The first thing you notice when you land in Singapore is just how incredibly clean it is. Indeed, Singapore impresses you with its beautiful houses, immaculate streets, posh sky-scrapers, and a wide range of activities for all kinds of tourists. Its stunning skyline is as alluring as its beautiful parks and street-side cafes. If you fancy something stronger, you can always turn to its many bars that transport you away from the everyday bustle of the city into a world of merry travelers and intriguing conversations. Singapore’s temples inspire you to connect with your spiritual side and a walk along its lovely streets flanked by charming mansions instantly calm you down and make you feel at peace. There is absolutely nothing that’s not to love about Singapore. For most Indians who have never traveled overseas, Singapore often serves as the go-to destination. Thanks to the many tourist agencies, Singapore has indeed become a particular favorite for travelers of all ages and all walks of life.
What adds to the allure of Singapore besides its proximity (it is just a five-and-a-half hours away by flight) is the fact that it offers something for everyone. It is extremely kid-friendly, thus a great option for family vacations. And it has a variety of things to do for the young and the restless. There are abundant options for a pleasant day’s picnic as well as a lively night-out. From nature and adventure to food and culture, Singapore is rich in all things that please your heart.
Where to stay in Singapore
Singapore has a number of amazing hotels for all kinds of budgets. But the good folks at Singapore Tourism hosted us in Mandarin Orchard that is located in the heart of Orchard Road. Known to be one of the most popular boulevards in the world, Orchard Road is a dotted with huge malls that house showrooms of various reputable brands. The Mandarin Orchard is conveniently located at a distance of 30-40 minutes from the airport and serves as the ideal base to explore the shopping arenas and entertainment centers in Singapore. With 1,077 rooms and suites offering spectacular views of the city skyline, the Mandarin Orchard makes for a comfortable stay. It also boasts of a vibrant lineup of restaurants that includes the Michelin-star restaurant Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro.
One of the coolest things about the Meritus hotels that Mandarin Orchard is a part of is that they have equipped all guestrooms with handy, a smartphone solution that provides registered hotel guests complimentary access to unlimited 4G data, local and international calls, online city guides and ticket bookings to Singapore’s places of interest at their fingertips. This makes it extremely convenient to plan your days and explore this wonderful city in the best way possible.
You can visit the Mandarin Orchard website for bookings.
Address: 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Phone: +65 6737 4411
Tariff: Rs 11,500 to Rs 32,000 per night depending upon the package and room you choose
What to do in Singapore
Singapore is the ideal holiday spot primarily because of the wide array of activities it provides for all kinds of tourists. From just walking around on streets and in malls to enjoying fun theme rides and exploring eco-parks, Singapore has loads of things to do. Here is a five-day itinerary for you to enjoy your Singapore vacation -
Day 1: Universal Studios
Just one day is not enough to explore the wonderful world of Universal Studios on the Sentosa Island in Singapore. However, if you spend an entire day here, you may well be able to enjoy all the magnificent rides that it has to offer.
From the stunning 3D Transformers ride where you play a part of Optimus Prime’s team to the scary Mummy ride that takes you though a dungeon, each one here is an exhilarating experience.
The crazy ride named Human is anything but that. Not to forget the amazing shops flanking the beautiful road including an addictive Minion Mart which will tempt you to stay put forever.
Day 2: SEA Aquarium and Trick-Eye Museum
You should come back to Resorts World Sentosa on Day 2 to check out its other gems — the SEA Aquarium and the Trick-Eye Museum.
The SEA aquarium counts itself as one of the finest aquariums in the world. It is home to more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species. The aquarium is made up of 49 different habitats including Shark Seas, Shipwreck and Open Ocean, with Open Ocean habitat being the largest.
It has a 700 mm thick acrylic viewing panel measuring a staggering 36 m wide by 8.3 m tall, and weighs more than 250,000 kg. It takes about an hour or two to cover all 49 habitats of the aquarium depending on your group size. A visit to this aquarium is bound to be an experience of a lifetime.
Timing: 10 am – 7 pm
Phone: +65 6577 8899
And then there is the amazing Trick Eye museum which has a large array of three-dimensional artwork for interactive optical illusions. It is the best place to get some surreal photos clicked. You can get as creative as you like and come back with a professional-level picture bank.
Hours: 10 am – 9 pm
Phone: +65 6795 2370
Day 3: Gardens by the Bay and Clarke Quay
The perfect place for a day out, Gardens by the Bay is a mesmerizing eco-park which has enough to keep you occupied for an entire day. Nature meets technology in two amazing domed structures named Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. These domes run entirely on solar energy and house some of the most unique plants. The Dye-Nosaur Gardens at the Supertree grove are Singapore’s own version of Jurassic Park with 11 huge dinosaurs that are currently lit up, moving and roaring in the ongoing Children’s festival!
