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Trip Planning

Wellington, New...
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Trip Planning

Hello all,

We are in the process of planning a holiday in Singapore in April next year. We already have flights booked. Initially we had thought that we would spend all 10 nights in Singapore. We've spoken to several people who have lived in Singapore and also stopped-over and they are all saying 10 nights is way too long. Now I don't want to be rushed off my feet all holiday but if we could do seven nights in Singapore and three nights elsewhere, without it taking too much travel time or costing an arm and a leg, it might be a compromise. We have two six year old boys who like things like LEGOLAND (sorry it's auto caps the place), zoos and the like but not stuff like USS but they love the beach and swimming in safe water. If you could do three nights at the end of the holiday, where would you go with smaller children?

Also, how much of an issue is the haze you suffered from this year - is it an annual thing? The reason I ask is that I have two in our family that are asthmatics and I don't want anyone to end up hospitalised. Thanks for your time and positive outlooks.

Singapore
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for Singapore
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1. Re: Trip Planning

Hi kapitibeach,

Rest assured that April is too early for the haze. It was bad last year but I believe the Indonesian government is taking steps to mitigate that problem. Anyway as mentioned earlier, the haze will usually occur around July-Aug so, imo, you should be alright in April.

Imo, you can spend the 10 days here and explore Singapore leisurely and not in a rush. Especially, with our hot and humid weather, you'll find you'll get tired easily. Maybe you can divide your time here between the mainland and Sentosa. You can visit the attractions while you are on the mainland and then have a free and relaxing time on Sentosa. The Shangrila Rasa Sentosa is one beach hotel you may want to have a look.

shangri-la.com/singapore/rasasentosaresort/

Alternatively, you may want to have a look at the beach resorts in Bintan, a 45 minutes ferry ride away.

My $0.02. Hope this helps.

Happy planning!

Singapore
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2. Re: Trip Planning

First of all, although 10 days is not what a tourist usually spends in Singapore, its not too long a duration to spend here even if this is a city country. You will be able to find places of interest, that are of high quality to fill up those 10 days without getting bored. However, 7 days is still a reasonable stay to see the major attractions. If you are looking for a short beach holiday (2 or 3 nights), Langkawi and Tioman Island in Malaysia or Phuket in Thailand would be top on my recommendation. All these 3 places are a short flight distance from Singapore. Else, Bintan can be reached by ferry but this is more of a quick weekend getaway for people who do not have too many options...(I mean the residents of Singapore!).

Melbourne
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3. Re: Trip Planning

I don't think you'll find 10 days too much. We have just returned from spending 7 days in Singapore with our 2 children aged 5.5 and 1.5 and there was so much we didn't see or do as it is hot and humid which makes it hard to do too many things in one day, particularly with young children who get tired. Also our son loved swimming in the resort pool (we stayed at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa referred to by Singapore Nancy and it had a great kids pool with slides). It also had its own little beach which was perfect for kids and you could hire pedal boats and kayaks, another big hit with our son. We didn't get to Legoland, the Flyer, MBS, USS, did hardly any shopping, so could easily have filled a few more days. I will post a JBR and a review of the resort. We stayed the whole time on Sentosa which I know is frowned upon but it suited our family better than a city hotel would have as there was more to entertain our son in the resort and on the island while the baby was sleeping, but you won't have that same issue.

Good luck with your planning!

Asia
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4. Re: Trip Planning

If you want three nights somewhere else, then Bintan (as suggested above) is most convenient. Kids can spend all day on the beach. No problem. Note that Bintan is quite expensive (like Singapore. (Very much 5* hotel prices). Other places not too far are Montigo Bay in Batam. I haven't been there (personally)yet , but I have seen the photos and had friends who have been.

There are also ther eco-friendly type places around (but not cheap, e.g. Pulau Joyo), but you need a longer time to get there and once you are there it's only (but lovely) beach and sea. ;-)

Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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5. Re: Trip Planning

kapitibeach, hi

1/ 10 days is WONDERFUL span of time to explore SIN at leisure and ENJOY the place instead of running mad from sight to sight and have a nice porridge in your head in the end.

2/ if you need a hotel recommendation, please state your budget/ room/ night????

Cambridge, United...
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for Singapore
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6. Re: Trip Planning

I too have lived in SIngapore and visited as a tourist. What I have noticed/learned is that there are very distinct differences in perception from each of those experiences which can paradoxically both inform and confuse decisions about the other.

Singapore is sold as a 3 day stopover because it is a highly connected hub, so travel agents are trying to use it as an extra sale as they route people through Singapore to another location. It works very very well for that but that 3 day experience does not remotely begin to let you see the whole of what the island has to offer.

My must see list is about 7 days long at the moment but may need revising with some new attractions. On top of that I want some extra time when I visit to see things that are not on my must see list. Add to that the fact that my must see list doesnt include certain attractions that are very popular with others and suddenly you are staring at nearly two weeks of attractions to go and see at a reasonable pace without really having to work to hard at mining the less well-known places.

One reason is I think people underestimate the effect of the climate and routemarch round the place. You can keep that up for a couple of days and not feel too bad but on a longer visit not slowing down in the climate will take its toll badly. SO you will need more time to go places and do things than you might expect unless you are used to Singapore type weather.

