When I was in eighth grade, we learned about unique cultures and customs in history class one day. I vividly remember my teacher saying that in Singapore you couldn't chew gum on the streets; I remember thinking that she was joking. For some reason, that fact always stayed with me. Fast-forward 13 years, and I found myself spending 48 hours trying to check off the coolest things to do in Singapore...and yes, I did remember to spit out my gum before exiting the airport!
En route home from Cambodia, I made the last-minute decision to break up my flight time by adding in a Singapore stopover. I quickly learned that it's the absolute perfect stopover spot, as there's just enough to see and do that you'll never be bored, but you certainly won't be rushed either. These seven sites and activities are bound to give you both beautiful views, and a bit of a thrill too!
Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
While Gardens of the Bay itself offers free entry, it's so much more than just walking through the public park. Within Gardens by the Bay, you will find Two Conservatories: the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Entrance to both Conservatories is about, and absolutely worth it!
Spend some time wandering the unique flower dome, consisting of the Flower Field, Australian Garden, South American Garden, South African Garden, Californian Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Succulent Garden, the Olive Grove, and the Baobabs. It's fascinating how flowers from all of the world have found life within this one dome. The dome itself is as big as 75 Olympic-sized swimming pools.Personally though, I preferred the Cloud Forest, as it offers breathtaking mountain-like views, lush vegetation, and waterfalls! In fact, the Cloud Forest touts the world's largest indoor waterfall.I could have spent hours wandering around the Cloud Forest dome; I recommend going in the late afternoon and watching sunset from within the dome itself.
Gardens by the Bay Light Show
The daily Gardens by the Bay Light Show is completely free for residents and tourists alike. Just make your way to the Supertree Grove and find a spot to sit and enjoy. The first shows is at 7:45pm (which was just after sunset when I visited) and the second show is at 8:45pm. Each month, the Light Show changes. While I was there, it was the beautiful Waltz. Next month, it's Broadway. The following, disco... I think you get the idea by now. Locals told me that even they enjoy coming for the light show whenever possible because it's always something new and exciting.
Marina Bay Sands Light Show
Spectra - the light and water show in front of Marina Bay Sands - is not to be missed. Like Gardens by the Bay, Spectra is a free-to-the-public event that is best viewed at the Event Plaza along the promenade. With lasers, fountains, and visual projections, you will watch Singapore simply come alive. You can catch this everyday.
Katong Residences on Joo Chiat
Joo Chiat, located in the Katong area of Singapore, is the perfect step back into time. You'll find pre-war architecture lining the streets; colorful two story houses, elaborate gates, beautiful terraces. Despite it only being a block or two long, this was one of my favorite hidden gems on my Singapore stopover, tucked away from the tourist trail.