You can spend your evening at Clarke Quay which is known as one of the best places to go shopping in Singapore. Even if shopping is not your thing, Clarke Quay is a fantastic place to wine and dine as it has a number of impressive waterfront restaurants. You can follow your meal with a walk in the vibrant avenues which are usually bursting with color and night time activity.
Day 4: Buddha tooth relic temple, Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Zoo
Spend your morning at the Buddha Tooth Relic temple located in the busy Chinatown. The temple is perfect for those with a spiritual inclination. Take a walk in the temple complex and explore the various sculptures as you take in the calm ambiance. If clicking pictures and checking out relics is not your thing, you can also sit down and meditate here for a while.
A global icon, the Marina Bay Sands dominates the Singapore’s skyline. Home to some of the biggest showrooms of high-end brands in the world, the Marina Bay Sands is bound to sweep you off your feet with its sheer splendor. The aerial view of Singapore from the Marina Bay Sands Skypark is perhaps one of the most spectacular views you will ever witness. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are a shopper’s paradise.
The Night Safari at Singapore is the world’s first nocturnal zoo and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. If you are a wildlife lover, this is one stop you absolutely must make before you leave Singapore. You can explore the rainforest at dusk, enjoy tribal night performances and take the guided tram ride that takes you across six geographical zones of the world.
Where to eat and drink in Singapore
What’s travel without food? Singapore is home to some of the finest restaurants which serve a variety of cuisines. It also has some amazing street food options for those who want to take a break from the high-end restaurants. Here are some places to eat in Singapore you absolutely must try.
Chatterbox, Mandarin Orchard for Chicken Rice
Address: 333 Orchard Rd, Level 5,Mandarin Orchard, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Singapore 238867
Hours: 7 – 10 am, 11 am – 2 am
Phone: +65 6737 4411
Chatterbox is home to one of Singapore’s most legendary local dishes — the Mandarin Chicken Rice. It also serves a wide array of Asian signatures but the Chicken Rice, often referred to as Singapore’s national dish, remains Chatterbox’s most popular and best-selling dish. There are many inherent differences between the Mandarin Chicken Rice and those served outside ranging from the chicken’s breed and rearing methods, to the type of rice grain used, right down to the preparation.
Whole Earth, Peck Seah St for Vegetarian food
Address: 76 Peck Seah St, Singapore 079331
Timings: 11:30 am –2:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 9:15 pm
Phone: +65 6323 3308
If you thought vegetarian food was boring, let Whole Earth prove you wrong. Whole Earth specializes in Thai-Peranakan vegetarian cuisine. It serves a variety of delicacies like the Penang Rendang, Tom Yam soup and classic Assam Pedas. The restaurant is popular among non-vegetarians too as many dishes here have a clever blend of bean curd and tofu giving them a flavor and texture similar to that of meat.
Long Beach, Demsey Hill for Sea Food
Address: 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670
Timings: 11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 1 am
Phone: +65 6323 2222
One of the oldest and most reputed seafood places in Singapore, Long Beach at Dempsey Hill has a fine spread of the most amazing live and exotic seafood. It is most famous for its black pepper crab which draws foodies and tourists all year round.
1-Altitude for Cocktails
Address: 1 Raffles Place, One Raffles Place Shopping Mall, Singapore 048616
Timings: 6 pm – 4 am
Phone: +65 6438 0410
Known as the world’s highest Alfresco bar, 1-Altitude doesn’t just offer stunning views of Singapore but also some very, very fine cocktails and groovy music for you to party the night away. It remains open till the wee hours of the morning making it a great place for a night out.
Tiong Bahru bakery for Croissants
Popular for its croissants, the Tiong Bahru bakery is located on a beautiful street which also makes for a great morning walk. Treat yourself to a delicious breakfast followed by a couple of hours of walking around and exploring the European feel and plush neighborhoods of Singapore.
Street food at Satay Street
Your Singapore trip can never be complete without a visit to Lau Pa Sat Hawker Center, Satay Street. When translated from the vernacular Chinese of Singapore, Lau Pa Sat means ‘old market’. As the sun goes down, Satay Street comes alive with dozens of stalls offering the best of local street food. The street is best known for its mutton, chicken, beef and prawn satays and endless rounds of Tiger Beer.
I wound up the Singapore leg of my journey with mutton satay and washed it down with a glass of beer. The next morning the spectacular Mariner of the Seas of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Company awaited us at the Marina Bay Cruise Center. We were to sail to Thailand, the land of smiles.
COMING SOON: Four days of sea, sand and one Royal cruise experience!
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