Your Singapore Suggestions, Please

I will be in Singapore soon — first visit — with only a little bit of spare time but I’d like to see and learn and do some worthwhile things. Suggestions? Many thanks in advance.


Take a taxi through Orchard road and marvel at Singapore's Electronic Road Pricing (a system surely designed for the economist!) It changes prices dynamically and is revised every few weeks to balance congestion and even accounts for school holidays.

Have some chilli crab at East Coast Parkway (ask locals for a recommended restaurant)

AL karcher

Eat some durian. On second thought, maybe not...yuck.
The Zoo has a great night safari.
The Botanical Gardens were nice, but plan to sweat a lot. One would think there would be more shade in a 'garden'.
Sentosa is nice if you want some beach time, and if I recall, you can take a cable car there and back which will give you great views of the city.
And don't forget to take your picture with the Merlion!


Welcome to Singapore! Try our chicken rice, laksa and durian. Visit our food centres.

M Cruz

(I posted a shorter version of this on Facebook as well)

If you're here on a Sunday, Little India has great food, and is packed with male Bangladeshi construction workers (Sunday is their only day off, so they flock there to mingle and get shopping done) Geylang also has great food, and a weird mix of tolerated prostitution (again, mostly foreigners) with gentrifying neighborhoods. The National Library is impressive in its size, as well as the Asian Civilizations museum.

Mostly, though, eat. I know plenty of good hawkers :)


Go on a tour of the Kranji Countryside and/or Pulau Ubin before they disappear.

Alternatively, hit me up and I'll bring you around if our schedules are in sync.


Singapore Zoo's Night safari; you can't see the fences so looks like the lions can get you!

Keith Fitzgerald

I've been living in Singapore for 14 years (from Boston). Can definitely help you with contacts, restaurants/food, things to do, and places to see. Of course, you'll have to try chili crab and black pepper crab (if you eat seafood). Happy to help you find the good stuff -- and avoid the cliches.

Big fan of the book and your work. Look me up when you're there. Cheers.

David Chung

Would you come by to the Google office in Singapore and give a talk? :) I'm visiting Singapore myself for work (also for the first time) -- going to be there from tomorrow through next Tuesday! Come visit Google!

Jason Krueger

I highly recommend going on the Night Safari tour at the Singapore Zoo... it was quite unlike any other zoo experience I've ever experienced in the US, and it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life!

dayu au

Would be happy to email you a list of suggestions or even invite you to a meal with friends. Love the blog/book :)

David W.

Visit the Kranji War Memorial ... Singapore's World War II monument.


Get caned for spitting gum out on the sidewalk?


Eat at Newton Circus! Best Chicken Curry I've had.

Bill Liebler

I lived in Singapore in 2010/11 and depending on the amount of time you have would recommend a couple of places to check out:

1. Botanical Gardens - if you are looking for a place to walk off jetlag I highly recommend getting a taxi to any entrance and going for a stroll. Chance to learn about regional plants and stretch your legs - prepare to sweat, but very nice and several places to get a refreshment in the garden.

2. There are several good museums off Orchard Road. I would recommend checking w/ your hotel to see what may be being featured.

3. Night Safari - unique experience at the zoo where you can go through a specially setup part of the zoo and see animals at night. Bit contrived, but something different for sure.

4. Rooftop bar at the Sands Hotel - if you are staying there enjoy the pool as well - but you can go up and have a drink or dinner and take in the view of the entire city and surrounding area.

5. Raffles Hotel - you've probably figured this one out, but great place to walk about and then get a Singapore Sling - just don't choke on the price tag.

6. Arab Street - nice area near Raffles to walk around and enjoy some unique food, shop for some fabric, or get some exercise.

7. Chinatown - very much like other Chinatowns - but not a bad way to kill a couple of hours. You can also visit a very nice Hindu Temple adjacent to Chinatown.

8. Robinson Quay - nice area to walk around - you can go from the Merlion across the street to one of the old elegant hotels (drawing a blank on the name) and then walk along the river to Robinson Quay for dinner or drinks.

9. Clark Quay - nice area to go in the evening to have dinner, drinks, and watch folks roaming about

That should give you some ideas. Enjoy the journey.

Bill - looking forward to your next book.



this is a very good list....I would also add a couple others:

10. Little India - very colorful buildings and market places

11. Go shopping or experience one of the mega malls - they design these things so you can stay there all days so they have food courts, lounges, spas, etc. Also Singaporians are very brand consious/loyal so you will see some of the most prestigous brands (reminds me of Dubai in that sense). Good place to cool down and have a Thai iced tea.

Zak S

I love Singapore.
The most important thing to do is to eat a lot. Chili crab, black pepper crab, fish head curry, char kway teow, fried black carrot cake, durian (the king of fruits), and more. Fine dining exists everywhere in the world so skip it and hit the streets. Eat at the hawker centers.

You may also consider visiting the Night Safari (nocturnal zoo, very cool), the Art Science Museum, Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, and China Town.

Have fun!

Robert Zeh

Take the subway a bit out of the town center to the Holland Road Shopping center, and do a compare and contrast with the NYC subway. This will give you some insight into how clean and safe Singapore is. Then wander into the Holland Road Shopping center, and think of how many fire code violations the place would chalk up in the United States.

Or, have lunch at Lau Pa Sat. Grabbing lunch from a hawker's stall, in 90 heat and 90% humidity, all inside a victorian iron work structure, is quintessential Singapore.


If you're into fashion or design or just looking at retail, just did this overview of independent fashion retailers.


Definitely check out the growing community of social entrepreneurship in the richest country in the world according to some stats =). And i highly reccomend trying some Durian, Carrot Cake & Chicken Rice. I'd be happy to take you around.


Try the food! Singapore is like a dummy's course in Asia for Westerners. You should probably try to hop over to Malaysia for a better and more authentic Asian experience (i.e. dust, some poverty, gangsters, unhygienic roadside food stalls but superb food). But back to Singapore - chicken rice is a must. Most magazines or high brow reviewers will direct you to Mandarin Hotel for their chicken rice. I say try the chicken rice at Purvis Street. I think you should also try to explore one of the old residential estates (Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Tiong Bahru) to get a real Singaporean flavour and not the foreigners-clogged LV bags-toting Singapore. Take a bus! Visit the hawker centers! Go to Pulau Ubin!
Disclosure: I am a Malaysian who spent years in Singapore but am now based in Boston.