Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city

with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences and a tropical climate, with tasty food, good shopping and a vibrant night-life scene, this Island/Garden City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region of South East Asia.

 

Singapore has a partly deserved reputation for sterile predictability that has earned it descriptions like William Gibson’s “Disneyland with the death penalty” or the “world’s only shopping mall with a seat in the United Nations”. Nevertheless, the Switzerland of Asia is for many a welcome respite from the poverty, dirt, chaos, and crime of much of the Southeast Asian mainland, and if you scratch below the squeaky clean surface and get away from the tourist trail you’ll soon find more than meets the eye.

“World’s Disneyland”

Singaporean food is legendary, with bustling hawker centres and 24-hour coffee shops offering cheap food from all parts of Asia, and shoppers can bust their baggage allowances in shopping centres like Orchard Road and Suntec City. In recent years some societal restrictions have also loosened up, and now you can bungee jump and dance on bar tops all night long, although alcohol is still very pricey and chewing gum can only be bought from a pharmacy for medical use.

DSC_0219

50 years ago, this place (the size of Andheri and Bandra perhaps), was a simple fishing village with modest future plans. The British had just freed them, and no one cared much about it. Fast Forward to now, after a 40-year reign by Singapore’s ruling party, and influx of Indian and Filipino labour, and Singapore finds itself among the most elitist cities on Earth.

Fun fact : Among the plethora of things banned in Singapore, included are Handcuffs (including the Pink and Fuzzy kind), Chewing Gum, feeding pigeons, playing musical instruments publicly, flying a kite, connecting to someone’s WiFi, drugs attract a death penalty.

50thingssg2-jpg.jpg

To and Fro

The country is one of the easiest to access due to it less stringent entry laws, and proximity to a lot of other countries. Flying is the only way to get to Singapore, unless you’re coming from Malaysia by road, or a yacht (which will also come via Malaysia).

Changi Intl Airport

This one of the fastest and well-organised airports I have been to, and is christened as the “Airport of the World.”

PostImage-Changi-Airport.jpg

(bittenbythetravelbug.com)

 

Making sense of which terminal your flight touches base in or leaves from can be confusing: for instance, Singapore Airlines utilizes both T2 and T3, and just reports the entry terminal two hours before landing. Luckily exchanges are entirely simple, as the three fundamental terminals are associated with the free Skytrain service, which is completely free and easily to access. Terminal 1 is physically connected with Terminals 2 and 3.  By walking that you will not notice you’re in a different terminal except by reading the signs. Your departing terminal is more straightforward as Singapore Airlines designates T2 as departures for destinations in South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa while all other destinations will use T3. When you return to the airport and are leaving Singapore via Singapore Airlines, be sure to at least tell the driver your destination so he knows which terminal to take you to.

Not at all like most different airplane terminals, there are no different zones for leaving and arriving travelers in the principle terminals before visa control subsequently arriving travelers are allowed to shop and eat at the airside foundations in the event that they are not in a rush to meet somebody or catch prearranged transportation. Also, on the off chance that they have no gear checked-in from their purpose of birthplace, they can clear identification control at whatever other terminal.

In the event that you have more than 5 hours to kill, as a result of a layover there are free city visits five times each day leaving from the airplane terminal. To enroll for any of the visits, basically approach the staff at the Free Singapore Tours (FST) Registration Booth situated in:

Terminal 2: Near the lifts to North Arrival Immigration and Skytrain station at Transit Mall North, Level 2 (Near Transfer Lounge E)

Terminal 3: Next to Transfer Lounge B at Transit Mall North, level 2

In the event that you are at Terminal 1, you can continue to Terminal 2 for enlistment.

Regardless of the possibility that stuck in the air terminal, there are a lot of approaches to kill time, as every terminal has a special configuration and the airside zones of T1, T2, and T3 are attractions in themselves. T2, seemingly the most fascinating, has an indoor greenery enclosure, a music listening range with love seats and state of mind lighting, a PC gaming room, a little motion picture theater, paid back rub administrations, and obviously a lot of obligation free shops. T3, the most up to date, has a butterfly patio nursery and a lot of common light, however less excitement alternatives. T1 has a swimming pool for $13.91 and jacuzzi, both open until 23:00. You can go between the principle terminals without going through migration and, in the event that you have no handled in gear to gather, you can clear travel permit control and traditions at any terminal.

