Do you avoid going to the same destination twice when travelling? I love returning to my favourite places, because the second time will allow me to seek out adventures that I didn’t have time for. As a stop-over city for my trips to other destinations in Asia and Australia, Singapore was fantastic for this reason as I last visited with only three days to spare. If you only have a few days to stopover like me, then here are my highlights below:
Check into Marina Mandarin
First, check yourself in a hotel with a fantastic view of the Marina Bay Sands. It’s a great way to kick off your stay by starting with a refreshing swim at the mineral pool. Whilst it doesn’t come cheap, it’s guaranteed an experience that you’ll be able to enjoy during your stopover.
Sights to see:
Gardens by the Bay
Near the Marina Bay Sands, you can cross the bridge across to Gardens by the Bay, a huge 101 hectares park built by Singapore with a free light show at night. The supertrees groove structure in the middle of the garden is a must see. You can walk from each tree for a birds eye view of the city. To cool off in the heat, hop into the Cloud and Flower Dome to step into another world of exotic waterfalls and orchid display, just don’t look down, too much. Especially if you are afraid of heights like me.
Sentosa knows how to bring out the kid in each and everyone of us when we reach the island. There are Skyline Luge tracks across the island as you are pulling on the weight of gravity to push yourself through the windy breeze. If you are feeling daring, the Mega Zip allow you to cruise through the island in minutes and survive with a story to tell. Don’t miss the light show at night as the beach comes alive with characters told through amazing projections and art displays.
Singapore Zoo Night Safari
A chance to see nocturnal animals who sleeps during zoo hours? Check. The only thing that stands between you and the exotic zoo animals is a moat and a low fence, that’s it. Being up close and personal allows you to see these animals in their semi-natural habitat.
A vibrant and colourful area once the home of Hokkiens and other regional Chinese settlers, now it’s an area filled with the old history and new cafes and restaurants. For a bit of hipster culture, stop by Duxton Hill and get your flat white served up with a smile. At Chinatown Food Street, rows of hawker stalls are spooning out stir-fried flat noodles, and barbecued meat skewers dipped in peanut sauce. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a must see, with a Tang-styled interior and giant stupa weighing 3.5 tonnes and made from 320kg of gold holding the Buddha tooth relic.
For a taste of riverside life, head to this festival village combining dining, bars and shopping in one place. The best time to go is at night when the riverside is lit up with expats and locals enjoying the evening cool air with few drinks and chilli crab dishes.
Mr. New Yorker’s family has a proud Peranakan heritage and we really wanted to visit this museum to learn more about their distinctive culture. In this beautiful historical building from the early 1900’s, we saw details of a 12-day Peranakan wedding, artefacts featuring elaborate jewellery, bedding, and pottery. It was a fascinating visit and I highly recommend this for anyone interested in Singapore’s history as well.