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First Time in Singapore

First Time in Singapore

Old Mar 27, 19, 12:17 am
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First Time in Singapore

My wife and I will be in Singapore for three full days. Having never been there, we are seeking recommendations of a good part of the city to locate ourselves in a hotel. We prefer to find an area that is relatively quiet, yet walkable to attractions, and safe. We do not have a hotel preference, but rather want to start our search based upon a recommended area in which to situate ourselves.

A few things about our interests:

1. We are not big on shopping.
2, While museums are OK, we would prefer nature-oriented sites.

We will be in Singapore in mid-February, should that make a difference.

Many thanks for your insights.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 2:30 am
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Singapore is an expensive city accommodation wise, so budget will dictate what area's you can stay in.
That aside, the bay area is where most of the tourist attractions are based e.g. Gardens by the Bay, Merlion, Marina Bay Sands
As transportation is easy and cheap whichever area you choose to stay and getting around shouldn't be a problem.

I suggest heading to the Singapore forum over on tripadvisor where there are lot's of FAQs and helpful folk who should hopefully help you narrow things down a bit.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 2:33 am
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Just visited Singapore my first time in January. A colleague recommended that I stay at the Swissotel Merchant Court, located by Clarke Quay (which I did despite it not being in my preferred hotel chains). I found the location to be very central and would recommend looking at properties in that area.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 2:58 am
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In the CBD...around Clark Quay are many choices. Before I moved here I used to stay alot at The Carlton on Victoria and Bras Basah. It's near Raffles Center and only a few bus stops to Clark Quay. It's a nice place to stay. Also, a friend and his wife quite like Jayleen 1918 on Carpenter Street, right across from Clark Quay. Be sure to eat bak kut teh prok rib soup) at Song Fa (right there) another in China Town and about town.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 7:40 am
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I am far from a Singapore expert. I've been once, for 6 days. We knew we'd be exploring all over so the main thing we wanted was next door to an MRT station and within walking distances of food (I don't think that's a problem anywhere in Singapore!!) We ended up at the Oasia Downtown which is on the edge of Chinatown and beyond the "downtown" area and Marina area. Our other priority was a nicely priced club room, which Oasia provided.....
Have fun!
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Old Mar 27, 19, 11:22 am
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In my past two trips to Singapore, I've stayed at the Swissotel Merchant Court in Clarke Quay and Hotel Mono in Chinatown. As someone has already mentioned, Merchant Court is centrally located and very walkable, but I wouldn't describe the area as particularly quiet. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Hotel Mono in Chinatown. It is a few streets down from the louder parts of the area like the Chinatown Complex and Food Street, so its quiet, but it has easy MRT access and you can easily walk to Clarke Quay or the Marina Bay area. Just make sure you book at least the standard double for a party of two, as the small double looked very, very tight, reminiscent of Japanese business hotels.

If you prefer nature-oriented sites, you've definitely got to visit the Singapore Botanic Garden. I like to get there early in the morning (they open at 5am) since the heat can get unbearable in the afternoon. It is easily accessible by MRT, so you shouldn't have trouble getting there wherever you end up staying.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 11:58 am
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I really appreciate everyone's recommendations, which are helping me to narrow down my stay area. Thank you all!
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Old Mar 27, 19, 1:28 pm
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I recommend the Yotel Singapore on Orchard Road. Can usually be had for under $140 USD.

For nature loving guests: There is lots and lots to enjoy and admire in the Garden City:
Gardens by the Bay, including the Flower Dome and Rain Forest
There are several amazing flower gardens with lots of orchids
The Night Safari: a zoo open only in the evening with nocturnal animals
Google for the wild otters that live in Singapore. You might be able to see them.

Singapore is only 2 degrees north of the equator. So the weather is rather constant and consistent throughout the year.
It's gonna be quite warm (bordering on hot) and humid. That's just how it is.
Wear light weight, loose clothing. For men: it's the world of floral (hawaiian style) shirts and loose trousers or cargo shorts. For women: blouses and skirt or trousers.

