Last year, Natasha and I were planning to travel during summer, however, when that was not materialized we thought we would take our vacation to places which are warmer during the winter. We consulted few of our friends to ask for their suggestions and the best one was from our friend Sway, a globetrotter who loves travelling. Sway travels across the world twice every year, and suggested that we should visit Singapore as it was one of his top ten favourite places in the world. He gave a decent idea about the weather which helped us to arrive at the decision that it would be “Destination Singapore”, leading us to work out a 5-day family break to Singapore.
Our visit to Singapore was a memorable experience in many ways, hence why we thought of writing about it in our travel blog. It will surely vivify your spirits and gratify your wanderlust.
DAY 1: We arrived at the famous, world-class Changi Airport of Singapore in the morning at around 9am. Apart from the up-to-date amenities and infrastructure, the usage of plants and greenery added a bit of character to the airport, making it truly special and an out-of- this-world experience. We hired a cab and went straight to our hotel, the V- Lavender, which was at the central part of the city, saving us a lot of local travel time. After a quick bite at one of the local restaurants close to hotel, we crashed into our bed for a quick nap before getting ourselves stretched and relaxed for the evening.
After some tea, it was time to head to our first sightseeing in Singapore, the iconic Marina Bay Sands, one of the most illustrious landmarks of Singapore. The world-famous infinity pool is popular for obvious reasons, and is thronged with people at all times with an underground maze, casino and one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. The Marina Bay Sands is undoubtedly one of the top destinations in Singapore and a must-see for every traveller.
We enjoyed a few cocktails at the rooftop bar and took some amazing evening shots of Singapore before heading towards the Merlion, the signature symbol of the country. The iconic landmark and National embodiment of Singapore is 8.6 m high and weighs about 70tons. Merlion simply means ‘sea lion’, with its head representing Singapore’s original name Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay, whereas its body signifies Singapore’s past as a fishing village when it was hailed as Temasek, meaning ‘sea town’ in Old Javanese. After spending some at the Merlion and walking around we had a relaxing dinner next to the bay, after which we went back to our hotel.
DAY 2: We got up early and got ready for another day. After our morning buffet breakfast at the hotel, we set off on a visit to the famous Universal Studios.
It is the first Hollywood movie theme park in South East Asia, with something to please everyone, from seven different movie themed zones to many captivating attractions, rides, shows and entertainments. It is usually busy with families and adventure-seekers alike, from across the globe. We saw some of the best attractions of Universal Studios, however, it was difficult for us to see the entire studio because of the paucity of time. We would recommend the following few attractions that we found are not to be missed, and which will surely help in setting your priorities when on a strict time schedule.
- New York: Lights, Camera, Action! – Hosted by Steven Spielberg, it is a sound production which displays special effects to imitate a great hurricane about to hit the New York City. There is a high chance you will get wet if you stand at the first row in the middle!
- New York: Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase (for kids) – A special attraction for the little ones, where they sit in a carrier and go through a tunnel inspired by Sesame Street.
- Sci Fi: TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle – It gives you a feeling as if you are in a transformer robot; which may lead to giddiness and queasiness.
- Sci Fi: Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYLON – Here, Human acts as the red roller coaster, whereas Cylon acts a blue one. Both have an intense high-speed, so they are worth trying. Items that are loose are not permitted on the ride.
- Ancient Egypt: Revenge of the Mummy – An indoor high speed roller coaster performed in total darkness.
- Ancient Egypt: Treasure Hunters (for kids) – The kids sit in a car and drive around a pool/lake.
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure – Here you can do river-rafting with a great current. You will definitely get drenched from this ride! You can keep your articles in the boat or you keep them in lockers, but the lockers at Rapids Adventure are not free, so if you intend to save your money, you can keep your articles at Mummy’s lockers.
- The Lost World: Canopy Flyer– This is a medium to high speed overhanging flying vehicle, which is sure to titillate your senses.
- The Lost World: Amber Rock Climb– Here you will experience wall-climbing, with a treasure if you reach the top!
- Far Far Away: Shrek 4-D Adventure– Here you will experience a 4D Show of Shrek’s adventure, where you not only see and hear the film but also feel it with “bumps, bounces, air blasts and water spray”.
- Far Far Away: Enchanted Airways– a High-speed rollercoaster, but much smaller in comparison to Human vs Cylon.
- Hollywood: Sesame Street Show– a great musical show by Sesame Street characters.
- Far Far Away: Donkey Live– an exciting show of Donkey’s live performance, it is a show encouraging audience participation where Donkey answers to the actual conversation with MC and the visitor.
- Madagascar: A Crate Adventure– Here you sit in a boat and pass through a tunnel showing scenes with the characters.
There are many other attractions; however, I would recommend these 14, which will offer a delightful and pleasurable experience.
DAY 3: Shopping Day
After having our breakfast we dropped over to the world famous shopping hub, called the Mustafa centre, which is OPEN 24 hours, and is a must-visit for all tourists. The Mustafa centre is situated on Syed Alwi Road in the famous little India area, and really is one of the greatest places for shopping, catering to everyone. It is full with scores of people at all times. Besides a major shopping hub, the Mustafa centre also caters for some other basic needs of the shoppers such as; money exchange, travel, visa services and a rooftop restaurant for the hungry shoppers. Our shopping included electronic items, branded perfumes, gold jewellery, mementoes like Merlion icons for our friends. We were so happy with our shopping that we forgot to eat lunch, and it was around 6pm when our stomachs started grumbling, so we went to a nearby restaurant to have some snacks. After our snacks we went directly to the Night Safari. It is not only the world’s first ever Nocturnal Wildlife Park in the world, but also is one of the most visited tourist crowd-pleasers in Singapore. It contains a great variety of animals, and the staff there were extremely friendly. They displayed an amazing show of different animals and explained their various habits and typical behaviours. We had a first-hand experience of touching a few animals. One of the trainers at the zoo was a linguist; he impressed one and all by his proficiency in many languages. He greeted people in their native languages and we all felt awesome and had a great time. We returned to our hotel, had our dinner and called it a day.
