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Heinkel
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What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:56 pm

My wife and I'll fly DUS - SIN - SYD with SQ in 2 1/2 weeks. I hope it will be a nice experience in J :smile: .

We'll have a stopover of rough 14 hours at SIN. We'll arrive on SQ 221 (A350) at 6:15 a.m. (local) and we'll depart to SYD on SQ 337 (A380) at 7:40 p.m.

I've booked two Singapore Explorer Passes. We've never been at SIN before and now is the question, what are the things, which we "must" see during our stopover?

My wife like plants and flowers, so the "Gardens by the Sea" may be fine. I would like to see the famous "Infinity Pool" on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands. I've heard, that the pool is only open to hotel residents but there is a bar next to it, where you can have a beer and/or a cocktail and enjoy the view.

Any recommendations?
 
mxaxai
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:03 am

You'll have around 11 hours outside the airport. The MRT takes a bit less than an hour to take you downtown, so around 9 - 10 hours to spend there.

Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands certainly are the must-see items. Sadly, your next flight leaves too early so you won't see the light shows there. I can recommend both the bar and, if you're into plants, the Cloud Forest at the gardens. The Flower Dome is slightly underwhelming for someone who lives in a temperate climate. Then there are the truly excellent botanical gardens but they're a bit further away from the airport.
The bar is fairly expensive but you don't need to buy anything. Great view of the bay and of the skyline.

In the morning, I'd recommend visiting either china town or little india. Have some early lunch there (maybe try the michelin-star chicken rice restaurant, though it's overhyped imho). If you're in little india, arab street is nearby and they have some good (but expensive) arab food. Head over to the gardens. When you're done there, relax at the Marina Bay Sands bar until you need to leave for your flight. Or make it a short visit and relax in the lounges at Changi.

Just checked what the explorer pass includes and apparently the singapore flyer is. If you're at the gardens anyway, you might want to try that out.
 
danvs
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:29 am

I'd go to Merlion Park, from where you can have a great view of the famous MBS hotel. Then, you can walk to the MBS complex, if it's not far for you.
When I visited MBS, the bar on the rooftop was VERY crowded, so crowded that you actually had to walk asking "excuse me" all the time. So I went down back to the ground floor and paid for the viewing deck (not cheap, but worth the price), where I got a LOT more space and where I never felt squeezed. The views are awesome. If you get satisfied with the view, then you can skip the Singapore Flyer.
The cloud forest is the best of the "closed attractions", every 5-10 minutes the whole dome gets sprinkled with water vapour and you get the feeling you're in a rainforest. Quite impressive.
The MBS complex is, like Singapore, all about manicured gardens and malls. If you like gardens and shopping, it's heaven. I've never seen so many malls side by side in my life, not even in NY, London or Paris.
I don't really like Chinatowns or Little Indias, but if it's your thing, go for it. I just think you can visit a Chinatown / Little India elsewhere (they're all basically the same), but there's simply no other MBS in the world.

Just one hint: although the subway system is efficient, etc etc, it's a big pain having to buy single tickets on the machines (you can only buy in machines, not with real people). The first thing is that the station in MBS is packed, and I had to wait up to 15-20 minutes just to buy a single ticket. There are lots of tourists, and many of them don't understand how the machine works and sometimes they take a long time figuring out how to buy, even when assistants are present. The second thing (and may be that's one reason for tourists' confusion), is that you have to know the station you're going to to, and the ticket you buy will be specific to that station. Since you have to put your ticket on the turnstile to leave the station, I don't know what happens if you decide to get out at a different station. In short, you just can't buy a ticket and ride to any station as you wish, like in most subway systems around the world. Since you have less than one day, you can use a 1-day pass (buy it at the airport, because it's sold in only a few stations).
 
aeromoe
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:16 am

Watch planes?
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:47 am

danvs wrote:
I'd go to Merlion Park, from where you can have a great view of the famous MBS hotel. Then, you can walk to the MBS complex, if it's not far for you.
When I visited MBS, the bar on the rooftop was VERY crowded, so crowded that you actually had to walk asking "excuse me" all the time. So I went down back to the ground floor and paid for the viewing deck (not cheap, but worth the price), where I got a LOT more space and where I never felt squeezed. The views are awesome. If you get satisfied with the view, then you can skip the Singapore Flyer.

