Singapore travel guide 2012
All travel reports are translated electronically although minor improvements are sometimes made.
Singapore 2012 – Singapore travel guide 2012
(Although the site is copyrighted I suggest that you print this guide and go with it on your trip. I would also like to hear from someone who chooses to do so).
My trip: Singapore city and Sentosa island.
Last time I was in Singapore in 2004 and unfortunately I was too short to see everything I wanted. This time in 2012 I was in Singapore for a week, which allowed me to see everything I wanted and feel like it is not only a sightseeing but also a part of the city. I traveled by metro and bus to the most extensive parts of Singapore when people were on their way to or from work. This gave me a much broader picture of what Singapore is, especially since I lived in a poor district not very well-suited for postcards. This time I flew from Hanoi. I also want to go to Malaysia to get off at Bugis station and go to the station about 10 minutes.
I lived in the cheapest and unspectacular district of Aljunied, where I paid only $ S14- $ S16 for a room in the Urban hostel, while the cheapest room outside this neighborhood was about $ S50. I was living with illegal workers from the Philippines in eight people, but Singapore is not cheap, so it was like staying in a low budget. On the street there were many Chinese and Indian cafes where you could eat something very good for $ S3- $ S4. I recommend here for example duck with rice and broth, and for dessert fruit from street stalls. There were also many cheap shops, and the main street was a “prostitute” from China for $ S50 per hour. Next to it were hotels rented for hours, sex shops and street stalls with potions for potency. This is roughly Aljunied. There were no office buildings and men in Singapore suits, but mostly poor Hindus and talented Chinese. Aljunied is a good place as it is close to the airport and to the center, and it is cheap. I bought here lunches for a full day because in the center everything is very expensive.
Moving around Singapore
Transport in Singapore is very well organized and modern. The main mode of transport is the clean, fast and air-conditioned metro called MRT (Mass Rapid Transport). The ticket costs around $ S1- $ S3 depending on where we are going, but it is worth it because it is the fastest form of transportation. Also, do not forget to donate your card to the vending machine and download the $ S1 deposit. There are buses that are of course good, but you do not have to wait and at peak times it is better to go. Traffic is left-handed.
Places in Singapore that I saw and which You should see too:
(As to the division of the districts, different guides have different divisions and the same it is with me).
As the name suggests, this is an area devoted to Indian culture. There are interesting Hindu temples, shops where you can buy goods from India, stalls with prayer flowers to the temples and above all plenty of Indians. This is a good place to eat Indian food, though outside of Little India and so is a lot of Indian restaurants. Many people come here to buy cheaper fruits and especially spices. Little India is a land of curries, masala and tikki. The Hindu temple I recommend is the Veeramakaliamman.
With Little India I went to Kampong Glam which took about 15 minutes if you know the abbreviation. Kampong Glam is a Muslim district, but it has nothing to do with the multi-cultural “culture” in Europe. Kampong Glam is an elegant district with buildings classified as the cultural capital of Singapore, and is home to the Sultan’s Mosque, which is the largest in Singapore. Christians have entered at certain times. Next to the Istana Kampong Glam, the seat of the former sultan of Singapore. There is also a Malay Cultural Center, but when I was here, it was under renovation. Kampong Glam was what I like, because in my expeditions I also look for old buildings. Muslim girls with head covered here were very interested in me and wanted to take pictures with me. Right next to the official Kampong Glam district, there is an interesting but already modern architecture. There is Parkview Square, which has been called the “Batman Building” because it looks like it’s alive from the movie. There are buildings in such a sharp way that you can get stuck from looking at them. There is also a well-known Raffles Hospital in front of the Batman Building.
Kampong Glam is a very valuable area of Singapore, which must necessarily be seen.
The colonial district
This part of Singapore would fit very well in the Victorian part of London as it was built at the same time and was built by the same architects. In addition to the main shopping street and boulevards on the left, there are several buildings to see. Leaving the metro on the north side of the river, of course, on the left I had the Cathedral of St. Andrew, or high white Anglican church. Close to Padang cricket field there are: The town hall, Old Court, Queen Victoria Theater and Concert Hall, and Old Parliament. These are not the only objects in the colonial district. Directly on the main street is the house of the main parliament and before the Parliament Museum where I was shown how is the complex government of Singapore and the history associated with it. Next to it is the Supreme Court with the characteristic “space saucer” has a roof.
I was also at the Peranakan Museum, which talked about the customs and culture of Singapore in a very good way. This museum gave a very good showing of the creation of Singapore, people of Malay, Chinese and Indian origin living in one country. There was also talk about mixed relationships, which highlights the essence of Singapore, and why I am against. The Perenakan Museum also had expositions of costumes, wedding customs, costumes, furniture and tableware for each ethnic group settled in Singapore. Especially this museum I find it necessary for someone who wants to know more about the culture of Singapore.
