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I'll be in Singapore for one day in February and want to see as much as I can in 8 hours. I will have a private guide. A few questions for those who have been to Singapore.

 

1. If arriving by ship (not disembarking, it's a port stop), how much time do I need to allow for immigration/getting off the ship?

2. The guide is suggesting the SkyPark. Is it worth the time? 

3. The guide is also recommending the Gardens by the Bay which I definitely want to go to, along with the 2 conservatories there. Are the conservatories worth the time? Will I see flowers that I won't see in the gardens?

 

Any must-sees that you have? The itinerary he put together includes Civic District, Merlion Park, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade Theatres, Floating Platform, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Chinatown. 

 

Thanks for any feedback.

Jamie

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50 minutes ago, Jamietravelstheworld said:

I'll be in Singapore for one day in February and want to see as much as I can in 8 hours. I will have a private guide. A few questions for those who have been to Singapore.

 

1. If arriving by ship (not disembarking, it's a port stop), how much time do I need to allow for immigration/getting off the ship?

2. The guide is suggesting the SkyPark. Is it worth the time? 

3. The guide is also recommending the Gardens by the Bay which I definitely want to go to, along with the 2 conservatories there. Are the conservatories worth the time? Will I see flowers that I won't see in the gardens?

 

Any must-sees that you have? The itinerary he put together includes Civic District, Merlion Park, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade Theatres, Floating Platform, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Chinatown. 

 

Thanks for any feedback.

Jamie

 

Gardens by the bay are a must see and you probably need 2/3 hours to do it over.  Yes you will see plants and flowers from all parts of the world as well as tropical plants Singapore and Asia are well know for

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5 hours ago, Jamietravelstheworld said:

I'll be in Singapore for one day in February and want to see as much as I can in 8 hours. I will have a private guide. A few questions for those who have been to Singapore.

 

1. If arriving by ship (not disembarking, it's a port stop), how much time do I need to allow for immigration/getting off the ship?

2. The guide is suggesting the SkyPark. Is it worth the time? 

3. The guide is also recommending the Gardens by the Bay which I definitely want to go to, along with the 2 conservatories there. Are the conservatories worth the time? Will I see flowers that I won't see in the gardens?

 

Any must-sees that you have? The itinerary he put together includes Civic District, Merlion Park, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade Theatres, Floating Platform, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Chinatown. 

 

Thanks for any feedback.

Jamie

The observation deck at Marina Bay Sands is worth the visit, but it is 26 dollars an adult for basically a nice view of the city.  There's nothing else to do up there but just take pictures and look around, so depending on what interests you.  SOmething to do once, but you can probably get a similar "good view" for free if you instead go to the pool bar at Hotel Jen @Orchard Gateway and have a drink.  

Gardens by the Bay can be really entertaining and the plus is that it's indoors so you can avoid the brutal sun and heat.  They aways have flowers blooming apparently.  But if you are going to economize could probably go do Chinese Gardens in Jurong which is lovely but outdoors.  Or Alternative do a hike at MacRitchie park.  

As for the rest -- Civic District, Merlion Park, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade Theatres, Floating Platform, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Chinatown.  All that sounds like a lot of walking.  Will you be driving or just walking around?

You should certainly get to eat some local food as Singaporean love to eat and it's an experience.  

I live in Singapore and can give you some recommendations.  Let me know what interest you -- art, culture, architecture, food, nature, theme parks etc.  

Singapore has some excellent museums so that is a place to start.  How much time do you have in town?

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If I could have a do over, it would be NOT going up to the Observation Deck of the Marina Bay Sands.  The views are nice, but it's an hour that could be spent elsewhere and it's a bit of a ripoff.  

 

We did a basic 12 to 6:30 pm day.  Although we had an overnight, we were flying out the next morning and walking off the ship at 5:15 am.  In any case, if you have an 8 hour port day, you should pick out four things you would like to see and consider lunch at a hawker center in Chinatown, which is something good for tourists to experience.  

 

We started off in Chinatown, then had lunch in a hawker center, and then toured Little India, and then took the Metro with our guide to Gardens By the Bay, and then to Marina Bay Sands for elevator to the top.  I loved the tour.  It was with City Unscripted with Kenny as our private guide.  In retrospect, we would have eliminated going to the top of the hotel, but changed nothing else.  Also, while we enjoyed our day in Singapore, I'm very happy we made the choice not spend more days there as we opted for Angkor Wat and a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia instead.  I think you could put together a great tour with 8 hours in Singapore though.  

