Singapore by Feet

“Going for a walk is an invitation for surprise.” – William Wordsworth

I always love walking!  I started to love it when I was in college as I tried to lose some weight (see Home – Fitness First).  It was an exercise for me and now, it is a recreation!  I prefer walking than just sitting in the pedicab or motorcab.  Well, it just depends on how far the distance is and the weather condition.  But all in all, I just walk and walk and walk.

So, I didn’t have a hard time keeping up with the busy streets of Singapore.  I already had so much training that my feet won’t easily give up with their toils.  Much more, walking in Singapore is just like walking through a postcard.  It has plenty of picturesque sights to see, shops to hoard, foods to taste, noises to hear, and people to watch!  As promised in My Adventures – Uniquely Singapore, it is my honor to take you to a tour to this Lion City of Asia.

Public transportation in Singapore is very good.  It covers a variety of transport modes such as the air-conditioned MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), air-conditioned bus, and air-conditioned taxi.  It is so easy to go around the city for all transport modes are really accessible.  The EZ Link Card is used as a means to pay for your fare so you need not worry carrying coins or getting your change back.  Unlike here in the Philippines, you must give the exact amount of money for Filipino drivers’ technique is walang barya meaning, “no change”.  Aside from that, the card can also be used in Singapore’s #1 fast food chain, McDonald’s.

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Though Singapore has accessible public transport, you cannot be delivered door-to-door just like here in Ozamiz.  So, you need to walk some distances in order for you to reach your destination.  But you cannot feel the stress of walking for there are fast walkalators and escalators in the city’s streets.  You can’t also have your feet dirty for the city is not dusty.  In fact, a big part of it is also air-conditioned for you pass by department stores.  That’s how modern the city is.  Now let’s start walking at the very heart of Singapore – the Singapore River where the country’s civilization started!

Singapore River flows from the Central Area of the southern part of Singapore to the Marina Channel then to Singapore Strait.  There are two classic bridges over the river – the Anderson Bridge and the Eldin Bridge.andersoneldin
North of the mouth of the river lies the Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay which is the main venue of performing arts in the country.

esplanade
Just a few meters away from the Esplanade is the Merlion Park and One Fullerton, a host of offices and restaurants that have the terminal for the river taxis which cruise the Singapore River to-and-fro Clarke Quay or Riverside Point, another host of restaurants.

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As I’ve said, Singapore River empties to the Marina Channel.  The reclaimed area of the Marina Bay houses the newly-built Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort.  It has the mall, hotel, and casino in three towering buildings with a ship’s replica on top connecting them!  You can get there by feet from the Esplanade through the ingeniously-engineered Helix Bridge wherein you can also pass by the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel!

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And once you get to the Marina Bay Sands, don’t forget to drop by the ArtScience Museum that showcases major international touring exhibits from the most renowned collections in the world.  Moreover, there’s also a mesmerizing light and fountain show to entertain the tourists for free every night!

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From modern to ancient.  The country has the National Museum of Singapore which is its oldest and the Asian Civilisations Museum that specializes in pan-Asian cultures.  Material history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia from which the diverse ethnic groups of Singapore trace their ancestry are being exhibited in the museum.

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A little distance from the National Museum of Singapore is the Istana Park that serves as a landmark for the Presidential Residence, the Istana.  It is a gateway to Singapore’s Civic District Trail which aims to educate visitors of the rich history of Singapore.

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Speaking of rich history, there’s also the Civilian War Memorial that was built in memory of the civilians who were killed and massacred during the Japanese Occupation of World War II in the country.

war memorial
The Supreme Court also has its British-inspired building wherein lawsuits and hearings are held.

supreme court
Done with the tour?  Now let’s go shopping!  Singapore is famed for its mid-year Great Singapore Sale when prices come down heftily in all precincts!  Designer shops are along Orchard Road but only the well-off ones can afford here.

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For those on a budget, there are plenty of good bargains at Bugis Street anyway!

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Aside from Orchard and Bugis, the Suntec City Mall that has the Fountain of Wealth, the world’s largest fountain is also a very good place to shop!

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The country is also famous for its cheap jewelries.  You can get luxurious items at factory-price at the Singapore Gems and Metals Co.

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Of course, don’t miss the night markets along selected streets that are also so inviting for a visit!

night market
Already hungry because of the walk?  No worries!  Singapore has hawkers everywhere!  Hawkers are food stalls that serve foods ranging from 1.90 SGD to 5 SGD only!  Among the country’s signature dishes are the laksa and hokkein mee (Correct spelling.  Spelling in photo is incorrect.  Sorry…).  I so love the laksa!  It has noodles, coco milk, seafoods, chili, mongo sprouts, and squid rolls.

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Laksa is Katong’s signature dish.  Katong is a residential area in the east of Singapore that was the location of many villas and mansions of the wealthy elite in the late 19th century.  Because of that, the country’s oldest bakery is located here which was the Katong Bakery and Confectionery Co.

katong
And to quench your thirst a bit, ice cream carts are also camping in selected corners of Singapore.  They serve ice cream sandwich – a block of ice cream sandwiched in wafers.

ice cream singapore
If you’re tired of walking already, there are coi ponds everywhere that could relax you while watching the fishes swim!

coi singapore
For a good rest, you may check-in at hotels.  There are 7 stars and 5 stars hotels.  But for those who are in a budget again, there are backpacker hotels.  Just be careful on what street you’re in ‘coz you might be mistaken as a call-girl.

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It is best to visit Singapore during the Happy Ghost Festival for the whole month of August and Chinese New Year on late January or early February depending on the Chinese calendar.

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Visit Singapore and also experience walking around the country for great surprises!

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