I’ve never seen a view like this. Palm trees and an infinity pool overlook a city 57 stories below as people swim out to the edge to take selfies with the skyscrapers. It’s like something out of a movie, and yet here I am taking it all in. It’s a great introduction to my 3 days in Singapore.
3 Days in Singapore
I’ve flown to this part of Asia with my boyfriend for two travel conferences (one of the many benefits of working in the same industry), but we have a few extra days at the end of the trip to explore Singapore. I’m looking forward to experiencing the highlights, and to seeing how the city has changed since I was last here five years ago.
Singapore: Day 1
On our first day I take in the aforementioned view from the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, an architectural feat comprised of three towers topped with a boat-like rooftop pool and restaurant terrace. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city, from the skyscraper views on one side to the garden views on the other.
Back on the ground, we spend the morning exploring the Gardens by the Bay. Like the hotel, they’re new since my last visit. I’m impressed by the size of the outdoor complex and the fantasy-like atmosphere around the giant Supertrees.
The two shell domes are home to everything from flowers to waterfalls. Not only are they a welcome respite from Singapore’s legendary heat, but also fun places to be awed by the world’s natural beauty.
In the afternoon we head over to Chinatown. The pedestrianized streets are lined with colorful shophouses that contain all kinds of stores. Awnings cover their contents as their bright hues overflow into the roads, and strings of red and white lanterns dance overhead.
We walk down the streets, taking in the sights of souvenirs and smells of street food as we make our way to Maxwell Food Centre, one of Singapore’s most famous hawker centers. It’s packed with delicious stalls, and we settle in for sliced fish bee hoon soup from the famous Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon.
Later we cool off with a drink at Oxwell & Co, an expat-run bar with a great roof terrace on nearby Ann Siang Hill.
Afterwards it’s back to Marina Bay for an evening trip to the viewing platform at the Supertrees and dinner on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands. I love the way they glow in the sunset.
Singapore: Day 2
I start the second of my 3 days in Singapore on a solo mission to Little India, where the streets are decked in color in honor of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
Walking down Serangoon Road, I take in the decorations and duck down side streets to find magical umbrella trees and colorful markets.
I walk by the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, with its intricate details, and wander through the stalls at the Little India Arcade.
My senses are tempted by all that I see, and it’s hard not to pick up a million gifts for friends back home.
In the afternoon I head to the Singapore Zoo, which I’ve heard so many good things about that I can’t wait to visit. It certainly lives up to its reputation, with a vast number of species represented in a variety of habitats.
I spend so much time there that I’m almost late for dinner at Creatures in Little India. But I make it in time to enjoy a good meal, and have energy left over for a pilgrimage to The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling (it’s the birthplace of the cocktail, after all).
Singapore: Day 3
The last of my 3 days in Singapore starts with a boat trip in Marina Bay. It’s a great way to get a feel for the area and see it from a different angle. My boyfriend and I head out to the deck to take in views of the Merlion fountain, shophouses, and other iconic landmarks.
Back on shore, I head over to Lau Pa Sat, another of Singapore’s hawker centers. Set in a beautiful Victorian arcade, it’s home to a modern mix of stalls selling everything from noodles to teh tarik tea. I settle in for a pineapple and guava juice and soak up the smoky smells of the satay stalls.
In the afternoon my boyfriend and I meet up and head to the National Gallery. The huge museum has a range of exhibitions on, and we make our way through its corridors to see an eclectic mix of art. While we’re there, we also discover great views from the roof terrace.
Afterwards we brave the heat to walk around Marina Bay, taking in the Esplanade, Helix Bridge, and lotus-like ArtScience Museum as we go.
Then it’s off to the Botanical Gardens to soak up Singapore’s most beautiful green space. It’s hard to believe how big the gardens are, and I feel like I could keep coming back forever and still not take in all the lakes, groves, and glens here.
In the evening we head to the Promenade for Wonder Full, the nightly light show on Marina Bay. Using water and light, it tells the story of the creation of life. I really want to like it, but I find the mix of animated and human images a bit creepy.
I’m more satisfied with a drink on top of the tallest Supertree in the Gardens by the Bay, where the lights of the trees are more to my liking. And that’s to say nothing of the lights from the top of the Marina Bay Sands, where I end my evening with a night view of that magical infinity-pool skyline.
And with my last look, my 3 days in Singapore come full-circle. It’s hard to believe how much the city has changed in the five years since I was last here, but some of my favorite things about it are the ones that have popped up since my last trip. Which makes me excited to come back again in the future and see all the new things there are to love.
If you visit, you can read more in Lonely Planet Pocket Singapore. You can get it here.
Have you been to Singapore? What were the highlights of your trip?
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