Singapore Journals

Exploring Singapore

A July 2004 trip to Singapore by Timone

Quote: For our honeymoon, we used Singapore as a stopover on the way to and from Australia. We covered as much as possible in our time there and have detailed the best of it here for everyone else to share.

Exploring Singapore

Overview

Quote:
Take the cable car to Sentosa - the view is amazing and it's a fairly cheap day out. Visit Bukit Timah Nature Reserve - it's beautiful and peaceful yet not far from the city; a cab from Orchard Road cost and the bus is less. Eat at hawker centers - the food is cheap and fantastic, there is so much choice and the centres are all over the city. For a cooling drink, try the fresh juices - lime or mango or one of the more exotic types. Quick Tips: Take the MRT - it's so cheap and easy and saves walking too far in the humidity.Best Way To Get Around: All the methods of transport here are great. The MRT is fast and efficient as well as cheap and clean. The buses are easy to use and p...Read More

Concorde Hotel Singapore

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Le Meridien"

Quote:
As it was our honeymoon, on our way out to Australia we had a room upgrade to the seventh floor, which is the business floor and a free bowl of fruit. The room was large with a table, two chairs, double bed and a large bathroom. However, when we returned on our way home from Australia, our room on the ninth floor was almost the same except we had an even bigger bed and slightly less room to move around. Both rooms were fantastic. The concierge was wonderful, helping us to retrieve a lost bag from the airport, organising a taxi for us, booking a trip to Malaysia and advising us on how to get to many places easily. The lobby area is huge and surrounded with glass, with two glass elevators each side...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Concorde Hotel Singapore
100 Orchard Road
Singapore 238840
+65 6733-8855

Thai Express

Restaurant

Quote:
The Thai Express is exactly that - a fast-food version of Thai food; however, you get to sit down as in a regular restaurant, and the service is excellent, so don't be put off by the garish orange colour of the decor ! There is lots to choose from, including a number of wonderful curries and many noodle and rice dishes. I particularly recommend the yellow or green curry (it is spicy) and the BBQ chicken with Thai sauce. There is no alcohol here, but plenty of interesting fruit drinks - watermelon and lime crush, pineapple juice with coconut ice cream floating in it. Plus, you also get free iced water, which is topped up throughout your meal. Desserts are limited, but the banana fritters are huge an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Thai Express
209 Orchard Road
Singapore, Singapore
6836 8417

Penny Black

Restaurant | "The Penny Black"

Quote:
This is a British theme pub that is ideally placed on the boat quay for a nice lunch or quick beer on your way around the river area of the city. We called in for a beer on the walk from Chinatown to St Andrew's Cathedral. The staff are friendly and there is seating inside and out. The toilets are the most Victorian part of the pub, being tiled just as they would have been back then. We didn't see the place when it was busy, but I imagine it does get very busy. There are TV screens and the pub regularly runs various sporting events (especially English ones) and does an interesting array of merchandise (glasses, T-shirts, etc.) Not a bad place for a quick beer; we didn't test the food, but it looked an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Penny Black
26/27 Boat Quay
Singapore 049817
65 6538 2300

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Maxwell Road Hawker Centre has to rate amongst one of the best in Singapore. We stopped by for breakfast (I know curry isn't the thing for brekkie, but it was there). We were on our way around Chinatown and strolling between temples when we came across it on the corner of South Bridge Rd and Maxwell Rd. The place was a bustling crowd of locals all eating and chatting. There are at least 50 stalls to choose from, some specialise in drinks - juices, water, coke, etc., whilst others do sushi, noodles, soups, curries, chicken dishes...the list is endless. The most difficult thing is deciding which one to buy at - it all looks so good. We had a dish of mutton curry with egg roti's and a biryani styl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Little India/Tekka

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tekka Centre"

Quote:
Another fine example of a wonderful hawker centre. I don't understand why we don't have them all over the world. They cost next to nothing, have amazing food, a great atmosphere and are clean and friendly. We went on a Sunday night, when Little India is filled with all the local Indians on their day off meeting up, and I mean all - there must have been 5000 of them, standing around, walking around, the atmosphere was great. In the tekka centre it was hard to find a table to eat at but we did and had a great chicken biryani, which consisted of half a chicken, a plate full of rice, a cucumber and chilli sauce and a bowl of biryani sauce. I have to confess to struggling to finish it, which when you ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Little India/Tekka
North of Kampong Glam
Singapore

Long Bar

Restaurant

Quote:
I have to admit to being disappointed by the Long Bar at Raffles. It came across as being a bit seedy and very expensive. Perhaps after my hawker centre breakfast this wasn't the place to go, but it had to be done. We had a single Singapore Sling each, which tasted nothing like a sling should and was a hideous colour and tasted far too sweet. To wash it down we ordered some fries, which I admit were OK - big fat chips and ketchup - not bad but again rather pricey. Some of the other food looked interesting, but I'm not paying almost £15 for a bar snack. I'm recommending the place purely because it has to be done; saying you've 'done Raffles' is pleasing, but there are far better places to eat and drink...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Long Bar
Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road
Singapore, Singapore 189673
+65 6337 1886