 

 

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We were fortunate to be able to visit Singapore in May and June the last couple of years during land trips.

 

Gardens by the Bay was definitely a highlight.  We didn't do the conservatories during the first trip but did the second trip and I'm pretty happy we went.  It's bit pricey but we found they had a wow factor for us, particularly the Cloud Forest with the waterfall and elevated walkways.  We did a combo ticket that included a the OCBC  Skyway walk (treetop walk) which was  I thought was just ok.  As mentioned by unrealHeather, they also offer a nice respite from the sun and humidity.  Yes, you'll see more additional flowers and plants from the regular gardens which is itself a huge grounds area.   

Not sure if timing will work but the lit grounds at night with the supertrees and Marina Bay Sands hotel in the background is really nice (and the lightshow).

 

We went around visiting different hawker centres, neighbourhoods, and other sites during our stay which is likely not practical for an eight hour visit (eg Little India, Orchard Road, Sentosa Island, etc) .   I think what your guide is proposing is doable but it is a lot of walking, though jumping on the MRT/metro can save some steps.  However, we did an evening walking circuit from Clarke Quay which is a bit of a bar/restaurant area along the north side of the river, past parliament, to the Merlion, and back along the south side of the river, walking past restaurant row along Boat Quay and then back to Chinatown both trips which kind of aligns a bit with your circuit so maybe adding Clarke Quay and Boat Quay might be an option if you're looking to tack on but again,  likely more of an evening thing.

Chinatown is worth a visit IMO with some interesting sites (temples, markets, etc) but kind of touristy of course with souvenir/trinket selling.  While it has an interesting covered dining street and its own hawker centre, try to make it to Maxwell Food Centre, ideally before or after lunch to ensure most stalls are open and to avoid the lunch crowd.  Really delicious and inexpensive dishes here.  

 

Favourite tacky photo op:  Framing a picture with the Merlion spouting water into your mouth.  😄

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13 hours ago, Milhouse said:

We were fortunate to be able to visit Singapore in May and June the last couple of years during land trips.

 

Gardens by the Bay was definitely a highlight.  We didn't do the conservatories during the first trip but did the second trip and I'm pretty happy we went.  It's bit pricey but we found they had a wow factor for us, particularly the Cloud Forest with the waterfall and elevated walkways.  We did a combo ticket that included a the OCBC  Skyway walk (treetop walk) which was  I thought was just ok.  As mentioned by unrealHeather, they also offer a nice respite from the sun and humidity.  Yes, you'll see more additional flowers and plants from the regular gardens which is itself a huge grounds area.   

Not sure if timing will work but the lit grounds at night with the supertrees and Marina Bay Sands hotel in the background is really nice (and the lightshow).

 

We went around visiting different hawker centres, neighbourhoods, and other sites during our stay which is likely not practical for an eight hour visit (eg Little India, Orchard Road, Sentosa Island, etc) .   I think what your guide is proposing is doable but it is a lot of walking, though jumping on the MRT/metro can save some steps.  However, we did an evening walking circuit from Clarke Quay which is a bit of a bar/restaurant area along the north side of the river, past parliament, to the Merlion, and back along the south side of the river, walking past restaurant row along Boat Quay and then back to Chinatown both trips which kind of aligns a bit with your circuit so maybe adding Clarke Quay and Boat Quay might be an option if you're looking to tack on but again,  likely more of an evening thing.

Chinatown is worth a visit IMO with some interesting sites (temples, markets, etc) but kind of touristy of course with souvenir/trinket selling.  While it has an interesting covered dining street and its own hawker centre, try to make it to Maxwell Food Centre, ideally before or after lunch to ensure most stalls are open and to avoid the lunch crowd.  Really delicious and inexpensive dishes here.  

 

Favourite tacky photo op:  Framing a picture with the Merlion spouting water into your mouth.  😄

Great advice although I would avoid Little India on Saturday or Sunday.  It can very busy on those days.

I would advise that no souvenirs sold in Singapore are authentic unless you get them from a museum shop because most things are made in China as there isn't much manufacturing in SG.

