Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia, with a tropical climate, great food, busy vibe where its always something happening I stumble in many cultural activities like concerts, performances, multimedia and water projections, so try to be aware and look at all the billboards and posters that came across to you. As you know Singapore is not the cheapest place to visit when you have a tight budget, but it’s possible, and definitely worths a visit even if short.
I travel by bus from Malacca to Singapore (24RM), took 4hours to the border, then we left the bus twice to show our passports. If you do the same be prepared to run… because the second time you leave the bus, they will give you 20 minutes, so take all your belongings with you and if you lose the bus don’t worry you just need to wait an hour for the next one.
Once in Singapore it’s easy to travel around, they have a good and easy public transport system and almost everyone speaks English 🙂 when using the bus just make sure you have always the correct amount because they don’t give change.
Here is a list of my favorite places, that you should visit and tips to save money:
Places to explore:
- Marina Bay – very cosmopolitan, great views, includes The Merlion Square
- Botanic gardens – is a Unesco World Heritage Site, It’s more natural than Gardens by the Bay which seems to be more man-made (although very beautiful in its way) – free entry – they have frequent concerts from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra come early and bring a picnic.
- Gardens by the Bay – this futuristic garden deserves a visit during the day-light and another visit during the night between 7.45pm and 8.45 pm, when the trees twinkle and glow with music – free entry
- Marina Bay Sands – great views
- Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, great place near The Merlion Square. Has always lots going on (some are free). The shape on the outside was inspired on the famous durian fruit.
Baba House – (Peranakan home) located near Chinatown has a free hour-long tour but booking is required
Sri Mariamman Temple – oldest Hindu temple –free entry
- Thian Hock Keng – Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple –free entry
Clark Quay – busy nightlife
Southern Ridges trail – great walking trails through 10km of forest and canopy walks.
- China town
- Little India
- Arab district (great walk early morning before the crowds arrive) don’t miss the Haji Lane – it’s heaven for art and culture lovers.
- Art Museum (free on Fridays after 6pm), incredible good
- Peranakan Museum (1/2 price after 7pm – $5)
- Asian Civilisation Museum (1/2 price after 7pm – $5)
- National Museum ($10) – check the website for free guided tours – offered daily
If you have time:
- Movie Mob – free outdoor movie with drive-in concept and picnic events. Happens around Singapore (check their page)
- Haw Par Villa (founder of Tiger Balm) outdoor exhibitions of Chinese mythology and legends. – free entry
- East Coast Park – 15km stretch of beach (can get busy during the weekend)
Accommodation: it will be your biggest expense in Singapore, so you must do your research with time and book before your arrival. Backpacking is by far the cheapest option you can get something for $20-30 p/night. If you want more privacy and be in contact with local people airbnb would be a good option.
Eating: hawker centers are by far the cheapest and best option you have to taste Singapore’s multi-cultural food. I have tried many different ones and they were all a complete delight for every foodie,a main can cost from $3-7. Remember that in Singapore you can drink tap water it is safe and clean.
I hope you don’t miss Singapore from your travel list.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
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