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
This is a great escape from the bustle of the city just 12km away. Bukit Timah is a 160-hectare nature reserve that includes Singapore's highest hill (not very high at only 163.63m) and has the only substantial area of rainforest left in Singapore. We took a cab out and a bus back, but either way, it's easy, as there are several buses leaving Orchard Road for upper Bukit Timah Road and then it's a 10min walk to the reserve. A single hectare of this reserve contains more tree varieties than are in the entire of North America, so as you can imagine, the flora is great. The walks are colour coded and easy to find, but most start with a very steep climb on a tarmac path. After the climb, the going is f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
177 Hindhede Drive
Singapore 589333
(800) 468 5736

South Padang

Attraction

Quote:
This area of the city covers a fairly large area but includes most of the business district, including Parliament House, the Supreme Court and City Hall. One of the nicest ways to approach this area is to come across the Elgin River from Boat Quay on the Cavenagh Bridge. This brings you immediately to the Asian Civilisations Museum, which we passed by on this occasion. However, behind the museum is the attractive old parliament house and beyond that the new parliament house. Continuing on up St. Andrew's Rd. you have the Padang (large grassy park area) on your right, where you can often watch a cricket match. On your left you pass by the Supreme Court and the City Hall, both beautiful buildings bui...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Raffles Hotel

Attraction | "Raffles Complex"

Quote:
Raffles is one of those places that draws in the tourists mainly so people can say they have been there. Unfortunately, they have a pretty strict dress code, and whilst it's OK to turn up in a taxi and have the door opened for you by a well-dressed doorman, you are likely to be politely removed from the lobby unless you are appropriately dressed (no shorts or sandals). However, it's worth pretending you don't know this and dive in quick to take as much of the spectacular room in as possible before you are nicely ejected again. The hotel has lots of areas that the public can wander around and many bars, the long bar being one of the most famous (see separate entry), however there are also guest only...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
Singapore 189673
+65 6337 1886

St. Andrews Cathedral

Attraction | "St. Andrew's Cathedral"

Quote:
From the outside the cathedral is a stunning white building built in the colonial style. The original cathedral was designed by an Irishman called Coleman who designed various other buildings in Singapore, including the Armenian Church and Old Parliament Building. It was built in 1837 but unfortunately was struck by lightning and demolished before being rebuilt between 1856 and 1862.

The inside of the cathedral is fairly dull compared to European cathedrals and lacks the impressive feeling that the outside gives. Having said that, it is a nice place to visit and has nice acoustics during a service.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrews, Scotland

Chinatown

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Chinatown is a fantastic place to spend some time just wandering around, and there are plenty of things to keep you occupied too. A good way to start is to take the MRT to the Chinatown stop and exit onto Pagoda Street. From here you can wander through the Chinatown heritage area, which is filled with market stalls and shops, before emerging next to the Sri Mariamman Temple, which a beautiful Hindu Temple. From here there are many options, but walking up Sth Bridge St and along Cross St and then down Telok Ayer Street is good, as it lets you walk past some plaques that tell you about the area and leads you to the magnificent Thian Hock Keng Temple and the Al-Abrar Mosque. If you cut through the pas...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Chinatown
Outram District
Singapore, Malay Peninsula

Little India/Tekka

Attraction | "Little India"

Quote:
If you don't like crowds, particularly crowds of men, don't go to Little India on a Sunday evening, as this is when all the Indians who work in Singapore have a day off and meet up with their friends. In fact, I found the whole experience rather fun, although the crowds were a bit irritating, as it prevented a good view of some of the temples. The Sri Veeramakiamman Temple on Serangoon Street is very colourful and worth a look at; you can get right up to the door and see inside without actually having to go inside. There is also the Tekka Centre for food (see separate entry), and upstairs there are numerous stalls selling crafts and textiles. Some of the shops and streets smell beautifully of spices a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Little India/Tekka
North of Kampong Glam
Singapore

Sentosa Island

Story/Tip

Quote:
Sentosa is a place that has something for everyone. The most magnificent way to arrive is by cable car. Take the MRT to Harbourfront and follow the signposts to the cable car. The journey is short, but the view is fantastic. The ticket is also a return and includes the $2 charge to enter Sentosa. In addition, once on Sentosa, there is a free monorail and several different coloured free buses allowing you to travel around as you wish. It's also pretty easy to walk and there are several trails that cross from one side of the island to the other, such as the Dragon Trail and the Nature Walk, both taking you through quiet trees and with information on the way about snakes, spiders, etc. There are many bea...Read More