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Owen's Travel Notes - Things to do in Singapore
Owen W O'Sullivan
Comfortable non-slip shoes, lightweight (layered) clothing and your "SECURITY" wallet. A lightweight waterproof / windproof jacket is always a must anywhere you go. Do not leave home without some foreign currency (Singapore Dollars etc).
"Expect to do plenty of 'walking' around the various shopping centers in Orchard Road, along the Singapore River Promenades, around the Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Centre".
Singapore is a hot and humid island city situated very close to the Equator. It has basically two seasons wet and dry. If you are planning to spent many hours per day in the great outdoors you should take the following in a daypack :- camera, mini towel, sun cream, sun glasses, sun hat, and water bottle.
Things To Do & Information
Singapore's Changi International Airport (SIN) is located in the North East of the Island. It is a very large complex with two Terminals T1 and T2. Terminals T3 and T4 are at various stages of construction.
The Maxi Cab Airport Shuttle Service is an excellent service to most of the hotels in the city district. The adult fare is S$7.0. A return service is available from a number of hotels in different city locations. The booking counter is located in the arrivals hall opposite the exit from baggage claim & customs.
Taxi fares from the airport to the city costs around S$11-S$19 depending on traffic conditions.
These are the two best options unless prior transfer arrangements have been made. First time visitors and/or novice travelers should use one or other to get to your hotel etc.
ATM (Automatic Teller Machine)
Easy to use and in English etc. A 4 digit numeric PIN works best anytime anywhere in the world. Never use a "zero" as the first digit in a PIN number. It causes problems in the most unlikely cities. ATM's in many countries only display numbers on their keypads.
Always verify that a new credit card and/or any other new cash withdrawal (ATM) plastic card(s) PIN is working before you leave home.
Boat & Clarke Quay's
Many options for dining along the picturesque historical river-front.
These gardens should be a must see for every visitor.
There are two main bus services - SBS (Singapore Bus Service) and TIBS
(Trans-Island Bus Service). It is easy to travel around using your EZ-Link
(stored value) card.
It operates from Mount Faber to the Harbourside (formerly called the World Trade) Centre and across to the Sentosa Island Cable Car station.
The currency is the Singapore Dollar ($, S$, SID). It is divided into 100cents.
Cruise Ship & Ferry Terminal
This is part of the Harbour Side complex. Star Cruises operate SuperStar Virgo etc out of Singapore to various ports in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and other destinations.
A number of fast boats provide frequent ferry services to the main islands etc in the Indonesian and Malaysia Archipelago. It reminds you of a small busy domestic airport with arrival and departure boards. Security and Identification control is in force.
Day & Night Tours
The following are some of the tours on offer:-
Eastern & Oriental Express
Enjoy a train journey through the heart of Asia. It takes you to destinations in Malaysia and Thailand.
A spectacular display of 8000 birds, 600 species. A very large collection
of Southeast Asian Birds. Escorted tours are available or just make your own
way there by the subway. Nearest MRT: Boon Lay.
Kuala Lumpur Excursions
Luxury Tours & Travel provide a 2Day/1Night Easy Package by luxury coach from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on a daily basis. It is an excellent way to see some of the Malaysian scenic countryside.
It is a colorful and lively ethnic area.
This is a themed alcove of eateries, cafes, retail and amusement areas. It is located at East Coast Park near the beaches. Taxi is the easiest option for visitors.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
The MRT is an excellent 'Metro' style railway system that covers many parts of the island state.
National Orchid Garden
These gardens should be on the "To Do" list of every visitor.
Night Safari - A Nocturnal Experience
The world's first and only Night Safari. Over 1200 animals from 100 nocturnal
species, roaming freely in over 40 hectares of lush tropical rainforest. It
is located at the Zoo. Nearest MRT: Choa Chu Kang.
Changi Airport Observation levels (public access). Meritus Mandarin Hotel 39th Floor & Swissotel The Stamford Hotel 69th floor. A special entry fee is charged after 9pm usually. Beware of the 'fashion police'.
The prime shopping district in Singapore. It contains a host of department stores/shopping malls, food outlets and some of the city's nightspots.
Parks & Gardens
The island is covered with a lush green vegetation. The warm humid climate and a regular rainfall keep the island
Some excellent picture books available about Singapore. Browse any or all of them.
This is one of the busiest ports in the world. You can expect to view anything up to 800 ships at anchor most weeks.
Public Housing Estates
Visit one of the many housing estates for a glimpse of another side to Singapore life. Use the MRT for a journey to Jurong East or Tampines.
This famous hotel complex is well worth a visit. Stop by the Long Bar for a Gin Sling or just take some photos.
Please do some research. Many excellent websites providing access to plenty of tourist information.
River Boat Tours
River = www.singaporeexplorer.com.sg
This is a great holiday location for all the family. Many fine beaches,
museums, aquarium and resorts with a variety of accommodation.
Shopping / Ethnic Districts
Numerous shopping centres/malls along Orchard Road / Marina Centre / Suntec City. Arab Street, Chinatown & Little India are three famous "market" area that can be explored by day or night. The Great World City complex is located close to the Singapore River area hotels.
SIA Hop-on Bus
This Singapore Airlines sponsored tram style bus is one of the best ways of discovering the main highlights of the Central part of Singapore. It has 19 stops on a full circuit and it takes about 120 minutes if you stay on board for a full trip.
This website has plenty of information about schedules and special promotions
in various countries / regions of the world.
Winter fun all year round. Lots of snow and various rides down the snow slopes. Nearest MRT: Jurong
Suntec City Mall
It is a complex of over 200 shops & 70 restaurants. It includes the Fountain of Wealth.
EZ-link (stored value) card is a very convenient method of getting around using buses and the MRT. The minimum price is S$15. This is made up of the S$5 card (refundable) plus S$10 travel. It is very easy to add value to the card at the numerous MRT stations etc.
"Three Perfect Days"
This is one of a series of articles published on 45+ destination cities
around the world. It is published by Hemispheres magazine and is available
on their website. Hemispheres is the inflight magazine of United Airlines.
Time and Date (World Clock)
To get the time & date for many International cities including Singapore.
Please visit this website.
Visit this website for info = www.visitsingapore.com
Please browse the Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Guide; the Insight Guide and the National Geographic Guide to Singapore. All have lots of information and numerous excellent photographs. Many other excellent travel guides available but with less photography.
Trolley Day Pass
Do NOT confuse with the SIA Hop On bus.
Visitor Information Centers
Brochures and maps available at the airport and the majority of hotels etc. There are four main visitor centre locations at Liang Court, Plaza Singapura, Suntec City and Tourism Court.
Weather - Singapore
This is a good source of information.
Huge Border's Book & Music store. Marks & Spencer are to be found in the same complex.
It contains an underwater viewing gallery and 28 hectares of Lush Jungle;
© Owen W O'Sullivan, 2004
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