We had grand plans for our short time in Singapore! The kids had never been before, they were excited about visiting their 20th country and we got a few recommendations from friends, family and other travel bloggers. There has been SO MUCH written about Singapore, even just on the Airport itself which really is an amazing airport! I have listed at the bottom some fantastic posts about both off the beaten track places and popular attractions from fellow travel bloggers.
We had just done 1 week in Thailand and 4 weeks in England where we did a ridiculous amount of travelling and lots of going back and forth between London, Sheffield and Norwich. It was all going well until the very end where we had a nightmare of a time when returning the rented car. Got robbed £995 by Green Motion Car Rental, Heathrow Airport for minor scratches (which I insisted I didn’t do.) Still fighting our case and wish we had done our research as I found several other people who had complained on Trip Advisor, Google reviews and other sites of how they were ‘robbed’ the same way by the same company. Travel lesson learnt – do your research and read reviews before doing any kind of car rental 🙁
I digress here, but just to put into perspective our frame of mind when we got to Singapore – feeling very broke and super tired from the highs and lows of travelling. Both the kids and I hadn’t slept much during the 13 hour-long journey from London to Singapore as we departed at 1pm and didn’t sleep the first 8-9 hours. By the time we landed in Singapore at 8am, we had zero energy left to do all the grand things we had planned.
Thankfully Singapore is one of those countries – safe, family friendly, clean, no hassles, easy to get around, and there are TONS of free and relaxing things to do when you don’t have the energy or the cash to splurge on the bigger activities!
Highlights from our 24 hours first followed by great recommendations by others
We spent the first few hours jus relaxing in our hotel, tried to sleep but that didn’t work , so instead we enjoyed the different pools at the Village Hotel Changi by Far East Hospitality. Perks – near airport, has lovely swimming pools, several restaurants to eat at walking distance from hotel. Free shuttle to and from the airport and not very expensive – cost us $80 for three of us. Downside – it’s far from central Singapore where everything you might want to see is located! When I say far, I mean 25-30 minute ride to the city, so nothing that major. I wanted to be near the airport as we were here for only 24 hours and I knew we would just go into the city once. Having stayed here this time, I would definitely recommend staying closer to the city.
Highlight of our 24 hours (besides the infinity pool) was the Singapore Botanical Gardens
Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 74-hectare Gardens is really unique and holds an important place in the history of Singapore and the surrounding region. Free entrance, open 5am to midnight daily, there is just so many different things to see and do here! We mainly explored the rainforest section, the orchid gardens, the healing gardens, and the children’s gardens is just fantastic. Full of sensory play areas, lot of fun learning, our two absolutely LOVED it. Unfortunately it rained heavily halfway through our time here and we spent a good hour sitting inside one of the many garden pavilions, watching black swans, moorhens and coots getting drenched in the heavy rain.
The other place we spent a bit of time was in the vibrant and colourful Chinatown
We went mainly to have Singaporean cuisine but it was so hard to choose where to eat, everywhere and everything looked amazing! I can’t even tell you which random restaurant we ended up eating at but I don’t think you will go wrong wherever you do end up eating. If I could have had few more meals within the short period we were there, I would have 🙂
We walked around Chinatown, Marina Bay Sands, different streetfood markets, got lost several times, admired buildings (not really the skyscrapers as I don’t find them very attractive) but the temples, waterfront, the food stalls, the hustle and bustle of such a vibrant city, all combined to make our random ambling around with no destination in mind quite enjoyable! I only had my phone camera and had to conserve battery hence stopped taking pictures after a bit.
We were planning to do the free tours they offer from Singapore Airport if you are in transit but we found out that they are only valid for people flying out the same day (even if 10 hours later.) They wouldn’t let us take any when we showed our boarding passes were for the next day.
That in a nutshell is what we did in our dazed and tired state during 24 hours in Singapore. Very different from our 24 hours in Sydney, Australia after 3 weeks in Thailand before we moved to New Zealand! Amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for enjoying travels the next day. Big shout out to my two amazing young travellers, they really show me time and time again how well they have adapted to the highs and lows of travelling and I am happy to add, how enthusiastic and good-natured they are with all the crazy travelling their globetrotting wanderlusting parents put them through 🙂
I am pretty sure we will be back again in Singapore once we move to Bangladesh next year and explore other parts of Asia over the years. Look forward to trying out some of the activities in these following posts on Singapore!