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tcreath Jun 7th, 2006 08:20 AM

Your thoughts on Singapore?
DH and I are planning on going to Singapore for 4 nights, along with Hong Kong and Bali, as part of our first Asia trip. I've read about it in my guidebooks and it sounds interesting, but I see very little mentioned on here about Singapore so I thought I would ask. I guess I'm just trying to get some opinions on the country (likes/dislikes) and get a general consensus of whether it would be a good place to visit on a first trip.


Kathie Jun 7th, 2006 09:42 AM

The search funtion must not be working well. There are dozens of posts about Singapore - what to do, where to eat.

It'sm a fun city, compact and easy to get around. Everything is very clean, very efficient. Everyone speaks English. It's a very easy intro to Asia.

Some of my favorite things to do: the Botanical garden, especially the Orchid Garden there (largest in the world), the Museum of Asian Civilizations, wander through Raffles Hotel and the shops there and the small museum. There is an excellent zoo, the Jurong Bird Park and several natural parks where you can hike through the rainforest.

I always eat at least once at Doc Cheng's in Raffles. There is fabulous food everywhere in Singapore, ranging from formal restaurants to hawker stalls.

Stay someplace close to an MRT stop, as that's the quickest and easiest wasy to get around.

rkkwan Jun 7th, 2006 09:50 AM

Singapore is hot and steamy, but the best food are at the hawker stalls as Kathie describes. So, I find that it's best to rest in the afternoon and then go out again late.

Those places are like outdoor food court, and are licensed. Very safe to eat there.

welltraveledbrit Jun 7th, 2006 10:06 AM

Singapore is very easy to get around and like Kathie we enjoyed the excellent Museum of Asian Civilization and the Botanical Gardens. The food really is good. It is certainly a very accessible city and in that sense excellent for a first trip to Asia.

There are lots of good hotels and they are reasonably prices especially on the weekends. We liked the style and location of the newly renovated Mandarin Oriental though the rooms were larger at the Four Seasons.

We have visited Singapore several times however for me (coming from the Bay Area) it's a very pleasant interesting transit point rather than a destination in itself. I know some people will disagree with this assessment.

I'm not saying that there isn't alot to see in Singapore just that for me there are many more places I would choose first. Having said that because of connections and the late arrival of United's flight into Singapore we often have a night or two in Singapore on our way to or from somewhere else.
For example it has been a good place to stop on the way to Bali

Hope this helps!

Guenmai Jun 7th, 2006 10:36 AM

I absolutely adore the place. Have been going there almost annually since the 90s. I've written a lot on Singapore. Click on my name and then scroll to see what comes up. I also wrote a lot on Singapore under the Boston GTG(2005) thread. If you can pull that up then click on "Most Recent Post" which will take you to the BOTTOM of a VERY long thread and then scroll UP to around August 20th or 22nd which is where I start my report on Singapore. I'll try to pull it up for you. Happy Travels!

BillT Jun 7th, 2006 10:38 AM

Singapore is the best introduction to Asia for a first trip. Super clean its the only Asian city where you can eat the hawker food without worry. But I strongly advise against doing that in other Asian cities- yes there are people out there that eat at these places all the time but there are too many reasons to avoid this practice!
I think 4 days is plenty for Singapore- its a small place and you can cover it in that time. Hong Kong- shoppers paradise- very different from Sing.
Bali altogether different from Sing. and HK.

Guenmai Jun 7th, 2006 10:39 AM

It's under the Boston GTG-Announcements thread. Happy Travels!

Guenmai Jun 7th, 2006 10:50 AM

OK....I've pulled up some info for you and my report on Singapore starts on Aug 20th, not Aug 22nd...under the Boston GTG-Announcements. Happy Travels!

BillT Jun 7th, 2006 11:00 AM

One quirk about Sing- you need to bring along a few of those tiny tissue packs.
Its hard to find napkins there- strange huh! When we were there we had a hard time getting napkins at the places we ate- we looked around and all the locals seemd to have their own- go figure!

tcreath Jun 7th, 2006 11:06 AM

Thank you all so very much for your replies! And Guenmai, that was so thoughtful of you to pull up your trip report! I will definitely do my research and I'm sure it will be very helpful!

