Stunning Singapore

Published On: February 10, 2017 03:30 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

The first thing you’ll notice about Singapore is how well maintained, structured, and clean it is. The air seems fresh, free of dust, and that will really excite you right now, given the condition of our roads and quality of air these days. A five-day trip to Singapore is enough for you to enjoy everything it has to offer, though you can choose to stay as long as you want and leisurely go about your days. It’s a small city and expensive too but there’s still a lot to do here (on a budget).

How to get there
The good news for Nepalis is that Singapore grants visa on arrival so you are saved the hassle of applying for one beforehand. The most convenient way is definitely a direct flight to Singapore but that can be a tad bit expensive as well as a little boring, if we were to be honest. Alternatively, you can choose to fly to Malaysia and then take another flight to Singapore that will significantly lower the airline ticket prices. The best way, however, is to fly to Malaysia and then take a bus to Singapore. This way, you can stay in Kuala Lumpur for a day or two and make the most out of your trip. The buses leave almost every hour from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) that is just a 10-minute metro ride from central KL and 40 minutes by taxi depending on the traffic. The journey from Malaysia to Singapore by bus is four hours long but immigration on both the sides of the border will take some time so you will reach Singapore in roughly five to six hours time. 

Where to stay/eat
There are hotels to cater to all kinds of budget but be prepared to deal with really small spaces. Except high-end luxury hotels (and there are plenty), all other hotels have pretty small rooms. However, even the most basic ones are clean and have quite a few facilities.

Unless you are planning to relax and unwind at the hotel itself, we wouldn’t recommend spending a fortune on lodging because the rest of Singapore can quickly eat through your budget as well. 

Places like Chinatown and Little India have interesting eateries that serve all kinds of food.

At Clarke Quay, a historical riverside quay in Singapore, there are many bars and restaurants that serve good drinks and food, and there is also live music there. And this part of Singapore is up partying till the wee hours in the morning. 

Where to shop
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise. Almost all brands have their outlets here and perhaps there is nothing that is on your wish list that you can’t get in Singapore. This little nation might only appear as a small red dot on your map but in terms of shopping destinations, it’s the only place you will ever need to go to. In fact, you can just visit one street in the entire city and get anything you want. The famous Orchard Road has so many malls and shops that you will be left mesmerized. 

Also, Chinatown and Little India are great shopping destinations in their own rights, and the vast Bugis Street Market can provide a fun shopping experience too. Mustafa Centre, at Little India, will probably have whatever you are looking for at a very low price. This 24-hour mall is big, crowded and noisy but you wouldn’t want to miss out on the experience of shopping here either. Then there’s VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore. This place has cinemas, a rooftop amphitheatre, an open-air playground, an art gallery and a plethora of restaurants and bars besides a never-ending list of high street stores and outlets.

Trip highlights
Spend a day at Universal Studios
There is so much fun awaiting you at Universal Studios in Sentosa that we recommend you set aside an entire day to enjoy all its rides and movies. You can join your favorite Madagascar characters aboard a boat before riding the crazy carousel with King Julien and the Lemurs. There is the intergalactic battle of good against evil where you can join Optimus Prime and the Autobots in a fight for freedom in an exciting 3D battle. The waiting time for most rides is 30 to 40 minutes but you can get an express pass that will allow you to jump queue, though this, of course, will cost you a lot more than a regular ticket. The merchandise stores here are also fun to browse through. You’ll be tempted to buy many, many things. Also, don’t forget to click a picture with Shrek or the Minions. 

Go on a night safari (or the zoo)
You’ll get to experience the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals. You’ll see many animals of different species as they graze, hunt, and just loiter about in their natural environment. Take a guided tour for a better understanding of things. Built to mirror the environments of the African savanna, Himalayan foothills, jungles of Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, a stroll through the area is equally enjoyable. In the Leopard Trail, you can see leopards up close, separated by a glass door of course. 

If the night safari isn’t your cup of tea, you should definitely visit the Singapore zoo. There are over 2500 animals in their natural rainforest habitats here. If you aren’t up for walking, take the tram around the zoo and enjoy its best bits. We would also recommend you watch one of the many shows at the zoo. You can watch aquatic animals demonstrate their acrobatic skills, and birds compete with one another, or check out the bond between the elephants and their caretakers.

See Singapore from the observation deck 
You should definitely consider heading to the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Observation Deck to see the city from a new perspective. Soaring 57 stories above the heart of the city, the deck offers stunning panoramic views of the bay and Singapore’s beloved cityscape below. The observation deck offers views of the city’s high-rises, the Singapore Flyer and the Formula 1 pit lane, the Marina Bay, the conservatories and Super trees of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s container harbor and the many ships on the horizon. In good weather conditions, you can actually see as far as the southern end of Malaysia. A note for Instagram enthusiasts: Nighttime makes for better photo ops. 

Stroll through Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 250 acres, in central Singapore, has three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden with Bay South being the largest of them all. The Singapore government wants to enhance the quality of life in Singapore by increasing greenery in the city, and Gardens by the Bay is a part of that strategy. Super trees are stunning man-made trees of up to 16 storeys tall that can be found all around the Gardens, with 12 at the Supertree Grove. The Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions and houses a collection of plants from deserts all over the world. And don’t miss out on the cloud tunnel, the 35-meter tall mountain that showcases plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000 meters above sea level.

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