Welcome to Singapore! Singapore is an island country and goes by many names such as SG or Singh Lion City. I personally like to call it Singapore. The island is forever summer because it’s humid all year long and summer is the only one season. Singapore is smaller compared to its neighboring countries and you can drive from east to west in less than an hour without traffic. But don’t underestimate Singapore because some of the best things come in small packages.
Here are 21 things to do in Singapore
- If you’re hungry for cheap local foods, you can head over to a Hawker Centre like Chomp Chomp where you can get a barbecue stingray, tasty chicken wings and sugar cane juice to cool you down from the Singaporean heat and humidity for only $20. It’s so touristy but so worth it.
- Save for a leisure walk at Gardens by the Bay which even locals approve particularly the cloud forest during the day.
- Club Street is a perfect neighbourhood for bar-hopping and merrymaking spills out onto the street. Club Street is a hotspot for expats. Don’t just hang out in the first floor areas and make sure you look up because restaurants and dancing is in the upper floors as well.
- A festive walk under lanterns? Head on over to Pagoda Street in Chinatown. There is no shortage of souvenirs. Within walking distance are mouth-watering dishes such as chili crab, steamed buns, fried buns frog porridge, and ice kacang.
- Aside from the food perhaps you’d fancy a Chinese opera and learn about its history and watch performances as you enjoy tea and dessert.
- Religious or not, the Buddha Tooth Relic temple just might take your breath away. Located in Chinatown, this five-story temple is set to house the left canine tooth of the Buddha. Its authenticity is questioned as the tooth sits inside a gold stupa on the fourth floor. Lay your eyes in the room filled with 10,000 Buddhas and relax on the rooftop garden where believers spin a prayer wheel.
- Marina Bay Sands also known as MBS is a place to go for brand-name shopping and high-end dining. The three high buildings of MBS has a luxury hotel. Even if you’re not staying overnight, feel free to stroll through and savor the architecture inside the boat. At the top is an infinity pool available to hotel guests. Be sure to dab on extra sunscreen because the rooftop pool is so high up that you’ll noticeably feel the heat rise on your body. If you’re not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy the view in another section of the rooftop. At the lower level of MBS is a food court, an ice rink and boat rides and amongst the luxury brands there’s even a 7-eleven.
- Old Singapore is called the Lion City. It is said that no Lions actually lived here, however, there is a Merlion statue that serves as guardian of Singapore. The Merlion is believed to bring good feng shui. Near the Merlion you’ll get a scenic view of MBS.
- Whether you’re Muslim or searching for Turkish food, absorb the bustling late-night vibes at Arab Street. At its heart is a Masjid. Certain mosque one street away is Haji Lane filled with Indie boutiques, street art and cafes. Enjoy a cozy afternoon and stroll alone or with friends. They’ve even got a selfie coffee that gets your face printed on foam.
- Drinking in Singapore can be very pricey due to the “tax”. It is to discourage people from alcohol consumption, however, there is hope. If it’s Wednesday evening, head over to Clark Quay. Ladies who dress up can gain free entrance and score drinks to the hottest clubs. No freebies for men but gentlemen you should dress up too because there will be many fish in the sea for you to catch during the day. Clark Quay offers boat rides and a quiet stroll by the river. There are vegetarian cuisines open even if you’re craving for it as early as 3am.
- In the morning, do your ears need candling? You can find it all in Little India. Walk down Serangoon Road and you’ll soon feel like you’re in India especially on Sundays when the local Indians have the day off and flock to this neighborhood. Check out the 24-hour Mustafa Center and be sure to wear appropriate attire to enter temples. Maybe get a henna while you’re at it.
- The shopping haven Orchard Road can lock on your credit card because Orchard is filled with fashionable temptations malls such as Paragon that carries luxury goods while Far East Plaza caters those on a budget. There’s something for everyone.
- Where do you go in Singapore when the weather is perfect, when it’s not too humid nor rainy? Singapore Botanic Gardens of course. The day I visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Straits Times held their 170th anniversary concert. It was amusing to see people fanning themselves though the stage is surrounded by air conditioners.
- For a little bit of everything in all sorts of diets, Holland village is a must. Holland village is home to international cuisine. It’s no wonder that expats love Holland village. There’s even a Hawker Centre and a handful of lovely cafes.
- Near the Changi Airport is Geylang, an area of food with delicious local bites including frog porridge and bucket in. Ladies if you walk around Geylang at night, men may approach you more than usual because Geylang is a red-light district. Although Singapore is quite safe, be aware of your surroundings. Interestingly there are many temples scattered around the red-light district.
- Singapore is a very glossy country with new buildings being constructed 24/7. For some quiet time with nature, take the bus to the Kranji countryside. Catch a lunch at Bollywood veggies and stroll through their garden. Bring your sneakers because you might end up walking a lot. There’s even a goat farm there where you could try to goat milk and there’s even a frog farm if you don’t mind having fun in a commercial sort of way.
- Make sure you catch some waves at Sentosa. It’s a popular island resort that is home to Universal Studios. Singapore has also an aquarium that’s worth visiting but my favorite thing to do is chill on the beach and party at the bars. Some tourists visit Singapore just for the shopping but who can blame them? This Lion City provides material satisfaction for all budgets.
- Searching for cheesy souvenirs and affordable clothes? Bugis Street is for you. You can haggle prices and good news is, most vendors speak English. Remember to bring cash. You’ll have more leverage.
- Does your body need a good dose of Korean barbecue? The Koreatown on Tanjong Pagar reminds me of the Koreatown in Los Angeles although the meats tend to be more expensive than the States. You can have someone grill the meat for you.
- You can’t say you’ve been to Southeast Asia without eating some durian. Even if you don’t see it, you will smell it. It’s called the “king of fruits”. Durian is described as being creamy and hours after you eat this fruit you will burp and re-taste that durian in your mouth. Enjoy durians in Chinatown and gala if you are you in urban exploration across the street.
- From Dempsey Hill stands Istana Woodneuk, an abandoned mansion once owned by the 21st Sultan of Johor. The building was completed in 1892 for the Sultan’s fourth wife in 1942. The mansion was used as a military hospital upon Japanese bombing that burned 700 medics and patients to death Istana Woodneuk was abandoned for decades so watch your step on the wooden stairs and get refreshing chills while staring into dark spaces.
Hope you enjoyed this tour of the Lion City, Singapore.