I never consider myself a travel blogger for two reasons. First, the fact that I haven’t traveled much to many different countries. Second, even when I travel, I don’t do many challenging activities that most of the travelers like. I like to keep it safe, which means that I do tourists stuff. But I am quiet independent. Aside from my own country, Indonesia (in which I also live all alone by myself in Jakarta, the world’s worst traffic), I have lived alone in two other different countries, USA and Singapore. I have written about interesting places in Seattle, USA in my previous blogpost, so I think it will only be fair if I also write something about Singapore.
A very small but prosperous country, with a very high rate of advancement in any sectors, especially technology. The country is well-organized… too organized until sometimes it doesn’t seem real.
After coming back from living in Singapore, an acquaintance who also has been living in Singapore and Indonesia asked me this question: “Do you like Jakarta or Singapore more?” At that moment, I was in my phase to re-adjust to my life in Indonesia, to Jakarta’s bad traffic…so of course without a second thought I answered, “Singapore, of course!” But what he said next is something that keeps me thinking for couple days. He said, “Oh wow, that’s surprising… personally I would pick Jakarta over Singapore to live in, because at least Jakarta looks like a real big city. I love Singapore, don’t get me wrong… but it’s just too well-organized. I can’t even tell if something is real or fake in Singapore.” In that case, I should agree. But spending 20 years of my life in Indonesia, you can’t blame me for wanting something different…something more organized and less messy. And for that, I wouldn’t change my answer.
That’s just a big picture of how Singapore is. Of course despite whether or not it is too well-organized, Singapore is still a very beautiful country with a lot to offer if you want to spend your leisure time on vacation there. But I might tell you this, it is a small country. You can go around this country from one end to another in only one day, and if you want to explore more…one week should be enough. That’s why when I lived there, I spent most of my days off in countries nearby, like Malaysia or Thailand.
Based on my experience of living in Singapore, exploring interesting places all around that country, and listening to the stories told by foreigners living in Singapore (someone people in Indonesia would call “bule”, people in Singapore would call “angmo”, and people in Thailand would call “farang”), these are the list of places that you can choose to be your destinations if you only have one week in Singapore:
1. Marina Bay Sands
From very fancy shops, landmark hotel, until infamous rooftop restaurant, bar, and infinity pool (it is called “infinity” because you can’t see the wall and the background is literally the view of downtown Singapore) are here in the area known as Marina Bay Sands. With the location right across the bay, you can see it as the perfect scenery of your afternoon fancy walk or romantic candlelight dinner. Just a warning in advance….if you are on a tight budget trip, staying in Marina Bay Sands Hotel should be crossed from your list. This hotel is perfect for couples celebrating important dates, or even on honeymoon, and for a group of friends wanting a sleepover of their life (and they can share the bills afterwards so it’s perfect).
You can find all famous designer brands in the shops of Marina Bay Sands, and also some famous dessert places, coffee shops, and restaurants. The choices are endless. Don’t forget to look fancy when you are here 😉 you absolutely don’t want to be beaten by everything around you.
2. Singapore Flyer
If you want to see the whole downtown Singapore in a glimpse, Singapore flyer is the answer. You can see the view of Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion, Gardens by The Bay, and the entire bay itself. At night, there will be magnificent lights coming through from Marina Bay Sands that you can see from the flyer. The view is undoubtedly wonderful both in the afternoon and in the night. Beware of the long queue during holidays though. Oh you can also plan a romantic dinner inside the flyer! 🙂
3. Gardens by The Bay
There are two main attractions here, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. To enter these two main attractions, you need to pay for the ticket. Inside the Flower Dome, there are different flowers from different seasons, festivals, and themes. Moreover, The Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. The dome itself was very innovative in design. The Cloud Forest is totally different from The Flower Dome. Enter the Cloud Forest, it looks like entering a mysterious world veiled in mist. It has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and the showcase of tropical plant life. Aside of those two main attractions, there are still a lot more to be offered by Gardens by The Bay. There are the breathtaking Supertree Grove and OCBC Skywalk that you can enjoy for free. Supertrees are these uniquely designed vertical gardens of 25 to 50-metres tall that have large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night.
4. Merlion Park
The iconic part of Singapore, the city of Lion. Take picture here to show off and people will not think that you coming to Singapore is just a hoax 😉
5. Sentosa Island
There are absolutely too many things here that I can’t just explain it one by one. I have gone back and forth to this island during my 6-months-stay in Singapore (and also couple vacations before), but to be honest I just haven’t seen all. One day wouldn’t be enough to enjoy everything here, unless you only want to see a glimpse of everything. For instance, there is Universal Studio here, and with all the queue and everything, I think you need a whole full day to enjoy only Universal Studio. The rest of the island needs one or two more days to be explored. These are the lists of things (beside Universal Studio) that you probably want to check out in Sentosa Island:
- MegaZip Adventure Park
- Dolphin Island
- E.A Aquarium
- Sentosa Express (the transportation that connects you from mainland Singapore to the island. It has 4 stations: Sentosa Station, Waterfront Station, Imbiah Station, and Beach Station. Just making sure where your destination is, then you can take the perfect stop
- Singapore Cable Car (including taking you to Mount Faber)
- Sentosa Boardwalk (if you want to walk from mainland Singapore to the island, of course you can!)
- Marine Life Park
- Port of Lost Wonders
- iFly Singapore (indoor skydiving)
- Sentosa Nature Discovery
- Images of Singapore
- Palawan Beach (where you can find the Southern Most Point of Continental Asia)
- Tanjong Beach
- Fort Siloso
- Siloso Beach (rave party here is the best!)
- Trick Eye Museum
And so on… and so forth…
6. Orchard Road
You go to Singapore for shopping? Definitely go to Orchard Road! You can find all fashion things you need here… from designer stuffs until unbranded stuffs, all available in the shops along the road. The most popular mall in this road where every visitor will come and see is definitely ION Singapore. The weird thing I finally noticed was that you can find rich Asians everywhere in this place, but very few Europeans and Americans (unless they have been living in Singapore for quite some times). I guess malls, big fancy shops, and designer stuffs are not really their things, maybe?
7. China Town
Yes, it’s like typical China Town in any other countries, but since most Singaporeans are Chinese, it’s like learning about their culture.
8. Little India
Singaporeans mostly are divided into 3 biggest groups: Chinese, Indians, and Malay. Little India is the place built by this Indian group to make them feel more like home. There are typical Indian houses and temples, a lot of delicious Indian restaurants and during Indian festival, this place is very colorful and pretty.
9. Singapore Botanical Gardens
This is the most favorite outdoor recreational area of Singaporeans from all ages. The plants make the air feels cool and moist. The main attraction is the National Orchid Garden, in which we have to pay for the ticket to enter, but they also have other interesting attractions like Ginger Garden and Rainforest.
10. Chinese and Japanese Gardens
There are a lot of different plants from China and Japan here, with the addition of those traditional Chinese and Japanese houses and pagodas. There is also a turtle house where they have a lot of different types of turtles from around the world, dangerous and not dangerous ones.
11. Clarke Quay
If you like the nightlife, and you want to experience Singapore’s nightlife, Clarke Quay would make the pass. On the iconic Clarke Quay’s bridge, there will be groups of people hanging out chilling with beers and snacks. And there are bars and cool clubs surrounding. Usually people will have the pre-drinks on the bridge, then come inside one of the club to dance and have fun. Weekends and Ladies Night (Wednesday Night in Singapore) will be the perfect time for you to go here.