Asia Pacific Guides™
Singapore in two days…
Day 1: Chinatown, the Singapore River, Turn left as you leave the temple and take a few
museums, the Colonial District, Raffles minutes' walk to Sri Mariamman Temple, on 244
South Bridge Road (near the corner of Pagoda
Hotel, Little India and the Night Safari
Street), one of Singapore's earliest and most
significant Hindu temples, which was built originally
7am: Our day starts at Chinatown MRT Station,
in 1827, as a simple wood and palm structure,
from where we will proceed, via exit A, to Pagoda
dedicated to Mariamman, the main South Indian
mother goddess and a protector from diseases. The
existing brick building started its life in 1843 and has
Narrow Pagoda Street, where Chinatown has started
since been expended and modified a few times. You
its life from, almost 200 years ago, was restored and
can then proceed to visit neighboring Masjid Jamae
the old houses where poor families of Chinese
Mosque, which was built in the 1820s and features
migrants had to cram in tiny flats are now housing
an eclectic architectural style.
shops and cafés.
Discover Singapore with those who know it best!
Click here to view our choice of city-tours and
The Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, on 267 South Bridge
Road, just across the street from the Hindu temple,
specializes in Chinese herbal medicines which are
prepared on spot, right before your eyes... Even if
you don't feel like trying any of their 'exotic'
products, it is still recommended to visit the place.
From here, we will take a pleasant stroll through
9 – 9:30am: Walk back to Chinatown Station and
Chinatown's historic streets, including Trengganu,
take the MRT to Clarke Quay (one station away).
Temple Street and Smith Street to the Buddha Tooth
Relic Temple and Museum: An impressive Tang-style
Leave Clarke Quay MRT Station via exit E, turn left
building on 288 South Bridge Road (corner of Sago
and left again, to the riverfront promenade and
Street), where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is
onwards, via Read Bridge to Clarke Quay, the middle
kept, in a gold stupa. Other than the holy remnant,
of the three historic quays along the Singapore River,
there is a lavishly decorated temple here, and a
which has been restored quite a few years ago and
Buddhist Culture Museum, where hundreds of
became one of the city's best Wine and Dine areas…
beautiful Buddhist artifacts are on display.
The old godowns have been painted vivaciously and
were converted to restaurants, cafés and resto-bars,
Daily, 7am – 7pm (The holy chamber can be seen
where you can unwind for a while and stretch your
9am – 12noon and 3 – 6pm), Free entry. Website
legs, before moving on…
Take a bumboat from the jetty next to Clarke Quay 12noon / 12:30pm: After visiting this splendid
and ride down the Singapore River a few minutes, to museum, we can proceed to visit other enchanting
the "Merlion" statue. colonial buildings in the vicinity: The Victoria Theatre
and Concert Hall, just across the street from the
Soaring to a height of almost nine metres, facing museum, was built in the 1850s to accommodate the
Marina Bay, The statue-fountain of "The Merlion" is town hall of early days Singapore. The small, bright
one of Singapore's best known landmarks: This white obelisk at the entrance to the garden (facing
imaginary creature was invented back in the 1960s, Singapore River) is called Dalhousie Obelisk. It was
as a logo for the tourism board and has since become built in 1850 to commemorate the second visit to
a symbol of the city. It incorporates a body of a lion, Singapore of the then Governor-General of India,
which signifies the lion from the legend about the James Andrew Broun-Ramsay (the Marquis of
founding of Singapore, and a tail of a fish, which Dalhousie).
signifies the city's relationship with the ocean.
On the other side of the museum, just a few steps
Walk back a few minutes and cross the river on from Raffles' Statue (corner of Old Parliament Lane
historic Cavenagh Bridge, which was built in the and Empress Pl), there is another beautiful Neo-
1870s and still boasts the 1910s police notice at each Palladian building which was built in 1827 by a
of its ends, restricting cattle and horses from crossing wealthy Scot merchant, named John Argyle Maxwell,
it… and housed Singapore's parliament from
independence till 1999. It had later been converted
to an art-centre, where young local artists can
perform their works. The Arts House at the Old
Although Singapore has one of the best public- Parliament, as the place is currently called, hosts art
transport systems in the world, taking the exhibitions almost all the time and there's a nice café
Singapore City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is highly too…
recommended, as it takes you directly to the
various attractions and saves you the time and Daily, 11am – 9pm, entrance is free
hassle of waiting for a bus or walking…
Walk out of the Old Parliament and turn left to Old
Parliament Lane. After a minute stroll you will reach
the street corner, where you turn left again, to
As soon as you cross the bridge, turn left to visit Parliament Place. On your left hand side you will see
"Raffles Landing Site": A white statue of the bright a small bronze elephant that was given as a gift from
British administrator marks the actual point where King Rama V of Siam (who became known thanks to
Sir Stamford Raffles and his fellow Brits first laid foot the novel "Anna and the King of Siam"), as a token of
on Singaporean soil, back in 1819… Along the appreciation after his visit to Singapore in 1871.
promenade, you can also see groups of beautiful life-
size bronze statues, called "People of the River", Click HERE to find some of the best rates for
which depict the daily lives of Singapore's pre- hostels and low-cost accommodations in
colonial inhabitants. Singapore and Asia !
