Most of my friends have already visited Singapore. Every time one of them have returned home from this touristic heaven, he took care to tell me each detail about hospitable people, astonishing places, diverse traditions, original food and magnificent attractions. For a while this was my dream destination, until I decided to realize it!
One evening I called my girlfriend and invited her on a one week journey to Singapore. As Europeans, we admire other cultures and traditions and we couldn’t wait to be in Singapore. Together with Sophia we made a seven day plan. Before making our luggage we knew what we will do and where every hour of our short holiday. I have a special sympathy for Sentosa Island and I decided to visit it on the last day.
In order to have a better hotel discount we booked only one hotel for our entire vacation. We decided to “park” ourselves in the middle of everything in the Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen. The entire journey was fabulous and we like everything when it comes to Singapore, but this time I want to tell you about how we managed to explore Sentosa Island in only one day!
It was our last day to explore Singapore and we decided to wake up a little bit earlier than usually. I invited Sophia on a short walk around the hotel to see the sunrise and to start the last Singaporean day with the right foot. After this we went to the hotel’s first floor relaxing area, sat down and I made two cups of coffee at breakfast. Morning sunlight, coffee and action!
The Journey Begins
At 9am we entered the Clarke Quay MRT and went by North East Line train three stations until we reached HarbourFront MRT.
At 9.20am we reached the Singapore’s largest shopping mall – Vivocity. The fact that we went there on the other day to see a movie helped us to continue our planned trip. Whew…it was a huge dilemma! As we have planned, we entered the island via walking the elegantly designed and crowded boardwalk by paying only $1 each.
Beside the fact that this is the cheapest possible way to get into Sentosa Island, it was also a pleasant walk. Thanks God we had sunglasses and hats on as summer there is much hotter then in Poland. If you have luggage, strollers or a person who uses a wheelchair you should know that the pleasant walk will be made easier by the moving sidewalks.
This short distance walk (around 700m) took us 30 minutes, because we like to take billions of photos per second. Joking of course, but the fact that I have decided to visit many Earth’s countries doesn’t mean that I will visit this one again. So I want to have many photos to look at when I will be old or sad.
Our first destination was the world’s largest S.E.A. Aquarium. At 9.55am we have bought two tickets – $76, and started to explore this marine life park by entering through the big automated door. First scenery was the iconic huge ship, the imitation ship of Admiral Zheng He. In between the anchors was a huge screen that showed a free film about Zheng He’s life and adventures.
There are also other smaller screens that show different stories related to the Sea. He had the honor to watch a small part about Ma Zhu. This place is accredited by Guinness World Records, because it hosts more than 100,000 marine animals. Because we wanted to visit other attractions in the same day we couldn’t allow ourselves to watch movies. I have not enough words to describe the clean, peaceful and the nice atmosphere of this place. We went to all aquariums with our mouths opened all the time.
This experience couldn’t be compared with watching discovery while sitting at home. The biggest plus about this place was that we bought a map before we started to visit it. The place is huge and we heard tourists that ended up spending too much time admiring the aquariums before they saw the largest one. Time is ticking away and we were very hungry.
The Bull Ring
At 11.50am we reached the Malaysian Food Street, also known as The Bull Ring. We both love seafood, but after admiring fish and other sea creatures for two hours we have decided to eat pork. This wonderful place is a little part of Malaysia in Singapore. Each detail of this eatery was astonishing: the old shop houses, the wonderful street stalls, the old-style coffee shops and the unique 1950’s ambiance.
I had yummy chicken clay pot rice from the famous Kuala Lumpur stall – Huen Kee Claypot Rice and Sophia had Penang loh bak from Penang Ah Long Lor Bak stall. Both portions were big enough, fresh and too good to satisfy our stomachs needs. But we decided to try Penang’s Chendol from Penang, Lim Brothers’ stall. Oh, what can I say?! For the last few days I have tried Singaporean Cendol and the Penang one seems to be fresher and the soft green jelly had a non-factory taste and color. We paid only $23 and left this place happy and with another batch of nice photos.
Images of Singapore
At 1pm we took the Sentosa Express in order to reach the Impiah Station. This public transportation system is very effective, fast, very crowded and free of charge. I know that this air-conditioned train is payable if to ride it from Vivocity, but the admission fee is only $3. It has 4 stations and is similar to the MRT, except the fact that the Sentosa Express offered us much better aerial views.
