So how do you squeeze your trip to Singapore in just three days?
My friends and I spent three whole days in Singapore over the weekend. We had so many places we wanted to visit. Due to time constraint, we had to make sure not to waste our time wandering around and getting lost. We carefully planned our itinerary and bought entrance tickets to theme parks online to save time from queuing. Squeezing all the places in three days was not easy, but we still managed. With Singapore's efficient subway system, it was very easy to get around the city. The place was unbelievably clean that I could wear sandals or flip flops without my feet getting dirty.
If you're planning to stay in Singapore for a few days, I strongly advise you to plan ahead to get the most out of your short vacation. Continue reading to learn more about some of Singapore's greatest attractions. I hope you'll have as much fun as we had in Singapore.
All images are owned by me unless otherwise stated.
We arrived in Singapore at midday. My exhaustion quickly faded when I stepped into Changi Airport. The place was huge and clean. Near the exit, we found a booth that sold tickets to different theme parks. We bought some of our tickets there at slightly cheaper prices. We asked for the quickest way to get to our hostel in Chinatown, and we were told to rent a shuttle bus that arrives for more or less every 30 minutes.
We had the entire mini bus for ourselves and we filled up all the chairs in it (we were charged SG$60 for the six of us). It was a short drive and I spotted the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands along the way. We finally reached Wink Hostel in Chinatown. I always had the impression that Chinatown was a bustling place. However, the area was unexpectedly quiet when we arrived. The stores were not yet opened for business. Since we were hours earlier than the check-in time, our room was not yet ready. The hostel staff was kind enough to let us leave our bags in our room. We quickly changed to flip-flops and headed to Adventure Cove!
the view from the bus window
Adventure Cove Water Park
The Adventure Cove is one of the attractions in Sentosa Island. We bought our tickets outside the Sentosa train station. Unfortunately, our trip fell on a weekend so the park was jammed with people. Based on my research, spending half a day in the park is more than enough to enjoy all the attractions. But since we were going to Night Safari later that day, we didn't get to try all the rides.
The queues in the shower room were painfully long. Some of us were forced to shower in the same cubicle to save time. The locker room is just a few steps from the shower rooms. Lockers are available in big and small sizes. The big ones are quite roomy and can store things for three people. No keys are needed for the lockers. There's one computer in each row and you just have to enter your password to unlock your locker.
The slides looked really popular. We managed to try one of them. We climbed several flights of stairs to the top of the slide as we carried our rafts. Cameras had to be left in the shelves near the foot of the stairs. My group went by twos, and the heavier ones got to sit at the back portion of the raft. The initial plunge was a bit steep for me, but it was awesome!
We also went to the Rainbow Reef, a place where you can swim with different species of fish. In case you're wondering, there are no sharks and piranhas there and the fish are pretty harmless. Each of us was provided with a life jacket (available in different sizes) and a snorkel. The water felt extremely cold. I tried to swim (I can't swim by the way) and panicked when the water felt too deep. My sister chickened out too and both of us headed for the exit. So my sister and I wasted almost an hour of waiting in line just to chicken out in the end. We should have listened when a staff told us that only swimmers can go in because non-swimmers tend to panic.
There are several outdoor showers around the park. It's pretty convenient especially if you're someone who wants to rinse yourself after each dip in the pool. I even saw a guy who was taking a real shower there (with soap and shampoo) so he didn't have to queue in the shower room.
the cat eye logo at the entrance
It was a long drive to Night Safari. The taxi driver told us that it is actually near the Malaysia-Singapore border crossing. I fell asleep in the cab, but I guess it probably took us around 30 minutes to reach there. The zoo opens at 7pm.
We were thinking of eating outside the zoo to save money. However, the place was isolated and there was nothing much to see there. So in we went. We were starving so we walked straight to Bongo Burgers inside the zoo entrance. As expected, the food inside the park were overpriced. I had pasta (can't remember if it was a Turkey pasta or something else) which was really delicious. We bought a tall bottle of mango slushie sold in a store nearby.
my pasta (left) and my sister's burger
With full stomachs, we were ready for our adventure. We took the guided tram that lasted for several minutes. We saw animals that are typically seen in zoos - deer, giraffes, tigers, lions. After that, we took the walking trails. They were so much fun! The pitch darkness and the occasional roar of the tiger in the background add thrill to your experience. I'm not talking about roars coming from a speaker. It was a real roar from a real tiger caged somewhere. I was thinking of an escape route in case a huge feline somehow got out and jumped from the bushes.
It's tough to take pictures in the dark
this guy here is the clearest photo that I got at Night Safari
There are so much more animals to see in the walking trails, and you'll get to see them more closely. In some trails, you have to walk through a hanging bridge. A few times, we were flown over by bats that almost gave me a heart attack. It was kind of scary so I won't recommend walking solo!
Universal Studios Singapore
There are a few ways to reach Universal Studios. We wanted to enjoy the nice view along the way so we chose the Boardwalk/Travellator route. The route is shaded so don't worry about constantly being soaked under the sun (though you still have to apply sunscreen). We walked for around 30 minutes.
the travellators at Sentosa Boardwalk
some areas are not roofed but the trees keep you cool!
Seeing the iconic globe made my heart skip a bit. Several people were taking pictures in front of it. It took us a while before we got the shots we wanted.
