What would you do when staying 4 days in Singapore? For me, I choose to discover this Lion country by metro because this will save me a lot of money while experiencing the most modern metro system of Southeast Asia. Let’s discover the beautiful and bustling nation through my trip to Singapore — How to spend 4 days in Singapore below.
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Jetstar airlines flights land at Terminal 1 of Changi airport, Singapore. After completing entry procedures, following the signs for the Skytrain to T2, I move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 to take the metro to the city center. At Terminal 2, follow the Train to City sign, go down the elevator and then turn left about 50m before the entrance gate of Terminal 3. Here, go down to the basement, where we can see the most modern metro system of Southeast Asia. I queued in front of the customer service counter to buy an EZ Link card to start my journey.
To use the Metro (also called MRT) from Changi airport to Clarke Quay, I travel from MRT Changi Airport CG2 to MRT Tanah Merah EW4. When the metro stops at Tanah Merah station, I get off and take Joo Koon metro to Outram Park, where I transit to Punggol and get off at Clarke Quay. It takes about an hour from the airport to the city center.
4 days in Singapore — First Day: Ethnic Groups and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
To get to grips with the ethnic groups in Singapore, I tour around United Arab Emirates, Little India streets and Chinatown.
Coming out of MRT Little India station, I travel to Little Indian Street, which used to be the popular destination of merchants of the Middle East. This street is decorated in traditional Islamic and Middle Eastern styles. This place has been attracting both locals and tourists every day. The street displays garments, clothes, hijabs and accessories for Muslim women. In addition, carpet is a favourite product of buyers here due to its flower patterns and colours. Stores along Serangoon street showcase a variety of clothes, foot wear, watches, hair-pins, jewellery and wreaths. Small shops are painted with various colours with eye-pleasing neons. Jewellery is sold here at 10 SGD per three units.
From South Bridge street in Clarke Quay across two crossroads, I travel to Chinatown. From a distance Chinatown appears in the sparkling red lanterns and bustling shops selling dry provisions and Chinese traditional medicine. Dropping by a shop, I see dried tangerine skin on a hidden rack that reminds me of my childhood, when I was very fond of dried tangerine skin. I cannot find this in Saigon nowadays. In Singapore, three small packs of dried tangerine skin are priced at 1SGD.
If coming to Chinatown, you cannot miss the sacred Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Today, this temple is considered a modern Buddhist artistic museum with extraordinary architectural style. Stepping through the big gate, I leave the scorching ambiance of this tropical area behind me and into the cooling system of the temple that makes me feel better after a long day walking.
The temple is designed in Mandala mode and the architectural style of the Tang dynasty (China) to manifest the concept of the “expanding universe” of Buddha. The temple includes five floors and a basement. Visitors can use the elevator to reach upper floors and borrow scarves to wind around if they wear shorts or skirts. Each floor owns a large altar with three big statues of Buddha in the main hall. In front of the main hall, a line of tables hold glass cups containing candle and aromatic chains of jasmine, offered by visitors. Hundreds of small statues of Buddha are placed along the walls. The magnificence of the temple lies in the altar space which is built high with two dominant colours, yellow and red.
Here in the temple, I can enjoy a peaceful ambiance while contemplating the works of Buddhist Relics.
4 days in Singapore — Second Day: Around Marina Bay and Merlion Park
I spend my second day in this island country on famous attractions by Marina bay; Esplanade theater, Merlion Park, Helix Bridge and high rise buildings.
Esplanade theater is the pride of Singapore for its original architecture as a durian. Therefore, the theater is also called Durian theater. This is the most imposing artistic stage with a capacity of 2000 seats and a concert hall of 1,600 guests. The theater also has a studio, library, outdoor artistic center for performances at weekends, trade centers and food areas.
Remarkably on Marina bay, Helix Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore (280m), is the first spiral double bridge in the world. Opposite steel arcs are connected by many bars like an ADN structure. The bridge signifies prosperity and happiness for Marina bay. From the bridge, I see the panoramic view of the bay. This is an ideal destination for both local people and tourists to breathe the fresh air and enjoy delicious ice cream at a reasonable price of 1SGD.
