The wife and I had never been to Singapore so the whole city was new to us. We did have one advantage in that one of my wife’s childhood friends, Abby, has lived and worked there for the last eight years so we would have a native guide for at least one day while we were there.
My wife’s favorite way to see a city is the double-decker bus tour that is available in most major cities around the world. Singapore has multiple bus circuits for sightseeing all with the same company for one price. The cost was SGD $33 per person for 24 hours of jump-on, jump-off or $43 for 48 hours.
Singapore has a rich multi-cultural history and you can spend hours in Little India, Chinatown, and Arab Street. Each has a very quaint flavor and modern mom and pop shops contained within historical buildings. There is also a great waterfront area called Clarke Quay (pronounced “key”) with bars and restaurants – although I thought they were expensive. Lots of variety of food needless to say. All these old districts are actually within walking distance, but hopping on and off the bus may be a better date is it is hot out.
And of course there is the spectacular financial district.
So after sightseeing for a day, our native guide brought us to some of the other tourist venues.
On the left is a picture of my wife and our native guide, Abby, with the Sands hotel casino in the background. This fantastic architectural structure is known locally as a vertical resort. Meaning that it contains 2000+ hotel rooms with a wide variety of activities and entertainment all contained within the building which is supposed to resemble a long-boat on the top. The next photo is the Singapore equivalent of the London Eye, except they proudly say that theirs is taller than the one in England. It takes 30 minutes to make a complete revolution and you can see all the modern part of Singapore.
Nearby you will find the Garden by the Bay. These are two massive greenhouses. The first has a collection of flowers and trees from all over the world. it is a lovely cool walk around this air-conditioned garden where you can compare plants familiar to you with those of foreign lands.
The second greenhouse is the spectacular one which contains a seven story tall tower. This represents the different tropical plants at elevations from sea level to 2000 feet. As you can see there is a waterfall and a “cloud walk” pathway which freaked out my wife who is very afraid of heights! With Abby on one side and I on the other we managed to get her along that part of the attraction, but it wasn’t easy. Admission to both of these attractions is SGD $28.
Finally, hanging around the Marina is a great place for sights, food, and entertainment. We experienced a free concert by the water, good food, which I will relate more about tomorrow, and beautiful sights especially at night. All these are within walking distance of the Conrad, Ritz-Carlton, and other hotels who are listed as being in the Marina District.