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Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Sydney, Australia
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Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Hello All,

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Singapore. Thanks to the advice I have already found in the Forum we settled on staying at the Swissotel Stamford and have loosely put together the following itinerary for our 6 day stay.

We arrive mid-arvo on Sept 13 and are on an 8pm flight on Thursday Sept 13th.

We are in our mid-20's and want to have a mix of "touristy" stuff and relaxation as well as enjoying some of the night life.

Saturday:

- Arrive Hotel at 5:30pm if all goes to plan

- Not thinking about doing much, just exploring what's nearby. Perhaps take a taxi down to Clark Quay, have some dinner and find a bar to have a few drinks. We could possibly go to 1-Altitude but am worried it will be too busy for a Saturday and we may be too tired from our flight.

Sunday:

- Vivocity during the day

- Go back to the hotel for a bit of relaxation then head to the Marina Bay for a walk around. Visit the observation deck and have dinner around there and go to a bar.

Monday:

- Go somewhere nice for breakfast. Any suggestions? Something easy on the wallet preferred.

- Go to Orchard Road - spend about half a day there

- Botanic Gardens. Catch a taxi there from the end of Orchard Rd.

- Some kind of food market for dinner? Is there any suggestions on this? We can switch this for another night if markets are only on certain nights?

- Go to Raffles and get a Singapore Sling before heading back to our Hotel.

Tuesday:

- Go to Thian Hock Keng Temple and explore Chinatown a bit too.

- Have lunch at 1-Altitude if we have not yet been there

- Relax a bit then head down and do the Faber Peak cable cars and do the skydining. I have read mixed reviews on this but thought it is something different and may as well give it a go.

Wednesday:

- Undecided on this day. Two things we want to do are Universal Studios and the Zoo/Night Safari. I am less inclined to Universal Studios as my partner and I have both been to the one in the USA and figured it may not be worth doing in Singapore. Advice?

- Dinner/Drinks at the New Asia Restaurant in our Hotel Building

Thursday

- Grab a nice breakfast - happy to hear some suggestions.

- Again, a little undecided about what we could do on this day prior to having to head to the airport. Perhaps just go to Sentosa and explore what it has there.

- Leave by 4:30 in the afternoon to get to the airport with more than 2 hours before our flight.

- Have dinner at airport.

I know we are only scraping the tip of the iceberg of what this city has to offer and I am sure we will be back. We would just rather have more quality than quantity with our time spent there. I am open to suggestions however, if there are any "must-do's" that some of you may feel I have omitted here.

Just a few more questions:

1. We plan on taking Taxis mostly, unless we are going somewhere particularly situated next to a MRT stop. Would anyone advise against this?

2. Is there any shuffle of the itinerary one might suggest to be more efficient in our time spent?

3. What are the trading hours of places over there. I have read that shopping centres are typically open late, is that true?

4. When we are out "walking around" is there anything in the area mentioned above that I should make a point of seeing. For example, in another forum someone said there is a nice fountain or something in Clarke Quay?

Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, all! :)

Australia
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1. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Hello,

Just wondering about your Sunday. You say "Vivocity during the day". It's just a mall, a good mall with a couple of good Foodcourts, but not sure it's worth spending a lot of time there on a Sunday.

While in Chinatown I would also head to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and across the road from it is Maxwell Road Food Centre. Plenty of great stalls serving local dishes.

Somewhere nice for Breakfast - plenty of options in Raffles City Shopping Centre under your hotel, or for something a bit nicer try Wild Honey. For inexpensive and local then try Killiney Kopitiam, or Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets around the city.

Edited: 20 August 2014, 05:52
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Thanks for your advice, Avanti50.

WRT Vivocity, I had just read it's a great shopping centre but if it's not anything special than perhaps we will find something else to insert into this day.

Chinatown sounds good, I have already amended my itinerary to include this :)

Much appreciated, as advice rolls in I plan to really sharpen up my itinerary and trim the fat out of it so it's really solid by the time the trip rolls around.

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3. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Hello New86,

I think your plan is doable. However, do note that you will be here the weekend before the F1 weekend. Barriers and blockades are being put up now so you will experience some inconveniences walking around the area of your hotel. And, if like last year, road closure will start on Wednesday thereby making MRT travel a very trying experience, imo.

