February 21, 2020
Travel DaddyGO When You Can!

Experience Singapore Like Some “Crazy Rich Asians” … On A Budget!

Singapore is all the rage since “Crazy Rich Asians” crushed the Box Office.

This Poster Belongs to Warner Bros.

This island-city state is only 270 square miles but contains a population of 5 Million! Singapore boasts a strong and business friendly economy, and is one of the major trading hubs of the world. Although predominantly Chinese, Singapore hosts a multiculturally diverse population and one only has to look at the architecture to see it’s many influences. Be forewarned that Singapore is a bit pricey (unlike Bangkok); if you can tolerate the pocket bleed, then here are 10 ways you can Experience Singapore Like Some “Crazy Rich Asians … On A Budget

1. MARINA BAY SANDS

Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Ferris Wheel
That curvy thingy at the right of the ferris wheel is the iconic hotel and casino.

This iconic luxury hotel/casino is a definite must see. The building’s architecture is easily distinguishable and associated with Singapore’s condensed skyline. Parent company – Las Vegas Sands- claims this to be the world’s most expensive casino property. It’s  massive complex has top-notch restaurants, an indoor scenic canal, shopping centers, indoor skating rink, theaters, sky park, infinity pool, and much more. 

What’s It Like?

I visited once during a late evening social and started off with CÉ LA VI Restaurant and SkyBar. It’s a great spot to get aerial views and snaps of the city. Afterwards, explored three nightclubs (of at least 5) and had my $30 beer experience. Aside from the price, expats were friendly and locals a bit snotty- I assume because they’re the who’s who in society. It further reaffirmed that besides Hong Kong and Las Vegas, Singapore has the most upscale clubs I’ve ever seen.

2. CHINATOWN

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Exterior in Chinatown Singapore

Chinatown is a distinctly Chinese influenced area of central Singapore, quite similar to other Chinatowns you’d find throughout the U.S. It’s great for a daytime stroll and taking photos. It is one of three main areas that reflect Singapore’s diverse and multicultural identity- the other two being Little India and Kampong Glam. 

What’s It Like?

Chinatown Singapore
Chinatown Singapore
Temple Guardian Statue Chinatown Singapore
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Interior in Chinatown Singapore

It’s not that large of a geographical area like most things in Singapore, but it’s very distinct in it’s vibe and appearance. The architecture is unique and visiting the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a must-see just for the sheer beauty of this holy site.

3. STREET FOOD

Chicken and Rice Singapore
Legendary Chicken and Rice

If you’ve seen the Netflix documentary Street Food Episode 8, Singapore’s culinary talents are on display. Much like the film Crazy Rich Asians, you can easily be in line with a Billionaire waiting for some top notch but relatively inexpensive treats. The distinct flavor of Sinagporean cuisine has been attributed to the fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. It’s a must have for global foodies. 

What’s It Like?

It is good… like legit Michelin star good- minus the pomp and pretenses. The hawker or open-air food centers are where it’s at, and where I got my fill of the legendary Chicken and Rice meal. The great thing for budget travelers in a place so pricey, is that you can go there everyday of the week and still not sample all the place has to offer.

4. LITTLE INDIA

Hindu Temple Singapore

Just like the name implies, this is another ethnic enclave similar to Chinatown, but with Indian heritage on display. You’ll find some distinct temples, shops and restaurants. There are many picture perfect opportunities especially when walking by the very colorful temples with intricate artwork.

What’s It Like?

I haven’t crossed India off of my bucket list yet, but I imagine that certain parts of the motherland resembles Little India. It’s clear that although the people have migrated, they haven’t abandoned their cultural aspects. Although the infrastructure made it appear where clearly the less affluent tlive, you can’t truly experience Singapore without seeing all facets of society.

5. KAMPONG GLAM

Mosque in Kampong Glam Singapore

Kampnong Glam is the Malay enclave heavily influenced by Islam, but also- in my opinion- the most artistic and visually pleasing neghborhood. It is clearly the artists’ mecca of Singapore and the outer walls of shopcenters display beautiful artwork. The vibrant colors, smell of curries, and busy trading makes this place a go-to.

What’s It Like?

Street Art in Kampong Glam Singapore

This area has a little bit of everything, but is best for that one vibrant Instagram photo or purchasing a local craftsman’s art as a souvenir. I truly can’t liken it to any other place I’ve been.

6. RIVER CRUISE

No they aren’t quite fancy like the Viking River cruises or as powerful as the Hong Kong ferries, but they have their own charm. You can use them as taxis, for events and to see the city from a different perspective.

What’s It Like?

It’s similar to the ferries and taxis in Vancouver. You’ll have enough time to do a short vlog or take some great photos. It’s not the most efficient way to get around, but the most scenic. I always try to do one key water activity when in a new location. 

7. CLARKE QUAY

Clarke Quay Singapore
Image by zombie cygig from Pixabay

Clarke Quay is a historic, commercial and recreational riverside quay in Singapore. It’s multiple blocks of restored warehouses and real estate, that’s been converted to shopping centers, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants.

What’s It Like?

You probably can’t just go once. The area really comes alive at night especially with the beautiful multi-colored lights which is a true representation of the bustling activity. You’ll see entire families and party goers doing their thing late at night. You should go at least 2 nights- one night with your camera and another to party!

8. MUSEUMS

Hit the usual suspects like the National Museum, Art Museum and about a dozen more. I always do 1 or 2 museums since history does interest me. 

What’s It Like?

The ArtScience museum might be one of the coolest buildings you’ll ever see and resembles a partially opened lotus flower.

9. ZOO

Travel Daddy flees wild animals at the zoo!

As someone who loves animals and appreciates protection of endangered species, I definitely like the ambiance of Singapore’s zoo. They’ve gone to great lengths to simulate the natural environment of the animals in the exhibit. The zoo was fun, large and clean. It was the best Zoo I’d experienced since San Diego.

What’s It Like?

Fun fact- Singapore Zoo has the largest captive colonies of Orangutans in the world. Who doesn’t like these loveable primates?

10. EXPLORE GARDENS

Although the geographical area of Singapore is small relative to other nations, it is surprisingly lush despite the modern infrastructure. Gardens by the Bay is an otherworldly nature park of about 250 acres. It is very beautiful having a completely different appearance in the daytime versus night.

What’s It Like?

I usually find plants boring, but this is definitely worth one visit. If you’re there as a couple then take your special someone at night and let cupid do his thing.

Here Are Some Bonus Photos….

Be sure to visit Singapore when you can!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.