The National Museum is located in a Victorian building and has a modern building. Here, too, there was much talk about the various ethnic groups living in Singapore, the ways of life taking into account the culture of each of them, and again about mixed relationships. There was also an exhibition of Indian films, how to make tea and prepare national dishes. In the National Museum there is also a film exhibition from the time of the first settlers in ancient times, through colonial times to today. It was a reminder of history, an exhibition of objects from different years and newspaper clippings. Even old items such as radio and TVs from the 1950s and 60s, as well as other everyday items, were interesting. In this museum I understood the changes that went through Singapore over the years and what he left behind. In the evening, the National Museum was illuminated, including illuminated paintings on its walls. At the back of the museum there is Fort Canning Park. One of the buildings that must be seen is the Raffles Hotel and the Raffles Museum, from the name of the British founder of Singapore. I could not stand this hotel so I just looked at it from the outside and looked in the middle for a moment. The museum tells the story of who Raffles was and how it transformed a small fishing village into a financial powerhouse.
CBD (Central Business District) i Marina Bay.
Passing through Padang in the colonial district, we reach the well-known post office of Singapore’s business district. To my right I had the British Fullerton Hotel, which used to be a post office, and near Lau Pa Sat or stalls with food. The same place is also Fullerton Square and Raffles Place. As I walked down the stairs, I got to the Merlion statue, which is a combination of lion and fish, which is a symbol of Singapore. From here I saw Marina Bay, which is undoubtedly the most modern part of Singapore. Around the water is built several modern facilities. Against Merlion stands Marina Bay Sands Hotel, a hotel that is classy in itself. It is made up of three skyscrapers, and at its top is a huge boat on which there is a restaurant, observation deck and swimming pool, from which you can see the marina bay. The following is also a white, round object that I think is supposed to perform a more decorative function than a functional one. In the evening the whole building is illuminated and in addition there is a show of laser lights and music. To the right is a glass covered shopping center called Marina Bay Sands Mall, and it is much more than just a chain of shops and restaurants. There are museums, theaters, ice rinks, swimming pools and the world’s largest casino. Let’s be honest. It seems to us that the English or the Germans are rich, but I traveled with them and admit that they are poor. Each travels on a budget of around $ 20- $ 30 a day, therefore all the splendors described above, or night at the Raffles hotel, we treat as a museum only, not as our playground. On the other side there is the Esplenade-Theaters over the Bay, a network of theaters, restaurants, art galleries, and of course once again shopping. This object was not unique except for the fact that it was built in the shape of great durians. In the same area there are also New Botanical Gardens and Gardens by the Bay. The first is the botanical gardens itself, but placed under the glass dome. There are many ecosystems in the world, and the entrance to what I know costs $ S20. Next to them are Gardens on the Bay, a beautiful combination of nature with metal structures in the shape of trees, which are illuminated by night. The hotel is very nice in the evening from the panoramic terrace of the Marina Bay Sands. Next to it is a large wheel and a metal bridge, which is also a modern artwork.
The Quays i Chinatown
Going from the colonial district to St. Andrew to the Parliament of Singapore, we reach the river. At this point there are three bridges called The Quays, which are also at the entrance to Chinatown. But we have Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay. All three are known for their restaurants, bars and nightlife, which also offer nice views of the river, old buildings and protruding glass buildings behind them. At Boat Quay we can also see the statue of Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. His monument is written “among others” who found Singapore as a shabby fishing village, and left it as a modern metropolis. ” After crossing the bridge we are already in Chinatown, but not immediately feel like in China. First we go down the street where we see colorful houses built by European architects. The first proof that we are at Chinatown is the Chinese temple of Thian Hock Keng, which is a typical building for this culture. This temple is a combination of profiled roofs, colorful tiles, dragon sculptures, Chinese letters and incense sticks placed in a large gold jug. This is a very nice place to recommend, although for someone who specializes in traveling around Asia it will not be anything new. There is also a popular and often photographed Sri Mariamman Hindu temple. It is an interesting temple depicting the endless world of Indian imagination. There are monuments of Hindu saints, such as the elephant man (Ganesha), and the man of the monkey (Hanuman), and also the blue man with the cobra around his neck (Shiva). For me personally it is a nice fantasy world that I sincerely recommend, and at the same time I would also recommend visiting India. Around the corner we have a street leading to the Chinatown MRT station, where the shops are located. This is the official Chinatown, with Chinese lanterns, chinese shutters and souvenirs from Singapore. With “progress”, which is not always beneficial, part of Chinatown’s Chinese message is lost, but for tourists it does not matter. It is also a place where you can enjoy Chinese specialties in numerous restaurants and fast food outlets. I also recommend the shop of Tin Tin comic hero. Nearby is the newest chedi of Chinatown, the five-storey temple of the Buddha at the museum, called the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. This name reminds me of the Teak Temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka, but this one in Singapore is rather a monument to money than Buddhism itself. Both from the outside as well as from the inside this object is at least spectacular. This is an oriental architecture at its best. In the middle is a prayer hall with a large gold Buddha in the center and walls with small Buddha statues. On one of the floors is a museum where the best Buddhist objects from other Buddhist countries are shown. There are also statues and sculptures referring to this religion and another prayer hall. On the top floor is an exotic garden, set around the Tibetan circle with the Tibetan alphabet. In front of the temple itself are stone stables, muscular guards with swords. The whole temple is worth at least one hour. Going to the opposite of Chinatown we will encounter two streets on which are built low stone shops, restaurants and art galleries. Also this area is very nice and worth a few photos.
