We made it. We went, and we saw and we shopped. 9 people, 2 cities 8 days a wonderful trip that left all longing for a little more. (Some proofs from my ancient olympus 3.2 M below)

Esplanade waterfront   Boat quay at night  

Coming back more informed on places to see, how to schedule time, things to do and lots more. Am sharing my notes on what might come handy for some planning on similar lines,

Firstly, Myths that went bust

Myth 1 : What will you do for 5 days in Singapore you’ll get bored, its a small place?

Its a small place alright, but a power packed one. If you are with a family I would say you can easily spend up to 7 days without getting bored a moment in Singapore.  Singapore has a lot of context to it through its multi-cultural heritage, its modernist present, a Las Vegas Blvd equivalent of Shopping Malls and a fantastic transport network to allow you to explore it all without getting lost. A family looking for bit of exploration, getting the feel of the city, some sightseeing and plenty shopping – 5 days wouldnt be enough for them.

Myth 2: Peak monsoon in December, holiday will get washed out?

No they wont unless you want them to. The good thing is rains cool off the place and dont last more than 2-3 hours at a time. Secondly, Singapore offers enough backup indoor options should you have to face a longish rain spell.  Though we carried umbrellas through our 5 days there we didnt need to use them more than 10% of our outdoor time, in peak monsoon that is.

Myth 3: Orchard Road is very expensive for shopping

Yes it is, but I think the brands that get sold on Orchard road would cost the same even if sold in China Town. Ngee Ann City, Paragon, Tangs, Palais Renaissance all within an eyeshot of each other carry premium brands and hence are expensive.  But a right around them CenterPoint, Plaza Singapura, Orchard shopping center and offer plenty deals and there are offers are peppered all over the place. Plus the fact you might get stuff here you wont find elsewhere. In a good sale time you can easily have a family spend 2 full days here and wanting for 1 more.

Getting around : Believe me, you dont need a guide to get around. Singapore particularly doles out tons of easy on the mind information through its tourist brochures and detailed maps available right as you check out of Changi airport.  Each place to see has a detail on how to get there by MRT or bus to the last detail and then you can also ask around. With English as the lingua franca it doesnt get easier than that.

Things not to miss,

Sights : Songs of the Sea @ Sentosa, Esplanade waterfront and Boatquay riverfront by night, DHL balloon, Singapore Eye (opening on Jan 18, 2008), National Museum, If possible a show at Esplanade,  A heritage walk around marina bay area if you can.

Eye candy malls and some shopping – Suntec, Marina square, Vivocity,  Orchard road  (Ngee Ann City, Paragon, Tangs, Palais renaissance, Funan Digilife mall (Electronics)

Real shopping – Bugis street (opens late around 1 PM), Sim Lim square , Mustafa’s by night, Niranjan’s (all very close to each other)

Food – Food Republic is a good one stop for a culinary experience of the South east

Enough for one post, I’ll suggest out what I think can be a good family itinerary in my next post.

Songs of the Sea  Suntec Fountain of Wealth