Singapore - Excitement! First time
Hello! I'm very excited about my first trip to Singapore in a few days. I have decided to bring my father with me on this trip and enjoy as much as we can in the little time that we have (arrive on 5th until 12th). Staying at Raffle's and have absolutely no idea what to expect!
We both have traveled to Asia many times before in the past but never south Asia. Mostly bigger cities in China, Japan, Korea. I'm not into the tourist type of activities rather I love to experience cultures through the local scene and people whom live there. It's somewhat of a gift for my father so I'm trying to make it as "first class" as possible. We are both flying on Singapore Air's all business class flight from JFK (wow 18 hours really?)....Any tips or recc would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys! n Gals!
Mar 31, 11, 9:39 pm
Hi, and welcome to Flyertalk!
Well, if you haven't been to Singapore before, then I think you will find it an eyeopener. Lots of folks who come here for the first time are surprised by what they find. On this issue you will find many on FT very partisan. If you have looked at the thread, many enjoy their time here, others find it sterile and boring. I won't take a side on this although I will say that I live here, but still do (believe it or not) four to five trips back to NYC each year. Most folks find Singapore sterile because it does seem like one very large city, in some ways like Manhattan or Hong Kong but with more organization and order, and according to some, less imagination. I would simply suggest that if you want to get to know the place, don't just go to the tourist places but the more local areas, the neighborhoods as well (that's a little like saying if you're a NY person, don't just go to midtown, go check out Woodhaven or Park Slope too). As for your stay at the Raffles, that is the grande dame of Singapore hotels, lots of history there. Be sure to go to the Long Bar there just to say you've been there.
One of Singapore's big defining aspects is the food. Hawker centres are a big pull here. Check out the current thread by uk1 as to where to go eat, as a starting point. Other suggestions later...
(BTW did you say you're taking the 18 hour all business class flight on SQ? Keep your airports straight, you're flying from EWR. The JFK flight transits in FRA before proceeding to SIN).
Mar 31, 11, 10:00 pm
Apologies - departing Newark direct to Singapore.
Question: Does the Airbus A380 offer flights direct to Asia from the US?
If you've read some of the threads you may have noticed my devotion and affection for Singapore - which I hope you'll catch!
You've said you want to make the trip as "First Class" for your dad and you as possible. My first tip is to consider asking your hotel to arrange JetQuay (http://www.jetquay.com.sg/) service for your arrival - there's no need to do this for the return.
The service meets you at the plane door and takes your luggage voucher from you. They radio their friends who collect your luggage whilst they take you to the CIP ("Commercially Important Person" terminal) on a buggy where you'll pass through private immigration and wait in a wonderful quiet oasis with refreshments whilst your luggage is collected and put straight into the back of a limo. Once everything is ready you'll be shown to the limo which will take you straight to Raffles. The driver will be in touch with the hotel and they'll be waiting for your arrival when your luggage will be taken straight to your suite.
You bypass all of the normal stress sometimes associated with travel and this is a totally self-indulgent experience. The IC organises this for all our trips and their charge was around $S150. This is a comparatively expensive way of arriving and transiting to the hotel but in our view in terms of pounds per smile it is worth every penny.
Enjoy your trip and ask any questions you have to make it a great trip - people have been very helpful to me here to learn as much as I can to make my trips really great.
Thank you for the tip! Def will utilize it! Any other suggestions? Please send them my way! This is a trip that I'd really like to make VERY comfortable and fun for my father...Yum! Oh and we both are fitness-aholics.
Does your father like orchids?
Strange question I know ..... but I had no taste for such things until I visited Singapore!
In the Royal Botanic Gardens there's a smaller garden that is probably the worlds best display of orchids. My tip would be to get into the gardens and get the the National Orchid Garden just before it opens. Rather than follow the arrows round - go in the opposite direction (turn right as you go through the gate - not left!) and then you'll have this wonderful serenic garden to yourself for half an hour or so before others start wandering in. It sets you up for the day! After that garden there's amother garden often overlooked is the Evolution Garden. This started my wifes rather expensive interest in fossilised wood - which I've managed to buy some rather great (and by that I also mean large!) examples of it.
Most of our days in Singapore start off with an early morning taxi to the Botanic Gardens and a walk for an hour or so beofore lunch.
Apr 9, 11, 1:01 am
Sorry to be slow in replying. I presume that you and your Dad are in Singapore and are happily installed at the Raffles.
About the A380, it seems that the five carriers that have them do indeed fly to the US. Generally they would connect Asia with the US via their hubs. One direct Asia to US is on SQ which flies West Coast to Singapre via NRT, however in view of the recent earthquake I believe that they are using a 747.
On places to see, two museums if you want to know more about Singapore. One is the Asian Civilizations Museum. It shows the history and background of the native lands where the ancestors of most Singaporeans came from. I found the ancestor worship exhibits for the Chinese parts of the museum interesting. The other one is the Singapore Discovery Centre. I have not gone here myself but I understand it to be a place that talks about Singapore's history and how it led to Singapore's place in the world today.
Please let us know how your trip turned out.
Apr 10, 11, 12:07 am
I just returned back to the US from our Singapore trip. WOW. I was in awe 80% of the time - culture, cleanliness, hospitality, overall intelligence and education level was far beyond my expectations and I was actually envious of their schooling system!
Food was incredible. Raffles was old school but fantastic. I had some unbelievable host's that really took care of us. Our schedule was pretty packed so we didn't get a chance to see everything but Singapore is one country that I will be def coming back to for many years. Thank you all so much for your help! It made my dad's year!
PS- Singapore AIR all business class A340-500 seating arrangements really helped with jet lag etc.