Traveling to Singapore – Should I go to Singapore?
When most people are looking to travel to Southeast Asia the destinations that commonly come to mind are Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Singapore is slowly gaining more attention of travelers with the modern Asian city boasting amazing instagram pictures and places to eat. Don’t expect Singapore to be any better than places like New York, Tokyo or Milan.
Is Singapore worth visiting? What is there to do?
This is the question we asked ourselves when planning our 3 month Southeast Asia trip. Singapore has grown into what it is today because of it being a central stopping point for flights all around Asia. The only reason we visited Singapore was because we figured we would regret not going so we ended up staying for 3 days.
Depending on where you are coming from in the world, Singapore is often the cheapest flight into the heart of Southeast Asia. This is a huge reason why people chose to stay here and check out the city. We flew to Singapore from the United States instead of directly to Bali because it was $350 cheaper. I would not recommend checking out Singapore unless you have an extended vacation where time is not a huge issue.
Gardens by the Bay – Is it worth it?
From pictures Sands Marina Beach Resort and Gardens by the bay seemed to be the main focal point for tourists. It truly was the main focal point but was not what we expected it to be. As you walk in the 95 degree heat with 80% humidity you will constantly be wanting to go inside for some AC to cool off. As you make your way to the scenic beauty of the hotel it surely will leave a lasting impression. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and seems to have its own section of the city all to itself. The best way to view Gardens by the bay is to walk through the hotel itself to the back where you get a complete panoramic view of the gardens, Ferris wheel, and the flower dome. But that’s where the fun and beauty seemed to stop for us. It seems to be more of a playground and kids center rather than an attraction geared for tourists.
To go inside the cloud forest and the flower dome it will cost $28 SGD. This isn’t a ridiculous price but considering every single attraction in Singapore also cost similar in price, it will start to break the bank if you are a budget traveler. It then cost $8 SGD to walk the skyway in the trees (yellow bridge in picture) and cost $20 SGD to go get a 360 panoramic view of Singapore at the top of Sands Marina Hotel. The only way to access the infinity pool at the top of the resort is to have a room at the hotel.
Merlion – Why you shouldn’t visit Singapore
The mascot and nickname of Singapore is Merlion. It’s a mix between a fish and a lion which seems cool until you see it in person and become confused on what the rave is about. In the picture to the right we are surrounded by hundreds of other tourists trying to take pictures. Merlion is not anything special and just simply another tourist spot that got famous for some odd reason. The only good time I would recommend going to Merlion is at night for the light show. It will be crowded but enjoyable if you eat dinner at one of the restaurants to enjoy the light show.
“Its expensive and there is not much to do other than walk around”
This is what we thought when going to Singapore and it turned out to be true. Other than the three main tourist attractions Merlion, Gardens by the bay and Sands Marina Beach Resort there is not much else to do. There is a bunch of shopping and different places to eat such Chinatown and Little India but you could get a similar experience in Yogyakarta or Bangkok.
Be prepared for the heat and humidity from early morning too late at night. As we started our 3 month trip in Singapore in late June it was already tough to walk around outside all day. Every time we saw stores or buildings with AC we would dart off to cool down. The best way to avoid to hottest parts of the day is to start early and then go back to your hotel around noon to relax before going back out at night. This allowed us to have minimum time to explore the city since it gets dark around 6:30 in June/July.
The people of Singapore and especially Little India and Chinatown were very nice and welcoming. Most people seemed to understand some English which made asking for directions and ordering food easy.
Can you drink the water in Singapore?
Yes, it is completely safe to drink Singapores water. It is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia with clean and reliable tap water so be sure to use it to your benefit. Bring a Yeti or a refillable water bottle to take with you everywhere you go to reduce cost and waste.
Chinatown & Little India
- Plenty of food options
- Cheap $
- Shopping (Backpacks, Shoes, Dresses, Sunglasses, Bracelets)
- Camera stores in Chinatown
- Lots of walking
Chinatown which is located about 1 mile from Gardens by the Bay had a lot more to offer than Little India. I was pleasantly surprised at how much there was to do. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in all of the different types of foods. Singapore is known as souvenirs food capital of Southeast Asia. Both towns are relatively cheap when it comes to food and clothing. If you plan on buying any souvenirs in Singapore plan to do so in Chinatown or Little India.
Little India is farther away from the city center at about 1.5 miles but is considerable cheaper to stay. As you roam the streets you will be filled different smells from all the restaurants lining the streets. Grab some food at a local food truck and walk for hours visiting different temples and shops.
Should I go to Singapore?
As a blogger I cannot speak for everyone in saying yes or no on visiting Singapore. From my limited experience of only three days in the City of Merlion, I would not recommend going unless you are flying to Singapore anyway on an extended vacation. If you have less than a three week vacation, I would not recommend exploring Singapore. The city boast nothing more than the other great cities of the world. A much more cultural and adventure filled experiences awaits in Bali, Bangkok, Jogja and more. In our case we had almost three months to explore all of Southeast Asia and were flying to Singapore anyway. I would recommend spending 24-48 hours in Singapore if you have the chance but no more than that.
Would we ever go to Singapore again? The answer to that is… no, but everyone has different experiences in each place. If you ever visit Singapore and had a wonderful experience share you’re thoughts with us!
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