The imposing Neo-Palladian building, right behind
the "landing site", accommodates the Asian Across the street, on St. Andrew's Road, you can see
Civilisations Museum, one of Singapore's most two of Singapore's most beautiful colonial buildings:
recommended museums, which displays the cultures The Old Supreme Court was built in the late 1930s
of Asia's tribes and nations, with emphasis on those and features classic motifs, such as Corinthian
ethnicities that created Singapore. Exhibits are rich columns and Roman pediment, and The City Hall
and fascinating and include ethnic costumes, Building, right next to it, had its "fifteen minutes of
traditional jewelries, ancient books, sculptures, fame" on 12 September 1945, when the Japanese
religious artifacts and what not… General Itagaki surrendered to Lord Mountbatten,
towards the end of WW II.
Tuesday – Sunday : 9am-7pm (till 9pm on Friday),
The two historic buildings are about to become the "National Art
Monday : 1pm – 7pm, Website Gallery" by 2013
From St. Andrew's Road, turn to Coleman Street and CHIJMES (pronounced Chimes) started as a complex
walk along it to the corner of Hill Street. The red- of catholic convent buildings, back in the 1840s, and
bricks building of Singapore's oldest existing fire has been beautifully restored before converted into
station can be seen on the other side of Hill St. It a thriving food, shopping and entertainment
was built in the early 1900s and currently complex. There is also an art gallery re and live
accommodates the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery: A performances take place on weekends and public
small museum where you can learn about the history holidays.
of firefighting and civil defence in Singapore, and see
some antique fire engines and other firefighting Recommended restaurants in CHIJMES include: Tatsu
equipment. Teppanyaki (Japanese Teppanyaki cuisine), Lei
Garden Restaurant (Well known Chinese - Cantonese
Open daily (except Mondays), 10am - 5pm and restaurant), Bobby's Taproom Grill & Ribs, Carnivore
admission is free. Brazilian Churrascaria and Hog's Breath Café (Casual,
American-Australian resto-bar, serving steaks,
Next in line is the Armenian Church, Singapore's burgers and their likes...).
oldest existing church, which can be seen on the
other side of the corner (60 Hill St.). Leaving CHIJMES, turn left to Bras Basah Road and
after five minutes or so, left again, to The Raffles,
The bright white church was built originally in 1835, one of the world's most classic hotels, where you can
when a wealthy Armenian community still thrived in enjoy a cocktail at the famous Long Bar, where the
this part of the world. Designed by George Coleman, Singapore Sling was invented, or opt for the more
who is responsible for some of early Singapore's aristocratic Bar & Billiard Room, where Singapore's
nicest buildings, it features both neoclassical motifs last tiger was shot.
and traditional Armenian elements (Daily, 9am –
6pm, free entrance). "The grand old dame", as the Raffles is often called,
has started its life as a rather humble 10-room
Continue along Coleman Street and turn right to colonial bungalow, back in 1887, but has quickly
Armenian Street, which will lead you to the become one of Southeast Asia most glamorous
Peranakan Museum: 'Peranakan' is a Malay term hotels, attracting guests like Rudyard Kipling, Charlie
that describes those non-Malay who were born in Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor, just
Southeast Asia, particularly descendants of Chinese to name a few…
traders, who married local women and developed a
distinctive culture, lifestyle and cuisine… There is a small museum on the arcade's 3rd floor,
This fantastic museum is probably one of the if not where you can see nostalgic paraphernalia from the
the only place on earth where you can familiarize hotel's past (free), and a beautiful shop where you
yourself with this unique culture, through an array of can purchase the hotel's vintage novelties.
rich exhibits, including costumes, embroidery work,
wedding paraphernalia and what have you… Daily, from morning till late (The museum opens
daily, 10am – 7pm), entrance is FREE
Daily, 9am – 7pm (from 1pm on Monday / Until
9pm on Friday). Entry fees apply. Website 4:30 – 5 pm: Turn right to Beach Road as soon as you
leave the Raffles and walk a few minutes to City Hall
As soon as you leave the museum, turn left to MRT Station from where you take the train to Little
Armenian Street and after a couple of minutes, right, India (You first travel to Dhoby Ghaut, where you
to Stamford Road (next to historic Vanguard have to change trains and continue one more
Building) and almost immediately left again, to station, to Little India):
Victoria Street. A minute or two after entering Visit Tekka Centre, on Buffalo Road, right next to
Victoria Street you will see the entrance to CHIJMES exit-E of MRT Little India, where a huge wet market,
on your right hand side. This is where you can have a food centre and quite a few authentic shops can be
your lunch break (Tip: Go for a quick and light lunch found… The hawker centre boasts a good selection of
and leave some room in your tummy for Little India's vegetarian food stalls that serve different Indian
snacks and street-foods). cuisines, as well as vegetarian Malay and Chinese
Continue to Serangoon Road (a couple of minutes The Night Safari is the world's first "nocturnal zoo".
