Anyone been to Singapore?

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HardHitter
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Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by HardHitter » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:54 pm

I'm leaving tomorrow for business but will be able to spend some personal time to explore.

This is my 2nd time going, but last time, I was only there for 3 days. This time, I'll be there for 7 days.

Flying business class in Singapore Airlines Tuesday morning and will be in Singapore Wednesday afternoon Singapore time and staying at the Mandarin Oriental by the Marina Bay Sands.

Would love to hear everyone's suggestions/recommendations!

Random Poster
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Random Poster » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:07 pm

Night Safari and the hawker centers for food are my must-dos. The hawker center in Chinatown (Maxwell food centre, as I recall) is my favorite, but they are all good. Tasty carbs can be found at Bread Talk (locations all over town). Many like Chili Crab, but I don't find it appealing. Singapore is a great place--tons of diversity and everything is clean.

HardHitter
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by HardHitter » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:11 pm

I'm not the biggest seafood fan haha. I have to take out the Client there and last year, all we went to was seafood. The sacrifices you make! lol

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whaleknives
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by whaleknives » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:47 pm

I enjoyed the Tiger Balm Gardens (now Haw Par Villa), including a Hinayana Buddhist "Ten Courts of Hell", like a diorama of an Asian "Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch, or Dante's "Inferno". But then I was 13 years old.

I find people comparing notes on travel bring it up, like Hong Kong's Star Ferry.
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Sunny Sarkar
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:16 pm

Sentosa Island
Compass Rose
Singapore Sling at Raffles
Japanese Garden
Bars at Boat Quay

These were my favorites when I lived there for a couple of years 15 years ago.
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle

DSInvestor
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by DSInvestor » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:27 pm

Singapore may have the best food in the world IMO. It's a fusion of Malay, Indonesian,Chinese, Indian, Malay cuisine. Gotta check out hawker centers (outdoor food courts). Get a cup of singapore coffee and some roti prata as a snack. It's like a pancake served with a side of vegetable or meat curry. Unbelievably tasty. Kinda like a fluffy naan bread.

If you're not a fan of seafood, try hainanese chicken rice at a hawker center.

If on expense account, the steaks and drinks at the Raffles Hotel.

Watch radio controlled kites at night at Marina Bay Waterfront.
Last edited by DSInvestor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rotorhead
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by rotorhead » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:30 pm

I love to eat....Asian food; but I haven't been to Singapore since 2006, so can't say which are considered the best places now. You said you're not crazy about seafood; but that's what the locals eat. The seafood restaurants along the East Coast Parkway are the great places. The Long Beach was my favorite - chili crab, tiger prawns, steamed garoupa. Fantastic! Also, Indian food in Singapore is some of the best in Asia. Chicken Tandoori, Lamb or Prawn Curry & the curried vegetables are terrific. The night market food stalls are really great. Have a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel. Lots of history there.

For sightseeing, and enjoying the tropical surroundings, try the Botanic Gardens. The orchids are fantastic. Also, the Jurong Bird Park is most interesting as well; and the zoo is one of the best anywhere. If you are a golfer, I'm sure the hotel concierge could set something up for you. There are some beautiful golf courses there.

I lived in Singapore many years ago, and have fond memories of the city before it became so crowded and expensive. It's still a great place.

thebogledude
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by thebogledude » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:03 pm

don't forget to bring napkins, they have an aversion to napkins in public places.
Last edited by thebogledude on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tristrex
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Tristrex » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:11 am

I'm not a shopper by any means, but walking down Orchard Road is a sight to behold regardless. At least one of the malls on Orchard Road has a public rooftop, which gives you a pretty nice view of the city. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of which mall it was. We just somehow ended up in a mall where the elevator let us go to the roof, so we did so :)

ec97
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by ec97 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:32 am

+1 for the Chicken Rice.
I also really enjoyed walking through the Botanic Gardens.

IMHO, skip the Merlion

Dougroseville
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Dougroseville » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:07 am

Make sure you take good walking shoes and walking shorts. You could have fun within walking distance of the Mandarin Oriental. One of the nice things about Singapore is that it is extremely safe. You could walk to Boat Quay or Clarke Quay any time of the day or night.

If you don't live in a city with a large Chinatown, you should visit it here (Chinatown Heritage Centre on on Pagoda St). Also, most westerners find visiting a wet market interesting - there is one in the Chinatown Complex.

