Depends on what you are interested in, I suppose.
Allow one full day to sight see. Consider taking a rickshaw tour of the downtown area, stopping for a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel and a Bug-Bug boat trip along the river.
You can spend a day shopping but I seldom find bargains in Singapore apart from electrical equipment, so if you are after a laptop computer or two....
The charm about Singapore is the variety of exotic food around - Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai and various combinations in-between so give MacDonalds and KFC a miss (even though you will see a few around).
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Thanks A and KJ!
Real food is good - can't wait to try the laksha and satay and curry crabs and everything else! Not so much into tourist-trap-ish kind of thing, but will enjoy a bit of sight-seeing. Singapore isn't exactly a big place, so this stopover is really intended to be a bit of a journey-breaker of the long-haul back to the UK from Oz.
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3 days will be perfect - we will be there for 3 days in just over a weeks time although we normally stay 4 or 5 days. There's lots to do without going up to KL - Chinatown, Arab St, Little India of course but if you want to get away from the tourists go across to Pulau Ubin a small Island off the coast near Changi -I mentioned over on the SIN board and someone kindly gave the name of the pier -you just take a bumboat across.
The food is one of the main reasons we love going there - suggestions for hawker centres - Gluttons Bay (on the Esplanade at night), Lau Pa Sat, Newton Circus and not Hawker but the East Coast Seafood Centre. I would give Clarke Quay a miss as I think it's a bit touristy. Other good food -if you like Indian -The Banana Leaf Apollo on Racecourse Rd and a Champagne Sunday Brunch at one of the big hotels - the Fullerton and the Four Seasons are particularly good but if you are only there 3 days maybe leave the brunch until next time as it does rather wipe out a day .
P.s don't forget to try murtabak. Can't wait for my first bowl of laksa!
3 days is more than enough. Could you move your stopover to BKK instead? I find Bangkok significantly more interesting, plus there are some superb value hotels, great food, great nightlife and a real sense of place.
Failing that, a day hop up to KL would break up your time in the Basingstoke of SE Asia nicely.
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I spent 3 days in SIN back in August. Loved the place. Got dragged around Orchard road by the misses , however everything else was good. Did the usuaul Raffles, Duck tour etc, and found the place to be pretty inexpensive. Stayed at the Conrad opposite Sun city, where you can eat almost anything for $6. Quite fancy going back in September for the Grand Prix, but the long flight even in F or J still puts me off a bit. Oh, and I for one prefer it to BKK, but hey but thats just my personal preference.
.......... and there are a couple of useful threads on tripadvisor on the best timing and techniques of a visit and how to do it to be in less of crowd.
I was not as impressed by the Nightsafari when we visited in 2004/2005, but perhaps also because I did not read the tips at the time. I guess it did not quite live up to the hype: in the end it is just a zoo at night...and I am not a big fan of zoos.
There is lots to do in sg, but 3 days is certainly enough to get a feel for the place. The city itself is so varied with all the ethnic neighborhoods.
As with any city, start with a city tour, preferably a hop-on-hop-off. There are many, some narrated, some not. From that you can then determine which area's you want to visit longer and if needed go back there by public transport or taxi another day.
I enjoyed the Ducktour as well, first time I had one of those (now I see almost every city with water has one)
Quite out of the way, but for me the most impressionable and unfortunately overlooked by most guidebooks, is the Changi POW exhibition, which you can then combine with a visit to Changi village and if wanted, a trip out to the traditional fishermen's islands (which we did not do, but still might do next time)
Shopping definitely seems THE national sport of Singapore, but as mentioned, do not expect major bargains.
Sentosa island: overall over-rated, except for Mt Faber perhaps for the city views (when not obstructed by smog)
We will be having a layover in both directions to SYD next December and January, and there are several things we did not do then that we will consider
Visit to KL and/or rural Malaysia
Visit some of the traditional fishing villages
Hop over to one of the beach resorts for a day or 2
Location: Seat 1A, Juice pretty much everywhere, Mucci des Coins Exotiques
I go to SIN quite often and one of my favorite activities is to hire a bicycle at east park (next to the McDonalds) and ride out to the airport to watch airplanes take off. It is about 12-15km along a beautiful stretch of beach and when you get to the airport, you are less than 100 meters from the runway. Bring a picnic a towel to sit on and relax to the roaring sounds of 747's blasting off.