Right, the MBS observation deck beats the Flyer hands down down. Its higher (and consistently too, not the limited few minutes at the apex of the wheel), cheaper, and more time to have a lingering view of whatever caught your fancy & get back for another look in the same trip.

danvs wrote:
I don't really like Chinatowns or Little Indias, but if it's your thing, go for it. I just think you can visit a Chinatown / Little India elsewhere (they're all basically the same), but there's simply no other MBS in the world.

Again true and especially for Chinatown, the evirons are too "manufactured" ie too spanking newish & clean (renovated & maintained too well). For real Chinatown feels, warts and all, there are many other more authentic ones all over the world, eg the one in Manila.
If you want to see something unique - as in nowhere else in the world, I would suggest the Haw Par Villa, otherwise known as the Tiger Balms Gardens, about 10 km to the west, a 15 mins or so MRT ride away. Prepare to spend about an hour there.
http://www.visitsingapore.com/see-do-singapore/culture-heritage/heritage-discovery/haw-par-villa/
or https://www.hawparvilla.sg/
or simply google the name.

danvs wrote:
The second thing (and may be that's one reason for tourists' confusion), is that you have to know the station you're going to to, and the ticket you buy will be specific to that station. Since you have to put your ticket on the turnstile to leave the station, I don't know what happens if you decide to get out at a different station. In short, you just can't buy a ticket and ride to any station as you wish, like in most subway systems around the world. Since you have less than one day, you can use a 1-day pass (buy it at the airport, because it's sold in only a few stations).

Not 100% correct for this though. The single trip ticket is good for travel between any stations with the same pricing. Its all in the information board near the machines.Should you get out of a station with a lower price (shorter distance traveled), the faregates will still open - you just effectively overpaid though. If the station you get out from costs more, then you go to Passenger Service beside the faregates and be charged a small penalty. Its generally the same with other countries/cities' metros too; at least those I had used recently such as HK, China, Bangkok, and Manila. However, some station managers will be flexible if they see confused tourists who inadvertently underpaid by just a little - they'll smilingly open the gates. (First hand experience and observation)
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Heinkel
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:18 pm

Thank you very much for the helpful hints. I'll buy a tourist 1-day-pass for the MRT. So I don't have to battle with the vending machines.

Is there a good place to watch planes at Changi Airport?
 
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:29 am

There's the East Coast Park along the ECP - East Coast Parkway, and a quiet spot with a cafe/restaurant by Changi Coast Walk, 100+ metre southwest of the MOE Sea Sports Centre where I used to spend leisurely mid afternoon teas and early evening dinners many many years ago. Both locations are by the beach and somewhat in the landing/takeoff paths. However, given your limited time, I suggest you give planespotting a pass except while waiting for your flight after check-in, for a more constrained view.
Make full use of your free 10 hours or so at and around the city area enjoying the Garden in a City and City in a Garden. Have a nice time.....and pleasant flights.
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danvs
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:30 am

SIN is bad for watching airplanes. There's only one official spot where you can see airplanes (called "Viewing Mall", on terminal 1), and they're neither taking off nor landing, just taxiing or standing at the gates.
There's no place from the airport itself to see the runways' movements. Check http://www.spotterguide.net/planespotting/asia/singapore/singapore-sin-wsss/ for more info.
This is just one reason why I think SIN is such an overrated airport.
 
Ryanair01
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:28 am

danvs wrote:
SIN is bad for watching airplanes. There's only one official spot where you can see airplanes (called "Viewing Mall", on terminal 1), and they're neither taking off nor landing, just taxiing or standing at the gates.
There's no place from the airport itself to see the runways' movements. Check http://www.spotterguide.net/planespotting/asia/singapore/singapore-sin-wsss/ for more info.
This is just one reason why I think SIN is such an overrated airport.


Each terminal has its own spotting area landside, T3 and T2 both overlook the active runways. Airside at T1 there is an outside garden which overlooks one of the two active runways. The spotter guide is not accurate.

In terms of other things to do, being short of time I would get taxis as they are cheap and plentiful. Uber also works. The MRT to/from the airport is slow and requires a change, but it depends on your time.