And then there is the eating!! Singapore has amazing choices and options for food.

Though it's a fun movie, Crazy Rich Asians, is not the only perspective on Singapore.
It does not have to be as expensive as so many people and travel forums say.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 7:52 pm
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One advice - avoid Orchard road.

Bugis is an area which has enough history has vibrant city life going on at Haji Lane and Bali street, is within 1-2 MRT stops away towards the city downtown. It is not directly next to parks, but I don't think any major (or even minor) hotels would fall into this category.

Warning - Sentosa island is NOT a park or nature oriented area - is is a combination of mall with Disneyland.

At the very end, your budget per room would be a decision point. But for a room which does not face major street and has windows, you should expect per day price starting from USD $160 and above.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 8:56 pm
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Nature orientated ... while Singapore is a "garden city", I don't think you can really call it nature orientated.

If you really want nature/life how it was, you might try a bum boat ride out out to Pulau Ubin.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
Nature orientated ... while Singapore is a "garden city", I don't think you can really call it nature orientated.
Hey, comparing to any city in 2500km radius, I'd say, it is definitely is nature oriented. Just crossing to north - to Johor or to south - Batam, you will notice how hotter is there. One explanation is that these places do not have as much greenery as Singapore.

Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
If you really want nature/life how it was, you might try a bum boat ride out out to Pulau Ubin.
Would be an interesting experience, but without going to 2.5h one way trip there (on public transport), I think there are following alternatives:
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Old Mar 28, 19, 2:35 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Hey, comparing to any city in 2500km radius, I'd say, it is definitely is nature oriented. Just crossing to north - to Johor or to south - Batam, you will notice how hotter is there. One explanation is that these places do not have as much greenery as Singapore.


Would be an interesting experience, but without going to 2.5h one way trip there (on public transport), I think there are following alternatives:
Hey!
I think misunderstood nature vs natural.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 7:50 am
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Note on the Botanic Garden - AMAZING! But if you are at all prone to allergies, make sure you're well-stocked with medicine! I'm used to seasonal allergies since I live in the southern US and I garden (therefore outdoors a lot). But for whatever reason, when I travel I don't always pack my daily flonase because I don't seem to have allergy problems when traveling. But the Botanic Gardens about killed me. Fortunately, I had benadryl in my suitcase (I do travel with a well-stocked medical kit, just not the daily allergy meds...which has since been remedied!!) I have no idea what was blooming when we were there that caused quite an immediate and overt reaction in me (it started when we were still touring the gardens) but it was deeply unpleasant.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
One advice - avoid Orchard road.

Bugis is an area which has enough history has vibrant city life going on at Haji Lane and Bali street, is within 1-2 MRT stops away towards the city downtown. It is not directly next to parks, but I don't think any major (or even minor) hotels would fall into this category.

Warning - Sentosa island is NOT a park or nature oriented area - is is a combination of mall with Disneyland.

At the very end, your budget per room would be a decision point. But for a room which does not face major street and has windows, you should expect per day price starting from USD $160 and above.
Agree with all of the above!
I usually stay in Bugis at the InterContinental where very good rates can be had depending on timing and booking mechanism.
I enjoy it because it's walkable to a lot of areas and there is the feeling of something real/organic with the small shops and eateries in the neighborhood (some of which even look dingy!). It's not dominated by a massive indoor mall the way Orchard Road is (Bugis Junction isn't on the same level as those other prototypical Singapore malls). My first trip I stayed at the Conrad by Suntec City and it actually was a bit of a drag to find an effective way to walk around outside. The Bugis area has normal city blocks and sidewalks and you can easily walk over to Raffles.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:25 am
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Adding a hike via Southern Ridges to Mount Faber Peak to the list of nature things. You can then drop down to the mall at Vivo City to dry off and get food. Lots of transport options onwards from there.
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