I recommend the Fish Head Curry at Banana Leaf Apolo on Racecourse Road in Little India (not walking distance but the MRT goes there and taxis are cheap). If you don't like seafood, you could have the mutton curry. If you go to Little India, visit the huge, and not necessarily upscale Mustafa Centre a sprawling modern Indian shopping center and the Tekka Centre (if you haven't been to a wet market yet).

You either have been to, or will go to the Marina Bay Sands (with Casino and Luxury Shopping mall). Carry your passport for free entry to the casino for a quick look (locals pay the equivalent of about $80 for a day pass). The Cloud Forest Dome Was not open during my last visit, but is also nearby and probably worthwhile.

The view is great from Marina Bay Sands Skypark about $20, and there are tours that take you to see the infinity pool at certain times. Another good view is from outdoor lounge, 1 Altitude , on the 63 floor of the One Raffles Place Building.

There is an underground walkway / mall from near the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) to fairly close to Boat Quay and Chinatown. It is air conditioned!

You could spend a whole Saturday or Sunday walking from your hotel, to MBS, Boat Quay, Chinatown, Clarke Quay. Stop to eat someplace that looks interesting (like a stall in Chinatown). Then take a taxi back to your hotel for about $6.

Singapore does have fantastic food and much of it is in Hawker Centers and Food Courts, even some of the hotel buffets are great.

Sentosa would be relatively low on my list if I were only in Singapore for a week but working most of the time (Haw Par Villa would be even lower, but is now conveniently located near an MRT Station). You will probably see enough shopping malls without visiting Orchard Road. If you happen to be near container port, Vivocity Shopping Mall is interesting for its design, rooftop wading pool, and food court, but probably not worth a special trip.

I haven't been there for about 3 years (and things change there fast), but lived in Singapore for about 18 months and visit every 4 or 5 years. I met my wife about .25 miles from your hotel, by the World's Largest Bronze fountain in Suntech City (I asked her for directions despite knowing exactly where I was).

jobst
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by jobst » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:39 am

Have a char kuay teow (or several). Same goes for laksa. Cool down afterwards with a soursop ice drink.

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Hexdump
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Hexdump » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:52 am

We loved Singapore but were there for only about 3 days in 1982.
Had chili crabs ++++ at, I think a place named the Red Barn, with copious pints of Guiness.

Highly recommended.

jackbogleismyhero
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by jackbogleismyhero » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:59 am

I was flogged there once.............. :sharebeer

etowers
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by etowers » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:11 am

Do you want to do touristy things or do as the locals do?

Is food high on your priority list? (Other than seafood)

Do you want to sightsee or do activities?

There is so much to do in Singapore. Take a walk down Orchard Road - the whole place is transformed if you haven't been there in a while. Go to Tiong Bahru and have coffee at one of the many hip joints that have sprouted. Have a drink at Ann Siang Road. Take a spin in the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, day or night. The views are pretty good. If you've got a day to spare, take a bumboat at $2.50 to Pulau Ubin, a small island northeast of Singapore. There's a great nature reserve, and it also feels like it's been left behind 50 years in time.

And please bring a brolly unless you want to be caught out unawares by a sudden and heavy downpour. It's been raining cats and dogs of late.

jpkuva
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by jpkuva » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:49 am

I did a business trip to Singapore about three weeks ago. A wonderful place to visit. Long flight from the East Coast of U.S....even in business class. I didn't mind the flight to Singapore as I left PM EST. The flight home was a 5:45am back to U.S. and seemed to last forever (connection throught Hong Kong) at 19 hours flying time. My recommendations:

1. Raffles for a drink, Singapore Sling is their famous libation
2. Botanical Gardens - great relaxing way to spend a few hours.
3. Night Safari
4. Take the double decker tour bus, it was a great way to see the city and allows you to jump off and on to exploure further
5. Garden by the Bay (especially at night)
6. Marina Bay Sands - have dinner or a drink at the top for a terrific view
7. Orchard Road - a nice walk
8. China Town - was OK.
9. Boat tour which you can pick up at Park Quay
10. Sentosa Beach - went here one night and was not overly impressed, do this only if you complete the above list.

