Changi Airport accommodates thousands of stopover flights every week. If you have a good 12 hours to kill then it is so worth going out and taking a look. My preferred way to get into the city was with the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) aka the public electric train system. Beats traffic and also a nice little experience.
This post will give you a brief overview of what I did in just a few days. Note, I also stayed in three different accommodations, because y'know, bloggers are extra like that.
Probably one of the most iconic sights of Singapore. Inside one of the domes is practically an entire forest of plants, waterfalls and vegetation displays. This 35-meter tall mountain is a beaut. Elevators, staircases and ramps will take you to the top for an bird's eye view of the showcase. Visiting Singapore in summer, you will greatly appreciate a cooling mist from the waterfall.
Entry fee $12 an adult.
Gardens by the Bay
Exterior to the domes are paths which will take you through exterior gardens. Located right below the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, it's a Kodak spot for sure. Just a short walk to Marina Bay Sands shopping mall, you can stop for lunch or spoil yourself with some world class designer shopping.
Forced myself to wake at 6am one morning to witness this incredible sunrise. Below you will see boats entering the port for the day and an overview of Gardens by the Bay. The two big domes are conservatories that showcase hundreds of different plant life, one of them being Cloud Forest.
If you're brave enough to walk 22-meters above ground, then this is for you. Open from 9am-9pm daily you will have a choice to see this during day or night. In the evening, all trees and walkways light up. Completely alienating but magical. Kinda reminded me of Avatar. As you walk from one of the domes, through the garden and towards Marina Bay Sands Hotel, follow the crowd to a high point and you will be able to see this entire view. It's a lookout you can't miss.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Saying this is a huge temple would be an understatement. It took us nearly 2 hours to walk through the entire museum. From meditation and praying hubs, to rooms covered with gold it was definitely eye opening to learn about one of Singapore's biggest religions.
Note: If you are visiting in summer, remember to wrap up as showing any skin in the chest and leg area is considered highly offensive. My boyfriend was in a singlet and shorts so he had to wrap himself head to toe in sarongs haha. The temple offers shoals and skirts by the entrance if you are not dressed appropriately.
The place to practice your bargaining skills and finding the world's cheapest gifts. A walk through Chinatown in Singapore wasn't like any other. Yes they had 10,000 stores almost all selling the same trinkets and snacks, and street eats to die for. But it was the aggregation of colonial and Chinese architecture that caught my eye. Gorgeous pastel coloured and cutely framed windows - can I live in one??
Sentosa Island vs Singapore CBD
Which one is more you? Resort life or city life? Singapore provides such efficient transport between both islands, it's easy to enjoy both. I would say Sentosa (resort side) is all about vacation vibes. Full relaxation and great for families to wind down in once place. The city side consists of more skyscrapers, corporate businesses day-to-day needs.
Faber Peak Cable-cars
Another quick way to view the city is to take the cable cars. It allows you to travel between Singapore city and Sentosa Island. Sentosa is where you will find Universal Studios, beaches and more retail experiences. With the cable cars you can either choose to hop off at different attractions or simply take a full ride and enjoy the view from above.
This riverside quay is a historical area attracting people who love a good night-life and places to dine. Well that's why I went anyway; a couple of cocktails and spring rolls while watching the river boats go by and waving at other tourists - it was all pretty fun! At night time, every bar along the riverside lights up in colorful bulbs. However, if that isn't your "thing", there are still plenty of sites to see during the day. Museums, art galleries, temples or even a stroll along the river. You can easily fill up a day's worth of itinerary just at Clarke Quay.
You have the option to view the city day or night, y'know the usual...OR you can book in for fine dining or a few cocktail drinks where everything will be served to you in your capsule. Yup all inside that Ferris Wheel looking thang! Talk about VIP experience!
ACCOMMODATION (with the best pools)
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Just a few steps from the Arrival's Terminal at Changi Airport is a 5-star hotel. We stopped over for one night before we jetted off on our Maldives trip. I thought I would take the time to relax and cool off in their outdoor pool and explore the city on my way back from the Maldives. Surrounded by palm trees and lounge chairs it was definitely a good start to the holiday.
Further to our stay in Singapore we traveled to Sentosa Island for a few nights at Capella Resort. (P.S. you CAN travel to Sentosa Island by car). Their 3-tiered outdoor pools were surrounded by nature, blocking out the city noise allowing you to really absorb the sanctuary.
And in case the resort doesn't tell ya, everyday at 3pm they have complimentary High Tea in their library. Don't miss out, so so good!
Infinity Pool - Marina Bay Sands
Soaking in this iconic rooftop pool, I was literally swimming on 'Top of the World'. The pool is only open to hotel guests now so if you have the budget to stay there even for one night, do it! Complimented with a rooftop bar and sunbathing lounges you won't regret your visit.
Bonus: There is now a side of the pool sectioned off for adults only. Bye-bye to the kids that splash too much!
So there ya have it! Hopefully this post has given you enough to fill up a decent itinerary.
Hit me up if you have more Qs :)