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Where are the locations where you can take THE photo & do THE thing to prove you’ve been in Singapore? Read on & find out!

Merlion Park


Credit: Singapore Tourism Board
A picture with Singapore’s most iconic national mascot, the Merlion (a half-lion, half-fish), is the best proof of “You’ve Been Here” & best of all, it is free to visit!

Pose with the Merlion before taking a walk into the restored colonial architecture Fullerton Hotel which used to be Singapore’s General Post Office, built in 1928. Another interesting restoration nearby is the Fullerton Bay Hotel which incorporated buildings that used to be part of the bustling Collyer Quay. Do make sure you also take a shot of the Esplanade, the durian shaped architecture unique to Singapore.

Merlion Park
1 Fullerton Road
Singapore 049213
Click here for the map

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Marina Bay Sands

Another icon of Singapore’s skyline would be the most expensive to build integrated resort in the world – the Marina Bay Sands. You will be able to take a photo of the iconic resort while walking from the Merlion Park towards Suntec Convention Centre. But other than a photo, there are various attractions worth a visit in Marina Bay Sands.

There is the ArtScience Museum which showcases 21 gallery spaces totalling 50000 square feet, featuring major international touring exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world. There is also the Sands Skypark, perched on the largest cantilever in the world, defying gravity 200 metres in the air, while providing an unrivalled view of the city. As night falls, there is Wonder Full, the largest light & water spectacular in Southeast Asia presented twice every weekday evening and thrice every weekend evening free of charge at the Bay. Of course, there is also the Marina Bay Sands Casino, open 24/7.

Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave
Singapore 018956
Click here for the map

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Singapore Botanic Gardens

So, you're up early, ready for a morning exercise. Simply head out to the Singapore Botanic Gardens (open 5 a.m. to midnight). Awarded the 2013 Travellers’ Choice Attraction by TripAdvisor, Singapore’s last green lung in the city was founded in 1859 by the British, provides a refreshing retreat for the people up for a morning exercise. The National Orchid Garden inside the Botanic Gardens, which costs S$5 to enter, is lauded as the world’s largest orchid display would also be worth a visit. Keen botanists should check the website (www.sbg.org.sg) for free walking tours.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Rd
Singapore 259569
Click here for the map

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Sim Lim Square

Do you know millions of people flock to Singapore to buy electronic goods every year because it is the only place in Southeast Asia that offers the best & the cheapest electronics? One of the best places to haggle for a great bargain will be Sim Lim Square. MP3 players, tablets, laptops, game consoles, even computer parts are up for grabs & the prices are usually about 10% to 20% cheaper than other commercial outlets.

But of course, extra legwork needs to be done for a lower price. First, do your homework on the price & the product you wish to purchase. When you reach there, go to the information counter on level 1 to find out the list of questionable shops & avoid them at all costs. When comparing prices between shops, do make sure to ask for all the necessary items like an international warranty, memory cards, software etc to be included in the quote & ask if they charge Goods & Service Tax (GST) before haggling for the best price. Ask clearly if there are any other costs & avoid signing anything suspicious such a warranty agreement. DO NOT ever pay without having the exact product in front of you. Walk away if they refuse to open the product in front of you. Make sure everything is within the package. Do note as well there is usually a surcharge if you pay by credit card, thus do prepare the cash beforehand. Look out for popular shops, as it is more likely to be trustworthy. Most importantly, keep your receipt as it is needed for warranty & GST refund.

But if you don’t mind paying a little more for less hassle, you can head down to Funan Digitalife Mall, a 6 storey mall packed with shops selling electronics & other IT gadgets.

Another location worth a visit, especially during the odd hours in the night would be the 24-hour budget shopping mall Mustafa Centre in Little India.

Sim Lim Square
1 Rochor Canal Road
Singapore 188504
Click here for the map
Funan Digitalife Mall
109 North Bridge Road
Singapore 179097
Click here for the map
Mustafa Centre
145 Syed Alwi Road
Singapore 207704
Click here for the map
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Night Safari & River Safari


Credit: Singapore Tourism Board
In the garden city of Singapore, two gardens of firsts are worth a visit. If you have a free night after the conference, you can visit the world’s first wildlife night park, an 11-time winner of the Best Visitor Attraction Experience, awarded by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Credit: River Safari
Or if you prefer going In the day, you can visit Asia’s first & only river-themed wildlife park & get close to over 5000 aquatic and terrestrial animals, including 42 endangered species & the 2 celebrity giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia. Entry charges are S$39 & S$25, respectively, but you will be able to get a discount if you pre-book online here and here. There are also Park Hopper Special rates if you wish to visit more than one wildlife park during your visit to Singapore.

Night Safari & River Safari
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Click here for the map

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Gardens by the Bay

The latest garden in the red dot of Singapore is the 101 hectares, award-winning horticultural attraction – Gardens by the Bay which houses over 380 thousand plants in Singapore’s new downtown - Marina Bay. Just 5 minutes’ walk from Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay include multiple free attractions, the OCBC Skyway for S$5, Cloud Forest & Flower Dome for S$28.

Listed as the #6 attraction on Tripadvisor, the cool-moist conservatory Cloud Forest showcases a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall featuring plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000-metres above sea level. Meanwhile, in the cool-dry conservatory, the Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy, housing a collection of plants from deserts all over the world. In fact, the cooled conservatory complex also won the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival 2012.

After the sun sets, don’t miss the sky show of dazzling lights and sounds in the OCBC Garden Rhapsody, which takes place every night amidst the Supertrees. Finally, end the night for with a sumptuous feast of freshly grilled meat on sticks or satay, together with other local delights such as chicken rice & rojak at the food court - Satay by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Singapore 018953
Click here for the map
Click here for directions

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Geylang

If you want to taste some good food while experiencing the seedy side of the clean & safe Singapore, just head down to the red-light district – Geylang. With neon lights marketing China Chinese cuisine, sleazy nightclubs & adult shops lighting up the main street, Geylang is the place where you can find cheap & exotic foods like frog legs in congee or a very expensive crab beehoon (rice vermicelli) in a grimy restaurant listed by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain as one of the 13 places to eat before you die. While the streetwalkers, particularly the China Chinese ones often just walk up to recommend themselves anywhere along Geylang, you can walk into any of the even-numbered alleys or “lorongs” running perpendicular to the main street, for much more sights like the illegal call girls from various countries lined by the road-side while the legal local prostitutes are seated inside brothels conspicuous with a red light at the door.

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There are still many other things you can do in sunny Singapore from Universal Studios to heritage walks, from flight simulators to driving a Supercar on the official F1 circuit, but the list above lists the iconic sights & must-dos (other than eating) for a visitor to Singapore. If you like to find more interesting activities to do in Singapore, you can visit here & here. Now, as a tourist in Singapore, the most important thing to do is to engage in Singapore’s national pastime, that is Eating! Click here to check out the must-try foods of Singapore!

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