I went to Singapore for a week this summer not for vacation but with my church to help with a musical called His Life, which made its way around the world from Korea to Africa.
When we got off our 21 hour flight, the first thing everyone said was, “it’s hot.” Just know that you’ll be stepping into an outdoor sauna whenever you dare to go outside. Although, the heat is apparently good for your skin as the older women were happy with their skin condition by the end of the trip.
Living in Singapore is rather expensive and even owning a crappy car costs at least $100,000 but I found that the only thing cheap was their food. Singapore’s hawker centers, street food, received global attention. The food is just so good and cheap. Here’s a list of top hawker centers.
Singapore is also relatively small. If you ask any taxi driver how long it takes to reach a destination, no matter where you go, its always about 15-20 minutes. We used our free days to venture out and did all the touristy thing.
Here are a few things you should do in Singapore.
1. Universal Studios Singapore
Of course, the park doesn’t compare to the Universal Studios in America but this is, in my opinion, one of the things you do because you’re there.
Facing the heat, we waited at least 40 minutes for all the big rides, which weren’t that great but the others had a great time.
If I had to choose, the best ride was the Revenge of the Mummy because of the interior air conditioning. Our initial wait was rather long but toward the end of the day, the lines were empty.
One girl wanted to get a perfect group photo on the ride so we ended up riding at least six times before she was satisfied.
2. Bugis Street
Bugis street is probably the best cheap place to shop for souvenirs. Yes, it is crowded and can get sticky, but at least you can buy 3 typical “I love SG” shirts for $10 right? The market generally sells everything for cheap.
There are plenty of big, fancy shopping malls in Singapore but because everything is imported, you’re not missing much.
3. Ya Kun Kaya Toast
I asked our new Singaporean friends to take us to some local place and we stumbled upon a small snack franchise that offers crack buttered toast. I don’t know what they did with simple buttered toast but with one bite, I was addicted; they definitely added some crack. The toast was a little sweet and I don’t do too well when eating sweet things but I gobbled down two plates and finished the left overs. I ended up with a mild headache but it was that worth it. Ya Kun Kaya Toast, must try.
I feel like there’s a China Town everywhere in the world. We happened to be near China Town so we strolled through. It contains different Chinese restaurants, food stands, and street vendors.
5. Gardens by the Bay
Initially, I was reluctant to see the Garden by the Bay because who wants to see plants when they’re in Singapore, but I was left in awe by its beauty.
Gardens by the Bay consists of two domes, Flower Dome and Cloud Forrest, and the Supertree Grove.
In the Flower Dome, the plants were great but what caught my attention were the tree sculptures. It’s something different and a dragon sculpture is always cool.
Prepared to get a little wet going through the Cloud Forrest’s waterfall. You hike to the top and back, passing through stations such as the crystal rocks and global warming sections.
When the sun sets, you must head over to the Supertree Grove to watch the light show. The trees come alive with radiant lights in sync with the music, which played various classics.
As I sat under the trees listening and watching, I couldn’t help but feel touched. I’ve seen many other light shows but they can’t compare. It’s almost magical. If you had one place to go in Singapore, this is it.
6. Marina Bay Sands
Take an elevator all the way up to the roof to see the skyline and bays of Singapore. Unless you’re staying at the Marina, you’re confined to about only 1/6 of the rooftop but the view is still great. My friend and I had to walk around the hotel trying to find the elevator. Although we were tired and hangry, when we got up there, we could only smile.
Cool breezes hit our faces as we silently took as many pictures as we can.
7. Take the subway
Singapore has one of the cleanest subway system, after all, with Singapore’s strong government, if you litter, you can get arrested. If you spit out gum, you can get arrested. You can bring gum into Singapore but selling is illegal.
Anyways, taking a cab is convenient but you should ride the subway at least once. It’s cheaper and can be faster with Singapore’s traffic.
8. Try McDonald’s
McDonald’s? Yes. I like to try fast foods in different countries and 100% of the time, its better than America’s.
One late night, a few of us wanted to grab some food and thank goodness there was a McDonald’s few blocks away. Though it was late, we knew we were safe because Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates. While we were walking, we literally saw a police sign that inquired about a stolen bike, which was probably the worst crime that month.
I ordered a double cheese burger meal and of course, it matched my theory.
9. Muthu’s Fishhead Curry
I don’t know what to say other than to just eat it. The curry is very spicy but so good that my friend who can’t take spicy food sucked it up, ate multiple servings and suffered the consequences later that night till the next day. Yet, he was down for some more. That’s how good it is.
I was offered the eyeball so I ate it just to try it and it was weird. It was as if I was chewing on clay until I reached the hard middle part which actually tasted like something. I don’t think I’ll ever eat one for pleasure.
10. Try a Durian, The King of Fruits
Durian is the world’s smelliest food. You’re not allowed to bring durian inside anywhere because it will stink up the whole place. It also has a very unique taste, not in a good way.
You first open the fruit and you’ll start smelling its stench. Inside, there are yellow, creamy things you eat. The ones I tried were garlicy and not good. I didn’t like it but some people love it and sometimes even crave it.
Durians are considered luxury fruit because they only come in season and it costs about $20 for the cheapest durian. If you are brave, you have to try one.
There’s even a Durian Challenge, where people film themselves eating a durian, most often then not, vomit is involved. Eg: durian challenge