Day 4: We started our day with Chinese food for breakfast; Hakka Noodles, Manchurian Mushroom rice, Schezuan rice and soup, which was a bit unusual for us yet we thoroughly enjoyed it. After having our breakfast we headed towards the next most sought-after tourist destination, Sentosa. Sentosa is a small island lying in the south of Singapore, made famous worldwide for being hailed as Asia’s most sought after Playground. It is one of the most approachable and developed Islands. Sentosa is dotted with many places which have so much to offer for tourists of all ages across the globe, I would recommend the following places if you have limited time to explore the island city of Singapore:
- S.E.A. Aquarium: This is truly an amazing place that is for sure worth visiting. It has a rich collection of about 100,000 marine animals of different varieties, and over 800 species kept in about 49 habitats. They are so enthralling that you will feel as if you, yourself, are a marine creature in their presence.
- The Royal Albatross: This is the only luxury tall ship for cocktails cruises in and around Singapore’s coast and its southern islands. It is a rare 47m, four-masted, 22 sail super yacht, making it the perfect blend of the old conventional sailing and state-of-the-art technology. It has something for all ages, and you can have the best time of your life by dining, wining and cruising together under one roof.
- Singapore Cable Car Sky Network: Experience the best time of your life by boarding in the cable car sky network. It links the two famous destinations, Sentosa and Faber Peak by two cable car lines; Mount Faber Line and Sentosa line.
Mount Faber Line: Fly above the two spots on the most breath-taking highway for some exquisite views. Soar high above the hill from Faber Peak, down via a skyscraper and sweep across the harbour on the Mount Faber Line, before finally touching down in Sentosa Island.
Sentosa Line: Roving over the jungle, sand and sea on the Sentosa line will lead you towards many crowd-pleasers on the island itself. You can select your stop at the Merlion station, Imbiah look-out station and Siloso point-station to relish the sandy beaches, or take a stop at Madame Tussauds, Megazip Adventure Park, Skyline Luge Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium and lots more.
- Skyline Luge Sentosa (Imbiah): This is one the best tourist spots which draw scores of travellers from across the globe. It was invented in New Zealand about 29 years ago, and it has organised almost 31 Million rides worldwide. It is the first of its kind Luge which is launched in Southeast Asia. It provides two rare kinds of experiences; the Luge and the Skyride.
Luge is a high-thrill ride full of joy and excitement for people of all ages. It is quite a safe means of entertainment. It is a comprisation of a remarkable braking and steering system. You have a lot of choices like, going for a leisurely cruise or racing down the 688 metre Dragon tailor 628 metre Jungle pathway, 1.4 kilometres of joy at all times. The riders can plunge into the two brand new Luge tracks that move in and out through the fascinating forest. They are specially made with hairpin corners, long, straight and breath-taking slopes. All the riders can experience a great time with their family and loved ones when they come down the four tracks (2.6kms in all). The most recently made tracks are the 658 metre long expedition and 638 metre long Kupu Kupu (it means Butterfly in Malay). This wonderful trail gets completed only once you board on the Skyride. The Skyride would give you delightful bird’s eye view of Sentosa Island, Singapore city Skyline and South China Sea.
As the night approaches, you will experience a completely gripping experience at the Luge. All the people who love adventure will experience a thrill and excitement while navigating down each track with wonderful lights. You will have a great time by having a scintillating view of Singapore as the city skyline and harbour are suddenly turned into a brilliant city of lights at night.
NOTE: All the people who are having heart problems, motion sickness, back problems and other physical abnormalities like vertigo, epilepsy and pregnant women are not permitted to take the luge and skyride.
- Wave House Sentosa: It is one of the most popular of all the wave house venues throughout the world. It is a great spot where you can feel the Californian beach lifestyle with high energy levels oozing out via the double flow rider and 10 foot flow barrel wave rides famous throughout the world.
Do enjoy every moment by chilling out to the tunes of the great live music at the wave house Sentosa. You will certainly savour the modern Californian–Asian food at the wave house Sentosa restaurant and bar. You can chill and cool off from the tropical warm atmosphere and have a great time with some of the most charming people on the island at the outdoor Barrel and Rider Beach Bars.
All these are present in the 70,000 square feet tropical beachfront location at Siloso beach, Sentosa.
You may also experience the best time of your life by riding the waves, relaxing with friends and family, savouring the yummy pizzas and cocktails at the outdoor beach, bars or party till the time you like.
Wave House Sentosa is famous for providing the great fusion of entertainment and flow boarding and is for people of all age groups..
Furthermore, I would like to specially mention about the public transport system of Singapore. We travelled to the different places via bus, MRT (Massive Rapid System) and Cabs. All of them provide an extremely fast and convenient means of transport from one place to the other. MRT (Mass Rapid System) is the fastest and the most convenient to travel all over Singapore. Its wide range ensures that most of the prime attractions of Singapore are at a stone’s throw distance from an MRT station.
DAY 5: It was the final day at Singapore when it was time to pack the bags and head back to our homes. It was a nice warm morning and our English breakfast consisted of poached eggs, toast, porridge, fruit juice and milk. This breakfast was special in its terms as we were reflecting on our time spent in Singapore and all the fun we had during our stay.
It was finally the time for us to check out form the hotel and head to the airport for our flight. Singapore is truly a place with a difference and a welcome break from the winters in UK.