Singapore, city and country in one. This city is often used as a stopover or visa run. But actually, you are doing the country too short. Stay for a few days to explore the city, and enjoy the vast amount of greenery and the beautiful light show at Gardens by the Bay. Visit Sentosa Island and be amazed by the number of amusement parks.
Before you go
You do not need to apply for a visa in advance to visit Singapore. Upon entry, you will receive a visa on arrival that allows you to stay in Singapore for a maximum of 90 days. This visa is free.
You can withdraw money with your debit card in many places in Singapore. In addition, your credit card is also accepted in many places. Keep in mind that you always pay a surcharge when you use your debit or credit card. There are also many places where you can exchange cash for Singapore dollars.
The Singapore dollar has both coins and notes. The coin series consists of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 dollar.
The banknote series consists of 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 dollars. The 100, 1,000, and 10,000 notes are not very common and should not be used. The other notes are common. So when changing, ask for smaller denominations.
Making contact in Singapore
Most people in Singapore speak English. The mix of so many cultures helps getting around. Most signs, menus, and other texts are in English too. If you get lost, which is really hard in this city, you can always ask someone.
China Town is little China. This means communication is a bit harder since most Chinese people don’t speak English. But the people in the stores do.
If there is a big line of people waiting, chances are it’s really good. Singaporean people don’t mind waiting in big queues for the good stuff.
The city is very clean. We have seen many Asian cities and this is by far the cleanest we ever visited. For a good reason, because there are big fines for littering. Keep this in mind. Smoking is also taboo here.
Food in Singapore
There is food everywhere, like in a real Asian city. But here you find it all. Due to all the cultures (and respect for them), the cuisines are in big numbers. There are some food courts, but – in my opinion – not really real food courts.
If you want curry, pizza, French fries, a burger, satay, or nasi lemak… Singapore has it all. Just watch the prices; they can be much higher than in other Asian countries.
Our route through Singapore - 5 days
After arriving at Changi Airport, we took the subway to Chinatown, where we had a small hostel room. From there we took the subway to the Gardens by the Bay. With different areas in this 101 hectares park, it gives you a lot to see. If you are here around 20:00 you can see the futuristic, fake art trees light up and give a light show on futuristic music. I think this is a must to see.
Another park, which is a great stop, is the Botanic Gardens. Opened in 1859 and it covers 82 hectares of ground. Once used for the rubber plantation, now a nice sport to hang out. Locals come here to walk and relax and so do tourists.
Universal Studios is a well-known brand with theme parks. One of those parks is located in Singapore. Since we were in Singapore, we took a look. It was really big and not that crowded when we were there. There are a lot of things to do; thrill rides, shows, slow stuff, food (of course), and much more. Start early and you will leave when the park closes. All shows are in English and so is the information about the rides.
Our 3 favorites things to do
If you want something different than food, nature, or traveling around; visit Universal Studios. Don’t worry about the language, since almost everything is in English. An excellent day for thrill rides, shows, and fun.
This theme park is on the island of Sentosa. You can also find resorts, a golf area, and more leisure activities here.
China in Singapore, with all the cultural aspects with it. The food, the people, and the habits are very common to the real China we have seen.
But Singapore is expensive. If you want cheap lodging, cheap food, and cheap drinks go to Chinatown. It’s really easy to reach by subway.
Gardens by the bay
A public park with free admittance. Here you have different areas with all their own aspects. There are waterworks, artistic trees that give a light and music show in the evening, and observatories with all kinds of plants and trees from all over the world.
It’s also a great place to eat in the food court.