Without even being able to spot Singapore on the world map, this tiny island country has become a hub for tourists transiting between destinations. Singapore is the perfect city for a stopover in Southeast Asia! To prove my point, here is a short list of my favourite locations you can do the next time you find yourself in this part of the world.
Traveller Essentials: Some things to know, before you go!
Laws: You might have heard that Singapore is a “Fine” city. Littering and eating on public transport is heavily frowned upon and can land you up to a $500 penalty. As a general rule of thumb, practicing conventional social etiquette should steer you away from trouble, but if you are unsure you can always count on the locals to answer any questions.
Language: Most Singaporeans are fluent in English, but many also speak an additional language, commonly Mandarin, Malay or Tamil.
Getting around: Singapore’s public transport is amongst the safest and most efficient in the world. A tourist pass can provide you an unlimited travel on Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and buses across the island. Taxis are plentiful, so expect no short supply and because Singapore is relatively small, it is still cheap to get around by Taxi.
Marina Bay Sands
The attractions at Marina Bay are certainly in no short supply. Perched at the top of the three pronged Marina Bay Sands (MBS) complex, the Infinity Pool is definitely one of the main highlights, offering panoramic views of the Lion city. The Infinity Pool is open from dawn to dusk (6am to 11pm daily). My advice is to get in early, less crowds means you can get that Instagram worthy photo before the masses start pouring in.
Gardens by the Bay
If you’re early risers, MBS is also connected to Gardens by the Bay via the Lions bridge, it is a 101-hectare green zone filled with activities for nature lovers. So head there before all the shops and attractions open. Here, you can’t miss the 16 storey tall Supertrees, take a walk on the suspended walkway and visit the Flower dome and Cloud Forest, you’ll have to pay a small entrance fee, but as Dr Seuss says, “sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory”.
Note: If you have the time, return to the Gardens by the Bay at night to see the sky show of choreographed lights and sounds. (7.45pm & 8.45pm daily)
Being Singapore’s most famous hotel with a history of over 125 years, it is a fabled colonial property built upon where Sir Stamford Raffles first set foot. Reminiscent of its rich history, palmed shaped fans, wicker chairs, burlap sacks and peanuts embellish the space, as guests from around the world sipped their pink drinks. The next thing you’ll notice is the amount of peanut shells covering the floor, with littering clearly discouraged in Singapore, those peanut shells are certainly part of a long-standing tradition where breaking the behavioural ‘norm’ is normal at the Long Bar.
Sentosa Island (Universal Studios, S.E.A Aquarium, Merlion Park)
Sentosa which translates from Malay, meaning “contentment and satisfaction”. Located just 15 minutes from the city, it is home to Universal Studios, S.E.A. Aquarium, Merlion Park, and pristine white sandy beaches. With many other activities like MegaZip and Skyline Luge Sentosa available around the island, there are certainly plenty of fun and exciting things to do at Sentosa.
Note: To get the best bang for your buck, purchasing the Sentosa Fun Pass will give you access to more than 20 attractions around the island.
Wildlife Reserves (River Safari, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari)
If you love animals and all things furry, Singapore’s wildlife reserves will keep you occupied for an entire day. Nestled within the lush Mandai rainforest reside the Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari and they are all a stone’s throw away from each other, getting there early will be your only priority.
With close to 3,000 flora and fauna, all three parks offer daily animals shows, live feeding sessions and photo opportunities. And if you get tired of walking, board the free hop on - hop off trams and take a ride around the park.
Note: Visit the attractions in this order to make the most out of your day: River Safari, Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.
Andrew Goh is a photographer by nature, originally from Singapore, and now currently resides in Brisbane, Australia. He documents his travels and adventures on Instagram: @Droobieee and www.andrewjamesgoh.com
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.