I have just come back from a much needed holiday from Bali but we got to do a layover in Singapore for two and a half days. Heres what we managed to cram in those two and a half days.
Once we arrived it was early afternoon so we checked in and went to explore a bit to get our bearings for the next couple of days. We were located near China Town at the Grand Capthrone Waterfront Hotel which was surrounded by other hotels and a mall so you were close to everything.
This is Singapores equivalent to Regent Street and Oxford Street full of high street stores and designer stores so if you want to do a bit of shopping here is the place. Full of tourists it will feel like being back on Oxford Street.
Fort Canning Park
We stumbled across this as we were wondering, known as The Forbidden Hill it was the seat of royalty for the Malay Kingdom in the 1300’s. Sir Stanford Raffles also chose to build one of his residences here and established Singapore’s first botanical garden in 1822. Later it was known as Government Hill as Singapore’s colonial leaders made it their residences here.
It got it’s name from Viscount Charles John Canning and was made into a fort in 1860, since then it has been a military base until the 1970’s which housed the British, the Japanese in world war 2 and the Republic Armed Forces.
Full of many attractions for history buffs and a nice walking route full of different plants including a spice garden by the registry office, you will see lots of newly married couples taking photos here.
Up bright and early we crammed everything in today that we wanted to see. So we could leave the next day for what we had missed.
Yueh Hai Ching Temple ( Temple of the Calm Cantonese Sea)
This is the oldest teochew temple built by immigrants from China in 1855. It was restored and reopned in 2014. As we were walking to the Marina we crossed this and had to pop in to have a look.
The Merlion is the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Originally a fishing village called Temasek the fish body represents this, the head represents Singapura the original name for Singapore. Standing at 8.6 metres and weighing 70 tonnes this is a must see. In 2002 it was relocated due to the Esplande Bridge blocking the statue. This is a massive tourist attraction and they have a smaller merlion known as the merlion cub which also spouts water from its mouth.
Gardens by the bay
This was my must see after seeing youtube videos of it just before we left. The garden is free apart from three parts the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forrest and OCBC Skyway. We did the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forrest due to the weather it was advised not to do the skyway.
The Flower Dome has more than 32,000 plants which are incorporated with statues throughout the dome. Made to replicate the cool dry climate of California and South Africa these plants vary from thousand year old olive trees to changing floral displays, as its harvest time they had a large display which included a statue made out of pumpkins and other harvest vegetables.
The Cloud Forrest is a closed compound with a 35 metre tall man made mountain covered in mist and vegetation with the largest indoor waterfall. the views from the top are amazing and throughout the interior of the mountain you have various parts of information about caves and the environment.
Throughout the rest of the gardens there is an area dedicated for children to play and a trail which has a different garden in each part including a sun pavilion.
I was told by a colleague that we had to go here and have a Singapore sling. The hotel was built in 1887 and in 1987 was declared a national monument. The famous long bar was relocated when the hotel was being renovated, this was also where the Singapore sling was invented. As you walk through the hotel you have an instructional video telling you how to make the famous cocktail. This is also the only place where you can drop peanut shells on the floor keeping in tradition of the greats throwing peanut shells on the floor when they were there.
Day 3 AM
Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
Known as the temple of 1,000 lights this holds a 15 metre high statue of Buddha weighing nearly 300 tons, for some reason the temple was closed and we could not go in unfortunately.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
This is one of the oldest temples in Singapore, on the exterior roof you will see lots of different representations of Vishnu you will see lots of hindu temples will have these. As it was diwali the temples were packed full of people we also went on a weekend so it would have been busier, next time I would have gone on a weekday so I could have had a better look. I also managed to break my camera so the rest of the holiday I used my phone to take photos.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
This temple is dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil. As one of the oldest temples in Singapore it is a massive tourist attraction. I don’t know what was going on that day but this temple was also closed for some reason.
Sri Mariamman Temple
This temple claims to be the oldest Hindu temple according to Singapores tourist website, the temple is dedicated to the goddess known for curing illness and diseases. As it was diwali the streets were packed so we didn’t go in but the exterior was beautiful with six tiers covered in mythological creatures and deities.
Buddha Tooth Relic
This was our last stop before we headed back to the hotel for our flight. This is one of the newer temples being built only ten years ago. As you walk in there is a massive stupa weighing 3500 kilograms and made from 320 kilograms of gold everything is gold and red as you walk round there are buddha’s everywhere this is also a museum which gives you the option of a guided tour.
Little tips for Singapore
You can walk everywhere it will just take you a while depending on where you stay.
If you want to get a taxi get one from a hotel thats what we did and we didn’t get scammed.
It is also cheaper to get taxis during the day we were told on our last day.
It is illegal to litter and to jay walk.
Right after Singapore we went to Bali so that post will be on its way soon
Bye for now