In all terminals, web access is sans given of charge, both remotely and by means of exactly 200 terminals and stands, there are some Xbox frameworks set up to keep gamers entertained, and there’s live parlor music now and again. There are additionally SingTel and Starhub payphones that offer boundless free neighborhood calls. ATMs flourish and cash changers offer sensible rates too, in spite of the fact that you pay a little premium contrasted with the city. Sustenance alternatives are fluctuated and for the most part sensibly evaluated, with some decision picks including the Peranakan-themed Soup Restaurant (T2 landside), which serves a great deal more than simply soup, and Sakae Sushi (T2 airside). In case you’re up for a little enterprise, search out the staff container at level 3M of the auto park by T2, it’s interested in people in general (with rebates for air terminal staff) and serves neighborhood nourishment. It is generally shoddy contrasted with other sustenance choices in the air terminal however not precisely modest contrasted with somewhere else in Singapore. There are additionally staff flasks in Terminals 1 and 3.

After the exit, you may :

Use Airport Shuttle to get to one of the designated hotels. Available 24*7. Cost – 9SGD.

Hail a Taxi. Flat cost of 50SGD for any location.

Metro. Board at T2, change at Tanah Merah for city bound trains.

 

INTER CITY TRANSPORT

Getting around Singapore is easy: the public transportation system is extremely easy to use and taxis are reasonably priced when you can get one. Very few visitors rent cars.Gothere.sg does a pretty good job of figuring out the fastest route by MRT and bus and even estimating taxi fares between any two points.

If you are staying in Singapore for some time or are planning to return to Singapore several times in the future, the EZ-LINK contactless RFID farecard or a Nets Flash Paycard might be a worthwhile purchase. Those who are familiar with Hong Kong’s Octopus card, London Underground’s Oyster card, Washington DC’s SmarTrip card or Japan Railway’s IC cards will quickly understand the concept of the EZ-link and NETS FlashPay card. You can store value on it and use it on the MRT trains as well as all city buses at a 15% discount. The card costs $12, including $7 stored value, and the card can be “topped up” in increments of at least $10 at the farecard vending machines or 7-Eleven stores (the latter will allow a top-up for a convenience fee). You can use the same card for 5 years. The card technology was changed in 2009, but if you have any old cards lying around, they can be exchanged for free with value intact at TransitLink offices in all MRT stations.

Alternatively, the Singapore Tourist Pass available at selected major MRT stations (including Changi Airport and Orchard) also includes ez-link card functionality and a variety of discounts for attractions. The pass includes unlimited travel on MRT and non-premium buses

METRO

Trains that are the main trunk of Singapore’s transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation, and the network covers most points of interest for the visitor. EZ-link or Nets FlashPay farecards (described above) are the easiest and most popular ways to use the MRT. All lines are seamlessly integrated, even if the lines are operated by different transport companies, so you do not need to buy a new ticket to transfer. All train lines use contactless RFID tickets. Just tap to scan your train ticket at the gantry when entering and exiting the train service area. Single-trip tickets are purchased from ticket machines located before the gantries and cost from $0.80 to $2.20. A $0.10 deposit is charged when purchasing a new ticket card. The deposit is refunded in double through a $0.10 fare reduction each on the 3rd and 6th trip made with the card. To load a new ticket onto an existing card at a ticket machine, just place it on the designated spot and follow the on-screen instructions.

MRTmap1.jpg

 

BUS

Buses connect various corners of Singapore, but are slower and harder to use than the MRT. The advantage though of this is you get to see the sights rather than a dark underground tunnel at a low price. You can pay cash (coins) in buses, but the fare stage system is quite complex (it’s easiest to ask the driver for the price to your destination), you are charged marginally more and there is no provision for getting change. Payment with ez-link or Nets Flashpay card is thus the easiest method: tap your card against the reader at the front entrance of the bus when boarding, and a maximum fare is deducted from the card. When you alight, tap your card again at the exit, and the difference is refunded. Make sure you tap out, or you’ll end up paying the maximum fare!

 

TAXI

Taxis use meters and are reasonably priced and honest, however, a shortage of taxis in Singapore means that they are often unavailable for hours at a time. Outside weekday peak hours, trips within the city centre should not cost you more than $10 and even a trip right across the island from Changi to Jurong will not break the $35 mark. If you are in a group of 3 or 4, it’s sometimes cheaper and faster to take a taxi than the MRT. Be aware, however, that taxis are often remarkably difficult to secure, especially during peak commute or shopping hours, or when there is inclement weather. During these times it can be impossible to get through to a booking agent via telephone, and you can expect extended waits in taxi queues. There is a puzzling lack of action to address this persistent and frustrating taxi shortage.

