Friday, August 25, 2017


This would be my second visit to Singapore, after exactly ten years. Singapore is a perfect home base for a south east Asia trip. Its modern and well connected to other popular tourist cities. We chose Singapore as our final destination in this trip as we got a great deal on the direct flight from Singapore to San Francisco. Here is our brief itinerary. Note that this was my second visit and we weren't interested in typically touristy things that Singapore has to offer for first time visitors. Scroll down to "What else to do" for those options.
Day 0 - Arrive
Day 1 - City sightseeing
Day 2 - City sightseeing
Day 3 - Fly out

When to go

Singapore has perfect weather all year round. It is a multi cultural city and makes for a perfect stop over no matter what your destination is. Singapore does get some rain in the months of August- September, but they weren't too bad for us as we were visiting in August and weather for absolutely pleasant.

How to get around

Metro train or bus is the best option. But we didn't buy a day pass as the number of trips we were making were not as many and it wouldn't have been economical. So we decided to pay per trip. Also, it may be easier to get single trip passes from the ticket counter than the vending machines.

Day 0

We landed around 7 pm in the evening. And instead of taking Metro, we decided to Uber to our hotel. We were staying at Rendezvous Hotel and getting an Uber was pretty convenient for the airport had designated Uber waiting and pick up areas. Once we checked into our hotel and settled in, we decided to head out for dinner. Singapore being a food lover's paradise had plenty of options. Yelp is a good place to search. We ended up at the Anglo Indian Cafe in Chijmes. Chijmes was a popular place with many cafes offering many different cuisines. You can simply come here for food hopping! Food was about average and we then headed back to the hotel. The walk wasn't too long and we ended up walking through a park which had some kind of exhibit or a festival going on. It was lovely and it was energizing to see such a young crowd everywhere.

Day 1

Our first stop today would be a brunch place recommended by our very dear friend, Roohi who had lived in Singapore for good 5 years. So, we headed out to Marche. The place was an absolute delight. It had different counters with different foods and you could get everything added to your tab and pay later. And food was excellent, plus you could taste plenty of things without having to order full portions of everything. I loved this concept. I wonder why we don't have something similar here in US yet!
Marche @ Somerset

Gardens by the bay
Up next was the customary visit to the Merlion statue. We took a few touristy pictures and then headed to a nearby office, where another friend, Anu was working. After meeting her, we decided to walk down to Marina Bay sands. It was lovely to see how so many runners took to this area as the evening set it. Lovely walk to the Marina Bay Sands, but the malls here were too overwhelming. Nothing that I would buy from such high priced brands.
Next, we navigated our way to the elevator to take up to the connecting bridge to walk down to the Garden by bay.
Both Marina Bay sands and Gardens by the bay have evening shows. So, we headed to Garden by the bay first.
Marina Bay Sands
It was about 20 minutes of walk in all. But the views were very pretty from the connecting bridge. We took some pretty pictures. But we didn't get tickets to the elevator or to the bridge in the Garden because we had missed the last entry time. But we waited for the show to begin. There was a cloud forest nearby which also had good reviews, but having seen quite a few rainforests in real and at California Academy of Sciences, this didn't interest us much.
The crowd swelled up for the show and people started looking for places to sit and watch. We too found ourselves a spot and waited for the show to begin. It was typical music and lights show which was interesting at first bu then became monotonous. so we headed back to the Marina Bay Sands after a few minutes.
Here we found ourselves a spot to watch this show, which was a water, light and sound show. Similar to the other water and sound shows we had seen in the past. So, after spending some time here taking pictures, we headed out to some place for dinner. The mall also had a food court which had plenty of options btw. We had some snacks here but had some room for dinner.
We headed to Vatos which was a Korean-Mexican fusion, and it was excellent. Highly recommend this restaurant. After stuffing ourselves with good good food, we went back to our hotel and it was TV time!

Day 2

Today we started with breakfast as Toby's as were meeting Anu here. I had mini pancakes and this place was good. Then, we headed to Chinatown for some souvenir shopping. Chinatown is just the same,no matter which county you are in. It was so hot, that we headed to our hotel for an afternoon break and decided to head out a little later in the evening.
First stop was Bugis Mall, but I didn't get too enticed to shop. So, we headed to Clark Quay. Right across the Quay was mall, which had a food court. So we headed right to the NomVNom burger place. Best vegetarian burgers outside India. Loved there veggie potato croquette burgers. Then we headed to the Orchard street was some strolling around and shopping. After a few hours, it was time to head back to our hotel.
Clark Quay

Day 3

Our flight was scheduled for early morning. So, we figured it was best to get an Uber at that time. At the airport itself, there was an excellent south Indian restaurant and I stuffed myself full with delicious dosa and sambhar before boarding the flight.

What else to do

  • Sentosa Island is a full one day trip and a lot of fun with Dolphin show, museum and sound and light show to offer
  • Night Safari here is very popular. It starts at night, so it can be easily clubbed with another activity during the day
  • Singapore has its very own Universal Studios now. So, you don't have to head out to US for visiting one.
  • Singapore Zoo is also popular, if you are going with the kids, perhaps.
  • Jurong bird park is another popular pick with tourists