SO do not be afraid of the idea of 10 days in Singapore - its about what I would suggest as a leisurely first visit for a really good run at the place seeing a decent variety of things.

That said, its a stop over location for a reason, so if you want to use it to hop off somewhere for a few days, its a good option. Bintan I have done and it is very convenient as a resort hotel stop with a quick ferry trip - beaches are better than SIngapore which really does not do beaches well at all - although we are not talking Maldives quality there. Air and other links put all the Malysian, Indonesian and Thai resorts in fairly easy reach as well.

So to Singapore specifics - Hotels etc need budget and ideally some kind of wish list of facilities that you consider vital, desiraable and/or unimportant. To expand on mumwithbub's comment - the general advice/prevailing opinion from the regulars here is that its easier to stay in the city rather than on Sentosa for accessibility and you will see that comment crop up strongly each and every time the question is asked. However, I would say usually you should also get replies that give the context that the gap is smaller than it used to be and its certainly small enough to be overridden by desire to stay at a particular Sentosa hotel - if not consider that Im adding that context now and keep it in mind in the City/Sentosa decision. For reference my personal preferences puts me in the city but Im travelling without kids, and use the hotel essentially as a place to sleep and to have the occasional dip in the pool at the end of a day - that certainly biases my hotel selection heavily.

Attractions - well there's a huge list - any ideas what you are most likely to go for and have you got any idea so far as to what the city has to offer. I font then your first stop has to be the Singapore TOurist Board site at www.yoursingapore.com and to get a better idea of Sentosa which is likely to be a high interest item then visit www.sentosa.com.sg to get a better view of the island in context - the yuorsingapore site does list most things but not in decent context (in my opinion).

Have a trawl see what attracts and then come back and get an idea the sort of time blocks you are looking at and related ideas/suggestions from there.

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Trip Planning

Three middle aged business travelers (one couple/1 single) are looking for relaxing beach or tropical getaway from Singapore the weekend of Oct 12-13, following a week of hectic meetings. We depart S'pore on Monday morning, Oct 14. Any ideas for a weekend getaway from the city would be most welcome!

Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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8. Re: Trip Planning

Under Top questions about Singapore (TOP Right hand side) in the main Tripadvisor Singapore Forum; Click on "Visiting > Where to go for a Short trip From Singapore"

Already Many ideas there.

Wellington, New...
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9. Re: Trip Planning

Thank you guys. All the information you gave me has made me more confident. I love pottering around on the TA Forums reading people's suggestions.

One thought is to stay in a two bed apartment for seven nights, we like the extra space and with two smaller kids we like to have the interconnected area (so they can spread their Lego out and play without the adults falling over it). We've decided between Somerset Liang Court, Village Residence Clarke Quay or Somerset on Orchard. I checked the Swisshotel MC but they didn't have availability in our time period unfortunately in their family rooms. My husband initially favoured the Somerset Liang Court but I am extremely put off by the comments on TA about noise that seem very consistent - we live in a rural area with builders next door at the moment and I don't want to go on holiday to have more building noise! My preference would be Village Residence Clarke Quay at this stage.

We have decided on Sentosa for at least three nights (possibly the whole time depending what the pricing is like). I love the look of the Shangri-La Rasa with the little beach. However it looks like we can't get four in a room. Is that correct? If we had to book two rooms I can't find any details on interconnecting rooms at all on any website. I'm stumped. The kids like the idea of a beach but I've read on TA that it's not swimmable due to the Port of Singapore sea traffic pollution. The other place we are tossing up is the Sentosa Resort & Spa, they can do a two bedroom room but breakfast is extra and costly (with kids we like to have breakfast at the hotel as they wake up and need to eat rather than trek about looking at options like their parents).

We looked seriously at Bintan but when we factored in cost, time and VOA for a family of four, Sentosa was a much easier choice for us.

Thus far we've got the following on the menu: Singapore Flyer, Jurong Bird Park, LEGOLAND (may do two days if the Water Park is open - we've done LEGOLAND California and it was the kids preferred place over Disneyland), Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Underwater World, Marine Life Park, Science Museum, Little India and Chinatown. We aren't really too big on shopping besides stuff from Little India as we did a huge shop for clothes etc in the US last year. One son thinks he's just going to sit in Little India and eat curry three meals a day as he loves it but we are hoping to do some other cuisines with the family. Any other quirky suggestions for the family would be welcome. We will be in Singapore over Easter and our ANZAC Day, but I'm hoping it's not a complete closedown like NZ on certain days given the diverse cultures in Singapore.

Singapore
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for Singapore
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10. Re: Trip Planning

Hi kapitibeach,

Good Friday is on 18 April 2014 and it is a public holiday while ANZAC Day, 25 April 2014, is not. For both days, everything goes on as per normal. Shops, attractions, F&B outlets are opened. However, banks are closed during public holidays but ATMs are operational and moneychangers are opened. So, you should not have any problems then.

Re Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa, you may want to read mumwithbub's review here.

tripadvisor.com/…UR178536896

Cheers!