Singapore. The small country, nestled in Malacca Strait, neighboured by Indonesia and Malaysia, is a melting pot and seen as the pinnacle of Asian modernity. I served as a living witness attesting to that. During July 5-8 2016 I travelled solo in the Little Red Dot that once was home to me. Here are some immortalised scenes of Singapore through my eyes (and my phone camera):
Ministry of Communications and Information
I didn’t plan to go here originally. I took bus to go to Fort Canning Park, if my memory doesn’t lapse, and I went pass this colourful building. I immediately got out of the bus and took pictures while visiting nearby Clarke Quay. So, yes, you may go to Clarke Quay MRT and will immediately see this building! A perfect spot for some photographing project, methinks.
Pinnacle @ Duxton
See interesting Singapore’s skyline from the tallest public housing project!
The nearest MRT station to this place is Tanjong Pagar, after that, head east from your position as you head out from the MRT station and just follow along the Cantonment Road. When I got there, I had to go to block 1-G to see the booth where you can buy your ticket to go to the 50th floor. The price is $5 and can be paid via your EZ-link card or cash.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
How do you reach this place? The nearest MRT station is Outram Park. I would suggest you go here around lunch time so you might have some lunch at the famous Maxwell Hawker Centre (Tiantian Hainanese Chicken Rice, of course) because the place is just across the road from this temple.
When I went here I didn’t go inside as I was in rush, but you actually can go inside and look around! The temple is active though, I mean, monks and common citizens pray in it as usual, so please be considerate and do not bother them praying.
My eternal favourite: SuperTree Groves at Gardens by the Bay!
This is, hands down, my favourite place in Singapore. I went here multiple times during my living in Singapore in 2014 and was on top of my itinerary list when I came this year. You literally can come at any time of the day and will be mesmerised by the SuperTree Groves. Nobody will get bored of it.
The nearest MRT station to this place is Bayfront. Although I previously said that you may come at any time of the day and the trees will still be gorgeous, try coming later at night because at 7.45 and 8.45 p.m. they have light show. When I came, the theme was Retro so they played 60s songs and the SuperTree Groves were lit up syncing to the beat. It was really beautiful.
If you get some extra cash, buy tickets to the two conservatories: Cloud Forests and Flower Dome!
The price to the 2 conservatories is $28 for each tourist. However, if you’re willing to take some time to do some research online, you’ll find travel agents that offer the tickets at a much lower price! I bought the ticket to 2 conservatories plus a ticket to OCBC skyway for only $25, where normally it would’ve been $36.
Head on to watch light show at Waterfront Promenade nearby, and take a walk on the Helix Bridge to end the night.
Bored with modern scenes? Take a stroll at Kampong Buangkok, the last remaining ‘kampong’ (village) amidst the concrete jungle that is Singapore.
I stopped at Paya Lebar MRT station and crossed the road to take a bus to reach this place. There were 24 stops. Yes, the place is pretty much secluded and you need to be aware of your location!
Pay Haw Par Villa a visit and get your reality contorted.
Need to burn off that fat from eating too much uncle ice cream? Tighten your calves by jogging at the Southern Ridges.
I was pretty confused on how to reach this place as blogs that I’d read had given me contradicting statements. But here’s how I went there: stop at Telok Blangah MRT, cross the road and take any bus, you stop two stops later. You’re welcome!
Bonus pics: Other interesting scenes
I went to Rochor Centre, Bugis, to take shelter from the sudden pouring rain that morning. I wasn’t disappointed.
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Several tips on travelling to Singapore:
1) Unless you really need to, always take MRT over bus. MRTs always stop at every stop and announce their location so you can make sure you’re not lost. On the other hand, buses won’t stop if nobody stops nor flags the bus so if you’re not familiar with the surroundings of the place you’re heading to, you might skip your stop!
2) Always bring a bottle of water, an umbrella or a hat with you. Singapore is really hot and humid and I’ve never been to a place hotter and more humid than Singapore, and I spend the entirety of my life in Jakarta, Indonesia. Re-applying sunscreen every few hours will make your skin thank you.
3) Singaporeans are a bit loss when it comes to some tourist spots (except some very popular ones, perhaps, like Merlion Park). I asked plenty of local citizens places that I thought was popular (like Pinnacle @ Duxton, Maxwell Food Centre) and none of them knew. It’s better to just purchase a Singaporean SIM card upon your arrival and check your locations online.
4) Toilets don’t have water for you to clean yourself after. They only have tissues, so keeping a bottle of water with you may be important in this case.
5) You have to bring your tray over after eating. In Indonesia if we go to some restaurants we just let our trash there after eating. In Singapore if you go to hawker centre or some restaurants, you have to bring your tray over to some designated places to ease the job of the cleaners. In the hostel where I stayed, we even cleaned our plates after eating breakfast.
6) Eat at hawker centre. Food in Singapore is very expensive and you can save a lot of money by resisting to eat at a restaurant–which may cost you $15 per person per meal–and eat at a hawker centre instead–which will cost you $5 only. I, for one, am not a big fan of Singaporean cuisine and is therefore unable to recommend any place to eat, since in Singapore I ate so that I did not die. However, you can go spend your cash at one of eateries in Tiong Bahru as it is a lively place with a lot of food joints!
Singapore has always been a nice country to me, and I’m really looking forward to visiting it once again in the future. I didn’t manage to pay a visit to several places: MacRitchie Reservoir, Botanic Garden, Holland Village, independent bookstores in Tiong Bahru, top of Esplanade (to watch sunset), Bras Basah… the list is bottomless. Hopefully there’ll be next time to it!