During a long business trip, I was able to escape to Singapore for the weekend. On the way there in the car with a colleague we saw some crazy stuff, like mopeds driving on the Malaysian highways at night with no lights (cars whizzing by with a differential of 100 km/h… nice!). Luckily they drove in the shoulder to avoid guaranteed instant death.
The only hotel my company allowed in Singapore was the Swissotel Stamford. Not bad, as it’s the tallest hotel in South Asia and has a great view! Hotel guests can to go the top floors for free, while tourists have to pay a bit. The view at night was amazing, although with my mini Canon SD1000 I couldn’t get the greatest night shots.
This shot wins the prize as “most vertical viewing angle onto a cathedral”
From a balcony near my hotel room, here is a view of the Esplanade theaters, also known as “The Durian” to locals. The spiky exterior looks a lot like this legendary fruit, which smells like rotting flesh, and tastes… well… let’s just say “interesting.”
The Botanic Garden is a fun attraction to visit. Just be sure to bring your suntan lotion as you’ll be out in the heat for quite a while. I loved the orchid exhibit; Singapore is well-known for orchids, and with good reason! Here’s an artistic shot: you can see a bit of wildlife along with the orchid.
Sentosa Island has a lot of tourist attractions, though I mainly went for the view (just some hours before departing). I arrived at Sentosa Island via cable car (you also have fantastic views from the car!); it departs from the HarbourFront Centre.
Sentosa island also has a replica of the original Merlion, which is the symbol of Singapore. You can pay to go up to the top and get a nice view, although I didn’t have time for that.
Surely there’s a lot more to see and do in Singapore, and it’s definitely on my list of places to visit again. But I hope these great sights will get you started, give you the bug to buy a plane ticket, book a hotel, and fly there. Have fun!
- Public transport in Singapore is good, but many people have a car (it’s somewhat of a status symbol). Taxis are quite cheap compared to the west, and many locals use them regularly. If you find that you are far from an MRT station or bus, I recommend to just get a taxi rather than walk several kilometers in the sweltering heat. You’ll get to the next attraction sooner, and not be wiped out for the rest of the day due to overheating.
- Even if you’re not staying there, go up to the top of Swissotel The Stamford for a great view!
- Here is a Google maps link to Singapore Botanic Gardens. In my opinion, the orchids are by far the best part.
- Google maps link to Sentosa Island, showing HarbourFront Centre and the Merlion. Here’s the Sentosa page about how to get there; take note that the cable car is unfortunately closed for renovations until mid-2010.
- Eat at No Signboard Seafood at the Esplanade: I sat outside with a colleague and had an excellent Chilli Crab!
- East Coast Seafood Centre is another place to have great seafood. I had a Chilli Crab there as well, at Jumbo Seafood. Sooo tasty!