of buses and then a taxi to get to the East Coast Park, which has a fairly decent beach the city dwellers like going to. It had got dark by the time we got there but found it clean and pleasant.

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Day 4

Took the MRT and then the monorail to Sentosa island to check out the famous SEA aquarium. This is quite similar to the one in Dubai but it definitely exhibits more variety of aquatic species in that fauna from far-off regions like the Caribbean seas and the Pacific Ocean are also on display. Once outside the aquarium, you can take the monorail further to visit the sandy and calm beaches on the island. Or you could head to the famous Universal Studios theme park which is next door.

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Day 5

Walked to Telek Ayer Street near Chinatown from the hotel to see the Thian Hock Keng Taoist Temple. This is a beautiful spot and has a very calm appeal. The temple is dedicated to Taoism's goddess of travel and represents the culture of the Chinese migrants who flocked in here eons ago.

Later, spent some time in Fort Canning that is today another urban green space but what was the site of the surrender of the British to the Japanese during WWII.

Booked a Grab cab to the airport to catch the return flight later in the evening.

To wrap up, I would not brag of having seen everything worth seeing in SG in 5 days though initially it might look a reasonable time frame to cover the tiny city-state. There is much more here to see and the credit goes to the city planners who made it a priority to make sure that the history of the place is always remembered. Singapore has a plethora of museums such as the National Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, Chinese Heritage Centre, Indian Heritage Centre, Philately Museum, ArtScience Museum to name a few. Each one is worth a visit. And there will always be something to go back to.

Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
Photo of Singapore, 15-Dec-18 to 19-Dec-18 by Bala Menon
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