We were in Hollywood area which reminded me of Disneyland's Main Street. It looked like a mini town with shops and restaurants lined up in the street. We went there prepared and knew exactly which rides to take first. We hurried to the Transformers ride and amazingly, the line was already long. The ride lasted for about 5 minutes. It was one of the best rides in my life! For a few minutes, I felt like I was really in the movie (of course, I'm one of the good guys). The cool ride was pure awesomeness and everyone gave it a two thumbs up!
Best. Ride. Ever. Don't miss it!
We had lunch at Starbot Cafe. Nothing special. The serving was enough to keep me going for the day.
my not so special lunch - chicken teriyaki
The next stop was the Battlestar Galactica, the world's tallest duel roller coaster. Not all of us wanted to ride a roller coaster, so it felt like I'd achieved something by taking this ride! My buddies didn't expect that I'd take the challenge. It was probably the safety net that made me braver.
Update: In April 2014, the attraction has been closed indefinitely due to some design problems. I hope the park will replace it with a better and much safer roller coaster.
Battlestar Galactica, the tallest duel roller coaster in the world
I didn't expect that I'd take another roller coaster - Revenge of the Mummy. It's an indoor roller coaster that runs slower than Battlestar but felt twice as fast to me. It had several drops that left me feeling dizzy afterwards. We left the bags in the locker which would be free if we came back within 45 minutes. Sadly, the queue to Revenge of the Mummy was long so we got back 10 minutes late. We had to pay SG$10 per locker for the excess minutes.
We watched Monster Rock (which I didn't really enjoy), Waterworld (Great show and I'm glad I didn't get wet!), and Shrek 4D (fun and can be enjoyed by people of all ages). We didn't get to take pictures with any character because of the occasional showers. Nevertheless, we pretty much went to every attraction and rides that we liked, except for the rides in The Lost World that had been closed because of the rain.
We spent the next few hours shopping! I bought cute knick-knacks - Gingy picture frame with a magnet and some earrings. The plush toys are really cute, but they are expensive and I don't need them anyway, so I just took their pictures. :) Before we went back to our hostel, we went to the Information to claim our free meal voucher. It was the freebie we got for purchasing the tickets with Mastercard. We ordered a scoop of ice cream for each of us and paid the remaining 50 cent. It was yummy and very filling! We went home smiling.
Gingy picture frame
my 50-cent chocolate ice cream
Our adventure didn't end there. After we retrieved our umbrellas from our hostel, we took the MRT to Harbour Front to go to the world's highest ferris wheel as of this writing - the Singapore Flyer. One turn takes 30 minutes. We didn't need to ask for directions as we could already see it from the MRT station. We walked for several minutes until we reached the three-storey mall that is the base of the ferris wheel.
saw this on our way to the ferris wheel terminal
The capsule is huge and could fit a dozen people. As an acrophobic, I stayed on the bench in the middle and didn't dare to move, while the rest walked around the capsule to take nice pictures of the night view. The fact that everything was transparent (except for the floor) adds to the fear factor. The capsule is rather stable. When it was descending, I started to feel more comfortable and eventually left my seat. I'm glad I did. It's not everyday that I could see a clear view of Singapore from such altitude.
the capsule is larger than the ones in ordinary ferris wheels
We are slowly ascending. Oh dear.
Look! We're higher than the buildings!
The view is truly breathtaking.
This is the last day of our trip. Our flight home was by midnight. We spent most of the day doing our last-minute shopping at Orchard Road. One of the malls we visited was the Takashimaya. We missed the annual mega sale that takes place between May and July in the city. Since the prices that time are a bit higher than where I'm from, I just window-shopped. I enjoyed shopping at the grocery stores. I was told that the chocolates cost less in Singapore, so I bought several packs home.
some stuff I got from the supermarket
the iconic Merlion
Our trip to Singapore wouldn't be complete without visiting the iconic Merlion. Admission is free so you shouldn't miss this place. We took the train to Raffles Place station and walked for a few minutes to the park. From there, we could also see other famous landmarks such as the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. It was a perfect spot for picture-taking.
the Marina Bay Sands
the Esplanade, similar to the fruit durian
I need to mention that we had dinner at Makansutra just a few minutes walk from Merlion Park. It was only there that we get to eat authentic Singaporean food. We had cereal prawns, chicken satay, chicken wings, and seafood friend rice. It was the most filling dinner I'd had in Singapore.
The food we feasted on: (clockwise from top left) cereal prawns,
chicken satay, seafood fried rice, and white chicken
Finally, we had to leave for the airport. A friend told us that Changi airport is very efficient and the line is quick so going there one hour before the flight is more than enough. After check-in, we had a bit of time for shopping. The shops were not as many as in Hong Kong airport, but shopping was still nice. Make sure not to go inside the gate too early because there are no shops in there. Free wifi is available in the airport. I was glad to chat with my parents before we boarded the plane.
After three days of happiness in Singapore, I'd say that I'd love to go back there some day. It's very clean and safe. Getting around is very easy, which is very important to me. It's a tourist-friendly city since locals can speak English and/or Mandarin. Singapore has something for everyone. Children and adventure-seeking adults can go to theme parks and zoos. Shopaholics can enjoy shopping in Orchard Road, Mustafa, or Chinatown. Foodies can go food-tripping (though regretfully, we didn't get to do that much). I still have a positive balance in my EZ Link Card and I hope I can use it up before it expires!
© Rainy Kua 2014. All Rights Reserved.