Visit Singapore

Enjoy the Historic with the Modern in this Vibrant City!

I recommend you visit Singapore en route to other destinations, although some people do choose to make it their holiday destination. After staying away for over twenty years it was a revelation to visit Singapore last week (July 2010) and see the changes that have taken place.

My husband and I both well remember the Singapore of the 1970’s with open drains ....and many of the old colonial buildings in need of a facelift or full restoration.

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When you visit Singapore today you will see stunning modern complexes mixed in with beautifully restored traditional heritage buildings in a colourful medley of old and new jostling for attention.



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The sheer scale of the development going on is amazing. All around the waterfront there are road works and earthworks with half built buildings rearing their heads.

If you are visiting Singapore with a young family there is a plethora of fun parks, zoos, and family oriented fun.....much of it on Sentosa Island.

For those who are keen to visit Singapore sights and attractions you need to put on your walking shoes and start exploring. We found by catching a bus to a starting point we were able to walk between many of the interesting features.

There are free shuttle buses around some of the city and the old bum boats on the river, is another great way to get from point to point....or see the city from a different perspective...while giving the feet a rest!

For those who are keen to visit Singapore sights and attractions you need to put on your walking shoes and start exploring. We found by catching a bus to a starting point we were able to walk between many of the interesting features.

There are free shuttle buses around some of the city and the old bum boats on the river, is another great way to get from point to point....or see the city from a different perspective...while giving the feet a rest!

Plan Your Independent Walking Tour

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We first marked the city map with all the places we wanted to see when we visit Singapore. This gave us a clear route to follow.

The first day we took a bus from outside our hotel( The Mirimar) at the top of Havelock Rd to Bugis Street. Walking we then wended our way via Purvis Street to Raffles Hotel, on to Malay Street and down to the Suntec Building where my husband had a business appointment.

Suntec Mall is a huge shopping complex and had been recommended as a good place to visit. From here we caught a free shuttle to the basement of the newly opened Marina Bay Sands Building...taking the lift up 57 floors to get magnificent 360o views - a "must do" when you visit Singapore.

Bumboats on the River

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On Day 2 we crossed the river bridge directly opposite our hotel and after enjoying the best coffee we had in Singapore, wandered along the riverside path past restaurants and local apartments to Clarke Quay where we could catch the Bumboat down to see the Merlion Statue.

Then back to get out at the Boat Quay from where we walked, exploring the riverside restaurants, crossing the river and resting in the Arts House before walking on via Parliament House and St Andrews Cathedral to Raffles Shopping Arcade.

This gave us look at both old and new Singapore with a nice mix of interesting architecture.

In the evening we went on a Night Safari Zoo tour. We were mostly not too interested in the many animal and bird parks having spent 3 weeks viewing these animals in the wild in Borneo.

Check below for a selection of attractions and activities to enjoy when you visit Singapore.

What to See and Do in Singapore

CHECK THE LIST of ACTIVITIES and ATTRACTIONS HERE

Singapore Shopping

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Orchard Road is the recognised shopping area for serious shoppers to Singapore. For traditional or interesting shopping try the ethnic areas, Chinatown, Little India, Bugis St Markets, Malay Street.

You then have the choice of a huge number of shopping malls. I suggest you ask your hotel concierge which areas are best for the kind of shopping you want to do if you have specific items you are keen to search out. Some places are great for budget shopping while others such as the Raffles Plaza are for those with a big budget wanting top end label items. Other places are considered best for electronics.....you may find the internet helps here.

NOTE: 1)You do need to be careful about what you pay for items unless you are buying in a conventional store. Ask for the price up front and stick to your researched and preferred brands. Double check things are working...you probably won’t have time to return.

GST CLAIMS

You can claim the GST back at the airport so long as you have the proper receipts. This is very easy. You front to the desk which is far left as you walk in to the international area. Get a number from the machine....and your number will be shown at a desk when they are ready for you. Have all your receipts ready.

You will be given the documents to collect your money after you have been through immigration.

Getting Around

Taxis

When you get into a taxi at the airport ...you are directed to the next in line.....you can not pick your own. Be sure to ask UP FRONT what the price will be. If you don’t like the price I would get out and ask to be given another taxi. We assumed the fare was standard due to the system where you have no choice of taxi.

We were very unhappy to have a driver demanding $35 for a trip quoted at $25 at the airport information desk.

Our hotel ordered a Comfort Blue Taxi for our return trip....the same trip cost only $16 in a very nice new taxi with leather upholstery and immaculate. The Silver Taxi Cab which was the expensive one did not provide any better service or vehicle.

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Buses

There is a comprehensive bus system and tickets are very cheap...we never paid more than $1 a trip. There are also free shuttle buses that circuit parts of the city. The bus station was in the basement of the Marina Bay Sands Building.

MRT

We didn’t use this in the end as we didn’t need to. However it is considered a quick and efficient service covering the city.

Bumboats

These historic boats ply the Singapore River and are a relaxing way to get around from point to point along the river. You can either do a 45 minute tour for $20 or just buy an $8 taxi

Singapore Hotels

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Singapore has a huge selection of hotels which are generally in the higher price range. CLICK HERE to see some suggestions and check for possibilities.


More Singapore Information


Singapore Guide

Singapore Hotels

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