Oh yes, it has been six months and I am still singing Singapore, well not literally, but virtually. My social media pages still have images from the trip and I guess it will be so until my next trip. 🙂
I can go on writing about this trip, but will try to keep it as crisp an account as possible. I am hoping this will be a point-to-point guide for anyone visiting to Singapore, especially to those from the upcoming batches of IIMI PGPMX.
In my executive management program, there was a compulsory International Immersion session and IIM Indore has collaborated with NTU – Singapore for this five day program. This was last year, in the last week of November.
Well, I decided to be a student and a tourist, so I spent last two weeks of November 2017 in Singapore. Thanks to my friend Hema, who was my tourist companion and photographer (Ok, she is terrible in clicking pictures, but as if I had an option 🙂 Sorry Hema! Can’t Lie! )
Jet Airways is what we choose, a late night flight. Good experience.
At Singapore Airport, breakfast at Hello Kitty Orchid Garden was excellent! My type of place, colorful interiors, little girly, but great menu and awesome service, worth it!
What we bought at Changi Airport?
The package offers to the Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari), Jurong Bird Park, Wild Night Safari and Gardens By The Bay. (We did it all. Pictures will speak volumes!) And metro-bus card (validity three days). For two, if I remember correctly, all of these together had cost us slightly over SD 400.
From airport to hotel, we opted for Uber car. Prompt service, very helpful drivers. (This is year 2017 I am talking. I think it is only Grab now.)
Stay was at ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson. For a day or two stay, this hotel is good. But for two people sharing the room for five days, it is not a great option. The breakfast menu is same every day—two days I managed, third day on Orange Juice, and fourth and fifth day, I skipped the Breakfast, which was a part of the package.
All right, now coming to places visited in these five days…
Jurong Bird Park + Singapore Zoo (zoo visit, river side boat ride, river safari) + Wild Night Safari—all can be visited in one day provided you make a move early in the morning around 9 AM.
- Singapore Zoo – River Safari was a great experience!
- Jurong Bird Park – clicking picture with birds was cool.
- Wild Night Safari – I loved it! Tramp ride I went for it twice; thrice was also okay with but it was closing hours so yeah I couldn’t.
Sultan Mosque + perfect for souvenir shopping in the area around + Lunch at Rumah Makan Minang (a resto for seafood lovers) – excellent day spent!
Yueh Hai Ching Temple, at Raffles Place, surrounded by all tall buildings that probably are addresses to various successful commercial settings. So yes, every landmark tourist destination is at a walking distance from here. All three wharfs – Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay on the Singapore River are around.
We chose River Cruise from Boat Quay jetty. This cruise acquaints you with all the iconic landmarks during. And, of course, Chilli Crab at one of the Quay Side restaurants (food for two with drinks SD 110) is way too tempting! Followed by evening at Clarke Quay!
Now, Iconic Landmarks…
Marina Bay Sands— not-to-miss…Ce La Vi Restaurant and Skybar (entry fee SD 20 per person, food for two will cost about SD 100) and The Shoppes
Marina Square has many dining options. We had visited for currency exchange (Money Changer). But we enjoyed the great ambiance and were guided by very helpful staff. And yes, it was close to Christmas time, so yes, there were ongoing fun activities.
Merlion Park (free entry); Enjoy J-cone ice cream Korean dessert – unique experience as you got to balance ice cream at both the ends of the J-cone which melts at a great pace. But yummilicious!
Gardens by the Bay – nice, but chilling cold. Wear appropriate clothing. Waterfall is something unique. Night view of Super Trees is beautiful. Don’t miss the Garden Rhapsody Show. There is a McDonald’s if you are hungry. And many other restaurants. Rooftop Drinks at SuperTree by IndoChine gives a beautiful view of the city (entry SD 20 per person).
Singapore Flyer (entry fee SD 33 per person, I think, plus additional SD 25 or 35 for the picture if you choose to click inside). I loved this place. Just loved it. Sunset is an apt time as you can see the city bustling in light and then glowing in the dark. There is a lot to explore around besides the Flyer.
Little India: We visited Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Mustafa Centre here.
Museums (entry fee SD 8 per person in each museum): ArtScience Museum (Near Marina Bay Sands) and Asian Civilizations Museum (Empress Place) we missed other museums due to time constraint.
Streets: Bugis Street and Orchard Street. Intercontinental Bugis is a great place to visit. We had been there to have dinner at Nandos, and got all excited at Charles & Keith store – good collection. I love the bag I bought.
A day trip to Sentosa: Since we had not pre-booked online, it was kind of expensive SD 90 for Aquarium + Trick Eye Museum + Laser Show. We missed Universal Studios, again due to time constraint.
- Fort Siloso – cool to click aerial views
- Co+Nut+Ink ice cream – not to be missed Coconut Icecream
- Beach walks can be cool, but we did not have time for that.
- Lunch at Hard Rock Café was yummilicious. Fish & Chips and onion rings – not miss it!
- To move within Sentosa, there is free bus service or you can opt for car but that is not free. 🙂
- From Sentosa to city you can opt to go via Bus, Cable Car, Monorail or Car (all paid services).
- S.E.A Aquarium, a section is shut down, but whatever is functional is worth it.
- Trick Eye Museum – you can click weird pics, with weird poses.
- Wings of Time, the laser show – oh my my…Mesmerising! I love Shahbaz!
And the next six days I was at Nanyang Technological University, NTU-Singapore campus. Smart campus, excellent facilities, amazing staff, great 3D research unit, and as a participant you experience lively knowledge exchange sessions with the faculty. Single room accommodation at Nanyang Executive Centre was totally worth it. Breakfast Buffet menu offers a wide range of options. I should have opted NTU instead of IBIS. Well, a lesson learnt.
Note: If you want to buy NTU merchandise, budget that amount as it is not available online. From SD 7 to SD 100 and beyond – there are several products you can purchase; from badge to t-shirt to jacket to stationary to coffee flask, etc.)
Nanyang Executive Centre
At Changi Airport – Chocolates was a must buy for me. And back to India via Jet Airways.
Some Clicks…Singapore…Night & Day…
All in all a superb trip, and I cannot stop singing!
– Ashu Bolar