Singapore as a city definitely took me by surprise.
A lot of people are very skeptical about including Singapore in their South East Asian itineraries, and I didn’t land there with the highest of hopes – especially after being in Chinese cities for two months previously. But my doubts were proved wrong, and I learnt that Singapore is definitely a city worth visiting.
I’m not sure whether it was the lush green spaces within the urban area, the city’s melting pot of cultures, or the obvious pride of the nation that captured me. I don’t know whether it was when I was exploring mosques in Kampong Glam, savouring mouth-watering food in Little India or marvelling at the gorgeous Gardens by the Bay when I thought you know what? I really love this place.
There’s loads of reasons to visit Singapore and my two days just brushed the surface of this complex and intriguing city.
But one thing’s for certain – my experience wouldn’t have been what it was without my guide from The Local Fella.
Martin and Carlene aka ‘The Local Fella’ tailor makes personal guides for those planning trips to Singapore. When you visit his website, you’ll have the chance to fill out a form stating your interests and what you want to get out of your Singapore break.
It’s incredibly easy to use – you just rank how interested you are in doing certain things while in the Garden City. Martin and Carlene will then decide what kind of guide to send you; whether to include the finest gourmet restaurant, Singapore’s- most exciting nightlife or the best religious building to visit – or a combination of the three!
He’ll then send you a PDF guide with tons of recommendations for places to visit and things to see. The guide includes hyperlinks to websites and maps – giving you a trove of resources right inside your pocket that you can use as you go!
Want to know the best place to go shopping? -Or where to find some tantalizing vegetarian food? The Local Fella has all the answers and will be keen to share them with you. His guides come in a convenient form as well – direct to your phone, laptop or tablet so they can be conveniently accessed while on the go.
So where did the Local Fella’s Guide send me in Singapore? Here’s what I got up to during my two days in the city.
I’d expressed that I was really interested in learning about the culture of Singapore, through visiting mosques, districts and museums and The Local Fella provided me with a plethora of options for my cultural exploration.
I landed in Singapore on the 7th September, pretty hazy after a night’s sleep (read: no sleep) in Hong Kong airport but ready to explore the city. After a quick shower at Red Dot Hostel (an awesome hostel with cheap rates, great facilities and free breakfasts, just so you know!) I ventured out to explore Singapore.
Singapore is a relatively spread out city, but with the right shoes it’s definitely walkable (by ‘right’ I mean definitely not my $4 plimsolls but every mistake’s a lesson learned, right?).
Anyway, here’s a run down of my time in Singapore…
Kampong Glam is the Islamic area of Singapore. Home to a beautiful mosque and an informative visitors’ centre, as well as gorgeous architecture, it’s a great place to begin to learn about the diversity of Singapore.
Somewhat walkable from Kampong Glam is the district of Little India – possibly the most vibrant area of the city and definitely my favourite place in Singapore. I loved walking around the streets and absorbing the colourfulness of the streets! I learnt all about Indians in Singapore in the Indian Heritage Centre and had maybe the best Indian meal of my life in a restaurant there. (I can’t tell you which one, you’ll have to ask The Local Fella!)
My first day in the city was a fantastic time exploring two of Singapore’s most dominant cultures and, although I had lots more to fit into my second day, I felt like I had experienced a good chunk of the city already.
I got up early on my second (and last!) day in Singapore. I wanted to make the most of this city, that had already compelled me so much, before my evening flight.
Whenever I go to a new city, I love to visit its main museum. So my second day saw a visit to the Museum of Singapore, which is definitely one of the best city museums I’ve ever been to. I loved hearing about the fascinating story of how Singapore became a country in its own right, endured with the Japanese occupation of WW2 and has risen triumphant – a country that can’t be broken!
I definitely was learning more and more about Singapore’s culture, but it being a ‘Garden City’ really attracted me. So my next stop was the Singaporean Botanical Gardens. These are definitely a must-visit in Singapore, and demonstrate gardens from all sorts of habitats including a natural jungle, which once covered the entire ground of Singapore! A whole day could easily be passed in the gardens and they were one of the best parts of my trip to Singapore.
Gardens By The Bay
My last stop on my whirlwind Singaporean adventure were the Gardens By The Bay. These are such a unique feature and a definite focal point to the city. I got there just as dusk was falling and wandered around gazing at the beautiful lights above me and I felt like I was pulling Singapore together. All the different cultures of the city, along with an intricate history and a hugely prosperous future blend together to create the distinct place it is now.
Check out Nomadic Notes’ blog post for more information about Gardens by the Bay!
I know that I definitely wouldn’t have felt such a great sense of ‘understanding’ Singapore without my Local Guide. One of the best Singapore travel tips is to sample some of the local hawker centres, and places that I ate at in Singapore were completely off the radar, things that I never would have thought to try if it wasn’t for my guide (one lunch saw me eating in a basement of a shopping mall, for instance!). I must say that I loved every single dish I tried in the country (and just so you know, if you’re a vegetarian you’ll love Singapore!). My Local Fella guide helped me uncover mosques and museums, interesting streets and main points of interest and helped me fill my two days in the city with exactly what I wanted to see.
For many, Singapore is a ‘stopover city’ – somewhere to stay for a day or two between flights. But any true traveller knows the importance of squeezing everything possible out of stopovers! The Local Fella’s guide meant that I didn’t faff around deciding what I wanted to do, or debating whether certain things would interest me – his detailed and informative PDF helped me really make the most of every single hour in the city.
Using The Local Fella’s guide is like having a friend in the city. We all love going somewhere and getting recommendations from someone who really knows the city – and Martin and Carlene’s guide felt like they knew exactly what I wanted from Singapore. And it was this guide that made me experience Singapore in the very best of lights, and compelled me to be back to visit this city country very soon.
So if you want to pay the beautiful and fascinating country of Singapore a visit, The Local Fella has all the advice you’ll need to fit as much into your trip as possible. For more information and to purchase a guide, visit their website here!
The Local Fella provided me with a custom guide free of charge. All opinions remain my own.