Did you know that Singapore is the most expensive city in the world? I thought it was Hong Kong, but then again, I’m not really that good at this sort of thing. I’m just good at going places. My brother and my sister-in-law lived in Singapore until recently, and while I was living in China, I went to visit them.
Singapore is a stunningly beautiful place, full of lush green landscape intermingled with intensely modern conveniences. While those who call it home complain there’s not much to do there, that’s hardly true. Here are some things you should definitely put on your list of things to do while you’re in Singapore.
Ride the Singapore Flyer
Being that I was 6 months pregnant during my visit, I didn’t ride on the famed Singapore Flyer. That shouldn’t stop you from trying it though. You can get the most amazing views of Singapore from above, much better views than what you’re afforded from even the tallest of buildings there. What’s more is that you can even have a fancy meal while enjoying the splendid panoramic views.
Visit the Singapore Zoo
If you love zoos the way I do, then don’t skip a visit to the Singapore Zoo. It’s immaculate and the habitats are all so properly maintained. Maybe it’s because I was living in China during the time I visited Singapore and had just seen the zoo in Qingdao which left me in tears, but this zoo made me feel right at home. Plus, there are so many animals to see. Our favorite part was feeding the giraffes. My father loves giraffes so watching him delight in feeding his favorite creature made my day.
Get a Singapore Sling at Raffles
The Long Bat at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore is the original place where the famous drink, the Singapore Sling, was born. So make sure you stop in and order one because it’s truly the best one you’ll ever have. If you don’t drink alcohol or are pregnant like I was at the time, you can have it made without alcohol and you’ll still be able to say you had a Singapore Sling at the original place that created them.
Hit up Chinatown
So it’s a little bit touristy, but what makes Singapore such an amazing city is the unique melting pot of Asian cultures. There are lots of Chinese people in Singapore so the Chinatown here is a great place to go to get a taste of dim sum and shop for some really cool trinkets in the night market.
Eat at a Hawker Center
Hawker centers are the ultimate way to taste Singapore for less. These are food courts that offer different stalls of food. Really good food that is. You’ll find savory noodles and spicy curries and all kinds of foods that will have you salivating. At one hawker center, we enjoyed the most jumbo shrimp I have ever seen drenched in garlic. They were so amazing that we talked about them the entire rest of the trip. We also tried some grilled stingray which was pure heaven from flavor to texture. This is definitely the way to taste all of Singapore, especially the chili crab, Singapore’s most note-worthy dish.
Get a Taste of Little India
Since Indian food is one of my favorite types of cuisine, going to Little India was a mandatory stop for me. You’ll see plenty of little dumpy-looking restaurants but don’t let looks deceive you. Here, you will find some of the best Indian food you’ve ever tasted. And like Chinatown, after eating way too much, walk around and take in the sights. Looking at the colorful tapestries and gifts at the neighboring shops was a wonderful way to work off the fullness from our meal.
See Awesome Things for Free at Haw Par Villa
On Pasir Panjang Road, you’ll find a free park that makes for a wonderful way to pass the time and provides endless opportunities for amusing selfies. It has over 1,000 statues, plus there are all these vivid dioramas that showcase Chinese folklore. Did I mention it’s free? And that’s a great bonus because Singapore isn’t cheap! Oh, and be warned, some of the miniature scenes might cause nightmares.
Shop ‘til You Drop
I actually joked while in Singapore that it felt like one big mall. It certainly seemed like most of my trip, I was in a mall but I initially chalked that up to not wanting to walk around in the oppressive humidity and heat outside which says a lot since I’m originally from Miami. After joking though, we found ourselves at Orchard Road which is all intertwined. So you can walk through 6 department stores and about 22 shopping malls. If it sounds astronomical, that’s because it is. So do it. Buy all the things!
Visit Gardens by the Bay
Announced in 2005, Gardens by the Bay is a master planned urban oasis. After a worldwide design competition and $1B budget, Singapore created what might be the world’s greatest park. Of course, anyone whose Googled Singapore has undoubtedly seen pictures of the park’s signature “supertrees”. These man-made vertical gardens dominate the park’s landscape and contain an observation walkway. In addition to these famous structures, Garden’s by the Bay contains multiple, meticulously maintained micro-biomes. Ranging from tropical rainforests to “cloud mountain”. While some parts of the free, full access will set you back $28SGD, or about 20 US Dollars.
There’s still plenty more to do in Singapore. From museums to parks to gobs of shopping and dining, it’s got everything you can think of to keep you entertained on your visit.