I'm happy with all of the responses. We weren't sure whether to include Singapore or not. DH and I have traveled quite extensively around Europe but for some reason we are both a little nervous about venturing to Asia. We took Thailand off of our list because we are hoping to do a separate Thailand vacation after we mastered our first Asia trip. Singapore seemed a little "easier" than some of the other countries, and there seem to be some great sights. Thank you everyone for your reassurances!


rkkwan Jun 7th, 2006 12:21 PM

BillT - It's the same in Hong Kong with napkins. Cheaper eateries like small noodle shops do not provide napkins. Everybody in the city carries paper tissues anyways, and if you buy a newspaper, you're likely to get a pack from the vendor too.

When I first moved to the US, I still carried my Tempo with me. A classmate asked if I had a cold and if I was okay.

Guenmai Jun 7th, 2006 12:57 PM

You really should put Thailand back on the list. You don't need to test the to speak...before doing Thailand. It's the second easiest place next to Singapore. Just jump in and do it. When I first did SE Asia in the late 90s, I did it alone and female and for three weeks. I just did my research by travel books since I didn't know about this forum then and arranged my flights and like the slogan says "Just Do It". I had done Europe, prior to the Asia adventure, for 24 years of almost annual trips,and figured I'd just use the same basic common sense that got me, just fine, through Europe/Africa/N.Z., and Australia. So, really...don't worry about's a LOT calmer and easier than a lot of parts of Europe and other places I've been to. You'll love it. Have a ball. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Jun 7th, 2006 08:01 PM

four days is perfect for sing....tons of shopping and good eats all over the place as described....the botanic garden orchids are amazing really...

any hotel there is acceptable as standards are so high...

a visit to little india and china town are rewarding....don't expect to find any run down doggy places...its singapore afterall...

and thailand is the #1 place in the world for all!!

easytraveler Jun 7th, 2006 08:43 PM

No gum. Do not bring chewing gum of any kind.

If they are still giving the Night Safari at the zoo, take that tour, so much better than having to wander through the real jungles.

Take the tram ride over to Sentosa Island.

As Guenmai has recommended: add Thailand, specifically Bangkok, back into your itinerary. Maybe take a day out of Singapore and another day out of HK/Bali, then use those days for Bangkok.

This is will only give you a taste of Asia! Enjoy! :)

jak1975 Jun 8th, 2006 12:53 AM

Love Singapore. Sounds like you have a perfect first trip to Asia put together. I love Thailand and Malaysia but Singapore, Hong Kong and Bali would probably be my top 3 picks.

KMLoke Jun 8th, 2006 05:43 AM

You can bring in chewing gum for your own consumption. You just need to be careful how you dispose of the used gum.

Guenmai Jul 27th, 2006 08:01 PM

I've topped this for the person asking about Singapore. Happy Travels!

easywalker Aug 2nd, 2006 10:58 PM

I too enjoy Singapore. Why? Two words: Asia Lite!

BillT Aug 3rd, 2006 08:17 AM

When in Sing answer all conversation with "La" and they will think you are a native!

Guenmai Oct 31st, 2007 07:54 PM

....Happy Travels!

tcreath Nov 1st, 2007 11:18 AM

It's fun to see this pop up again! We never did go on that trip, as my husband was nervous about trying out Asia. However, we just got back from Japan on Saturday and had a fabulous time. Since we had such a great time we are discussing going back to Asia and Singapore came up in those discussions so hopefully eventually I will get there!


Guenmai Nov 1st, 2007 01:02 PM

I brought this thread back up since there's been quite a bit of new talk about Singapore. It's too bad that you didn't make your trip. I don't understand why your husband would be nervous about going to Asia and especially Singapore. I'm more comforatble in many parts of Asia than in many parts of Europe and also parts right here in the U.S.. Happy Travels!

tcreath Nov 1st, 2007 04:57 PM

Guenmai, I don't know what he was nervous about to be honest. I think it was more the Bali part, and perhaps the Hong Kong part, that made him nervous. We've traveled extensively around Europe without any problems but he never had much interest in Europe. I talked him into going to Japan with FF miles, although he was looking forward to visiting as well. In the end we had a great time. I would love to go to Singapore, and I posted this because I couldn't find much info. Hopefully this sparks a little conversation! ;)


Sinkaporen Dec 29th, 2007 04:35 AM

Singapore is a "garden city", it is very green. It also a clean & safe city with very low crime rate. Very safe to walk on the street alone.

If have any emergency just dial 999 to report to the police, they will be right there to asist you.

You can travel around Singapore using MRT (railway system), by public bus or taxi. Singapore is a very small country, everything very convenient.

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