Singapore, at your pace.

Speed up, slow down. How much of the Lion City you and your clique want to see will depend on your pace. How much time do you have?

They say a couple of days is enough, or one visit is good. I think not. Singapore is a contradiction- small city, big adventure. What you perceive it to be may not hold water. I can attest to that. I ate my words (and boy, did it need flavoring) when I said, “I think I have seen enough” after my call. But no, each visit offers something new and exciting.

With two or three of stay, it is best to know the places you want to see ahead of time. Surf the net or ask around, or try this- few go-to spots for the barkada for a “well-rounded” experience of the Lion City.

Discover Haji Lane and Arab Street. Immerse yourself in history and culture while shopping. Very Le Marais in Paris or the Meatpacking District of NYC, the shop-houses along Haji Lane were transformed into hip retail shops turning it into a fashionista’s paradise. This is where all the up-and-coming artisans and retailers start up before playing on a bigger field. Arab Street, on the other hand, offers a more ethnic offering of textile, carpets and perfume.

A bike shop at Haji Lane & a carpet store at Arab Street

Go for a Singapore River Cruise. Best taken in the evening, this iconic ride along the historic waterway will remind you of Singapore’s historic charm. The Bumboats will take you on a scenic ride along the river that was the center of trade, commerce and finance of old and admire the modern Singapore from a different vantage point. It’ll take you along the Quays to the famous marina bay where the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, ArtScience Museum and the LV Island are. After the cruise, try this- G-Max Reverse Bungee, a rocket launch simulator that’ll send you hurtling 60 meters in the air at 200kph, or the GX-5 Xtreme Swing to catapult five of you 100 meters across the Singapore river from a height of 50 meters. That’s viewing the river from another point of view.

Go for a ride– on a bumboat along the famous rive or in a capsule high up in the air.

Sentosa Spree. You need more than a day to experience the vast offerings of this island. Pick a few and enjoy. May I suggest Universal Studios. Its more compact size makes the theme areas easier to reach- Jurassic Park, the Mummy, Madagascar, land of Far, Far Away, etc. Don’t miss out on the new Transformer ride. It is spectacular! The Skyline Luge Sentosa. Part toboggan, part go-cart, this is one ride for the speed demon. Race down a 650-meter-long paved track. The adrenaline rush can make this ride addicting. The open-air chairlift, Skyride, offers a breathtaking view of the South China Sea as you travel back to the top of the hill. Wave House Sentosa. If surfing is your thing, then this place is for you. This is home to FlowBarrel and FlowRider sheet wave attractions. Waves are 100% guaranteed and ready for you to ride.

Sentosa top picks: Universal Studios, Skyline Luge & the Wave House.

Take the Red Clogs Down the Five Foot Way- A Chinatown Walk. It’s a 3-hour exploration of historic Chinatown that’ll take you to the oldest Hokkien-Chinese temple, Thien Hock Kheng, the preserved shop-houses of early Chinese immigrants, quaint trade stores and Ann Siang Hill, once a plantation and playground to the rich and influential, it is an upcoming Singaporean Fashion hotspot for ritzy fashion boutiques, designer offices, antique shops, art galleries, etc.

Walk through history. Chinatown is rich in more ways than one

Slow down and calm your nerves. What could be relaxing than some retail therapy? Orchard Road has the Ion, Paragon, and Takashimaya where the luxury boutiques are, the favorites like Top Shop, H&M and other name brands along the avenue (or inside the malls where it is cooler to shop) guaranteed to uplift any weary soul. Or head to The Shoppes of Marina Bay Sands. While you’re there, sit down and catch a play at the Marina Bay Sands Theaters and move up to the topmost level of the building where Ku de Ta is. It’s a nice place to lounge and sip cocktails while enjoying the fantastic panorama of the city at night.

Retail therapy along Orchard Road, cultural therapy at the Marina Bay Theaters & spirited therapy at Ku de ta.

I think I may have used up your hours on this visit and you haven’t seen half of the Lion City yet. Let me put it this way, what you’ve missed on this visit will be your perfect excuse to revisit the Lion City. Soon.

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