Gotta see it: Top attractions in Singapore

Why should a website about Malaysia be writing about Top Singapore Attractions?

Of course Singapore is a separate, independent nation but it shares a common heritage and similar culture(s) to its much larger neighbour Malaysia.

Being located on a bustling island just a stone’s throw away from the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, it makes sense for visitors from afar to combine both countries in their travel itineraries.

Singapore is a beautiful city crammed full of interesting places to visit and things to do.

1. Singapore Zoo

This world-leading zoo combines three Singapore tourist attractions in one: Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari.

SINGAPORE ZOO: Recognised as one of the best loved family venues. The zoo has done a great job in keeping their animals comfortable by emulating natural habitats ranging from the frozen tundra to tropical rainforests.

The best zoos in the world have moved away from old-style, viewing wild animals in captivity. Singapore Zoo is now all about experiential learning with emphasis on conservation of wildlife and their threatened habitats. Its free ranging Orang-Utan habitat is one of the zoo’s highlights.

Warning: A day at the zoo is not cheap, particularly for large families. Admission to Singapore Zoo is a hefty S$28 (approximately RM84) for adults and S$18 (approximately RM54) for kids and that’s before you pay for meals, ice cream, souvenirs, transport or parking.

Still, the money is being put to good use – giving the best possible care to the animals.

Opening hours: 8.30am to 6pm.

NIGHT SAFARI: Focuses on species more active after dark. Visitors can see 130 nocturnal species and night hunters from a 35-minute tram ride with commentary or by taking a walking trail.

Opening hours: 7.30pm to midnight. Ticket Prices S$39 (approximately RM117) for adults and S$25 (approximately RM75) for children.

RIVER SAFARI: The latest addition to the zoo (opened in 2013) and is a river-themed wildlife park showcasing critters from various river zones around the world including the Mekong, Nile, Amazon and Mississippi which can be viewed while travelling on a boat or on foot.

Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm. Admission Charges: S$25 (approximately RM75) for adults and S$16 (approximately RM48) for kids.

2. Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park has four large walk-in aviaries containing hundreds of colourful and exotic birds from Asia, Africa, Australia and South America.

Opening hours: 8.30am to 6pm. Ticket Prices: S$25 (approximately RM75) for adults and S$16 (approximately RM48) for kids. Multi-Park tickets (called Park Hopper Specials) are also available.

3. Singapore Botanic Gardens

 

One the finest botanical gardens in the world, it was established in 1859 and has been maturing and improving ever since.

Not only does the garden look beautiful, it also performs a valuable role in botanical research in areas such as the propagation, hybridisation, conservation and uses of plants. It is equipped with laboratories, libraries and other facilities.

Opening hours: 5am to midnight. Admission is free.

4. Southern Ridges

This park comprises four contiguous parks – Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park.

As the name suggests, the park occupies the ridge of high ground overlooking Sentosa Island and the southern approaches to Singapore.

Easily accessible from the city centre, Southern Ridges allows exercise and fresh air lovers to enjoy a hike amid lush forest with far reaching views. The trails include a stunningly designed wood and steel bridge known as Henderson Waves as well as an elevated steel walkway.

5. Gardens By the Bay

The Garden By the Bay, built during the past decade on land reclaimed from the sea, has these key highlights:

• SUPERTREES is a man-made grove of spectacular vertical plant displays with an elevated skyway and a nightly light and sound show.

• CLOUD FOREST is a massive glass conservatory containing a 35-metre artificial mountain and waterfall planted with high altitude vegetation amid cool moist air.

• FLOWER DOME is another giant glass-house conservatory featuring plants and trees from different regions of the world.

• OUTDOOR GARDENS are open from 5am-2am daily while Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and the Skyway are open from 9am to 9pm.

6. Marina Bay Sands

The spectacular Marina Bay Sands has three 200-metre towers, occupied by hotel rooms, topped and linked by Sands SkyPark which comprises an observation deck, a stunning roof top infinity pool, gardens and restaurants.

Marina Bay Sands calls itself an integrated resort and, in addition to the hotel, the complex includes a casino, an Expo & Convention Centre, an Art Museum and a high-end shopping mall with a Venetian style canal running through it.

7. Resorts World Sentosa

Located on Sentosa Island, this spot includes Universal Studios Singapore, (a cutting edge theme park divided into seven zones with rides and shows based on different Universal Studios movies), and Marine Life Park which comprises three aquatic attractions: S E A Aquarium, Adventure Cove and Dolphin Island.

There’s a range of hotel accommodation including Hard Rock Hotel, Beach Villas and TreeTop Lofts, as well as a casino, conference and wedding facilities and many restaurants.

8. Singapore Cable Car

The most spectacular way to get to Resorts World is via the Singapore Cable Car which runs from the top of Mount Faber to Sentosa Island and provides a bird’s eye view of the harbour front and Singapore port along the way.

Ticket prices are S$29 (approximately RM87) for adults and S$18 (approximately RM54) per child. Various promotions and

9. Singapore Flyer

Supposedly the world’s largest observation wheel, standing 165m above the ground. This makes it 30m higher than Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, the London Eye. However Singapore may have been overtaken (just) by the High Roller in Las Vegas which is 2.7m taller.

No matter, the Singapore Flyer offers panoramic views of Marina Bay Sands and the city and is certainly worth a visit.

10. Bumboat Tour on Singapore River

A great way to see some of Singapore’s top sights in comfort is by taking a 40-minute river cruise on an electric and environmentally-friendly bumboat. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

The route covers famous landmarks such as Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, Merlion Park, Marina Bay, the Promenade, the Esplanade and the Fullerton Hotel.

Tickets cost S$22 (approximately RM66) for adults and S$12 (approximately RM36) for children.

11. Heritage Walk

The best way to soak up the atmosphere of Singapore is on foot. It’s not a small city but many of its best known heritage sights can be found in a relatively compact area which can be covered by foot.

Various operators provide guided walks or it is possible to find self-guided itineraries on Google.

12. Raffles Hotel

It is the ultimate in colonial-era luxury and not a cheap place to stay but thanks to its open courtyard design it is possible for non-residents to have a peek at the public areas without risking confrontation with security guards. The Long Bar (home of the Singapore Sling) and the Bar & Billiard Room are recommended for smartly-attired tourists with some cash to burn.

While in the vicinity, Chijmes across the street is another complex of historic buildings which has been tastefully converted into cafes, bars and restaurants.

13. Museums

As you would expect in a sophisticated city like Singapore there are many museums worth visiting. Here are some of the favourites:

• Chinatown Heritage Centre

• National Museum of Singapore

• Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

• Peranakan Museum

• Reflections at Bukit Chandu

• Philatelic Museum

• Asian Civilisations Museum

This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com