Singapore is an island city-state and is a tourists’ paradise. It is also one of the busiest seaports of South East Asia and the world. The city-state has so much to offer for everyone. You just cannot cover everything in one visit. Singapore offers a mix of both indoor and outdoor activities. Top on your list of activities and places to visit must be the Universal Studio, Little India, countless malls, the Central Business District, Singapore Zoo, the Battlebox, Merlion Park and the beaches just to name a few. You may want to make accommodation arrangements prior to your visit. Depending on your budget, you get spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a room for yourself. The choice ranges from upscale fancy hotel chains to the local residents offering a room for rent in Singapore within their apartment enabling you to live like a local. So take out your passport and apply for a tourist visa while you read through these “must do” things in Singapore.
The word Singapore is a portmanteau of two Hindi words “Singh” and “pur” which mean Lion and City respectively. So Singapore in effect means the Lion City. Searching for information on Singapore, you would have definitely stumbled upon the image of a statue of a white lion spewing water from its mouth next to a beach. This statue is a mascot for Singapore with a lion’s head and the fish’s body. The park is not far from the Central Business District and is easily approachable using public transport. This is a not to be missed landmark of Singapore when you are visiting it. You may want to click a picture of yours with your moth opened seemingly drinking the same water being spewed out by the Merlion statue. This picture will make for a funny memorabilia.
Not be missed, Chinatown Singapore is tucked away in the southern most tip of the city-state. Be prepared to walk a lot as you have to navigate narrow five feet wide alleys with shops on both sides and a lot of tourists. If you have a taste for street food and shopping for souvenirs, then this is ‘the’ place to head to. For those craving for their daily dose of Java, there are enough bistros where you can rest your weary legs and enjoy your coffee. Chinatown is Wi-Fi enabled so you can stay connected on your mobile and social networking sites. The whole place converts into a party town on the weekends and that perhaps is the best time to be there. The vibe and the energy on the weekends is very different from the regular weekdays. There is so much to explore in this densely populated area of Singapore.
Not very far from Chinatown, Little India is located on Serangoon Road. If you have opted to rent a room with a local, you may want to request your host to take you there and shop for fresh sea food, vegetables and fruits. The whole experience will be worth it when you get back to your pad to cook your purchase. In Little India, you will be able to experiment with street food and hole-in-the-wall restaurants or take away joints. Some of these establishments are open 24 hours a day. What you would come to realize after spending a few days in Singapore is that food encapsulates a big part of the culture of the city-state. Since it is a melting pot of different nationalities, you get to experience a lot within a small city-state of Singapore. As the name suggests, Little India is home to many Indian immigrants who reach Singapore looking for employment opportunities. The only aspect you need to be wary of while visiting this place is that it is not as clean as the rest of the city.
This is a must visit if you are a movie buff. This theme park houses some of the most iconic characters produced by the Hollywood movie studio. Shake hands with Shrek, Transformers, Marilyn Monroe, Minions and the dinosaurs. You may want to starve yourself before you come here because there are plenty of scary roller coaster rides. After that, you can treat yourself to the bistros. You will, of course, not be able to cover it in one go, so choose what you would want to do while you are there. Spread across 49 acres with a total of 24 attractions, you are sure to be enthralled by the beauty of the studio and the extravagant sets and characters. Located on the Sentosa Island, you get to cover two major attractions of Singapore in one go.
Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park is a haven for tropical and other birds which are big tourist attraction in Singapore. Favorite with the children, you will be amazed at how friendly these birds are – especially when you are feeding them off of your hands. This is one experience your little ones will never forget. Apart from the tropical birds, you are greeted by flamingoes, hornbills, and pelicans. A bird lovers’ paradise, this bird park should not be missed, especially if you have children. Located in the southern part of the city-state on the AYE Toll Road, the Jurong Bird Park can be easily accessed using public transport.
Singapore is located close to the equator and being right next to the sea, expect sweltering heat in the summers with high levels of humidity. There are no variations in temperatures not only during the year but also during the day. There is no best time to visit Singapore, although you may want to visit during the monsoons between the months of November and January. During the monsoons, the air is cleaner and clearer. Come prepared with light cotton or linen clothing to remain comfortable for your outdoor excursions. Since you will be walking a lot, you may want to bring your sneakers or floaters/sandals. Do indulge in local cuisines and coffee bistros. Go berserk shopping in Chinatown. Who knows, you may pick up Knick-knacks from a quaint old shop run by a fifth generation trader.
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Image credits (under CCL): feature, Merlion Park, Jurong Bird Park