At 1.10pm we visited Images of Singapore. Tickets were only $10 each and we are waiting around 5 minutes for the show to start. This museum gives ample information about Singaporean culture and history, including Singapore’s Malaysian rule, British rule, Japanese rule during the World War II. For us as foreigners this visit was surprisingly good, it gave us the idea of Singapore and its culture and diversity.
The initial video is short and full of essential information and the exhibits are truly amazing. We saw many 3D presentations of schooling, marriages, business, markets and laborers. Besides information there were proper images that took us back in time. At each exhibit we tried to put ourselves in Singaporeans skins, and frankly speaking, I admire the way Singapore is today! This country passed through a lot of ups and downs, and the today’s final product is very impressive!
Skyline Luge Sentosa Island
The museum visit gave us a lot of important information, but our brains needed some breaks and air, so at 2.15pm we started our next Sentosa Island experience in the nearest attraction – Skyline Luge Sentosa. Each of us took 3 luge and skyline rides for only $20. There are two very short trails: Dragon (688 meters) and Jungle (628 meters).
Our first choice was the leisure one – the Dragon cruise – it was safe and very thrilling. The car was very easy to maneuver and we had a lot of fun! We also liked the skyline as it went high in the sky and we saw the whole Sentosa Island, Singapore City Skyline and South China Sea. The second choice was the Jungle trail. Oh, it was another experience and I enjoyed to the core. My last choice was Jungle cruise and Sophia choose Dragon trail.
The fact that we were not allowed to take our own photos was not frustrating, but relaxing, we had fully enjoyed the whole attraction. And we were happy to receive some photos on USB at the end of this experience.
We were happy to have such experience like luge and skyline, but this wasn’t enough for our appétit. We needed something different in order to make our hearts beat faster.
Luckily, our next attraction was iFly and at 3.40pm we were there. We booked online our tickets of $99 each and had no problem with that day’s agglomeration. We checked-in very fast and the party began. They gave us a 45 minute lesson with videos and sessions with instructors. This wasn’t our first skydiving experience, but this important reminder of the rules and advices was quite helping!
The next step was the setting up with helmets and goggles. Initially, it looked scarier that it felt like. I was the first laboratory hare and Sophia the second. This simulation experience was amazing. I liked the way the instructor taught me how to fly in a loop around the chamber and later he flew up higher in the chamber with me too. The flow of the oxygen to my muscles kept increasing and I could admire the South China Sea and the Siloso beach.
At 5pm we took a scroll along the Siloso Beach. There are three different beach areas in that island, but we decided to choose the more vibrant. After such solicitant first part of that day we needed a place to calm our hearts beats and to have a private atmosphere to share our thoughts about our vacation. That well-maintained private beach was full of volleyball action, kayaking, cycling, rollerblading, restaurants, bars, music, fresh marine air, mirth and other beach activities.
At 6pm we found Coastes – a great restaurant that offers pizzas, pastas, burgers, salads, BBQ ribs, muffins and other freshly cooked snacks. All that earlier amusement made me very hungry and I ordered BBQ ribs, laksa and a freezing beer. My lady ordered a house salad, a beef burger and a non-alcoholic peachy-Beachy cocktail. We also ordered a few fresh chocolate muffins. I must say the portions were huge and the food delicious. We paid $96 for a nice view and location. The fact that we were seated and then we went up to order our food and drinks was a little bit unusual, but the staff was loyal and friendly and made us feel really comfortable.
At 7.30pm we queued for seats to watch a memorable show – Songs of the Sea. We booked our premium seat tickets online a few weeks ago for $18 each and had no rush to buy them. This show starts daily at 7.40 and 8.40 and lasts half an hour. We sat and the show began. A dozen of children were singing in a musical drama. They were followed by the vibrant lights, colorful lasers, fountains and fireworks.
This show ended at 8.40pm and at 8.45pm we walked towards the Impiah Station and enjoy the night view along the way. It was nice to see the local guardian of prosperity – the Merlion – a 37-meter tall half lion half fish statue. We caught the Sentosa Express and walked two stations to Vivocity Station.
At 9.15PM, we entered the HarbourFront MRT to Clarke Quay station and in a few minutes we were back to our hotel.