Dougroseville
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Dougroseville » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:23 pm

jackbogleismyhero wrote:I was flogged there once.............. :sharebeer
If you were caned in Singapore, you probably deserved it. :o :!:

Wikipedia Excerpt: Singaporean law allows caning to be ordered for over 30 offenses, including hostage-taking / kidnapping,robbery, gang robbery with murder, drug abuse, vandalism, rioting, sexual abuse (molest), and unlawful possession of weapons......Contrary to what has sometimes been misreported, the importation of chewing gum is subject only to fines; it is not and has never been an offence punishable by caning.

Despite having a high population density (>18K people per square mile), Singapore has a murder rate 1/16 that of the USA.

KlangFool
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:20 pm

http://www.thebestsingapore.com/eat-and ... singapore/

TS,

I am from Klang aka where Bak Kut Teh was invented. But, you can get pretty good imitation in Singapore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilli_crab

As for Chilli crab, you can get pretty good imitation in Singapore too. I can get much better original Chilli Crab from Port Klang.

"Hainanese chicken rice" is another thing that you should try in Singapore.

KlangFool

Valuethinker
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:52 pm

Dougroseville wrote:
Despite having a high population density (>18K people per square mile), Singapore has a murder rate 1/16 that of the USA.
Actually that's not that unusual. New York City (one of the denser in the USA) does not have high murder rate by American standards (Manhattan probably even lower but that is a somewhat artificial comparison because there are not many very poor neighbourhoods in Manhattan, now). London is also dense, and has a low murder rate (but then so does England, generally).

At least before the political violence broke out, Cairo had a pretty low murder rate. So does Tokyo. One could find counterexamples (Karachi, Lagos) but also cities which are relatively peaceful for their size and given their extremes (Calcutta, Mumbai).

When you get people that densely packed, they have to evolve methods of social control and regulation. Places with high murder rates, that has somehow broken down.

BillyG
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by BillyG » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:08 pm

+1 on the hawker stands and food courts. If you don't like seafood there are plenty of other options including very good satay. Curry laksa is a great soup without seafood. You'll find the best food in the world there -- I liked it better than the food in Penang.

Also be sure to eat plenty of ripe tropical fruit. Rambutan and mangosteen are very good. Eat durian if you are adventurous but don't carry it in a taxi or to your hotel. Even familiar fruit such as pineapple and mango are excellent.

The Bird Park used to be pretty good.

Singapore Air business class is the best and better than International First on many airlines (but I haven't flown on Emirates).

Billy

likegarden
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by likegarden » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:02 pm

I once had to stay one night in Singapore around 1995. The streets looked like I was in northern Europe. The air was very very humid, airport had all those yellow orchids. Afterwards I had to fly to Kuala Lumpur, then afterwards to Beijing. I wonder now, if I took that same flight which just had this accident.

DSInvestor
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by DSInvestor » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:26 pm

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Singapore segment on Hainanese Chicken Rice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBjKOqBxHcc
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Don_Qua
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by Don_Qua » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:40 pm

DSInvestor wrote:Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Singapore segment on Hainanese Chicken Rice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBjKOqBxHcc
I usually take TV recommendations with a grain of salt but on Bourdain's say-so I sought out the Hainanese Chicken Rice at Tian Tian in the Maxwell Hawker Centre and he ain't lyin', that's some great chow.

KlangFool
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Re: Anyone been to Singapore?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:00 pm

Don_Qua wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Singapore segment on Hainanese Chicken Rice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBjKOqBxHcc
I usually take TV recommendations with a grain of salt but on Bourdain's say-so I sought out the Hainanese Chicken Rice at Tian Tian in the Maxwell Hawker Centre and he ain't lyin', that's some great chow.
Folks,

This is one of the SIMPLEST and HARDEST dish to make. It is very simple because you are just putting chicken into boiling water with some ginger and salt. Everyone knows the ingredients and process but how well it turns out is totally based on skills and timing. Every single town and cities in Malaysia and Singapore has hundreds of places selling Hainanese Chicken Rice. But, not many actually master the skills and timing even after 20 to 30 years.

It is usually the simplest dish and simple ingredients that show the true skill of a chef / cook. For somebody to spend 20 to years to master one single dish, it is amazing.

There are 2 good Malaysian restaurants in Philadelphia downtown. They are across the street from each other. You might be able to get some good Hainanese Chicken Rice over there. They are "Penang" and "Banana Leaf".

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... vania.html

http://bananaleafphilly.com/our-menu/?page=2

KlangFool

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