Singapore, located at the heart of Southeast Asia, makes a great stop over or a weekend break for those already in the region. Worldette looks at three half-day itineraries, designed to be flexible and fit in with your visit.
Singapore River Walk
Take the MRT to Raffles Place (East-West and North-South Lines). Heading northeast you will arrive at the Merlion; this is the symbol of Singapore and a must-see tourist photo opportunity. Looking across Marina Bay you can see the impressive Marina Bay Sands Hotel overlooking the city.
To the north is Esplanade, Singapore’s foremost performing arts venue. Swinging round to the west and crossing over the mouth of Singapore River at Fullerton Road, follow the river west to the Asian Civilisations Museum. This museum features detailed and well-presented information and artefacts from many peoples of Asia, both modern and historical.
Heading further west you will arrive at Raffles Landing Site, marked by a statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, the man credited with founding modern Singapore. Continuing west, Clarke Quay is a great nightlife spot with restaurants lining the river. Don’t forget to try a Singapore Sling cocktail!
Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) Open Monday 1-7pm, Tuesday to Saturday 9am-7pm (to 9pm on Fridays). Check the website for admission charges and information about current exhibitions. (www.acm.org.sg)
Singapore is a rich cultural mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. Areas of the city were originally divided up by Sir Stamford Raffles in order to prevent overcrowding and are still largely populated by these ethnic groups.
Take a walk through Little India and soak up the atmosphere, before choosing from the many restaurants that line the streets. Head over to Geylang, the Malay area, to pick up cheap souvenirs. All kinds of Malay products are available from traditional clothes and batik material to small fans and other trinkets.
Go to Chinatown for Chinese heritage, traditional medicine, souvenir shops and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum Open Monday to Sunday 7am-7pm. See the website for upcoming events and information about suitable attire for entering the temple. (www.btrts.org.sg)
Orchard Road Shopping
Take the MRT to Orchard (North-South Line) and you will arrive in Singapore’s premier shopping street. Check out the ultra-modern ION Orchard Mall, which has spectacular lights at sundown. Walking in either direction along Orchard Road you will pass seemingly endless malls, both old and new. Most of the malls have food courts, which serve up a tasty range of Singapore foods at good prices.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) If you arrive at the airport, head straight to the MRT, Singapore’s subway system, which can take you quickly and easily all over the city. You’ll find it best to buy an ez-link card which you can top up and use throughout your stay. Pick up a map of the MRT system and the city while you’re there. (www.smrt.com.sg)
How did you spend your stopover in Singapore? Was there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!