Singapore

At the end of my big summer trip and after nearly six weeks in Malaysia and Brunei, I came back to Singapore, where I had also started my trip. Although, I was there for one night at the start and did not see anything other than my hostel and the airport.

I was only in Singapore for four nights and four and a half days and let me tell you, I could have spent even more time there. I did everything I wanted to do, visited all the sights I wanted to see and had a genuinely good time. Still, a couple of more days would have been a dream. Singapore was one of my favourite places I not only visited during this trip but it is one of the most amazing cities I have ever been.

My hostel was in Chinatown, so I spent my first afternoon exploring Chinatown. I also visited the Chinatown Tourist Visitor Centre, where I got tickets for the things I wanted to do the next days. That way, I was more flexible in when I wanted to do those things and also wouldn’t have to queue. The staff there was very friendly, so if you feel overwhelmed by all the things Singapore has to offer, check it out and they will be able to help you.

Right next to the Visitor Centre is the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. You can visit the temple for free and every day at 2pm they also offer a free tour. If you don’t wear trousers or skirts that cover your knee or t-shirts that cover your shoulder, don’t worry. You can borrow scarfs to cover up while visiting the temple. Also right around are Chinatown Complex, where you can find delicious foods and other goods, China Town Street Market, where you can find souvenirs, fresh fruits, ice cream and other stuff, and Chinatown Food Street, where you can find lots of stalls with the best food you can think of. Seriously, I ate there almost every night. Very close by you can find a beautiful Hindu temple called Sri Mariamman Temple and a gorgeous mosque called Masjid Jamae Mosque

Only a short walk a away – or a quick ride away with the MRT, whatever you prefer – is the Merlion, Singapore’s landmark. And across from it is the famous Marina Bay Sands, the iconic building, that everyone has seen before in a photo, I am sure. Every night there is light and sound show at Marina Bay. You can watch it from Merlion’s side or directly at Marina Bay. I actually did both. The Marina Bay side is more spectacular, to be honest, but I enjoyed both.

There is a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour in Singapore and I would really recommend going. As I have paid for my Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket together with my tickets for Universal Studios and Gardens by the Bay, I don’t know how much I actually paid. The tour is really fun, though, and you get to see most of the city through two main routes. There is an audio guide in the bus as well and it is very informative. One of the stops is Singapore Botanic Gardens. The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are truly breathtaking. You can stroll through the gardens for hours, but I would really recommend going to the National Orchid Garden. The entry fee is S$5 (~€3,15 or ~$3,70) for adults and S$1 (~€0,60 or ~$0,75) for students, so don’t forget your student ID, if you have one. Seriously, it is such a beautiful place on earth.

Another garden to see, is definitely Gardens by the Bay. There are the two domes, one is called the Flower Dome, a conservatory for plants, and the other is called Cloud Forrest, where you can also see tons of plants but in a more mystical environment. I went to the Cloud Forrest after dark and it was really great. There are special fog times, so try to time your visit to those. Visiting the two domes without any discounts from local hotels or Visitor Centres costs S$28 (~€17,60 or ~$20,80). I loved visiting the domes, so, of course, I would recommend it to anyone.

There are other great things you can do at Gardens at the Bay. You could do the OCBC Skywalk, where you walk at 22 metre high around the Supertree Grove. The OCBC Skywalk costs S$8 (~€5 or ~$6). After sunset, there is a light and sound show there as well and it is amazing. When I was there the theme of the light show was moon and the played Moonriver sung by Frank Sinatra. You can also find many places to eat there. I would recommend Satay by the Bay, which offers more affordable local cuisine.

People who like to shop will enjoy a stroll through Orchid Road. I did some shopping there as well, I just couldn’t help myself. Plus, it was the last stop of my trip, so I didn’t have to drag everything around all the time. For those of you, who enjoy exploring a city by foot, like me, I would recommend the Free Walking Tours in Chinatown and Little India. Yes, you heard – or rather read – that right. Monster Day Tours offer free walking tours. If you like it you can tip your guide, but they are not mad when you don’t tip at all.

The Chinatown Walking Tour is every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and starts at 9.30am. It takes about two and a half hours, although you could leave before it ends. I wouldn’t do that though as the tour features a food tasting during the end. Meeting point is the Chinatown MRT Station at Exit A. The Little India Walking Tour is every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Starting and running time is the same as the Chinatown Walking Tour. It also features a food tasting and the meeting point is the Little India MRT Station at Exit E.

My favourite place in Singapore was actually the Changi Chapel Museum. There is no entry fee to the museum, the audio guide is S$8 (~€5 or ~$6), though. The museum tells the story of the Japanese occupation during World War Two and the special thing about the museum is, that the history is taught through tales of the survivors. As you can imagine, it is a very emotional place and truly humbling.

A reconstruction of the original chapel.

On to more fun things, there is a cat cafe in Chinatown. I had never been to a cat cafe before and it was a interesting place to be. Also, after almost six weeks, I was missing my cat like crazy, so I had serious cat-cuddle withdrawals. It’s a real thing, guys. To spent an hour with the cats costs S$14 (~€8,80 or ~$10,40). All cats they have there, are rescues and the money helps them take care of the cats. Oh, and you get a drink with those S$14 as well.

Another fun place to visit is Sentosa. Entry to the island plus the ticket for the express train costs S$4 (~€2,50 or ~$3). You can find the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia there, Universal Studios, as well as many other things. I only saw the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia and went to the Universal Studios to have fun at all the rides.

Sentosa also marked my last day in Singapore. Afterwards I had one last dinner in Chinatown, got my stuff from my hostel and went to the airport. I guess, it’s an understatement to say that I enjoyed Singapore. I truly loved every minute I spent there. Have you ever been to Singapore? Is it one you bucket-list? And if you have been there before, did you like it? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments and congratulations for still reading. 😉

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