Why I haven’t done this more often I have no idea! Being based in Australia, most overseas flights are extremely long and tedious experiences. Our layover in Singapore helped bring home the old cliche that “its not the destination its the journey that counts”. Why not break up those hours sitting on a plane and tick off a few new destinations in the process.
As this was a layover we didn’t pay for any accommodation, we simply slept on the flights and in the free movie theatre at the airport. Yeah… Did I mention that Singapore airport is possibly THE BEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD. You can pay for beds, showers and massages if you need to freshen up but they also have a movie theatre and a sunflower room. Yes thats right… a room full of sunflowers (um.. what?! Who even looks after that?). During our time there we made use of the airport, explored the city and randomly decided to get tattoos… but thats another story. While there is a ton to do in Singapore here is my list of top 5 for those of you that are short on time or that may happen to have a layover like I did.
1/ Gardens by the Bay
Ever seen the movie Avatar? You just entered it. These gardens are absolutely insane and feel like you’ve been transported into some futuristic city or alien world.
While it is free to walk through the gardens it will cost you if you want to climb to the top or visit the flower dome and cloud forest. Some companies will offer combined packages if you wish to do it all however we were on a budget and to be quite honest we were breathless and amazed simply at the beauty of the gardens just walking through them.
2/ Have a drink at Marina Bay Sands
This is the best view of the city especially of the gardens by the bay. You have the option of paying to go to the observation deck and skipping the bar completely however, why not just pay for a drink at C’est La Vie Skybar and have the view included for free? We had a drink up there at night and the view of the city lights were absolutely spectacular. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to watch the sunset from up there.
3/ Maxwells Food Centre
As someone who is predominantly vegetarian I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy this as much as most. For those meat lovers out there who want to try some good hainanese chicken this is the place to go. Full of food stalls there is plenty to choose from however, after appearing on Anthony Bourdains ‘No reservations’ Tian Tian is a clear favourite. We got there at 10am and the line was already around the corner even though half the other stalls hadn’t even opened yet! Save yourself the time and try another stall called Ah Tai. The chef from Ah Tai used to work at Tian Tian and from what I have heard it is just as good, if not better.
4/ Explore China Town and Pagoda Street
In case you didn’t find food at Maxwells Food Centre, China town is in close proximity and also boasts a range of good food. You can also find a variety of stores selling various trinkets and clothing or offering cheap massages. A great place to explore a few temples and monuments and to learn a little about the history of the area at the chinatown heritage centre.
5/ Singapore Sling at Raffles
Considered a right of passage in Singapore! Just a word of warning that they are extremely overpriced at around S$30 a drink. I shared one with a friend because I felt like it was something I needed to do but you could probably just take a look around the hotel if you are on a budget. Raffles is an absolutely gorgeous historical hotel that opened in 1887 and was the home of the first ever Singapore Sling developed in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. The traditional Longbar at raffles is currently under renovations and wont be open until mid 2018, however you can still enjoy your Singapore Sling at the hotels bar and billiard room.
6 / Okay Ive decided to add another to the list – Sentosa Island
We didn’t get the chance to do this while we were in Singapore as we simply ran out of time. While this is not exactly feasible if you are only here on a layover, if you have a little more time than (from what I have heard) this is something you need to do. A world of its own they have a range of entertainment from universal studios, waterparks and aquariums to historic sites and beaches.
Hopefully this article has inspired you to look into a few possible layovers for your next trip.
Amberlee Jane xx