away), cross it to the other side and visit Little India Its most notable tenants include Lions, Tigers,
Arcade – An indoor market which occupies a cluster Leopards and various wild cats, alongside Hyenas and
of old shophouses and boasts dozens of stalls where other Canids, like Foxes, Jackals and Wolfs.
you can buy everything India has to offer… Obviously, there are many other interesting night
animals that are not carnivores, from Rhinos and
From there continue walking along Campbell Lane, Hippos to Tapirs, Anteaters and giant bats (flying
turn left to Clive Street and right to Dunlop. On the foxes).
corner of Dunlop and Clive, there is a well-known
emporium shop, called Haniffa Textiles, which has Night Safari: 7:30pm – 12 midnight (website)
been selling Indian clothes, as well as cameras,
watches, suitcases and what not for the last 50 years After visiting the Night Safari, you can use Bushub to
or so… travel back to town (see details)… Good night !
After strolling along Dunlop, walk back to its other
end and turn right to Serangoon Road and right
again, to Upper Dickson Road, which runs parallel to Day 2: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Jurong
Dunlop and boasts some more authentic shops and Bird Park, Kampong Glam (Arab Street), the
Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands
Nibbling snacks from authentic eateries is one of the most
enjoyable sides of strolling the streets of Little India. 7am: We start our day trip in Singapore Botanic
Komala Vilas, on Serangoon Road (Between the corner of Gardens. To get there: Take bus Nos. SBS 7, or 123,
Dunlop and Upper Dickson) has been serving scrumptious
vegetarian fare at reasonable prices for God knows how
or 174, or SMRT 77, or 106 from the bus-stop on
many years... Kulfi Bar, on No. 15 Upper Dickson, is known Orchard Boulevard, next to Orchard MRT Station, or
for its lovely home-made Indian ice cream (Kulfi), while from Somerset Road, next to Somerset MRT Station,
Sakunthala's Restaurant, on 151 Dunlop, serves a variety of or take 105 from Scotts Road (Far East Plaza).
both vegetarian and non-vegetarian specialties and is
particularly famous for its Dosa (Thosai): A South-Indian
style crispy crêpe, stuffed with various fillings and served
Enter the gardens from the main gate (Tanglin Gate),
with different sauces and deeps on the side... on the corner of Cluny and Napier Road and take a
pleasant stroll through the various sightseeing spots,
like the Swan Lake, the Swiss Granite Fountain, the
Continue walking up along Serangoon Road and visit
Bonsai Display and the Sun Garden, where various
authentic temples such as Sri Veeramakaliamman
species of cactus can be seen, before proceeding to
Temple, on 141 Serangoon Road, which was built in
the gardens' main highlight – The National Orchid
the 1880s in honor of Kali, Shiva's wife and destroyer
Garden, where you can see the world's largest
of evil, and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, on 397
collection of tropical orchids, including some 2,000
Serangoon Road, which was built in 1855 for Vishnu,
one of Hinduism's three major deities, or, more
precisely, for Krishna, who is one of Vishnu's avatars.
Continue through the Palm Valley and the
"Rainforest" to the Visitors' Centre and Casa Verde
As you leave the temple, turn right to Serangoon
café, where you can have your breakfast and
Road and walk two – three minutes to the corner of
onwards, to the Evolution Garden and the northern
Owen Road, where Claremont Hotel is located
side of the gardens, where the spanking new Botanic
(opposite Fortuna Hotel): This is where you can
Gardens MRT Station is located.
board the direct bus to the Night Safari.
Singapore Botanic Gardens open daily, 5am –
BusHub operates direct buses from the city centre
12midnight, entrance is free (National Orchid Garden
and Little India to Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari.
is open daily, 8:30am – 7pm and there is a small
The bus picks up passengers from here at 6.30pm /
admission fee). Click here for a map of Singapore
7.25pm / 8.25pm (make sure to be there at least 10
Botanic Gardens, which specifies the various
minutes before then).
10:30am: Take the MRT to Buona Vista Station, Cross Kandahar Street, on the other side of the
change trains (within the station) and proceed to mosque, and enter the compound of Istana
Boon Lay MRT Station, where you take bus Nos. 194 Kampong Glam, which houses the palace of Ali
or 251 (from the neighboring bus-interchange) and Iskandar Shah, Sultan of Johor and the son of Hussein
travel to Jurong BirdPark. Shah, who authorized Raffles to build Singapore.
