An Itinerary with True Singaporean Flavor
Singapore is more than just a country of shopping and good food. Apart from our world renowned cleanliness, we also have fantastic tropical weather all year round, many different cultures converging in one place, as well as world class entertainment that will no doubt sweep you off your feet.
If that's not enough to whet your appetite, let this local boy (born and bred here for the last 28 years) tempt you further with where to find the best and most affordable local foods and souvenirs, what the hidden gems tourists will love to visit but are seldom told about, and other little tips and tricks to get around efficiently and economically. If you've been here, there's more I can tell you about and if you haven't, be prepared to see all the authentic Singapore highlights through a local's eye.
This itinerary is targeted at the fun-loving visitor who's looking to pack his/her 3 days here so as to maximise the time spent and see as much as possible. I'd recommend this itinerary for:
- Ages 20-35
- Folks with enough energy to walk around most of the time as the main mode of exploration and take public transport from place to place
- Mid-range budgets, as we will be paying entrance fees for must see attractions and there will be no skimping on good quality food
- The active and adventurous who like to try out new experiences
- Night owls who enjoy partying and bustling night life
Of course if you're coming with family or prefer an early quiet night, this itinerary will still aid in your trip planning as well. Just pick the activities from each day to match your schedule and convenience level (there's plenty of shopping and sight-seeing included). This itinerary is flexible and filled with things to choose from; it's the perfect guide for a satisfying holiday.
The most famous shopping strip in Singapore is of course Orchard Road. But apart from the famous malls like Ion and Takashimaya, where else to go? Where to find affordable and tasty food, as well as cheap souvenirs along a touristy shopping stretch? Do you know we have quite a few unique local brands you can't find anywhere else? Also, shopping extends far beyond Orchard Road; there are hidden gems in the Bugis area! The answers to all these questions are included right here in the itinerary.
Singapore's 2 most famous cultural hubs are situated at Little India and Chinatown. Let me tell you where to find the best and most affordable Indian and Chinese food; as well as what to see in a short time (since there are so many temples around). Furthermore, you do not need to travel too far into the heartlands for authentic hawker fare; neither do you need to succumb to exorbitant prices for the normally cheap and humble hawker food at tourist traps. Chinatown has some of the best and cheapest hawker food, including a chicken rice haunt that locals can't get enough of. I'll show you how to get there!
Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands are our 2 latest world class entertainment hubs. I've got the write up on Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios, and even the Marine Life Park in Sentosa (recently opened on 7 Dec 2012!). Find out more on what else to do on the sunny beaches of Sentosa (and what to avoid!), as well as the nightly party haunts the locals can't get enough of. Let me show you the hottest spots to see and be seen!
This is only the beginning! Other highlights include:
- The Art Science Museum and Gardens by the Bay
- Sentosa and VivoCity
- The Esplanade and Merlion Park
- The Night Safari
- Bugis Village, Haji Lane
- Night life - Clark Quay, Zouk
- Hawker food, seafood and alternatives
- Other tips on transportation, lodging and reference websites
Sample From the Itinerary
This is a sample of the itinerary. The actual itinerary includes additional pictures and maps.
[Image of Chinatown Map]
As you leave Tiong Shian Porridge, walk back down the street you came from, in the opposite direction. The first right turn leads you to Smith Street (where the Chinatown MRT exit B was), the second right turn leads you to Temple Street and the third leads you to Pagoda Street. Very Mandarin street names, I know right?! Just walking into any of these streets will lead you to some roadside vendors and little pop up stalls selling little trinkets and souvenirs, as well as Chinese street food. Don't hesitate to try some and pick up a lantern to bring home.
Before turning into Pagoda Street, walk down the street a little further and you'll see a shop called Lim Chee Guan on your right. This shop sells the famous (and in my opinion the best) 'Ba Kwa' that everyone should try. Ba Kwa is basically sheets of charcoal roasted pork, that's sweet, chewy and absolutely delicious. You can think of it as Asian jerky and trust me, you'll love it. It costs around $45 per kilogram, but you don't need that much if you're just looking for a snack. Around 200 grams will suffice.
[Image of Chinatown Temple]
[Image of recommended Chinatown walking route]
Further down along Pagoda Street you'll see the Chinatown Heritage Centre at 46, 48, 50 Pagoda Street. This museum is basically a three-storey recreation of how Singapore's old living quarters were back in the 1950s, and gives a well documented insight of the lives of Chinese immigrants many years ago. It opens from 0900 to 2000 daily, and costs $10 per entry. After that, if you walk further you'll see Jamae Mosque and Sri Mariamman Temple at the end of the street, on your left and right respectively. Feel free to explore these 2 places of worship, but remember to switch off the flash on your cameras and keep your volume down to respect worshippers.
You can't leave Chinatown without seeing an authentic Chinese temple right? The most famous one, Thian Hock Keng Temple, is located 15 minutes away. To get there, walk past Sri Mariamman temple and cross the road (there will be a pedestrian crossing in sight). Once you get to the other side, turn left and walk until you see the first right turn. Turn right and walk into Mohamed Ali Lane. Walk all the way till the end of the lane and you should see a small pizza place called Spizza. Turn left and walk straight all the way until you reach the main road of Cross Street. Turn right and walk along Cross Street, on the pedestrian walk way, alongside traffic. The first right turn you'll see is Amoy Street, don't turn in there. Instead, turn right into the second right turn, and you should be at Telok Ayer Street. Walk straight for around 5 minutes and you'll see Thian Hock Keng Temple on your right at 158 Telok Ayer Street.
This is Singapore's oldest Hokkien (a Chinese ethnic group) Temple, and it houses many intricate carvings and sculptures not to be missed. It opens from 0730 to 1730 daily, and is free to enter. Remember once again: no flash photography and loud noises please.
Still not convinced?! Drop me an email if you've got other further queries! I'll be glad to help!
Do try this itinerary out, and I guarantee you'll enjoy Singapore the way we locals do!