The Marina Bay Sands Skypark is a must do in Singapore. You’ll get unparalleled views of the Harbour and surrounds- the sea, the port, gardens by the bay, the central business district, the suburbs.
I highly recommend you time your trip to be at the Skypark at sunset. That’s when you get majestic skies and the city lights twinkle and awaken. If you wait even longer, you’ll get a light show on the Harbour (but I disappeared before then to grab a bit to eat).
The Skypark itself runs like a machine. It costs about $26SGD per person to get to the top, and you’ll find it can get very crowded up there. There are trinkets and food/drinks available up there but if you don’t want to be hit by tourist prices for a meager hot dog, then eat before you go.
There’s always the option of having dinner up there, but reserve a place as I don’t think they take walk ins and it gets filled pretty quickly. Also, don’t expect to be anywhere near the famed infinity pool. Lastly, the queues to leave are long and windy as there are only 2 lifts available up to the SkyPark, so leave yourself a loose schedule because you could be waiting a while to get down.
All in all, the experience is worth it. The panoramic views are breathtaking and the rest of the experience is just incidental.
For the most part, RMG tours are excellent. Reasonably priced, hotel pick up/drop off, local insights.
I recommend the city tour. We were shown around Little India, Chinatown and major landmarks. This helped us scope the area and gave us a little bit of historical background on our first day in Singapore. The Night Safari is also an excellent option. The tour allows you to skip the massive queues and is enough time to see what you want.
We were quite disappointed with the Jurong Bird Park tour. We spent more time in transit picking up people from hotels and stuck in traffic than actually at the park. Although traffic can’t be helped, it should be factored in and the tour extended to create a better experience when at the venue. I really wanted more time at Jurong, but sadly we had to prioritize what we wanted, then sprint for the minibus “else be left there, we’ll leave without you”.
I also wanted to join the advertised tour to Malacca, but was told it only runs subject to numbers, which was disappointing again.
Singapore’s flower dome really is a sight to behold. It’s such a strange feeling to be standing in the middle of humid Singapore in a freezing cold dome.
They have a wonderful variety of flowers and plants from all over the world. It’s set up in regions- African, Australian, Mediterranean and the like. It’s totally wheelchair accessible and very easy to navigate.
I would recommend wearing walking shoes and bring a bottle of water because you can really lose yourself in there. I went at Christmas time and they brought out all the bells and whistles to recreate a white European Christmas, which was very impressive.
The Flower dome is really worth it, just to see the sheer variety of plants all put together a esthetically. Stunning sculptures too if you look hard enough.
Jurong Bird Park is a lot of fun. I suggest going early to avoid the crowds, perhaps prebuy your tickets because the queues are outrageous.
I recommend taking the tram to get an idea of the whole park first before splitting off to follow your nose.
I visited Jurong Bird Park through RMG Tours-i do not recommend this. It takes too long in transit and I didn’t get as much time at the park as I wanted. You should Spend a while there, there is a lot to see and do, the variety of birds is impressive and their enclosures seem elaborate and reasonably natural.
A lot of the park seems to be a bit run down and out of date, undergoing maintenance and the like. It’s still in working order and there’s still a lot to see, but it’s not a modern, seamless experience like the Night Safari.
If you walk down the lane, you find a small park. The park that is filled with subversive art installations. There are murals on the wall, planted natives for the future, a giant kaleidoscope… Christchurch is has hidden quirks.
There is a tree-stump about shin height. I looled down and found this small door.
I opened it.
Inside I discovered a Gap Cache Log Book. It recorded entries from people who chanced upon the logbook, as I did.
Christchurch after the quakes is a place full of human strength and resilience. There are signs of life, if you choose to pay attention.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa are a must do when visiting the township. The experience alone is exciting and new. These are the only hot springs I’ve been to and the sheer novelty of sitting in are steamy pool amidst freezing weather was exciting enough.
The venue itself is run like a machine. It feels quite artificial and commercial, rather than your rustic mountain-cut geothermal experience. Bring your own towel or rent one, and rent a locker to avoid loosing your belongings amid the masses. It’s family friendly and a major attraction there so don’t expect tranquility.
To be Honest, I found the history of the venue a highlight of my visit there. It used to be frequented for mental health and rehabilitation purposes. Now, it’s a fun novelty albeit commercial and expensive.
The Avon River in Christchurch is an autumnal masterpiece. The weeping willows dance across the surface of the river, gently tousled by the breeze. This taste of England runs through the city, ducking under bridges in the CBD and skirting around parkland. It’s refreshing to have such a beautiful element of nature trickle through a city so badly effected by earthquakes.
There’s punting on the Avon, a popular tourist attraction. However I was content to just follow it- from the Canterbury Museum around even to the restart mall. The council has made a lovely feature of it, providing spaces to sit with quotes and memorials. Peppered with yellow confetti-like autumn leaves, this river is not to be missed in Christchurch.