A Singapore Fling: a short trip to the island city

Revisiting a country multiple times can be a good thing, especially if it is a country such as Singapore.

My third visit to the island city led me to discover many more new things, as well as enjoy all the old places.

One aspect of this trip I really enjoyed was getting to see my husbands love for the country and reigon grow. Having not been to Asia before, he was like a kid at Christmas. The buildings, the lights, and scenery – he loved it.

One of Chris’ shots

In general I haven’t spent too much time in Singapore. My first and second trips were 1-2 days in length, mainly due to the cost of accommodation and food.

During this trip, we spent one night there but had a full two days to explore.

Arriving into Changi airport brought back so many great memories for me. It has been the place I stopped over at on the way to moving to New Zealand.

I had remembered the humidity, the MRT trains and my way around. I felt like I had stepped back in time, but then realised it had been 6 years since my first visit.

The humidity of Singapore, as shown by the sweat marks on my shirt.

Ok, so enough of reminising.

Visiting Singapore for the third time gave me a great opportunity to test my new found photography skills, and see some new areas.

If you are in the city for a few short days, here are some things you may like to get up to:

Stroll around the bay

The bay area of Singapore is one of my favourites. Perhaps it is the water? I have always said being near to water on my travels always brings me joy. It has a real calming and mesmorising effect.

Gardens by the bay

One great thing about this area is that it has so much to see and do. There are the gardens by the bay, marnia bay sands hotel and shopping complex, the Singapore flyer and the helix bridge, as well as the merlion statue at the park.

Basically a bucket load of photo opportunities that will keep you there for hours.

The Helix bridge, Singapore
Walk to Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island wasn’t a place I had ever heard of in connection to Singapore. However, when vaguely planning our honeymoon, I happened to stumble upon this shot on visit singapore’s instagram channel.

A bridge over untroubled waters. Guess where? 🏝 📷:@uraza716 #VisitSingapore

A post shared by VisitSingapore (@visit_singapore) on

The location tagged was the southern most point of contiential asia.

I had a sudden burst of excitment. There’s something about the highest, most northern or southern point that makes me want to get there. Sometimes these points can be a bit of a trek away, like Ireland’s most Northernly bar, or annoyingly expensive and overrated like the N Seoul Tower.

A lot of the time though, they are worth visiting.

The great new about visiting the southern most point of contential asia is that its free. Well, it can be free. You can choose to get the cable car at the cost of SG$35, or you can walk.

We choose to walk (obviously). To do this, jump on the MRT to harbourfront station (we bought a 48 hour tourist pass, which gave us unlimted access to all public transport in the city).

Once at harbour front, walk through the vivo city shopping complex, and follow the signs for sentosa boardwalk.

Credit: Chris Johnson Photography

From here it will take about 5 minutes to walk over to the island.

When arriving onto the island, on first glance it does look a little Disneyland like. There is a universal studios, and a number of food and shopping outlets.

Credit: Chris Johnson Photography

However, if you continue to stroll, you’ll see some lovely waterfalls, gardens and a small section of beach.

Credit: CJP

To get to the southern most point, you’ll cross a short rope bridge, which is a few metres above the water.

Credit: CJP

A small wooden sign welcomes you to the point (obligatory photo stop).

You can then take a short climb up to the top of the wooden canopy for a look back onto the island.

It was a little dull and overcast the day we visited, but it is still a stunning location, and nice to get away from the busy city.

Eat at the hawker markets
Credit: CJP

One way to save money in Singapore is to eat at the hawker markets. As well as cheap, the food is really incredible and varied. The locals also eat there too, so you know it’ll be good.

We took a wander over to the Maxwell Road Hawker centre, where I had been previously. It had so much choice, we ended up doing two laps just to figure out what we wanted.

Image credit

All of the food is cooked fresh, and ready in minutes.

Maxwell Road hawker centre is in chinatown, and a short walk from Telok Ayer MRT station.

Whilst in Chinatown, you should also check out the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, which is also great captured at night.

Visit the colourful little India

Little India is easily reach on the MRT, with a station named after the area. One of the most popular things to see there is the former house of Tan Teng Niah. This is the last surviving  Chinese villa in Little India. It was owned by a Chinese businessman in the early 1900s, who owned several sugar making factories. Its mix of bright colours and intricate wooden carved features is a definite photo stop.

You can find the house of Tan Teng Niah round the corner from Little India MRT.

Whilst in the area, you should also have a wander to see is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Which is Singapore’s oldest temple, and most brightly coloured temples.

It is almost triangular in its shape and depicts the goddess Kali, known as the destroyer of evil, as wll as a number of intricate and colourful statues all around it.

You can pay to visit the temple, which is open 9.30-5.30pm.

Watch the skies light up at night

Throughout my travels, I have seen a number of waterfront light shows. None have been as spectaular or as lengthy as those in Singapore.

There are three shows in Singapore, includng the marina, gardens by the bay and sentosa island.

The shows at the marnia are twice nightly durng the week at 8pm and 9pm and three on Fri/Saturday night 8pm, 9pm and 11pm.

We started off watched the light show at the gardens by the bay at 8pm, then hopped across to the marnia for 9pm to see the next one.

At the gardens by the the bay 50 hidden speakers light up the supertrees to music. It is an awesome experience being surrounded by nature and seeing the spectacular of the lights with music. The show is at 7.45 and 8.45pm nightly and is 15 minutes in duration.

I’d reccommend watching it from within the gardens, rather than the canopy like we did, to benefit most from the experience. Unless you are a photo geek and want to get better shots.

The spectra light show at the bay is incredible, and combines lights, lasers and amazing water shows.

The show went on for at least 10 minutes. We positioned ourselves look at the marnia bay sands hotel in order to get good photos.

So long singapore

Singapore is a city I could return to time and time again. It is up there with some of the most iconic cities, with incredible culture to match. Although I didn’t feel much had changed since my last visit in 2014, I am glad our short trip led me to discovering some new things about the city.

I hope to return again some day, and discover even more new things.

My next aspiration is to be able to stay at the marina bay sands hotel – even just for one night.

The lobby at marina bay sands hotel, Singapore (an aspiration to stay in the future)

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