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On 1/11/2020 at 1:38 AM, unrealHeather said:

The observation deck at Marina Bay Sands is worth the visit, but it is 26 dollars an adult for basically a nice view of the city.  There's nothing else to do up there but just take pictures and look around, so depending on what interests you.  SOmething to do once, but you can probably get a similar "good view" for free if you instead go to the pool bar at Hotel Jen @Orchard Gateway and have a drink.  

Gardens by the Bay can be really entertaining and the plus is that it's indoors so you can avoid the brutal sun and heat.  They aways have flowers blooming apparently.  But if you are going to economize could probably go do Chinese Gardens in Jurong which is lovely but outdoors.  Or Alternative do a hike at MacRitchie park.  

As for the rest -- Civic District, Merlion Park, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade Theatres, Floating Platform, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, Garden by the Bay, and Chinatown.  All that sounds like a lot of walking.  Will you be driving or just walking around?

You should certainly get to eat some local food as Singaporean love to eat and it's an experience.  

I live in Singapore and can give you some recommendations.  Let me know what interest you -- art, culture, architecture, food, nature, theme parks etc.  

Singapore has some excellent museums so that is a place to start.  How much time do you have in town?

Would love a locals advice for some must EATS in Singapore and places!  I've heard Chili Crab is one, but where?  Any other must eats in Singapore you recommend?   What's the best way to get around Singapore?

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8 hours ago, NWHairGal said:

Would love a locals advice for some must EATS in Singapore and places!  I've heard Chili Crab is one, but where?  Any other must eats in Singapore you recommend?   What's the best way to get around Singapore?


Chili Crab is lovely but let me say it's a bunch of broken crab in a bowl.  Locals will eat it with bread or rice.  It's not the big crab legs at Joes Crab Shack or Red Lobster.  It's a lot of work.  But delicious.  You might also want to try Black Pepper Crab or Shrimp as it's a hot black pepper sauce.  I like it too and it's a different experience from the sweet and spicy chili crab.

Places for Chili crab -- Jumbo is a restaurant famous for chili crab, and also famous for expensive prices.  Alternatively I would go to a local place like Eng Seng First Grade Seafood at 247 Joo Chiat Place, or for something more upscale No Signboard at 414 Geylang Road.  Otherwise you can get chili crab at the East Coast Food Village (hawker center) at at 1220 East Coast Parkway.  For the hawker centers always bring cash. Seafood is expensive so you can plan to spend 100 a person on a meal give or take, and at the hawker center may half.  The East coast Food Village is famous for seafood and satay (meat on a stick).  It is on the beach so worth a visit for a local experience.  I would bring cash to local restaurants or check in advance if they take credit cards.  Some will take a local debit card called NETS but you need a local bank account to use it, which tourists won't have.

Other local food I like is obviously Chicken Rice and you can get that at every hawker center.  Other tasty food to try is rojak (a strange cucumber salad but tasty); bah kuh teh (pork soup that is better than it sounds, can add noodles and other extras); and rendang (beef stew with coconut and peppers).  For Bah Kuh Teh, go to Sin Heng Claypot at 439 Joo Chiat Road.  

If you're looking for local food in air conditioning, you can also try Papa Rich, with locations around Singapore inside the mall.  They say it's Malaysian cuisine, but you'll be able to order most of the old faithfuls here.  http://papparich.com.sg/

Here's a food guide that might be helpful.  https://danielfooddiary.com/2019/08/09/sgfood

In terms of getting around singapore you have public transport (good, cheap, clean) both trains and buses.  Get a EZLink card at any train station and then can use everywhere.  Can use Google Maps to navigate the best way, least walking etc.  But public transit not the fastest way to travel.  For that you can use taxis.  Download the app named Grab on your phone and then you can call a taxi or a private car (think uber).  Or you can hail a taxi on the street but most everyone calls a taxi on their phone so you will wait a long time if you do that.   

 

Edited by unrealHeather
added info on cash, black pepper crab
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21 hours ago, unrealHeather said:


Chili Crab is lovely but let me say it's a bunch of broken crab in a bowl.  Locals will eat it with bread or rice.  It's not the big crab legs at Joes Crab Shack or Red Lobster.  It's a lot of work.  But delicious.  You might also want to try Black Pepper Crab or Shrimp as it's a hot black pepper sauce.  I like it too and it's a different experience from the sweet and spicy chili crab.
 

