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Singapore a quick visit – part 3
This incredible botanical display cost S$1 billion to build and, with free admission, represents the best value views in Singapore.
As the midday heat builds, hop on the MRT to Bugis Junction. You can find the best value lunch in Singapore among the dozens of stalls in the old Bugis food centre. Order what takes your fancy from any of the stalls and sit where you can best people watch. I know it sounds gross but try the fish-head soup, also a good tip is don’t sit at a table that has a packet of tissues left on it; it’s the way of reserving the seat here. The shaded undercover market here is the best place to dodge the heat and shop for everything from fake designer wear to Chinese magic charms.
One place that still holds on to its charm after more than 120 years is Raffles. Very few of us can afford a night at this most iconic hotel but it’s worth splashing out on a Singapore Sling in the bar where up to 1, 500 of these cocktails are poured every day.
Singapore can accommodate just about anyone’s taste in hotels; at the top end: There’s something decidedly seductive about the Naumi Hotel If the older style Raffles is the Grand Dame of Singapore then Naumi is the flirty little upstart you just can’t ignore. Rooms are small but so well equipped and cleverly laid out that you don’t even notice. Guests also have exclusive access to perhaps the most romantic rooftop infinity pool and bar in Singapore. Doubles here start from $300 per night for B& B. In the mid-range, The Sultan is a fine boutique hotel on the fringe of Kampong Glam, built in converted shop and houses in the traditional Malay quarter with doubles from $100 including breakfast.
If you are on a tighter budget then the 5FootWay Inn represents some of Singapore’s best budget hostels. There are two in Chinatown, one in Bugis and one on Boat Quay. Rooms are tiny but clean; bathrooms are shared but doubles are from $25.
Singapore could hold your attention for as long as you care to give it. The old communities of Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam are must sees. Orchard Road, with its glitzy malls, is a shopper’s paradise. Beyond the city is Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo, one of the world’s best.
Out in the bay is Sentosa Island, a giant amusement park, which is impossible to explore in one day. Singapore is also one of South East Asia’s cheapest airline hubs, you can reach anywhere from here. Popular destinations are Indonesia, especially Bali which is only a 2hr flight and Malaysia. However, Malaysia is best-reached overland. Buses leave from several locations but the usual departure point is a terminal near Golden Mile Complex to the island’s north. Depending on the route it takes 4-5hrs to reach Kuala Lumpur, 3-4hrs to reach Malacca.
That’s a quick look at Singapore, a more in depth series of articles will follow for those interested.
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Page added on: 3 April 2019
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