An impromptu holiday took me to Singapore recently. While this wasn’t my first trip to the city, it was one that happened after a decade long gap.
Needless to say some new discoveries were made and old ones enjoyed.
Everyone enjoys discovering each city differently. These are the things I enjoyed discovering while in Singapore.
Discovering Bread Ice Cream: When a friend told me about ‘Bread Ice Cream’ I honestly imagined it would be Ice Cream made from bread. Imagine my surprise when I found out that a block of ice cream is slapped on a slice of bread, folded and handed to you!
The ‘Rainbow Bread’ used is regular white bread, not sweet but softer than regular bread. The first bite grossed me out, but then I took another, and another and before I knew it I was hooked.
I thought Bread Ice cream was a great snack to beat the heat and sudden hunger pangs, as you walked down Orchard Street, where it is available. I got it: Outside Takashimaya Shopping Arcade on Orchard Road. Small ice cream carts with a crowd around it should be your cue. Costs 1.20 Singapore Dollars (about 62 INR) The Raspberry Ripple is a popular flavour and the Blueberry and Choco Mint tasted great too.
Godiva Ice Cream: Do you love Chocolate? And Ice cream? Then this is what you shouldn’t miss when in Singapore! Godiva Chocolate in soft serve ice cream form! Heaven in a cone! Warning: This ice cream is a decadent treat, I skipped lunch as the rich ice cream was that filling. I got it at: The basement of Raffles City Mall. For 9 SGD each (about 464 INR)
Clarke Quay: We chose to stay in this area and what a wise decision it was. Clarke Quay is beautiful in the day and vibrant at night. The number of restaurants, pubs and eateries here ensure that you won’t need to repeat visiting a single one, unless you want to!
Clarke Quay is a visual delight for those who love photography.
Centrally located, it has an MRT station, Fort Canning. The bus stop, Liang Court, is the pick-up point for the Hop on-Hop Off Busses.
Singapore Flyer: Go high up in the sky on the Singapore Eye and take in the the entire city spread out before you. The best way to enjoy the beautiful architecture of Singapore. A 40-minute ride on this giant merry- go-round would cost you 333 SGD (1700 INR). Keep your cameras ready as you could get some great shots. Tip: Take a ride towards late evening, a little before dusk approaches and you could see the city bathed in sunlight and then later all lit up. A double treat!
Orchard Road: When in Singapore a visit to Orchard Road is a must. This little over 2 kms stretch is vibrant and has all the brands you can think of. Stop by at little food kiosks the street is dotted with when you want to grab a bite to eat. We relished our Pizza by the slice at Pezzo and a super delicious Burrito Bowl at stuff’d. Don’t forget to grab a Bread Ice cream for dessert!
Automated Immigration and Check-in at the Airport: I left Singapore reluctantly with a long face. What brought a smile to my face though were the Automated Immigration and Baggage Check-in counters at the airport.
No rush, no queues and no humans at the counter. Just scan your passport, leave your fingerprint where asked and you’ve cleared Immigration.
For the Check in, scan your passport, add your PNR, print your luggage tags. Tag your bags with them, leave them at the bag drop counter and you’re done! What a thrill!
Of course, there are conventional manually aided counters for both, but then these were way more fun!
Reclaim VAT : The beauty of shopping up a storm in Singapore is that you could reclaim the Value Added Tax (VAT) on all your bills at the airport on your way back.
Keep in mind though that VAT can be reclaimed only on a single bill of 100 SGD and of course more. You need your passport with you when your billing at the stores is being done.
Club all your bills, walk over to the VAT counter, follow the easy instructions, swipe your credit card and it’s done. Your VAT money will be refunded to your swiped credit card account in 5-7 working days.
Used Klook: Klook is an app you download from your phones play store (free for Android users)
Use Klook as a guide. Eliminate long queues as you book your tickets for all the major attractions, even hotels, at a discount. We only used Klook for these, but it offers many more services. Helps save time and money, both!