A Weekend in Singapore
With budget flights to Singapore from around southeast Asia, a weekend in Singapore is a realistic travel plan from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond. The city is known for its fabulous food and plenty of attractions for visitors. Although it consistently ranks near the top of world’s most expensive cities, if you travel the right way, Singapore can be a good value for travelers.
Accommodation can be expensive in Singapore if you don’t do research. Staying in a hostel is a good way to save money. Another good option if you have two of more travelers is by sharing an apartment in Singapore. Most likely your accommodation choice will be situated nearby a metro station. The Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is an excellent and economical way to get around the city. Most importantly it connects you quickly and cheaply to Changi Airport. After you’re settled into your room, head out to a hawker center to dig into some char kway teow.
Take a relaxing morning, enjoying a kaya toast and coffee. This Singapore’s morning treat along with soft boiled eggs which can be enjoyed at the original Ya Kun or Killiney Kopitiam, both which have become local chains. After breakfast head to Gardens by the Bay, a large park built on reclaimed land.
There are two massive conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, one is the cloud forest and the other is the flower dome. There are also the super trees and the skywalk. I’m not normally a fan of these types of attractions, but believe me, they are pretty awesome. After that, walk next door to the Marina Bay Sands hotel to get a view from the top. The viewing deck is expensive but you can also get a drink at the bar and enjoy the view for free. (Or just go up to look at the menu and pretend you’re interested in getting a drink.)
By this time you’ll need to get inside to get relief in the air conditioning of one of many malls in Singapore. Luckily there are good food courts inside the malls where you can grab a bite to eat. Normally there is a good selection of Asian foods as well as western. Something to make everyone happy.
At this time the sun will be less hot and you can stop by the nearby Merlion to get the obligatory photo before taking the river walk towards Clarke Quay. Clarke Quay is a popular spot for evening drinks, but if you’re looking for something a little more local, head over to Little India. There are lots of great eats over there, mostly of the southern Indian variety, and a Hindu temple to pop into as well.
Spend the morning walking around Chinatown. This isn’t just about Chinese culture, there is a vibrant Hindu temple and mosque here, as well as the very active Budda Tooth Relic temple. Make sure you visit the garden on the roof. Outside the temple, old men are playing chess and this area is a great place get some souvenirs and eat snacks. My favorite is the medicinal “cooling” herbal tea sold outside one traditional medicine shop. Grab a meal at the enormous cooked food center on the second floor across from the temple.
After filling yourself on bak kut teh or chicken rice, head over to the Southern Ridges. This is my favorite walk in the city. A few trails connect on the ridge for views overlooking the city. The highlight is crossing the Henderson Waves Bridge. It will be hot, but most of the walk is shaded. But bring lots of water and watch out for the monkeys!
That will lead up to your flight back home. Plan another trip back because there’s plenty more to do on another weekend in Singapore.