Singapore, that tiny country that seems like a city on the tip of the Malay peninsula is much more than meets the eye. I had previously been under the impression that it was just another big city, but it’s much more. Singapore exceeded my expectations and I was truly sad to leave. This is certainly not an all-encompassing guide, but here are my top six Singapore activities.
Singapore has wide array of cuisines, reflecting it’s rich cultural diversity. When you mix Malay, Chinese, Indian and others, you get heaven. The best places to sample many types of food are the food hawker stalls. I loved hearing locals argue over which place is best for what dish.
Here’s one of the many lists out there to guide you: http://www.singapore-guide.com/top10/top10-singapore-hawker-centres.htm
I visited the Maxwell Food Center in Chinatown and tried many things including sugarcane juice, laksa, curry bun, duck rice, carrot cake (made from daikon radish, not carrot) which is pictured below.
Eating off of a banana leaf in Little India is also fun.
The Kaya toast is yummy for breakfast. Kaya is a jam made from coconuts and brown sugar. I could go on all day about the food.
The city is full of green-ness but if you really want to be immersed in nature in a relaxed way, head to the Botanical Gardens. I prefer the morning to beat the heat and the crowds. Give yourself time because it’s pretty big. I suggest at least two hours.
The Orchid Garden inside requires an admission fee of SGD $5, but completely worth it. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The rest of the gardens are free.
Many of you have seen pics of these alien trees that light up at night, but nothing can prepare you for how jaw dropping it is in person. This was well worth the time and money. The trees are more than just pretty. The Flower Dome extracts hundreds of liters of water a day from the humid atmosphere to create a Mediterranean climate inside and then expels it from the super trees. All the conservatories here are run in a sustainable way.
There is a Cloud Forest and a Flower Dome. Each of them has a separate admission fee. I visited the Cloud Forest which is a forest inside of a glass dome. It is educational for all ages and teaches about the effects of climate change in a fun way.
At night there a gorgeous light show among the tree grove with Marina Bay Sands in the background.
The diversity in Singapore is wonderful. You will find mosques, hindu temples, Chinese temples, and churches all within blocks of each other.
I probably spent the most time here, since my hotel was here. Chinese New Year was still in effect and the decorations were fabulous. I loved seeing red lanterns strung above the streets. There are several food courts here as well as temples and even a mosque and hindu temple.
Visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman temple and stroll up and down Serangoon Road to enjoy the lively music and vibrant colors. Definitely try some food here!
The focal point for the Muslim community in Singapore is the stunning Sultan Mosque.
It was constructed in the 1920’s but the history goes back to the early 19th century when Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein allowing the British East India Company to establish a trading post in Singapore. Did you stay with me for that nerd out?
Make sure if you plan to go inside you cover your shoulders and knees. The shopping is fun here on Haji Street for vintage and unique fashion. There are also cool cafes and the only place in the city where you will see graffiti.
The Raffles Hotel is a grand colonial era hotel. The Long Bar is where it was invented, but I think it’s best enjoyed in the lovely courtyard.
Go to the observation deck of this amazing hotel for a view over all of Singapore. More info here.
Need a place to stay? Check out the first ecologically friendly hotel in Singapore, The Park Royal on Pickering.* It wasn’t expensive by Singapore standards, and is in a great location, not to mention beautiful!
*I was not sponsored. Opinion purely my own.
Look at the view at sunrise from the pool deck!
I would love to return to Singapore. It is the perfect gateway to Southeast Asia, but make sure you spend a few days and don’t just pass through!
What else do you love to do in Singapore that I missed?