Your hotel is in a central location. You can walk to Marina Bay. There are a number of tourists' attraction there including the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands (casino, Skypark, the Shoppe, ArtScience Museum, Helix Bridge), the Merlion Park, Esplanade and the Asian Civilisation Museum. If you so incline, you can also walk to the Cenotaph (a war memorial) across the road from your hotel. The MRT is below your hotel too and there are 2 lines ; the EW line will link you to Changi Airport while the NS line will take you to Orchard. Shops here open at 10-10.30am and close at 9:30-10pm.

My $0.02. Hope this helps.

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4. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Hello SingaporeNancy,

Thanks for the helpful advice. I will read up further on travel between destinations whilst the blockades are up. Are Taxi's still OK to drive on these roads or are there a lot of diversions in place? Worried it will jack up the costs too much. Those later trading hours are great as well, even if we get a late start to shopping it's good to know we can have a late finish :)

Cheers

Singapore
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5. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Oh forgot to mention, your hotel is part of the Raffles City Complex. There is the Raffles City Shopping Centre adjoining your hotel. And there is a network of underground walkways (Citylink, an underground walkway cum mall) linking Raffles City to Marina Bay/ Marina Square in case for when you need to go there when the road closure is in effect.

Yes, taxis are ok. And yes, there will be diversions but i do not think it will cost that much more from normal. Btw, do you know that taxis here are cheaper than in Oz? :-)

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6. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

I am very pleased with what the convenience of the hotel, but I was not aware of the extent of the tunnels. So that's good. Thanks for the info.

Ok no worries. That's good, I am glad as we were hoping to use taxis most of the time as we are only traveling 5-10kms at a time, so if they're not too expensive, it works out well.

One more question, with traveling to our hotel from the airport. Are we able to get a direct train?

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7. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

The line from the airport is a spur line of the EW line. So you will need one transfer at Tanah Merah Station, to join the main line. It is an easy transfer involving walking across the platform (distance of about 5m ;) only). But do take note of the exit. To continue your journey to the city, take the left exit (facing the direction the train is going). Train will be heading to Joo Koon. If you take the right exits (train heading towards Pasir Ris), then you are heading the wrong way. Alight at City Hall, the station beneath your hotel.

Hopefully this will be of help to you.

http://www.smrt.com.sg/Trains/NetworkMap.aspx

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8. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

You can get a train from the airport to City Hall, with only the mandatory Tanah Merah change. Personally I wouldn't after a flight of significant length - if you are worried about not being able to do much on arrival from being tired as you commented in your first post then fighting on the MRT might not be ideal. While there is plenty of space for you and luggage at the airport end as you approach City Hall on a late Saturday afternoon its likely to get busy. Taxis are also a lot quicker for this, although more expensive, and while I run round the city on the MRT a lot and even go out to the airport that way - arrival I tend to hit the taxi. The exception is arriving on a short regional flight where I'm not tired at a quiet time.

On the day you arrive and looking for something to do in the late afternoon/evening then I would suggest a sort of orientation walk. Wander in the malls you are connected to - that's Raffles City Mall itself, the CityLink and Esplanade malls that run underground from City Hall MRT station towards the Marina, look in Suntec, maybe Marina Square mall. Several reasons - firstly I find walking around a bit does alleviate some of the fatigue from travelling and works the strain of being in an airplane chair out. These malls are all air conditioned so its fairly easy to wander around and since you seem to be room only (good choice, in my opinion) then you can circle around looking for breakfast options in the malls. Look for the toast/eggs/coffee places like Ya Kun Kaya, Toastbox or the independants (there were two decent ones in the City Link mall sort of opposite each other). Find a roti stall and see what they offer (that's my breakfast of choice, the previous option is what my wife hits - so we end up in Suntec normally where those two options are next to each other).

Wandering like this will keep you occupied and get a good idea of where to go and how to get about in the local area. THen you could wander around the civic district which is right next to the hotel - get out, walk along the Padang past the City Hall and the monument in that area and down to the river, past the Asian Civilisation museum and Merlion Park. At that point you are 5-10mins walk to Clark Quay and food anyway and saves a taxi fare. You could probably walk there in under 20mins in the evening anyway so a taxi would be a waste even if cheap (IMO)

General notes on your itinerary are you do tend to dive about a bit - for instance you flag going to or right next to the Sentosa area three times on different days (Vivocity, Sky Dining and then Sentosa on the day of departure) - which seems a bit of a waste when they could fit efficiently together.

