What to Cover on a 5-Day Trip to Singapore
June 10, 2019
by Vaidehi Bulusu
One of the world’s most prosperous economies, a melting pot of myriad cultures, an unparalleled urban feat, the country that is popular for its food. Whatever you choose to call it, you must agree on one thing: that Singapore is a country that you visit at least once in your lifetime. The small island fits all of the previously given descriptions- but they don’t even begin to capture all that it encompasses. In this article, I will try my best to give an aerial view of the city while zooming in on some spectacular specifics, all based on my deeply personal- albeit short-lived- experience in the country. Writing this article is like reliving the sweet memories of over a year ago.
Let me start off by saying that Singapore is outright fascinating. It is a country that managed to, within a span of twelve years, transition from a poverty-stricken village to a financial powerhouse, one of the most popular tourist attractions, and a place that pretty much every middle-class Indian with a job in the IT sector emigrates to (speaking from first-hand observation). Jokes apart, the city distinctly portrays the values of diligence and perfection that the country holds so dear, as you may notice from the pictures I’ve attached below (excuse the amateur photography). Apart from tourist attractions, however, Singapore has a lot more to offer. The National University of Singapore is ranked highly not only in Singapore but also in the world (12th position globally). Additionally, the nickname ‘fine city’ goes some way towards commanding respect.
The first thing you’ll do arriving in Singapore for the first time is to visit the very first tourist attraction I recommend: the airport. And no, describing it as such is not an overstatement; the Changi airport is not just your traditional international airport with ritzy architecture and a multitude of restaurants. It also has a free movie theatre, a garden, a pool, and reflexology centres: all within the premises of the airport (I’d go to Singapore just to visit its airport). Don’t be surprised to find that the Changi airport has consistently been named the world’s best airport.
The Singapore City: An Overview
As you reluctantly leave the airport and enter the charming city, you will not be disappointed. The city may not be easy on your body with its year-round humid temperatures, but it definitely is on your eyes. Every nook and corner of the city is immaculate and adorned with greenery, and at every turn of the street, there is a building to be marvelled at. Be it the view of the Marina Bay Sands or the Vivo City shopping mall, you will turn to take another look and click a picture.
The Boat Ride
If you would like to experience the city and get an overview of it while being comfortably seated, I recommend that you take the bumboat ride along the Singapore river. The boat ride is offered at the Clarke Quay and gives you a glimpse of some of the most iconic Singaporean landmarks. As you begin your journey, you may see the Merlion statue with the classic Fullerton hotel and a group of skyscrapers as its backdrop- a blend of the historic and modern.
The boat also cruises along the Marina Bay Sands hotel (the sixth largest in Asia), the Esplanade, the Theatres by the Bay, and the enormous lotus structure of the state-of-the-art Art Science museum. Not only will you witness the modern architectural innovation that Singapore embraces, but you will also see the historic bridges and hotels constructed over a century ago by the Britishers.
Universal Studios is one of the most fun experiences you will have in Singapore. Modelled after the original one in California, US, it offers around 30 rides and shows, capturing virtually every fictional world and character in Disney. It is one of the many attractions in the Resorts World Sentosa, located in Sentosa Island.
At the beginning of your journey, you will be given a map detailing every location, ride and show that the venue offers- try to cover everything on the map. You will also find that there is no dearth of restaurants at Universal Studios. There are many restaurants- many of them themed- which serve everything from pizza to local delicacies.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay Get ready to walk for miles as you traverse the Gardens by the Bay and explore the many tourist attractions it has to offer. It currently houses two conservatories- the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest- which contain a plethora of flora and vegetation. It is pure heaven for horticultural enthusiasts and is sure to convert many who aren’t. Flora from all across the world is cultivated- from the Madagascar baobab to the Japanese sakura. Oh, and don’t forget to purchase souvenirs from the shop right outside the exit.
One of the most iconic parts of the architecture in the Gardens by the Bay is the ‘supertrees.’ These are 25-50 meter tall trees that harbour tropical flowers and ferns along a steel framework. The building of these unique structures was a part of Singapore’s effort to cultivate plantation, especially plantation from foreign lands. While they are just as striking to look at in the morning, they look even better in the evening, when they light up in an array of colours.
As a side note, here are a few of the other attractions you shouldn’t miss:
- The Madame Tussauds Museum
- The aquarium in Sentosa
- The Skyride
- The ArtScience Museum.
Of course, this article doesn’t even begin to summarise the variety of the experiences that Singapore allows you to have, but it was an attempt to inform you about just a few. I hope any of the readers who visit the country will get as much out of it as I did.
Note: All the images are owned by the author of this article.