Great day everyone! Another travel story here! If you’ve been following my posts and you’ve read Jeonju Folk Village in 5 Hours, well, let’s lessen the hour here having gone around the vicinity of Singapore in 4 hours, more or less!
But how did that happen? Singapore was my layover before going to Thailand. My flight was at around 12nn and I arrived at Singapore at around 1am via Tigerair. The trains/MRT open at 6am so I got the chance to tour around the area from 6am to around 10am since I needed to get back to the airport by 11. That time I didn’t have the idea of riding a bus to go to Malaysia and go to Thailand afterwards but I realized it would take such a long time so I just booked a flight instead.
Let me tell you what I did, for four hours, in chronological order.
1. Tour the airport first and dine in Hello Kitty Café!
Sometimes, I look forward to visiting restaurants whenever I go to a country because they are quite different from what I have in my own country. It was around 1am when I arrived at Changi International Airport Terminal 1 and I moved to Terminal 3 just to visit the cafe. The airport was quite deserted (and its nice!) and the good thing about this cafe is that it is open for 24 hours. I am the only customer there and I ordered some food to try on.
Again, it was just me, the manager, and the servers in the cafe. I stayed there for around an hour because I just wanted to feel like resting in there. Then I tried to look around the airport for some little sightseeing and waited for the trains to open. Waiting time: 2-3hours, haha!
You might want to check Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe on Zomato to plan your visit!
2. Rode the MRT and off I went to my first stop: Little India.
I made it sure that I would go to the mainstream places first which are not too far from the airport. As I’ve mentioned in my last post, I am not too fond of mainstream areas mainly because there are so many people but hey, it’s 6am so who would I see except for locals (and early travelers like me), right?
The main reason why Little India is my first destination because I searched about a 24-hour souvenir shop which is Mustafa Center. I don’t want to wait for the opening hours so why not look for the 24-hour stores? Fortunately, I found it and bought little goodies I can send home. Mustafa Center could be found in Syed Alwi Road. If you have a connection, just use Google Maps and if you don’t have, download the offline maps and it’s just a 5-10minute walk from the MRT station. A lot of food stalls could also be found in the mentioned street. If you see this landmark below, you’re near. Just cross the street.
3. Just a few minutes away, Chinatown Singapore.
In the Chinatowns that I have been to, the place is usually for eating and for getting some souvenirs. It’s the same here in Chinatown, Singapore. Comparing it in the oldest Chinatown which is in the Philippines, the presence of modern establishments showed me that it’s never awkward to mix old with the new. Since most shops are closed, I did some temple hopping and saw how people worship on a different religion and culture.
I totally love the multiculturalism in Singapore because in this one part, I felt like I’ve visited two countries. I know they’re not the totality of what you would experience say, in China or in India. However, it feels great to get a glimpse of them in a single country.
4. A Singapore Trip is incomplete without the Merlion.
Before going to the Merlion, I am really impressed with the train system in Singapore because it’s not too complicated and it’s very tourist friendly. Perhaps, because Singapore is such a small country that it’s not that difficult to move. Anyway, my next destination is the Merlion Park and I really want to find out what made it famous.
What’s iconic about the Merlion? Actually, the presence of a lot of people didn’t make me feel in awe about the place. When places are becoming too crowded, it just becomes a photo spot. However, the reason Merlion is iconic is that because it’s half lion and half fish (mer means sea, like mermaid maybe haha) which depicts it being a fishing village. I hope people would know that first before taking their shots!
5. Met a friend in 328 Katong Laksa.
Singaporeans know best! I met a friend from an online learning community who resides in Singapore and we agreed for a short meetup and she wanted to introduce 328 Katong Laksa to me. It is a Michelin-starred restaurant with prices that suit your budget! Well, I should not leave SG without tasting this dish.
If you’re not a fan of spices, don’t eat this because somehow it has a strong spicy taste (I can say this is hotter than Korean food). The soup base is from coconut milk which is has that curry aspect as well and it can consist of meat. In this case, we chose chicken. It is tasty however, I was shocked with how spicy it is. Never eat it if you have low tolerance for spicy food but nevertheless, taste it a bit.
I hoped to eat more, and if I do, I’ll ask them to make it less spicy. You could check it out here at Zomato as well!
4 Hours Over!
After meeting Ivy, I hailed GrabHitch so I could conveniently arrive in the airport in no time. She introduced me hitching since it lets me get a ride which is already on the way. Though we have Grab here in the Philippines, we don’t have this feature yet, and yes, I arrived in the airport just in time for my Thailand flight.
And why was I heading to Thailand? I was part of the cultural camp for Walailak University and everything was free except for my flight tickets. Cheaper way to travel, isn’t it? You might want to check out more of my tips here.
I hope you got insights on where to go for a short layover or a one-day trip (or less) in Singapore. Being a traveler who can travel as many cities in a week, and as many places in a day, so if you’re the one who is more up for relaxation, this wouldn’t be your thing. I suggest that you better do this when traveling solo so that all you would care about is your self and you are the ones who can set your own pace.
Let’s see how many hours would be my next destination!
- Booked my flight online via Tigerair! – https://www.flyscoot.com/en
- Visit Hello Kitty Orchid Garden in SG! – https://www.hellokittyorchidgarden.com/
- Check them out on Zomato as well – https://www.zomato.com/singapore/hello-kitty-orchid-garden-changi
- Read more on Mustafa online – https://www.mustafa.com.sg/
- More info on Sri Mariamman Temple here – http://www.smt.org.sg/
- See upcoming events on the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum – http://www.btrts.org.sg/
- A Guide for your Katong Laksa Adventure – https://guide.michelin.sg/en/2016-guide/328-katong-laksa
- See more on Zomato for this resto! – https://www.zomato.com/singapore/328-katong-laksa-1-marine-parade
- Book your rides now with less hassle across Southeast Asia – https://www.grab.com/
- Everything you need to know before you visit Singapore – http://www.visitsingapore.com/