April 2017 saw the most thrilling and exciting trip of my adulthood. My family and I, planned a visit to Singapore for a 6 Nights-7 Days duration (Yayyy!! 😍). We did not go with the usual tour packages offered by various tour and travel companies, as they do not let you have freedom of your own, you are bound to visit specific places which are not of your interest. We wanted to have a trip which will be worthwhile and will let us enjoy the best out of the least. So we created an itinerary of our own with night-long struggles browsing through various links and websites for a few weeks. So here I am briefing you about our journey and the country. You may take notes for your visit later. And DO NOT forget to read the Most Incredible points and my recommendation at the end of this article for a quick review.
Singapore (or in their native Malay name: Singapura), is derived from Sanskrit, meaning the “lion city“. The temperature of this place on an average is around 26-27 degrees throughout the year (which is pretty pleasant, especially if you belong to a country like India where there is huge variation in temperature). It has nationals from almost all over the world (One of the major ethnic groups is Hindus – 9% Indian population).
So let’s start with our most-awaited sensational journey..
Day 1: Sunday: Getting to know the place
- We arrived at Changi Airport on Sunday morning.
- What was about to follow the long tiring night journey was the therapeutic treatment we were about to get.
- The moment we stepped foot on this land, we got awestruck by its beauty.
- The journey had just begun and without further delay, we swiftly booked ourselves an Uber.
- On the way to our hotel, we could notice high-rise glass buildings, uber cleanliness, and intense greenery on both sides of the roads.
- As we had just started to get our eyes accustomed to this country, we reached our hotel in a matter of some time. Our hotel was pre-booked and we made a check-in by 11 a.m.
- Picked up the keys to our rooms, unwound ourselves and went out to explore our destination in the evening.
- We strolled around Mustafa Centre and a nearby mall.
- I was happy to find restaurants like Bikanervala, Sarvana Bhavan and many more.
- And Day 1 came to an end with lots of exciting places yet to explore the next days to follow.
- Finally, the thought started to settle in that we were on a vacation!! 💃
- Our hotel was 20 kms away from the airport, we reached there in less than 20 minutes. (What?? Can you beat that!! 😮 ). Unlike India, it is much less inhabited and well organised with superior infrastructure.
- A must have food item that we tried the very first day: “Kwey Teow” – a rice, noodle dish.
- And yes, you will get “jet lagged“! The usual time we used to hit the bed used to be 3 a.m. So, not much of a difference.
Day 2: Monday: Visit to Animal Kingdom
- Day 2 was a ‘Meet and Greet session’ with the animals and birds.
- We paid a visit to the spectacular creatures in Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, Night Safari. (Bought a 4-in-1 ticket for Jurong Bird Park+Singapore Zoo+River Safari+Night Safari with a validity of 5 days).
- All the above mentioned spots have distinctive and exciting features. In Jurong Bird Park, one can find birds of all types from all over the world with their unbelievable capabilities. River Safari is a boat ride to an adventurous trip of the water wildlife. Night Safari is an unmissable escapade – it lets you experience the wilds in the night.
- Night Safari starts from 7 p.m. while the other three parks close by 6-ish.
- It was a long and tiring day with continuos walking, so we couldn’t cover Singapore Zoo and kept it for a later date.
- Waterfall aviary in Jurong Bird Park. (World’s first and tallest man-made waterfall)
- 40 minute tram ride in Night Safari with commentary to educate visitors on the importance of wildlife conservation.
- River Safari allows visitors to discover the aquatic animals from the freshwater habitats of river Amazon, Nile and Mekong.
- Spotted species of owls, pandas, ostriches, cockatoo, macaw, penguins, kangaroo, crocodiles, hawks, eagles, vultures, the dinosaur descendants – cassowary, ostrich, emu, to name a few.
- Home to exotic and critically endangered species – Bali Mynah, crowned pigeons.
- Animal and bird shows are a must watch.
Day 3: Tuesday: All about the city
- Commenced our day by visiting the Gardens by the Bay – wondrous architecture, beautiful innovative tall structures known as the Supertrees. There are two glass-roof conservatories in the garden, The Cloud Forest and The Flower Dome. The garden has been built for a purpose to enhance greenery and preserve nature.
- Later in the day visited Marina Bay Sands Skypark for a picturesque and panoramic view of the bay. (In the below slideshow: The boat on top of the three buildings is the Skypark)
- You can visit the Singapore Flyer as well, but we preferred the Skypark for 2 reasons. A)- Skypark is at a much greater height (on the 56th floor of Marina Bay Sands) than the flyer. B)- You can stay on the skypark for as long as you want, unless it is time to shut the skypark down for the day. 😀
- You can enjoy the music and light show, OCBC Garden Rhapsody, at the Gardens by the Bay at 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm.
- The cooled Flower Dome glass conservatory replicates the mild, dry climate and features plants found in the tropical regions. And the Cloud Forest replicates the cool, moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions.
Day 4: Wednesday: Sentosa Islands
If you visit Singapore, then Sentosa Islands is a must visit place.
