For quite a while, Singapore has been the ‘it’ destination for Indonesian tourist. Not only that the ticket is sometimes cheaper than other domestic destination :( it is also the only place in Southeast Asia that your favorite band/artist might visit. For the more fortunate, Singapore has been the shopping heaven. Though the tag price there is more expensive compared to Malaysia, Singapore offers more diverse and luxurious brand. In terms of transportation and attraction place, I think Singapore is one the best country to visit.
Sometimes, I think Indonesian people have love-hate relationship with Singapore. They might like the city but they don’t like the fast moving people. They might like the attraction but they dislike the concrete scenery. For me personally, I love going to Singapore. My sister has lived quite a while there and I’ve been visited her a lot. I love the museum, the food, the transportation, the air, and the environment. I think the last time I visited Singapore was on 2014 and I’ve been missed it ever since.
Though my choice might not feel touristy or hipster enough, here are my personal favorite recommendation for place to visit and eating out :P
Milo Dinosaur is basically a Milo drink with extra Milo powder on top. A perfect recipe that needs to be called REVOLUTIONARY. Though the menu is somewhat popular, the greatest Milo Dinosaur I’ve ever tasted is located in Little India area. I don’t remember the restaurant name, but I know exactly how to locate it. Right across the money changer beside the Mustafa Shopping Center. The restaurant is a typical Indian restaurant with menu ranging from both South and North India. If you want a taste of Milo Dinosaur here in Indonesia, try to go to one of the Kopi Tiam branch (but the taste is somehow different).
Toastbox is a big chain restaurant in Singapore that I really like. The simple concept, easy-to-cook menu, and clean minimalist ambience is perfect match with my imagination of one of my future restaurant :)) They offer typical breakfast Singaporean menu, with barley tea, toast bread, and half-baked egg. They also have heavier food like laksa and chicken curry.
While I don’t get the idea of strolling/shopping at the packed Orchard Road on weekend, I do recommend going to one of its foodcourt, Food Opera at ION Orchard. The price is reasonable enough for me. The area is packed really fast at lunch time, so be sure to come early to secure some seats. My personal favorite is the fish ball soup and the laksa.
Makan Sutra, which located near the Esplanade area, is an open air food court with amazing views of Singapore River. There are a lot of things to choose from, my personal recommendation is the Chili Crab and chicken wings. The food is quite pricey but it served in quite large portion. So if you are in large group, eating here is a good option. You can split the bill as well as trying various kind of food.
While people love to buy cheap furniture and baby products at IKEA, I love eating out here. The simple food is quite decent and the Swedish dessert is a delight. There are two branch of IKEA in Singapore with IKEA Alexandra being the easier option to visit (Queenstown MRT + Bus 195) and IKEA Tampines being the bigger one (but a little bit far from the city). If you are a Moslem and like the Swedish meatball, Tampines would probably being a better choice since they provide a Halal section in their restaurant. The different with IKEA Indonesia might be the food option, IKEA Serpong does not have my favorite cake :(
No further description on Universal Studio Singapore, since you’re going to visit it anyway :)) I love amusement park and I was considering buying annual pass once. Quite the contrary, my personal favorite is not the Transformer ride, but its Monster Rock Theater.
MINT Museum of Toys is a rather small museum, located in the upper storey of a restaurant. But the collection is somehow diverse and nostalgic. I don’t know if they still have the promotion, but I got discounted price on entry ticket by using MasterCard credit card. The museum can be accessed through Bugis/CityHall MRT.
I remember visiting National Museum of Singapore with my friend, Ali (who worked at Singapore that time). He suggested us to go to the museum because we got free entry by coming after 6 PM (I don’t know whether it is permanent or just a temporary program). Singapore doesn’t have a specific niche comparing to Indonesia and Malaysia, so the history section is not that kind of interesting. But it was quite a surprise that I found the whole collection is kind of nice, plus the building itself is Instagram-able enough. The museum can be reach through CityHall MRT.
The iconic lotus like shape building of ArtScience Museum is one of the famous landmark in Singapore prime area. Located in front of Marina Bay Sands, this museum often holds interesting temporary exhibition. To name a few, Annie Leibovitz’s photo exhibition, Harry Potter props exhibition, DreamWorks Animation exhibition, etc.
I once visited many attraction places at Singapore with both of my sisters. We went to the zoo, the bird park, Merlion, as well as other touristy places. But as a science enthusiast, my heart set with Science Centre Singapore. The museum itself maybe intended mostly for kids and located far in Jurong area, but you can really have fun there and be dazzled by ALL the exhibitions. I do recommend this place whether you’re travelling with kids or not.
Other great thing about Singapore is the country appreciate the art and technology as something cohesive. That’s why many places are built artistically and environmentally friendly, like Garden by The Bay. I once visited Singapore when there was a Lighting Exhibition, they showcased many beautiful art installation made with lamps. The exhibition spanned between the open area of Marina Bay Sands through the double helix bridge and continue in front of Esplanade. It was one of the best moment I had in Singapore.
Bonus places! Though I never experience these two activities, I really wanted to try it someday.
I admire the sister duo of Fictive Fingers a lot. Hani & Aisah Dalduri produce thoughtful and versatile daily goods through screenprinting technique. They have been building the brand with passion and produce some of the iconic prints, like Raga and Bumi. They often hold workshops and retreats, aim to give hands on learning about textile, making prints, and live creatively. Fictive Finger HQ lies in Geylang area. Attending one of their workshop and owning one of the Raga product have been my ultimate wish for quite some time.
Public Garden is like your favorite one day pop up market. The participant of the pop up market is not only come from Singapore, Indonesian brand like Koolastuffa and ASOBI also sold their products there once.
There are many other things I love about Singapore but this post has been running too long, so I will save it up for another day. And yeah, I’ve never attended any concert in Singapore :))