To go slightly contrary you put the zoo and night safari on one day....I never recommend that and you have the time ti split them up. Yes I know it saves a taxi fare each way because they are next to each other - but it risks wasting the cash on the night safari if you do the zoo properly (an all day thing for a first time visitor in my opinion) or cutting back on the zoo experience to remain untired for the Night Safari.

Use taxis and MRT blended together depending upon what you are doing - choose which is best for you at the time. Going everywhere by taxis is viable but the MRT can fill in well. I tend to use taxis out to the more remote locations and the MRT for the city area. At the Stamford remember you are on top of a Red/Gree line interchange station, you can walk through air con to Esplanade on the Circle, or overground for 5mins or so to Bras Basah on the Circle line so the MRT is extremely well connected for you.

Your Monday plan I would switch around....start at the Botanic garden before the place really heats up and spend as much time there as you want to see as much as you want - its large. I typically spend a half day there and cover less than half of it. Taxi works though it is unnecessary - the MRT circle line goes to the north end - you could do that and walk through the gardens from one end to the other to the Tanglin gate and then walk the 15mins to Tanglin Mall, explore than and then on the 5-10mins walk to Orchard and start exploring there....the shops tend to stay open past 9pm. FOr the gardens I tend to MRT to Orchard, walk to the Tanglin Gate and explore the gardens and then come back to Orchard - so by MRT and foot works as well.

In terms of other things to do - well you are not staying long enough to get through my must see list so there are a number of museum I would be trying to see, plus fleshing out time on Sentosa to fit.

If you are going to the airport I would personally want to be there more than 2 hours in advance and 4.30 is getting dangerously close to peak time and the chance of traffic. You could go out by MRT, while slower in general it does just keep running - no traffic slow down. You also have to think of how you deal with the luggage - the easiest is to check out that morning early, and leave the bags with the hotel in their storeroom - but that means you do have to return to the hotel at the point you leave. Easy enough to do but you need to budget time for it.

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9. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

Thanks for the further SingaporeNancy :)

Wow! That's quite a bit of info. That's greatly appreciated, myrm.

Yes, after our plane trip and given the time we are arriving on a Saturday, the taxi certainly seems like the more viable option. Would anyone know approximately how much it would cost?

Have taken on board all your suggestions, particularly the general notes on our itinerary as we don't want to be going too back and forth from attractions. Working our way back down Orchard Rd after the Botanic Gardens is a wise idea.

I was thinking about skipping the zoo altogether and simply doing the night safari. Unless there are those of you that feel that the zoo is 'must-see'?

I think I need to investigate more about what Sentosa has to offer and dedicate some time there as opposed to just going down for a look.

Cheers again for the info guys. Any more suggestions or commentary on my itinerary is welcomed :)

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10. Re: Singapore in mid-September. Itinerary Help Please

The taxi from the airport should be around 25SGD and take around 20mins. There are some peak time surcharges on there plus the airport surcharge. If you want an idea of how much a taxi will cost and take the this is the calculator I use

gothere.sg

The zoo for me is a must see - its the flagship of the WRS parks and the largest. The problem you have is that picking things because they are must see isn't going to work - you are staying 5 days and that is shorter than the average must see list - so no matter what you do you are going to drop some of Singapore's Must Sees. So what gets included has to be based on your preferences and your timings (as does what gets dropped). You need to see at least one of the parks - doing the night safari as well gives the option of doing a second as it doesn't compete for time - but with only 5 days many things will have to give and that could be one of the WRS parks.....if you opt to do just one and it is the NIght Safari make sure you approach it properly - too many people do not and do not have a decent time there (the number of people I see thunder up to an enclosure, look for about 20seconds and shout 'there's nothing here' to their group mates before moving on rapidly is quite high and pretty much guaranteed to mean they will see very little). You get out of the Night Safari what you put in. If you want a more casual visit to one of the bigger parks then the zoo or the Bird park are better for you but they take up daytime.