48 Hours in Singapore

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Just 48 hours on a stopover or a short city break, what can I do in such a small space of time, well, would you believe it there’s plenty to do and see, here’s my itinerary for a fun filled, never forgotten break.

I’d always wanted to visit Singapore, but never really had the chance. Sure, I’d been to Changi Airport, but that doesn’t count. To truly experience a destination, people always say you need at least 48 hours to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes… and even then you’re only just
scratching the surface.

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Day one
Most of the tourist attractions don’t open before 11 in the morning, and when you’re a on a mission, the best way to make the most of the early hours, is to just slip into your walking gear and make your way to the Botanic Gardens which open at 5 am every morning to welcome morning joggers, dog-walkers and people practicing their tai-chi moves.

Singapore Botanic Gardens sits on 63.7 hectares of land holding many rare specimens of plant life. Enjoy and relax by either taking a slow walk around these beautiful Gardens It
probably does take a full day to see everything that is on offer such as the Trellis gardens, Evolution garden the many different types of plants and flowers, there is also quite a lot of wildlife to see here too. However if you don’t have a full day then a few hours is all you need here to relax, just make sure to bring along plenty of water or juice with you.

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Lunch
A short trip to the Maxwell Road Food Centre for lunch is a must. According to those in the know, the 3 famous dishes of choice are, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice dish, are hokkien mee (a noodle dish usually served with prawns) and the deliciously calorific char kway teow, which is made of flat rice noodles stir fried with chili, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and chives, often including egg, sausage and fishcake as well.

Afternoon
The range of Singapore shopping malls is so vast that some visitors to this tiny island state book their plane tickets purely for one reason: to shop till they drop! In fact, Singapore has more highend shopping malls per capita than anywhere else in Asia, and visitors are simply spoilt for choice in terms of both quality and quantity of the many retail options, so what better way to spend a few hours than browsing in these extraordinary complexes.

My top two are
They don’t come any bigger or brighter than Vivo City. Situated on the Harbor Front and billed as a shopping, entertainment and lifestyle destination rolled into one, Vivo City is home to Singapore’s largest cinema, biggest toy store, an amphitheater, wade pool and four food courts – it might more appropriately be referred to as a mega mall given its sheer size and facilities.

A stylish architectural wonder, ION Orchard glows like a futuristic beacon at the end of Orchard Road enticing window and luxury shoppers inside. Welcome to Singapore’s most glamorous shopping complex a glass, marble and steel work of art where there are even extra special toilets for high spending customers and celebrities. Superior services include butler style concierge and a celebrity chef fine dining establishment

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Evening
No trip to Singapore would be complete without the must do trip to the iconic Raffles Hotel and the Long Bar, to sample the world famous cocktail, the Singapore Sling. This cherry red cocktail was reputedly invented at the turn of last century by Hainanese-Chinese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar, the drink was designed to be for women, who in those quaint days needed to be enticed to drink alcohol, so the cocktail was made pink.

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For those that, like a little flutter (gamble), or for those that just want to see how the other half live, what better way than to visit the second most expensive building in the world, The iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel here everything you could possibly wish for a great evening out, is all here, the “SkyPark” Sitting on top of the massive, three-pronged hotel that overlooks the bay that practically put Singapore on the map, is for viewing Singapore from above. This large wooden decked area on 57th floor offers a 360-degree panorama, with nothing but a sheet of glass and a few wires between you and the view. With world class restaurants, theatres, more shops and entertainment venues, the world’s largest infinity pool at its height, not forgetting the revered brand name Sands Casino, this is one hotel/resort of unparalleled luxury and decadence that everyone should try at least once.

Day 2
Take the Singapore Cable car from the main island and sore across Keppel Harbor, with a birds eye view of the uncountable shipping vessels that Singapore is renowned for, to the incredible “State of Fun” Sentosa. Sentosa is an island resort located off the coast of Singapore. It is easily reached from Singapore and is visited by about 5 million people a year. It is a modern, top class resort facility and just full of fun attractions for the whole family. One day is not nearly enough to see all the attractions this wonderful island offers, so to spend the day at Resorts World Sentosa is a must, with some of the great world name attractions. It takes up a big slice of the island and is the first attraction you will find when arriving from mainland Singapore. It is home to a casino, many hotels, restaurants, food courts, shops, Trick Eye Museum and some of the biggest attractions on Sentosa Island – Universal Studios, Adventure Cove Waterpark, S.E.A. Aquarium and Dolphin Island – where you can meet dolphins.

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For the speed lovers, like me Universal Studios have added a new attraction, until 16th August here you can see the Fast & Furious 7 Display, view the actual cars that were used in the production of the movie, and meet the stars, all be it waxwork models of them, great for the kids.

If you are lucky enough to be around in September, the Formula 1 circus rolls into town. Since 2008 Singapore has been the proud host of the world’s only Formula One night race. The backdrop of heritage buildings, modern architecture and breathtaking skyline culminates in an unparalleled combination of sights, sounds and a festive atmosphere. The speed thrills and non-stop action will once again enthrall crowds for the eighth year as the world’s finest drivers prove their mettle on the challenging Marina Bay Street Circuit.

As I said 48 hours is not nearly enough time to see all the wonders of this incredible Island State, with many more sights to see, including Kampong Glam has been Singapore’s Arab-Malay quarter since the early 1800’s and Little India, where you can even have your fortune read by Mani the parakeet – a local star. Also no trip to Singapore is complete without a venture on the Singapore Flyer, here you experience breathtaking, panoramic views at a height of 169 meters, (that’s 34 meters higher than the London eye) on the worlds largest observation wheel. Enjoy your trip, I certainly did.

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