- Vivo City Mall which serves as the entrance to Sentosa. You can catch the shuttle train to the beach which has many places to eat, stroll and have a drink. (be careful as on weekends the queue back is massive).
- As others have mentioned Marina Bay, with the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands complex plus the promenade and Gardens by the Bay etc. There are also short boat rides up the river.
- Bujis and Kampong Glam is a mixture of very modern Singapore (Bujis) and a neighbouring preserved more historic area (Kampong Glam).

I don't know how familiar you are with that part of the world, but it will be pretty humid. So don't plan to do too much, genuinely have lots of fluids.
 
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Coal
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:49 am

For plane watching, if they're landing on the 02s go to Myra's Beach Club (if it re-opens by the time you visit) at East Coast Park, and if they're landing on the 20s, grab a beer at Little Island Brewing Co. and then walk over to Changi Beach.
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:22 am

Ryanair01 wrote:
In terms of other things to do, being short of time I would get taxis as they are cheap and plentiful. Uber also works.

Uber is no longer operating in Sg, its ops taken over by competitor Grab months ago.

Ryanair01 wrote:
I don't know how familiar you are with that part of the world, but it will be pretty humid. So don't plan to do too much, genuinely have lots of fluids.

Its mainly been raining X-wings & TIEs - I mean dogs & cats - for the past few weeks, and outlook for the next week and beyond remain basically similar. My advice is brollies and/or raincoats.
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Heinkel
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:02 pm

neutrino wrote:
Ryanair01 wrote:
I don't know how familiar you are with that part of the world, but it will be pretty humid. So don't plan to do too much, genuinely have lots of fluids.

Its mainly been raining X-wings & TIEs - I mean dogs & cats - for the past few weeks, and outlook for the next week and beyond remain basically similar. My advice is brollies and/or raincoats.


I'm not too familar with that part of the world. Have been at Bangkok for a few days in July 2014. Thanks for the advice about the rain. I'll put a rain coat in my hand luggage.
 
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Flyingdevil737
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:50 pm

-Marina Bay Sands rooftop is great viewing ( you can sometimes see planes taking off/landing)
-The Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel is also very good (there’s a 737 flight sim inside the complex ;))
-Go to the gardens (look out for the LEGOs)
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:45 am

Heinkel wrote:
I'm not too familar with that part of the world. Have been at Bangkok for a few days in July 2014. Thanks for the advice about the rain. I'll put a rain coat in my hand luggage.

The forecast for the next 7 days:-
Oct 28 - thunderstorm.
Oct 29 - cloudy
Oct 30 - thunderstorm.
Oct 31 - thunderstorm.
Nov 1 - thunderstorm.
Nov 2 - thunderstorm.
Nov 3 - thunderstorm.

Ok, so the weatherman is and will continue to be only partially reliable and based on the past week, they are about 70% correct. But the outlook is only a generalization and the "cats and dogs" were not all-day so far. The sun do break through now and then; with the rain at most 2-3 hrs at a stretch so its not all gloomy.
A collapsible (down to 6-8 inches) brolly could be a good choice over a raincoat as it is faster to deploy and retract, plus also handy in the occasional hot sun.


I carry something like this these past couple of weeks everytime I stepped out (mine is actually 1/2 inch shorter and costs me about just about US$5.00):
Image
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theobcman
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:15 pm

Geylang !!

Ooops Oh no sorry - you’re with the Mrs !
 
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:57 pm

What's wrong? Plenty of good food in Geylang.
If you don't know that, you're excused.
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Heinkel
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:04 pm

Thanks again for the good advice.

My Mrs. and I are on board SQ337 over India at 39,000 feet. Still rough 5 hours to SIN.

We both put umbrellas in our hand luggage.

Weather in Germany was terrible. 6 °C and rain. At least in Singapore the rain is warm.
 
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:29 am

Enjoy yourselves for the next few hours more. Have a nice dinner and then a pleasant onward flight to Downunder.
Lets us know of your experience in your stopover in this little island-state.
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Heinkel
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:19 pm

neutrino wrote:
Lets us know of your experience in your stopover in this little island-state.


We are safely back home and the journey was fantastic.