P.S – Some cabbies may also ask you which route you want to take; most are satisfied with “whichever way is faster”. LOL.

 

FOOT

Singapore is generally fairly ‘pedestrian-friendly’. In the main business district and on main roadways, pavements and pedestrian crossings are in good shape and plentiful. Drivers are mindful of marked crossing zones, but are less likely be aware or respectful of pedestrians crossing at street corners on less busy streets where pedestrian crossings are not marked, even though by law any accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle is presumed to be the driver’s fault. In residential areas of Singapore, pedestrians can be frustrated by narrow and poorly-maintained pavements that often jump from one side of the street to the other or just disappear, and frequently are obstructed by trash cans and plantings. An unavoidable downside, though, is the tropical heat and humidity, which leaves many visitors sweaty and exhausted, so bring along a handkerchief and a bottle of water. It’s best to get an early start, pop into air-conditioned shops, cafes, and museums to cool off, and plan on heading back to the shopping mall or hotel pool before noon. Alternatively, after sundown, evenings can also be comparatively cool.

 

900px-Singapore-overview.png

STAY

Unless you’re a shopping maven intent on maximizing time in Orchard Road’s shopping malls, the Riverside is probably the best place to stay in Singapore. Accommodation in Singapore is expensive by South-East Asian standards. Particularly in the higher price brackets, demand has been outstripping supply recently and during big events like the F1 race or some of the larger conventions it’s not uncommon for pretty much everything to sell out.

Cheap hotels are clustered in the Geylang, Balestier and Little India districts, where they service mostly the type of customer who rents rooms by the hour. Rooms are generally small and not fancy, but are still clean and provide basic facilities like a bathroom and television. Prices start as low as $15 for a “transit” of a few hours and $40 for a full night’s stay. A good number of these value for money hotels conveniently linked by local transport are on Balestier Road.

Much of Singapore’s mid-range accommodation is in rather featureless but functional older hotels, with a notable cluster near the western end of the Singapore River. There has, however, been a recent surge of “boutique” hotels in renovated shophouses here and in Chinatown and these can be pretty good value, with rates starting from $100/night.

 

EAT

Singapore is a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, and many Singaporeans are obsessive gourmands who love to makan (“eat” in Malay). You will find quality Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Italian, French, American and other food in this city-state.

Eating habits run the gamut, but most foods are eaten by fork and spoon: push and cut with the fork in the left hand, and eat with the spoon in the right. Noodles and Chinese dishes typically come with chopsticks, while Malay and Indian food can be eaten by hand, but nobody will blink an eye if you ask for a fork and spoon instead. If eating by hand, always use your right hand to pick your food, as Malays and Indians traditionally use their left hand to handle dirty things.

 

Keep an eye out for the Singapore Food Festival, held every year in July. During the last three festivals, all visitors to Singapore smart enough to ask for them at any tourist information desk received coupons for free chilli crab, no strings attached!

 

SINGAPOREAN

  • Chilli crab is a whole crab ladled with oodles of sticky, tangy chilli sauce. It’s spicy at first, but the more you eat, the better it gets. Notoriously difficult to eat, so don’t wear a white shirt: just dig in with your hands and ignore the mess. The seafood restaurants of the East Coast are famous for this. Be sure to get a side order of fried mantou (small sweet buns which have been deep fried for a crisp exterior) to mop up the sauce too. For a less messy but equally tasty alternative, ask for black pepper crab.

images (3).jpg

 

  • Kaya is a jam-like spread made from egg and coconut, an odd-sounding but tasty combination. Served on toast for breakfast, canonically accompanied by runny eggs and strong, sweet coffee (kopi). Exists in two distinctive styles; the greenish Nonya version, coloured with pandan leaf, and the brownish Hainanese version.

 

kaya-souvenir.jpg

Alligators prefer the green Kaya version. Cause, Algae.

  • Laksa, in particular the Katong laksa or laksa lemak style, is probably the best-known Singaporean dish: white noodles in a creamy, immensely rich coconut-based curry broth, topped with cockles or shrimp. Be warned that the common style found in hawker centres is very spicy, although you can ask for less/no chilli to dial down the heat. The Katong style is much less spicy and is generally found only in Katong itself (see the East Coast page). Singapore laksa is very different from Penang laksa, which is a spicy, sourish, clear soup made with a tamarind-infused broth.