Thank you so much for the suggestions, I appreciate it

 

 

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Sorry to hijack the thread but we are in Singapore for one night before getting on a cruise. We are staying at Marina Bay Sands and my question is, should we watch the light show from the ground and see the hotel lit up or from the viewing deck looking down?

 

We'd do both if we had two nights but any thoughts on which would be better for the one viewing?

 

 

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15 hours ago, ingatestonian said:

Sorry to hijack the thread but we are in Singapore for one night before getting on a cruise. We are staying at Marina Bay Sands and my question is, should we watch the light show from the ground and see the hotel lit up or from the viewing deck looking down?

 

We'd do both if we had two nights but any thoughts on which would be better for the one viewing?

 

 

That light show is kind of lame to be honest.  Most people watch it on the steps outside the MBS mall on the ground.  I believe that is how the show is designed to be watched.  Stop by and see before or after dinner.  But I wouldn't make a special trip to just see the show.    

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Hey unrealHeather - do you have suggestions for seeing animals in Singapore besides the obvious zoo? Are there any animal sanctuaries we can visit? We will be there first 2 weeks of March. 

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There is a wild animal rescue you can visit, but it won't be elephants and such, more like snakes, bats and perhaps a few wild cats.  You need to make an appointment in advance.  https://acres.org.sg/core/contact-us/

Another place to see animals is at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.  https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/sungei-buloh-wetland-reserve . I took my Girl Scouts there and we hired a nature guide, but you can DIY for free.  

You're certain to see some monkeys at MacRitchie park.  But they are quite feral try to come at you if you have any food in hand.  https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/macritchie-reservoir-park

I've also seen about a dozen wild pigs at Pasir Ris Park.  https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/pasir-ris-park

If you're active you can rent a bike on Pulau Ubin island and see monkeys and wild pigs. Need $3 cash to rent a boat and then more cash for bike rentals and food on the island.   https://www.timeout.com/singapore/things-to-do/guide-to-pulau-ubin

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Just now, cwaj45 said:

I will be in Singapore January 29- February 1 and would like any recommendations for viewing the New Year Festivities.

Thanks

Chinese New Year is not a public festival but where ethnically Chinese Singaporeans visit family over several days.  There are dinner parties, exchanging of gifts and eating of traditional snacks.  If you visit Chinatown you may discover it is "dead" because everyone is home visiting their grandma.  Plus lots of people tend to travel outside Singapore for a long weekend.  

Timeout is a local magazine that gives a breakdown of some events and things to do: https://www.timeout.com/singapore/things-to-do/guide-to-chinese-new-year-in-singapore

Browsing through these.  I would recommend you try to get tickets to the Chingay Parade.  It's a spectacle.  The parade is not down the street but rather in front of some bleachers of seats.  Eat before you go and have an EZLink pass to ride the train home as it will be very crowded.  There may be food vendors on site but bring cash and expect very long lines for any food.  

River Hongbao is a collection of giant lanterns and bright lights.  Try to go during a weekday, it is very crowded.  

There's also Lion Dance performances.  Check out this link on where to go see one.  https://www.littledayout.com/2020/01/06/where-to-watch-chinese-new-year-lion-dance-performances-in-singapore-2020/

 

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If you really want to celebrate CNY, head to the mall and go to Bengawan Solo bakery.  http://www.bengawansolo.com.sg/ Buy some pineapple tarts and love letter cookies.  Then go to Bee Cheng Hang (or other shops listed in this link) for Bak Kwa (BBQ pork jerky) . https://www.8days.sg/eatanddrink/newsandopening/12-famous-bak-kwa-brands-ranked-from-worst-to-best-11144814

Take home to your grandma's house along with 2 mandarin oranges to exchange.  If you're unmarried, you get gifted money in a red envelope.  Otherwise, you're expected to give cash out to unmarried relatives.  https://www.thefinder.com.sg/things-to-do/explore-sg/everything-you-need-know-about-chinese-new-year-singapore-2/

Edited by unrealHeather
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On ‎1‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 3:28 AM, unrealHeather said:

That light show is kind of lame to be honest.  Most people watch it on the steps outside the MBS mall on the ground.  I believe that is how the show is designed to be watched.  Stop by and see before or after dinner.  But I wouldn't make a special trip to just see the show.  

 

Thank you for your reply as above.

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