Singapore, You Should Visit

My visit to Singapore in December ended up being way to short. I had a great time and packed in a lot of sightseeing. I’m already planning my next trip back. There were a ton of things I wanted to do, and didn’t have time for. December is the rainy season, so there wasn’t a day without some rain. I’ll take that into consideration when I return – at minimum, I’ll have a rain coat and umbrella.

City Tour

A great way to get acquainted with any city is by taking a city tour. I love the double-decker hop-on hop-off busses. There was a stop just outside my hotel (the Marriott on Orchard Road) and the tour bus stops at all major attractions/areas of interest. Make sure you take water and a hat along as it can get quite hot on the tour bus if you sit outside.  With the ability to hop on and hop off for a full 24-hour period, this is a great way to get around, get familiar with the city and see a ton.

Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens are just beautiful and a must see. They were founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore itself, and later resurrected by the government in an effort to make Singapore a garden state. There is an amazing Orchid Garden – one of the newest and most popular attractions is the Princess Diana Orchid. I could have spent much more time here.  Two hours is the bare minimum you should plan to spend though.

The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is like a giant ferris wheel with enclosed pods that provide spectacular views of the city. Note: this is not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights. The flyer towers over Singapore at 514 feet. They started construction on the Singapore Flyer in 2005 and it opened in 2008. It takes a full 30 minutes to make a 360 degree trip on the flyer. The lines can be long depending on season and time of day.  If you go, try to go when it’s sunny and not too cloudy so you’ll have the best views.

Singapore Christmas

Singapore goes crazy for Christmas. I remember watching a show about 4 or 5 years ago about how many lights they put up in Singapore, but you really can’t imagine how crazy it is without seeing it. Every mall tries to outdo the other with decorations and lights. All of the main streets are light up and Orchard Road, the most famous road in Singapore is decked out. If you love Christmas, you will love celebrating it in Singapore. They really do go all out.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road is the shopping and entertainment hub of Singapore. You can find every and any store you’ve ever wanted to visit. The Marriott Hotel (pictured below)  is at the epicenter of Orchard Road and provides a great starting out point for the avid shopper (though I must note, I couldn’t even afford to breathe in most of the stores, it was fun to look.) The Marriott is iconic and easily recognized by the pagoda shaped building it resides in. The US Dollar is not terrible in Singapore currently, so while there will be some things that you find affordable unless you’ve got oodles of money, I wouldn’t call anything in the high-end designers stores on Orchard “affordable” even with a good exchange rate.

Chinatown Heritage Center

This smaller, and older museum is a gem. I would not have found it had it not been for a recommendation from, of all people, the flight attendant. The center has meticulously recreated entire rooms from traditional 19th century homes. This is a really great place to visit and I highly recommend making time to see it. You’ll feel like you’re walking back into a frozen part of history.  It’s worth a few photos!

Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel

The Raffles name is synonymous with Singapore and a visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Raffles Hotel. If you’re not lucky enough to stay at the hotel – which is very pricy – stop by, as I did, for a Singapore Sling. I’m not much of a drinker, but I did at least want to try one. It wasn’t my favorite drink, okay, I actually didn’t like it at all, but now I can say I had a Singapore Sling in Singapore at the famous Raffles Hotel. The hotel is amazing. Iconic style and luxury at its best.  I’m glad I got to see it.

Clarke Quay

At the mouth of the Singapore River, Clarke Quay was the centre of commerce in the late 19th century. Today, it is full of life with restaurants, clubs, shopping and sightseeing activities. From the Quay, you can hop onboard a traditional bumboat and cruise the river. Along the way you can see a mix of historic shophouses and the new modern Singapore architecture. The boat tour was well worth the money, I had a great time.


Singapore has a million different food options. Whatever your taste, you’ll find something you like. There are celebrity chefs, local spots, hawker centers (food courts essentially) and tons of spots to grab a meal. Singapore is known for a few traditional dishes. One of the dishes that everyone recommends in Hainanese chicken. You can find it in many restaurants and in the Hawker centers. The dish is originally from Chinese origins, but has become a quite popular dish in Singapore. I had it one night and while I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t say I had to have it again. The presentation is impressive, and the Chicken was very moist and tender, but I didn’t find it as outstanding as some people find it.

Evening Entertainment

There are so many things that you can do at night in Singapore. I wanted to go to the Night Safari, which is a very popular activity for tourists in Singapore. However, it was pouring and I wasn’t able to go. At least I had done that on my first trip to Singapore.  The following night I went to the Sting concert. The venue is indoors, which made it very enjoyable – no rain, no humidity, no heat. This was a big treat to me on my vacation and I got a seat in the 3rd row center. One of the things I’ve found w/getting last minute concert tickets is that there are often single seats in great locations if you’re willing to pay. This was worth it; I could see his face without looking at the big screens, heck, I could see the sweat on his face. Next time I’m in Singapore, I will make it to the night safari, but this was a good alternative for a vacation splurge.

There are so many nighttime activities – concerts, theatre, casinos, clubs – you name, it’s in Singapore.  Just make sure you have fun and take it all in!


1 Comment on "Singapore, You Should Visit"

  1. Night Safari is awesome- definitely reason enough to go back!

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