Singapore Travel Guide
Singapore is a fantastic place for a working holiday with excellent hotels, great food and--as readers of this site are probably well aware--fun tech shopping. Singapore is safe, clean, and hot. Be sure to stay hydrated while in Singapore as the climate can get to you quickly if you're not used to it. English speakers also rejoice in the fact that English is one of the official languages and they will have no communication or transportation difficulties. We enjoyed our time in Singapore immensely and are happy to share our Singapore tips all tried and tested by The Tech Bird team.
Where to Stay
Marina Bay Sands: While we love the Raffles for its history we are not so keen on its price tag so, while in Singapore, we opted to stay at the Marina Bay Sands. With a rooftop bar and pool with amazing views and a stunning lobby, we felt we made the right choice in standout accommodations that fit our preferences and budget. Our room had a great view and was clean and well equipped. The tub was a highlight and as many readers know is one of the things that Joelle in particular loves. The tub was long and deep and beautiful designed to cradle the body and was honestly one of the highlights of the stay. The bed was very comfortable and the linens exquisite. We would be happy to return to the Marina Bay Sands and our only regret is we did not spend more time there.
How to Get Around
The train system is excellent and, thanks to the doors in the station which open to board the train, the stations are not filled with suffocating heat like NYC's in the Summer. Public transit can get quite crowded so be aware of this and try to avoid rush hour if you can. Cabs are also inexpensive and convenient. We do not recommend renting a car while in Singapore.
Where to Eat
Being huge fans of Indian food we knew we could not go wrong with venturing into Little India. Everything we tried was delicious, whether from cafeteria style or sit down, and we have yet to have Indian food that has come close since returning to New York. Want a sit down meal filled with classic Singapore glamour? Dine at the Raffles Grill.
What to Do
One of the big things to keep in mind if you hail from places where smoking is not allowed indoors in restaurants and bars is that that is not the case in Singapore. Be aware that while some establishments do not permit smoking many do and it caused the more allergen aware of our team members much distress when they were trying to enjoy rooftop views at the bar. Even in open air bars this can be problematic so if you suffer from smoke triggered asthma be sure to keep your inhaler with you at all times. Between the humidity and the amount of smoke and scent, Singapore is not a city where one can breathe easy. Don't let this discourage your Singaporean adventures, just keep it in mind and be prepared so that you're not exploring the inside of an ER. Being the nerds that we are, one of the highlights of any trip to Singapore for us is shopping at Sim Lim Square. While shopping here is not for the faint of heart, it is an experience and is a great place to get solid deals on tech. We do not recommend buying software, computers, or other big ticket items, but do find solid deals on accessories and lenses. Always negotiate, price check multiple vendors and stick to your guns when it comes to what you and the vendor have decided on and you'll be fine. One of the ways that tourists shopping there run into trouble is when the vendor changes the deal and the shopper goes along with it even though it is not as good for the shopper as what they originally agreed upon. Do not worry about being rude, this price changing is a known tactic and you are completely in the right for wanting to stick to the original deal. Vendor doesn't seem to be playing fair or is a bit iffy? Walk away, there are plenty of other vendors in this huge shopping plaza. There are many cultural attractions in Singapore and obviously eating and shopping are not the only things to do.
We hope to return to Singapore and expand on this guide in 2013 and we would love to hear your suggestions of where to go and what to see.
What do you love about Singapore?