Thanks to your advice we took umbrellas with us and as a result we had good weather at Singapore and no rain :D

We underestimated the time, which is required to get out of the airport and to the city, even with the MRT. We had to wait more than one hour in a queue, to deposit our cabin baggage at the left-luggage office at the airport. The clerk opened every bag, made several fotocopies of the passports and typed a lot of data into his computer. That took time.

So it took several hours to get from the airport into the city. We made two rides with the hop-on hop-off bus (Yellow line and red line). Because we didn't know, how long it would take to get our baggage back, my wife insisted in heading back to the airport early.

I think next time we'll stay at least one night in Singapore. It is a very impressive city.
 
jumpjets
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:47 pm

I have been following this thread with interest as four weeks from now I will be in Singapore for 72 hours which in effect gives us 2 and a half days sighteeing so all the comments made have been really helpful.

Maybe someone could answer a question about a couple of evening activities - specifically the Night Safari, which I think is right next to the Zoo and also an evening cruise/tour of the city with dinner, I have read mixed reviews for both these 'attractions' some are great some are pretty miserable - does anyone have first hand experience of either of these that they could share?

Also as we will have a bit more time to spend exploring that the thread OP are there any more suggestions as to what we might do with our time. It is 30 years since I last went to Singapore [apart from changing planes at SIN] so I expect it will have changed a lot.

We are flying in on QF, so am looking forward to experiencing their A380 and we will be staying at Clarke Quay.

LIke the OP we are heading off to Oz [first stop MEL] and then on the way home from Perth making a brief stop in Dubai - anyone have any thoughts on what to do for a day apart from taking an organised city tour and then lie by the pool?
 
blink182
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:56 am

For Singapore, I like the Asian Civilization Museum and a meal at Clarke Quay, all right in the center of town. I think the best part of MBS’s rooftop are the views away from the city and towards the straits. Also worth strolling around downtown into China Town since there are some older structures that contain neat restaurants and bars. Orchard Rd, IIRC, is a fun stroll, but I don’t know that there’s really a ton to do for 72h.

DXB doesn’t have a lot, but if you’re looking for culture then I think Deira/the creek is cool as it’s a different vibe from the glassy glitz and glamour of the malls, media city, and Jumeirah.
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dredgy
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:09 am

Lots to see in Singapore.

I would say the must do thing is the gardens - I'd never been to them and dismissed them as just a tourist traps, but they are really something special. Especially the big rainforest dome.
Marina Bay isn't that expensive - I don't know what the observation deck cost is, but when I was there, a room was under $200SGD, so I just spent a night and had unencumbered access to the pool. Maybe hard to justify, but I think it's worth it.
As a bartender by trade, stopping by Raffles for a Singapore Sling was a highlight for me. It's expensive and touristy, but the drink is delicious.
The zoos are all good, but nothing unique (well the night zoo is but you won't be there for that).

For more authentic experiences I will leave it to locals. I love the Newton "circus" food court and walk through Bugis street market, but I think they're probably both better to do at night.

So yeah, I'm sure that was helpful :p
 
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:15 am

Heinkel wrote:
Thanks to your advice we took umbrellas with us and as a result we had good weather at Singapore and no rain :D

Lucky you did as otherwise there will be rain. It almost always work that way. ;)
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neutrino
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Re: What to do in Singapore during stopover

Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:18 am

jumpjets wrote:
...

Since you have already read the thread, there is hardly anything more that I can add for a short term visitor.
My experience with the Night Safari and the evening cruise/tour were too long ago to be relevant now.
I don't know to what extent you are an aviation enthusiast but museums, big or small, featuring aircraft is always a top priority for me when I can appropriate the time.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum, as air force museums go, is tiny with a minuscule dozen or so of its retired warbirds in the city state's service.
Should you have an afternoon where you absolutely do not know where else to go, drop in on the museum curator (retiring in 2 months) who will buy you a coffee. He's an old friend of mine and besides a personal conducted tour, I can ask him to open the doors to a locked room where there is a private collection of about 3 dozen detailed crafted wooden models of vintage RAF, RAAF & RNZAF propeller driven & early jet aircraft of various shapes and sizes. Those scaled down replicas represent the military magnificent flying machines that were based in or had some presence in Singapore long before the island became an independent republic.
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