- Bought a 2-day ticket for all the activities in Sentosa Islands+Universal Studios.
- There are a number of activities and interesting places available, including the Madame Tussauds, S.E.A Aquarium, 4-D adventures, Trick Eye Museum, Skyline Luge, to name a few.
- One can even buy individual tickets for each activity they wish to go for. But buying an online consolidated ticket saves a lot of money.
- The activities are not limited to a single place, you have to travel to and fro from one place to another either by a cable car or mini trains.
Day 5: Thursday: Universal Studios
The MOST awaited destination kept for the last. Universal brings out the child in you. It’s a fantasy world. Its an experience, cannot be expressed in words. Just go and enjoy. Phenomenal stuff to watch out for.
“Beware: Going on a public holiday or weekends would lead you to stand in queues for a long long time (We waited for 1-1.5 hours for various rides that too on a weekday).”
AND The MOST awaited.. The clichéd GLOBE picture is here….
Day 6: Friday: Rest of Singapore attractions
- Early in the morning progressed to cover our left out location – Singapore Zoo. The main aim of all the parks in Singapore is to preserve the flora and fauna, and to educate people on conserving the environment.
- It rained heavily during that afternoon with no prior intimation 😛 , which made our visit even more blissful.
- After visiting all the attractions, shopping was still an untouched act and a requisite for any women. A major motive for me to visit Singapore was yet to be conquered. Shopkeepers from Singapore, Hong Kong and China, rule the shops of China Town and Bugis Street. So later that evening, we went out for a shopping spree to the nearby Bugis Street, which is the largest street-shopping location in the country. There were plenty of options available, with shops flooded with beautiful clothing, handbags, accessories. There was a ‘wow moment’ with every shop I visited – Shopper’s paradise!! We picked up a couple of knick-knacks and souvenirs in the limited time we had.
- Still not satisfied with shopping, so we rushed to the nearby Mustafa Centre after dinner. Compromising our sleep and comfort, shopped for a good 3-4 hours. Unwillingly came back to our hotel around 3 a.m. Packed our things and stuffed the shopped items. Left for the airport as we had our flight for 8 a.m.
- Bidding adieu to this beautiful country was a difficult one.
“Overall, I would say, visiting one of the most expensive countries in Asia, having an incredible week, rejuvenated us to the core.
Every day was a tiring day with lots of walking, but what made it more interesting and exciting was what the next day would look like (I even lost 2 kgs, so now you know where to head to if you need to lose weight. lol! 😛).
It was a complete value for money. 😌”
So this is how our Awesome Time Ended!!
- If you are travelling from India, it is a 5.5 hours journey. Singapore is 2.5 hours ahead of IST (or generally, UTC+8:00 hours).
- Singapore Dollar (SGD, or S$) is the official currency of Singapore.
- Do Not only take higher currency notes with you, as small shops or in our case, even McDonald’s did Not accept a 1000$ note.
- If you are tight on a budget or on a solo trip or the ones who want to spend more on experiencing places and less on accommodation, you can even consider staying in hostels, which are cheaper as compared to hotels.
- Taking Uber is much much pocket friendly as compared to local taxis. If you are a solo traveller, public transport would be the best. But if you are a family – Uber, anytime.
- You can get a local sim card for 15 SGD (validity 5 days). You may need it when trying to connect with Uber drivers. We faced difficulty with this because neither us nor the drivers could make a call and they could only find us through the destination we provided for pick-up.
- People speak English, so no issue with communicating.
- You will be required to walk quite a lot, so carry comfortable footwear with you. I preferred shoes throughout.
- Interaction with the Uber cab drivers was amazing. People were helpful. Some of the cabbies we met were tour guides earlier, so they had additional insight to share with us about the beautiful country and the culture.
- People follow rules. If not, the police is vigilant and the fines are heavy on pocket.
- Non-veg is cheaper as compared to veg in restaurants like McDonald’s.
- Chewing gum is banned in the country.
- Singapore is an ever-changing place. I feel the government is more focussed on the beautification of the country. They keep on developing and changing.
- Singapore provides free wifi on almost all the important destinations, you will always remain connected.
- And yes, it may rain at any time of the day on any day, so be prepared with all your essentials.
- Buying online tickets to any place is convenient and cheaper. Go for consolidated online tickets. This will save you from burning a hole in your pocket.
- There are several city attraction packages, which can be availed and booked at the airport as well.
- There is an Eco-Link@BKE bridge, which has been built by the government to connect the two nature reserves, specially for the animals to move across the reserves undisturbed.
- I could notice women travelling alone at night, which shows the safety in the city.
- When we went to the Bugis Street, we could find the sign boards in Hindi as well, owing to the 9% Indian population.
- Singapore is expensive 😐 , you can go for shopping cheap to Bugis Street/China Town.
- If one wants to buy products (like, chocolates, gifting items, souvenirs), buy it from Mustafa Centre. It is a wholesale shopping complex. You will get anything and everything from there – Open 24*7.
On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely am I going to recommend this place to someone?
A definite 5/5.