Orchard Road and the Singapore Botanical Gardens
The first thing I thought about when I went to Orchard Road was: “I can not afford it, but at least I look.” When I left MRT Orchard Road through a metal glass building, I saw tall buildings, shopping centers, restaurants and exactly what I was not looking for in my expeditions, because there are neither monuments nor adventures. This is a paradise for snobs, and expensive shopping where the “cheap” shirt costs S $ 100. This means that this shirt made in China cost $ S5 and the Singapore S $ S95. As one of the nilest streets I recommend Emerald Hill Road where we can see the houses characteristic of the culture of Singapore Peranakan. Besides, open your wallets. But to take a little style Orchard Road I went to a cafeteria around the subway and I invited for tea with condensed milk for $ S2.2. The only place I would recommend very hot and which must necessarily be seen is the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens. From Orchard Road there are several stops to take by bus, or a half hour walk. Anyway, in this garden I advise not to regret time and enjoy its beauty. The garden occupies an area of 74 hectares and is home to a huge variety of trees, small plants, cacti and many types of palm trees. There are also orchid gardens and a stain alley, which is a popular picnic spot. In the Botanical Gardens there are also three ponds covered with vegetation in which turtles swim. One of them is named Swan Lake, where there is a large statue of swans ascending to the flight, and another is the Symphony Pond. There are also exotic flowers, waterfalls, tropical rainforests, romantic scenes that are used by young couples, and many interesting sculptures. You can spend a very nice day here on a quiet day, provided that you have a company. I was alone because it took me 3 hours and the gardens are open from 5am to 12am.
The Northern and Central Singapore
The first place I recommend is the Singapore Zoo, which is one of the best in the world. This zoo is largely built without cages so that the animals are separated by naturally looking obstacles. For example, when we walk through a wooden bridge we can see crocodiles under us, and behind a moat full of water, orangutans, gibbons and hooves. There are also large cats, elephants, reptile houses, and long monkeys (proboscis moneys), which after this trip forever stuck in my memory. The zoo is said to have as many as 2800 animals and about 315 species, of which 16% are endangered. The zoo can boast white rhinoceroses, white tigers and the largest colony of orangutans. There are also tapirs, polar bears and baboons living on the rocks among the waterfalls. The Singapore zoo is built on 28 acres, has the best preserved rainforest and runs numerous events aimed at getting to know the animals. Ticket costs as much as $ S22.
Next to the zoo there is a Night Safari where we can take to the electric cars and see the animals active at night. This is fun but the price for the ticket itself is another $ S22. There is an offer that says that for $ 45 we can see the zoo, night safari and Jurong Bird Park. If anyone is interested then I am sure that this time Singapore will delight us at high level.
Another great place I would recommend is a huge Buddhist temple, consisting of many Buddha statues, decorated chapels, 12 buildings, many dragon sculptures and numerous gardens and lakes surrounded by vegetation. The most magnificent of the finest monasteries of Kong Meng San Phor Se. I got there by bus 410 (or 52) from Bishan MRT station. On the way back I went to the station which took me about 20 minutes.
Sentosa Sentosa is no longer an island for sunbathing and sunbathing. Since 2004, when I was here last, a lot has changed. First and foremost, I will start with the fact that sand on the beaches and even the rocks on its ridges have been imported. Out of curiosity, I knocked on the rocks and heard a deafening sound, because they were empty inside. For me, Sentosa is primarily a beach and recreation area, such as Fort Siloso, though it also has a Universal theme park, numerous restaurants, an underwater world with sharks and rays, and two casinos. The area of Sentosa is very well developed. Sentosa abounds in interesting, modern architecture, sophisticated sculptures combined with water and a huge monument to Merlion. When I was here on one of the beaches there were climbing competitions on the vertical wall. Sentosa is a nice getaway from the city, but also a money monument where every enjoyment costs around $ S20. Getting to the island is free because the Sentosa is connected by a bridge to the mainland.
Singapore also has many other attractions such as smaller islands in the south, the highest peak Mt Faber, and cable car.
Singapore has impressed me with its modernity, cleanliness and the combination of the modern world with monuments of colonial times. Singapore is also a place where you can try good cuisine from China, India and Malay and get acquainted with their cultures, as these three are the most numerous here. I think a week is enough to see what’s most important at a quiet pace. After a hard time exploring and learning about a new country I would highly recommend the Sentosa Island, which will definitely make you happy.