This imposing building was built in 1835 by George
The "Singapore Flexi Pack" allows you to save Coleman, one of early Singapore's most famous
over 40% on Singapore's BEST attractions and architects, and combines Palladian style with local
sightseeing. Malay motifs.
Nowadays, there is a Malay Heritage Centre here
Jurong BirdPark, one of the best bird-zoos on earth, (which is closed for renovations at the time of
occupies an area of 50 acres and makes home to writing), which boasts a nice museum where you can
almost 10,000 birds, belonging to 600 different learn about the history and culture of Singapore's
species... It boasts the world's largest collection of Malay community.
hornbills and toucans, as well as the world's largest
walk-in aviary and the tallest manmade waterfall on Daily, 8am – 9pm (The museum is currently closed
earth, and runs plenty of bird shows and other fun for renovations), Website, Free entrance
events that appeal to kids and adults alike…
Turn right to Kandahar Street as you leave the
Jurong BirdPark is open daily, 8:30am - 6pm compound, and at the end left to North Bridge Road
(Website) and immediately right, to Jelan Pisang. At the end of
the short street, turn left to Victoria Street and walk
2 pm : Travel back to Boon Lay Station (using bus along it for a few minutes crossing Arab Street and
nos. 194 or 251) and take the MRT to Bugis Station Ophir Road to Bugis.
(no need to change trains enroute).
How to find the best deals in Asia ?
From Bugis MRT Station: Take exit-B, turn right to
Victoria and start walking along the street. Cross Instantly compare the world's leading hotel-websites
Ophir Road and then turn right to Arab Street: The and get the BEST rates for accommodation in Macau,
main thoroughfare of Kampong Glam area. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Taipei and elsewhere in Asia!
The main thing here are the textile shops, where you
can choose from a wide choice of exotic fabrics, but
there are also shops that sell carpets, weaved rattan
basketry and brass and copper bric a brac, as
expected from a street with such name… Bali Lane You can unwind a bit at air-conditioned Bugis
and Hajji Lane run parallel to Arab Street and boast Junction Mall, where a good choice of cafés and
some nice Middle Eastern cafés, where you can have restaurants can be found, or head to Bugis Village,
your lunch, as well as a few groovy secondhand on the other side of Victoria Street, where a "night
shops. market" is held every evening, with a good choice of
street stalls and quite a few hawker stands, where
From Arab Street, enter Muscat St. and you will you can indulge on authentic street foods.
immediately find yourself in front of Masjid Sultan,
Singapore's largest and most significant mosque, 5:30 - 6 pm : Take a cab from Bugis to the Singapore
which its golden onion domes can be seen from quite Flyer (It is just a short ride)
Built in 1928, this impressive mosque features both Singapore Flyer, the world’s current largest Ferris
Muslim-Indian architecture and Neo-classic motifs. wheel soars 165 M (550 ft) above the city and affords
stunning views of Singapore and its environs… The
Bussorah Street, the pedestrian mall in front of the best time to ride it is at around 6:30 - 7pm, which is
mosque, boasts a few nice cafés and restaurants twilight time in Singapore almost all year around,
where tired tourists can chill out for a while... and that is when you will be able to get a fantastic
view of the city, as it lights up like a Christmas tree...
From here you can take a pleasant 10 minutes' stroll here is the Sands SkyPark - An enormous sky terrace
via Hellix Bridge (a high-tech looking bridge that links that is perched across the three hotel skyscrapers, at
Marina Centre with Marina Bay Sands and offers a height of more than 200 metres, and offers
lovely views of the new city centre) to Marina Bay breathtaking views across the metropolis.
(Tip: If you feel too tired, you can also take the MRT from Two other recommended places to end the day at
Promenade Station, to Bayfront Station) : are New Asia Bar, on the 71st floor of the Swissôtel
The Stamford Hotel, right next to MRT City Hall
Marina Bay Sands, Southeast Asia's newest and Station, or 1-altitude, the world's highest alfresco
most popular mega-attraction, boasts an bar, which is perched atop of 1 Raffles Place
ostentatious casino (Singapore's first), a fantastic (adjacent to Raffles Place MRT Station), at a height of
shopping mall and almost endless dining and 282 m.
entertainment options, although the real hoo-ha
The See Singapore Attraction Pass can save a lot of money for those of you
who wish to make the most of their precious holiday time… You can take a
Singapore River Cruise, or ride the world’s largest observation wheel, visit one
(or more) of Singapore's fantastic museums, see the world's largest collection
of tropical orchids at the National Orchid Garden, visit Jurong's BirdPark and
Singapore Zoo, join a guided walking tour and much more…
Click here to view all our FREE travel eBooks of Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok
Copyright © 2012 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. All rights reserved.