The city-state of Singapore is in a class all its own in Southeast Asia. Ultra-modern, shockingly clean, and extremely expensive (comparatively speaking), Singapore is a part of Southeast Asia that has to be seen to be believed, but- for the sake of your budget- should be seen QUICKLY. From the skyscrapers of the financial district, to the uber-sheik Marina Bay Sands Resort; from the historic Raffles Hotel, to its own ‘cleaned-up’ version of Chinatown; from the nightlife hotspots of Clarke and Boat Quays to the modern Orchard Road shopping centers- Singapore has it all.
Singapore is serviced by 8 airports, with Singapore Changi Airport being the major international hub. You can get to Singapore by overnight bus from Malaysia- just be careful you don’t get left behind at the massive border crossing checkpoint...
Things to do in Singapore
- Stroll around town- Singapore is ideal for wandering around- a clean city with CLEARLY MARKED traffic signage. You won’t feel like your about to be taken out by a motorbike in Singapore- that is for sure.
- Find the original Singapore Sling- the famous cocktail was first conceived in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, a cool place to hang out for a few drinks anyway. Bring your $$$- the Slings don’t come cheap...
- Check out Chinatown- probably as close as you’re going to get to what you’ve seen in the other cities major cities in Southeast Asia, Chinatown has a few good markets to peruse, and RIDICULOUSLY good street food. It is amazing.
- Hang out in the harbour- the new Marina Bay Sands Resort is the centerpiece of the marina, with its crazy ‘cruise-ship-on-top-of-a-building’ design. There’s A LOT going on down there, so it is a good place to just go for a walk and have a look around.
- Have a night out In Clarke and/or Boat Quay- the nightlife centers in Singapore, these area keep hopping until the sun comes up.
- Wander through the Muslim Quarter- another part of town known for its markets and good food, the Muslim Quarter in an interesting part of town to spend some time in.
- Hostels and guesthouses in Singapore are EXPENSIVE, at least when compared to some of the other places in Southeast Asia. Also, you can’t really negotiate the price here- things are pretty well set where they are. If you’re taking the overnight bus in from Kuala Lumpur, you may get a ‘free’ morning- a few hours of sleep after your ridiculously early arrival time.
- Again, make sure you communicate with the driver of your bus to see what the procedure is at the border crossing from Malaysia into Singapore. Trust us- you don’t want to get left at the border...
- Since Singapore is more expensive, offset some of the cost of being there by eating street food and doing free activities. Walking through town, exploring Chinatown and the Muslim Quarter, watching the world go by in the marina area- all FREE.
- There are several parks strewn throughout Singapore- perfect places to relax for an afternoon.
- You’ve probably heard already, but Singapore is CLEAN- there are laws in place to keep it that way. Don’t break these laws, or you’ll pay the consequences- usually a hefty fine.