“Singapore: That modern apology for a romantic eastern port”
– Paul Scott
Singapore is a Global commerce and Finance hub. It is the most busiest ports in South East Asia and an attractive tourist destination throughout the year. One of the main reasons is the climate is more or less uniform throughout the year with very less variations in temperature.
Getting to Singapore
One of the most important things to check is the Tourist Visa policy – one can apply for singapore tourist visa (mulit-entry) through an agent. There are some countries which do have a Visa on Arrival policy. For Indian travelers, the flights need to be booked before one can apply for a tourist visa. The only channel is to apply via an agent – Online Travel Aggregators or local agents as well.
The list of documents required are: Passport, Application form, 2 passport size photographs (Singapore specific), Bank Account Statement, Authorization letter from employer and a declaration (for you and fellow travelers).
Note: Typically, you will get the tourist visa in a week’s time (you can get a multiple-entry or a single entry visa – it is up to the discretion of the Singapore consulate). So, one should have ample time between the visa application process and the flight dates.
Now that the Visa Process is sorted, let’s get to what one can do in Singapore:
Jurong Bird Park
Jurong bird park is a park for birds; you can see a lot of birds (unique, endangered, migratory, etc.) from across the globe and also get a chance to interact with them. It will usually take 4-5 hours to explore the entire park. You can either buy a ticket online or at the counter.
Note: It is a better option to buy a Park Hopper ticket which includes admission to Bird Park, River Safari, Singapore Zoo & Night Safari.
There are a couple of shows as well which run twice everyday, where one can interact with all the birds – it is something you shouldn’t miss. It is pretty amazing to see how the trainers have trained the birds!
There is a separate section where you can actually feed the birds.
It is fascinating for kids and adults alike!
Visit Singapore Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari
Though you can get a Park Hopper ticket to visit all the 4 attractions, but you need to keep Jurong Bird Park for a different day as it is far away from the other 3 attractions. The Singapore Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari are next to each other.
Singapore Zoo is a huge zoo and is mostly crowded all the times of the year. It houses all kinds of animals – right from the majestic cat family Tiger, Cheetah, Puma, etc. to the care-free Polar bear, the silent ones – Giraffes, Rhinos, Giant Panda and Ostriches as well.
It will take a good 3-4 hours to cover the entire zoo. One can opt for the tram service which will take you around the zoo – you can hop on or hop off at any of the tram stations. The tram ride will require you to shell out another SG$ 5 per person.
Night Safari is just adjacent to the zoo, starts off at around 7 PM in the evening. There are animal shows at the night safari as well where the trainers put up a show with the animals. The show lasts for around 45 mins but is definitely worth it.
After the animal show, you can hop on to the tram to go for a Night Safari to check out all the animals in a nocturnal set-up in a 1 hour joy-ride.
River Safari is another attraction which right next to the zoo and night safari. This is the least exciting of all the 4 park hoppers – it is a 15-20 minute boat-ride around a river which adjoins the singapore zoo. One can view a few animals from the zoo as well – Giraffes, Rhinos, etc.
You can also avail the river safari with the Amazon Rainforest theme, to view the wild animals while enjoying your ride.
Note: Please be ready to get drenched during the safari. You can buy ponchos or take any other protective clothing
Sentosa Island & Beaches
Apart from Universal Studios, there are lots of other things to do in Sentosa. You can visit the Siloso beach where you have a lot of restaurants near the beach. The “Wings of Time” light show is also another attraction – 2 shows during the evening which is worth going for.
Note: All the train and bus journeys in Sentosa is free of cost!
A day-long visit at the Universal Studios
Universal studios in Singapore is a must-visit for adults and kids alike. There are lots of rides – some for normal people like us and some not for the faint hearted!
Note: The tickets are available online as well and they are usually cheaper than the price you get at the ticket counters.
Don’t Miss the Waterworld show at Universal studios. It is a must-watch!
Light show at the Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a huge nature park adjacent to Marina reservoir. The lush green park has three water gardens – Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden & Bay Central garden. After roaming around the gardens, all visitors relax on the lawns below to enjoy the light show in the evening. The light show during the evening is a treat for the eyes. You have pay an extra SGD 8 per person to go up the tall structures in the evening.
Once atop these tree-like structures, the view of the city is just awesome!
Night visit to the Merlion Park
Merlion – An iconic structure which is Half mermaid & Half Lion is one of the most famous attractions in Singapore. This place is frequented by tourists throughout the day. However, the best time to go there is at night. The view of the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands and the sparkling water is breathtaking.
There are a few restaurants at the Merlion park as well which are open till late at night.
Party at the vibrant Clark Quay
Clark Quay is those upscale areas in Singapore with loads of bay-side restaurants and pubs. It is a 15 mins walk from Merlion park. Clark Quay is open till the wee-hours in the morning. If you are a party-animal, then this is the place for you. The bay-side restaurants which are nearby but provide a serene option for dining.
Gamble at the Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands looks like a boat is resting on top of three towers – it is marvel in terms of modern day architecture! One can go to the roof-top to enjoy the restaurant or even the swimming pool. One has to go to the top to experience the thrill of swimming on top of the world.
One more thing that you can try at Marina Bay Sands is Gambling. Although the entry charge for Singapore nationals is SGD 100 but for foreign nationals it is free!
Note: If you are a foreign national and want to gamble, don’t forget to take your passport along to Marina Bay Sands
The laser show from Marina Bay Sands at night is nothing short of superlative. It is amazing to view it from the Merlion park.
View the Singapore Malaysia Border
One can take a road trip around Singapore to explore the country-side. The country-side offers you a lot more serene and beautiful landscapes which is refreshing as compared to the vibrant city that Singapore is. One can view Malaysia as well…it is not that far away. If you have the tourist visa for Malaysia, you can go there from Singapore via road 🙂 as well.
The countryside offers a lot of farms in the north. Some of the locations are of historical importance…specially the World War II. This is an off-beat experience that not many tourists know or go for.
Eat at the restaurants in Little India
For tourists, specially Indians, you have Little India. Once you enter this place, you feel like to have come to South India and not Singapore. You feel that when you see people crossing the road with total disregard to the traffic signals 😀
Lots of restaurants with Indian cuisine – all kinds. Murugan Idly shop, Hotel Saravana Bhavan, etc are places to try out South Indian food. Mustafa Center is one of the main shopping attractions in Little India – all items under one roof!
Above is the list of experiences that we felt was a must in Singapore. Please do give your feedback and let us know what you think. 🙂