10 things I love about Singapore


Level 2 Member
Next month I'll be returning to Singapore for the 7th time or so. As I reflect on how it went from a disappointment during my 1st visit, to one of my very favorite cities now, here are 10 things I am looking forward to again (pictures to follow):

Enjoying the World's Best Tourist Infrastructure
Safe, clean, and efficient - I've not experienced better convenience elsewhere. It's the one place where I actually look forward to getting into a taxi - drivers are honest and prices are low. The underground train, hiking trails, parks are all top notch. English is widely understood. Food courts make it easy to find mouth-watering food at low prices. Many attractions are free (such as the gorgeous HortPark). It's just super easy to get around.

Morning Walks in the Park (with peacocks, seals and big lizards)
Singapore is HOT and mornings are best for walking. I love being out just as the sun is rising and sharing park space with joggers and Taichi practitioners. While Singapore isn't known for nature, I always come across some form of wildlife at Labrador Park: water monitors (a medium sized lizard) are common, and I've also encountered a sand-loving seal and a groups of peacocks chasing each other!

Hiking the Southern Ridges
This is an awesome hiking path across the SW, harbor-facing part of the city, from Mount Faber (tallest point in SG) to West Coast Park. I've hiked it all the way once (3-4 hours) and in part many times. Along the way you encounter a tall wavy bridge, elevated path in the forest canopy (great bird watching), colonial homes, National University of Singapore campus, and HortPark - a free horticulture park that is so well manicured (like many public spaces in the city-country).

A Food City
It's been said that eating is the national pastime. Food courts are convenient but rarely great, in my experience (one exception: the always-busy Sichuan stall in the Chinatown food court). I find better food at individual "hole in a wall" shops, such as the 24 hour frog restaurant downstairs from our flat - have your frog legs fried with salty pepper or stir fried with ginger and scallion - at 3am! That's my kind of life. On the lighter side, kaya toast and durian pancakes are must haves each time, as are the myriad of herbal drinks.

By the way, avoid spending money at the "Chinatown Food Street" or whatever it's called. You'll find same or better food at much lower price pretty much all around Chinatown.

The Fruits (and fresh juices)
I can't express how much I love tropical fruits such as soursop and candied mango - in part because they're so hard to find in the Midwest! And while I'm semi-devastated that the Singaporean soursop is a different variety than the one in, say, Taiwan (which I love), the cheap mangosteen and guava kind of make up for it. There's also no better way to replenish your body after a hike in the sun than a cup of freshly squeezed ABC (apple, beets, carrots).

Discovering History
Singapore is one of my favorite places to see history - not because it is steeped in history, but because they take care of what they have. I love strolling along Duxton Hill, Ann Siang Hill, and other parts of Chinatown, taking in the shop houses of yesteryear - some immaculately restored, others preserving their age. Many are hip bars and specialty shops these days. Historic information is displayed throughout city parks, some dating back to the 15th century. I am definitely spending some time in the national museum next month.

Night Life at Clarke Quay
I absolutely love Clarke Quay at night. I love the live music, architecture and atmosphere. Always a good time with friends. I wish there were more places like this in the US.

Chain Restaurants Can be Good, too
Someone I know in San Francisco waited a month to get a table at the newly opened Din Tai Fung. They spend well over $100 for two people. In Singapore I have dozens of DTFs and DTF-like clones to choose from (such as Crystal Jade). The food is heavenly and I'll spend no more than $40 USD for two. I also loved the duck at Dian Xiao Er. Bring on the juicy pork buns and the beef noodles!

Gardens by the Bay at Night
The two gardens are awesome, but the "super trees" are the real stars. See them at night for awe-inspiring views of nearby Marina Bay Sands.

Window-shopping & People-watching in Mega-Malls
I'm not at all a mall or shopping person, but there are some really impressive malls on Orchard. It's quite an experience. There is also an endless supply of attractive people in these malls.

In conclusion, Singapore is a place that didn't appeal to me immediately - there's no grand vista like some other places. The more I peeled, the more I came to appreciate its convenience and character.

Pictures forthcoming...


Staff member
I'm a big fan of Singapore too, and enjoy Clarke Quay a lot. I also like to pop into Raffles for one Sling, despite it being premixed and touristy to the max. There was also a great rooftop bar called Loof a few blocks from there that we used to enjoy hanging out in.


Level 2 Member
perfect! I am heading there for a week in March (I had a long layover there a couple of years ago that allowed me to get a brief taste of the city). How would you recommend someone fill six nights there?


Level 2 Member
How would you recommend someone fill six nights there?
Pick from the things mentioned so far? ;) Definitely spend an evening or two in Clarke Quay. Go to HortPark if you want to see regional flora without the crowd.

More popular things to do:
-Pulau Ubin - bike with wild boars on an island
-East Coast Park - the "best / only" beach in town
-Orchard Road - shopping / entertainment mecca
-Jurong Bird Park - supposedly superior to KL Bird Park
-Night Safari - seems extremely busy

And really, eat eat eat. Chicken Rice, duck soup, frog legs, curry noodle (laksa), Indian tea, glutinous rice balls with mysterious fillings. Try them all. Multiple times. High tea is served at Fairmont for a reasonable price I believe. There's tons of high end restaurants too. Try the different grades of durian.

I really love leisure strolls around Chinatown - so much history and variety, old and new. Every morning I pick a different direction and just wander around and take in the neighborhoods and alleys.