 

thumb_600.jpg

  • Mee siam is rice flour noodles served in a sweet-sour soup (made from tamarind, dried shrimp and fermented beans), bean curd cubes, and hard boiled eggs. Though the Chinese, Malays and Indians all have their own versions, it is the Peranakan version that is most popular with Singaporeans. You will largely find this at Malay stalls.

 

MALAY

  • Mee rebus is a dish of egg noodles with spicy, slightly sweet gravy, a slice of hard boiled egg and lime.
  • Mee soto is Malay-style chicken soup, with a clear broth, shredded chicken breast and egg noodles.
bedokfoodcenter_meesoto1.jpg

beedok.sg

  • Nasi lemak is the definitive Malay breakfast, consisting at its simplest of rice cooked in light coconut milk, some ikan bilis(anchovies), peanuts, a slice of cucumber and a dab of chilli on the side. A larger ikan kuning (fried fish) or chicken wing are common accompaniments. More often than not, also combined with a variety of curries and/or sambal (see below)

banana2015-06-24 13.07.09.jpg

 

A more picturesque image is –

nasi-lemak.jpg

playbuzz.com

 

  • Otah/Otak is a type of fish cake made of minced fish (usually mackerel), coconut milk, chilli and various other spices, and grilled in a banana or coconut leaf, usually served to accompany other dishes like nasi lemak.
  • Rendang, occasionally dubbed “dry curry”, is meat stewed for hours on end in a spicy (but rarely fiery) coconut-based curry paste until almost all water is absorbed. Beef rendang is the most common, although chicken and mutton are spotted sometimes.

 

beef-rendang.jpg

  • Sambal is the generic term for chilli sauces of many kinds. Sambal belacan is a common condiment made by mixing chilli with the shrimp paste belacan, while the popular dish sambal sotong consists of squid (sotong) cooked in red chilli sauce.

 

DURIAN

Durian is not exactly a dish, but a local fruit with distinctive odor you can smell a mile away and a sharp thorny husk. Both smell and taste defy description. If you are game enough you should try it, but be warned beforehand — you will either love it or hate it. The rich creamy yellow flesh is often sold in places like Geylang and Bugis and elsewhere conveniently in pre-packaged packs, for anywhere from $1 for a small fruit all the way up to $24/kg depending on the season and type of durian. This ‘king of fruits’ is also made into ice cream, cakes, sweets, puddings and other decadent desserts. Note: You’re not allowed to carry durians on the MRT and buses and they’re banned from many hotels.

IMG_1116.JPG

CHINESE

  • Chee cheong fun is a favorite breakfast consisting of lasagna-type rice noodles rolled up and various types of fried meats including fishballs and fried tofu. The dish is usually topped with a generous amount of sauce.
  • Chwee kway  is a breakfast dish consisting of rice cakes topped with chai po (salted fermented turnips), usually served with some chilli sauce.
  • Fishball noodles come in many forms, but the noodle variety most often seen is mee pok, which are flat egg noodles. The noodles are tossed in chilli sauce and accompanied by a side bowl of fishballs in soup.
  • Hainanese chicken rice is steamed (“white”) or roasted (“red”) chicken flavoured with soy sauce and sesame oil served on a bed of fragrant rice that has been cooked in chicken broth and flavoured with ginger and garlic. Often accompanied by chilli sauce made from crushed fresh chillis, ginger, garlic and thick dark soy sauce as well as some cucumber and a small bowl of chicken broth.

img01350-20101103-1245.jpg

  • Hokkien mee is a style of soupy fried noodles in light, fragrant stock with prawns and other seafood. Oddly, it bears little resemblance to the Kuala Lumpur dish of the same name, which uses thick noodles in dark soy, or even the Penang version, which is served in very spicy soup.
  • Kway chap is essentially sheets made of rice flour served in a brown stock, accompanied by a plate of braised pork and pig organs (tongue, ear and intestines).
  • Prawn noodles are a dark-brown prawn broth served with egg noodles and a giant tiger prawn or two on top. Some stalls serve it with boiled pork ribs as well. The best versions are highly addictive and will leave you slurping up the last MSG-laden (probably from the shrimp heads) drops.
  • Steamboat  also known as hot pot, is do-it-yourself soup Chinese style. You get a pot of broth bubbling on a tabletop burner, pick meat, fish and veggies to your liking from a menu or buffet table, then cook it to your liking. When finished, add in noodles or ask for rice to fill you up. This usually requires a minimum of two people, and the more the merrier.