Under Helix bridge, Merlion Park is regarded as a “Welcoming symbol in Singapore”. The statue of the Merlion is 8.6m high and 70 tons in weight with the head of a lion and the body of a fish riding the waves. The Merlion is used as a mascot the national personification of Singapore.The water streaming out of the Merlion’s mouth represents the meaning of prosperity and good luck. I take this chance to capture many photos with the Merlion such as using my hands to catch the water or opening my mouth to drink the prosperous water from the Merlion.
At the end of the day, I had the opportunity to experience Singapore by a spectacular vehicle. I stand on an escalator linking five-star hotels to Cavenagh ancient bridge at the Boat Quay wharf. The escalator takes me through tunnels lined with glass and decorated with warm yellow lights, along with images of Singapore and hotels. This is like a modern and romantic speed train. After that, I take a short walk along the river bank to Clarke Quay. This is a very interesting shortcut!
4 days in Singapore — Third Day: Discovering Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands
It takes about an hour to get from Clarke Quay metro station to Bayfront. From here, you can visit Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.
The underground path is rather long (about 1km) from the station to Gardens by the Bay. Both sides of the path are pressed with glass and colorful flowers. If you walk outside Gardens by the Bay, you will not have to pay any charges. However, if you go inside the two glass green houses named Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, you have to pay 28SGD.
To witness the garden from aerial view, I walk on the 22-meter Skywalk bridge, surrounded by 50-meter solar “super-trees” made of steel and cement. When night falls, these “super-trees” will be sparkling with artistic lights, which are continuously changing their colors, along with melodious music. I spend hours wandering around this place and view the beauty of these trees as well as flowers displayed in the green houses.
Back to Bayfront street, I arrive at Marina Bay Sands. This is a complex of containing an hotel, a casino and a classy shopping center designed as a maze. I am lured into the building because of its gleaming stores and eye-catching decorations. A clear pond within the building is designed like a river in Venice. I hire a small boat and sail through the building to view high-end stores.
In front of the main entrance gate of Marina Bay Sands, there is a big glassy funnel pond. Singaporeans believe that if someone drops a coin to the pond, their dream will come true. The coin will fall down to the bottom, which leads to Venice’s river and the shopping center.
On Saturday and Sunday evening the outside space of the shopping center is crowded with local people and visitors who enjoy wonderful free performances. These include a combination of water, light and sound. The program demonstrates the importance of the strong relationships among family members and ethnic groups.
4 days in Singapore — Fourth Day: Strolling around Sentosa Entertainment Center
For my last day in Singapore, I stroll around Sentosa because all tourists in Singapore visit this vivid island.
From Clarke Quay MRT, passing through Chinatown and Outram Park stations, I get off at HarbourFront to take another metro to the entertainment center in Sentosa. At HarbourFront, I go up to the ground to the top floor of Vivo City commercial center to take the metro to Sentosa.
Sentosa is a natural island featuring famous recreational activities with the enormous statue of the Merlion, 4D cinema center with frightening movies of pirates, underwater world, maritime museum, dolphin circus center, water music stage, fireworks and two beaches. Visitors can tour around the island with free vehicles that are convenient for guests to travel to their favorite attractions.
In Sentosa, I can immerse myself in Palawan and Siloso beaches, go shopping to buy souvenirs and taste the traditional Laksa as well as look at the biggest statue of the Merlion (37m high). In the evening, I am excited to enjoy the grand water music performances on the island. Finally, a firework performance closes my day in Sentosa as well as my four-day discovery journey in Singapore.
- On flights from Vietnam to Singapore, foreign visitors will fill in the entry declaration. If you do not receive the declaration during your flight, you can take one from a table at the entry area.
- At the airport, you can pick up maps of Singapore with useful information of streets, metro systems, entertainment places and famous shopping centers.
- Some maps also include promotional programs for tourists. For example, with tickets to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest green houses at Gardens by the Bay, if you submit the advertisement insert, you will receive a clothing bag.
- One Singapore Dollar (SGD) is equivalent to 0.72 – 0.8 USD
- EZ Link card can be used to pay for metros and buses. The card is priced at 12 SGD with the validity of 5 years and the minimum amount of 7SGD.
- You can pay using the EZ Link card at counters or Ticket Machines nearby metro stations. The lowest amount for paying on the machine is 10 SGD.
- With a four-day journey, you only need to pay 20 SGD.
- At present, you can take five metro routes: East West – EW, North South – NS, North East – NE, Circle – CC and Downtown.
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