Wednesday, January 2, 2019

3 days in Singapore

Gardens by the bay
My wife and I recently did a 3 day layover trip to Singapore on our way back to the US from Mumbai, India. Singapore started a Visa free transit facility for India passport holders a couple of years back, so as long as you hold a valid visa for countries such as US, Canada, Japan etc. you can visit Singapore, for up to 96 hours, while in transit, once only i.e while in transit either to your destination, or back to your origin; but not both ways.
Malaysian Cuisine at
Ipoh Lou Yau Bean
Sprouts Chicken
World's tallest indoor waterfall 
We landed in Singapore, after a overnight flight from Mumbai, at around 8:30 am. The immigration was relatively quick, as I presented my US visa and my flight confirmation from Singapore to Kansas City. After immigration, we got our 3 day MRT tourist pass, and were on our way to our hotel, in the Chinatown area of Singapore.
Day 1: We reached our hotel, after a couple of connections on the train and a bus, at about 10 am. However, we were told the check-in was at 3 pm, so we ended up staying, and freshening up & catching up on some sleep, at another hotel which offered rooms at $50 SGD for 3 hours.
After checkout at around 2:30 pm we headed back to our original hotel for check-in.
Masjid Sultan

After getting settled into our hotel, we headed out to the Gardens by the bay, a huge, colorful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore.  The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults.
Supertree walkway

Day 2: The next day, we started with a trip back to the Gardens. This time to see the 2 attractions - Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. They are both indoor glasshouse like environment with various plants and other tropical habitat. The cloud forest also has the world's tallest indoor waterfall at 35 meters.
We ended the visit to the gardens with a trip up the Super tree grove walkway.
We continued our itinerary by moving on to Arab street and little India, and rounded off the evening with a visit to the Merlion park in downtown, a ‘must-see’ for tourists visiting Singapore.  The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means "sea town" in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name—Singapura—meaning "lion city".
Lunch at Arbora
Day 3: Our last day of Singapore was focused on the Sentosa Island. We had booked an unlimited cable car rides + 2 attractions pass for about $56 SGD/person. There are 2 lanes Mount Faber Line and the Sentosa lane for the cable car. We took both lines to reach the end point of the island which was the Siloso Point Station, which used to be a fort during WWII for the British. There is a wonderful s ky walk (free) to get to the fort.
View at Mt Faber view point
After taking lunch at Arbora near Mt Faber, we went to the view point where you can get a glimpse of the Singapore vastness as a concrete jungle.
As evident from the pic on the right, it started raining almost immediately as we left the viewpoint, so we had to wait and admire the beautiful Singapore rains the next hour or so. We wrapped off our day with visits to the beach, and the southernmost point in contiguous Asia. On the way back we visited the Buddha tooth relic temple in Chinatown, before calling it a day.
Buddha Tooth relic temple
Singapore is much more than the summation of its numerous attractions. It's truly a city that is at least 10 years ahead of it's time, and it advancing at a rapid pace. It's a great place to explore even on a limited time and budget, and I hope this inspires you to visit this magnificent city.