 

INDIAN

  • Fish head curry is, true to the name, a gigantic curried fish head cooked whole until it’s ready to fall apart. Singapore’s Little India is the place to sample this. Note that there are two distinct styles, the fiery Indian and the milder Chinese kind.
8799068853_1373dc2d7f_b1.jpg

recipeshub.com

  • Nasi briyani is rice cooked in turmeric, giving it an orange colour. Unlike the Hyderabadi original, it’s usually rather bland, although specialist shops do turn out more flavorful versions. It is usually served with curry chicken and some Indian crackers.
  • Roti prata is the local version of paratha, flat bread tossed in the air like pizza, rapidly cooked in oil, and eaten dipped in curry. Modern-day variations can incorporate unorthodox ingredients like cheese, chocolate, sugar and even ice cream, but some canonical versions include roti kosong (plain), roti telur (with egg) and murtabak (layered with chicken, mutton or fish). Strict vegetarians beware: unlike Indian roti, roti prata batter is usually made with eggs.

 

HAWKER CENTERS

The cheapest and most popular places to eat in Singapore are hawker centres, essentially former pushcart vendors directed into giant complexes by government fiat. Prices are low ($2-5 for most dishes), hygiene standards are high (every stall is required to prominently display a health certificate grading it from A to D) and the food can be excellent — if you see a queue, join it! The lack of air-conditioning may seem somewhat unbearable to foreigners, but a visit to a hawker centre remains a must when in Singapore. However, be leery of overzealous pushers-cum-salesmen, especially at the Satay Club in Lau Pa Sat and Newton Food Centre at Newton Circus: the tastiest stalls don’t need high-pressure tactics to find customers. Touting for business is illegal, and occasionally a reminder of this can result in people backing off a bit.

To order, first chope (reserve) a table by either parking a friend by the table or, in the more Singaporean way, dumping a pack of tissue onto the tabletop. Note the table’s number, then place your order at your stall of choice. Some stalls will deliver to your table, in which case you pay when you get your food.

For tourists, centrally located Newton Circus (Newton MRT), Gluttons Bay and Lau Pa Sat(near the River), are the most popular options — but this does not make them the cheapest or the tastiest, and the demanding gourmand would do well to head toChinatown or the heartlands instead. Many of the best food stalls are located in residential districts away from the tourist trail and do not advertise in the media, so the best way to find them is to ask locals for their recommendations.

newton-IMGP4307.jpg

 

 

SIGHT

Visit Singapore Zoo – This zoo is one of the best in the world and also one of the top attractions in Singapore. Covering an area of 70 acres, this place is huge and has a vast array of animals: over 3,600 mammals, birds and reptiles. The zoo’s night safaris are hugely popular, offering visitors the chance the get up close and personal with nocturnal animals. Entrance to the zoo and a night safari costs 71 SGD. Watch out though, there’s no food around here and since you have to wait for the night safari to begin, you get stuck eating the overpriced zoo food. See the zoo in the morning and come back at night for the safari.

Singapore.Zoo.original.138.jpg

thousandwonders.net

Eat at the Boat Quay – Boat Quay is a hive of activity and is the place to go for dining and entertainment. The alfresco pubs and restaurants also make Boat Quay ideal for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the imposing skyscrapers and bizarre statues along the riverside.

Hang out (and party) on Sentosa – This little island getaway is popular with locals and tourists alike. Head to the Tiger Sky Tower, Asia’s tallest observation tower. At 450 feet, it offers amazing views over Singapore and Sentosa. The Underwater World aquarium is the main attraction on the island; walk through tunnels below sharks, piranhas and eels. Universal Studios is also located on the island. You have to pay to get on to Sentosa. The cost to get there on the Sentosa Express is 4 SGD.

Sentosa-Island-Singapore.jpg

Ride the Luge ! – Luge rides are always fun, and this one is no exception! Amazing if you are with kids; even more so if you’re just a bunch of youngsters competing in a fun way. Go as fast as you can – it’s safe! One recommendation: go for Dragon Trail. It’s longer, so more fun.And don’t forget to check your funny pictures taken in the middle of the tracks. Very pricey to get actual photo in print, but worth glancing a look.

maxresdefault.jpg

Admire Thian Hock Keng Temple – Stunning architecture makes Thian Hock Keng one of the most photogenic buildings you’re likely to see in Singapore. The temple was made from the finest materials and best craftsmen that China had to offer around the time of its construction in the 1840s. The temple was designated as a national monument in 1973.

Hang with the Merlions – You are sure to see statues of these imaginary creatures dotted about Singapore and you can easily pick up a miniature replica of them. The Merlion is Singapore’s mascot and has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The original statute (and most impressive Merlion) can be found in Merlion Park with the 37-meter tall replica on Sentosa also being worth a visit.

Explore Bukit Timah Naturae Reserve – Bukit Timah is located within Singapore’s only remaining stretch of rainforest, and is the country’s premier ecotourism attraction.  The wildlife spotting here is great and you are likely to see macaques, squirrels and flying lemurs and various species of birds. The reserve is just 30 minutes from the city center and proves that the city is more than just high rises.

c1b19897244eb80287acd7369ce2af3c.jpg

Wander around Chinatown – Chinatown encompasses two square kilometers of traditional Chinese life, nestled beside the modern Central Business District. This remainsthe place to get a real sense of Chinese culture within Singapore. The streets are filled with temples, craft shops, stalls and restaurants and are a great place to pick up a bargain.

Take a trip to Pulau Ubin – The island of Pulau Ubin is just off the northeastern coast of Singapore and is a bit of a throwback to the 1960s with the locals living in traditional villages known as “kampongs.”  This area could not be any different from the CBD — the locals still use a diesel generator for electricity and fetch their water from wells. Rent a bike to travel round the island taking in the strange sights, villages and beaches.

Relax in the Singapore Botanic Gardens – The Botanic Gardens lie close to the city and consist of 52 hectares of specialty gardens and forest.  The main attraction within the Gardens is the National Orchid Garden which is home to over 1000 species of orchid, but there is also a ginger garden, a rainforest and various streams and waterfalls to explore.

Eat in Little India – No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to Little India. Here you can get amazing, cheap food, great vegetables, and interesting snacks and souvenirs. Make sure you eat at the giant cafeteria restaurants and don’t be afraid to eat with your hands!

Learn about Singapore’s History – For a more cultural experience, visit the former British naval base of Fort Siloso. It’s the only preserved fort on the coast of Singapore, and provides a fantastic look into the city-state’s complicated history. It’s a well-constructed, interactive attraction. Entry is 12 SGD.

Visit Sri Mariamman Temple – This extremely colorful, ornate temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. It was constructed in what is known as the Dravidian style, and lies in the Chinatown.

Watch a Free Concert – The Singapore Symphony Orchestra hosts various free concerts at different venues around the country, often in parks, or at the racecourse. Check their website for details.

Visit the MacRitchie Reservoir Park – The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a slice of nature in the middle of urban sprawl. Here, you can hike along the eight-kilometer treetop hike, which includes a huge bridge suspended high above the forest floor. It’s a beautiful escape from the city.

Night Safari – I wasn’t expecting to see tigers and elephants wandering around amongst people, but I was expecting more than just a normal zoo experience. What I found, however, was just that this zoo is dark with a few lights here and there to help visitors see the animals, which most of the time they are just sleeping. It’s less exciting because you really can’t see much, but the zoo experience and diversity is essentially the exact same as a daytime zoo. The only unique thing about the night side was being about to see a small handful of nocturnal animals on motion, like the bat cage. They have a good buffet at the venue, and the Bongo Burgers outlet is highly recommended by the Alligator.

maxresdefault (1).jpg

SHOP

Shopping is second only to eating as a national pastime, which means that Singapore has an abundance of shopping malls, and low taxes and tariffs on imports coupled with huge volume mean that prices are usually very competitive. While you won’t find any bazaars with dirt-cheap local handicrafts (in fact, virtually everything sold in Singapore is made elsewhere), goods are generally of reasonably good quality and shopkeepers are generally quite honest due to strong consumer protection laws.

P.S – For purchases of over $100 per day per participating shop, you may be able to get a 6% refund of your 7% GST at Changi Airport or Seletar Airport, but the process is a bit of a bureaucratic hassle. At the shop you need to ask for a tax refund cheque. Before checking in at the airport, present this cheque together with the items purchased and your passport at the GST customs counter. Get the receipt stamped there. Then proceed with check-in and go through security. On the air side, bring the stamped cheque to the refund counter to cash it in or get the GST back on your credit card.

 

Alligator Recommends.

 

For more things travel, fun, and food, check out grittygatorr.wordpress.com