It had been a while since I last travelled; so true to my self-promise this year to strive for a better me, travel as much as I can, and say “yes” to more things that scare me, I decided to take a short getaway to Singapore during the CNY (Chinese New Year) break. Although it wasn’t a particularly long trip, it was just enough to feed my wanderlust soul and tide me over till I can get my next fix. Despite this being my fifth time in the Lion City, I still went totally touristy and visited these mainstream places.
- National Gallery of Singapore
The National Gallery used to be the Supreme Court Building and City Hall where numerous historic events took place. In 2005, it was decided that these two national monuments were to be transformed into the National Gallery. So while the gallery was only opened very recently, in 2015, the building itself had been standing for over 70 years.
I was lucky that they had free entry during CNY so I didn’t have to spend a single cent to explore this artistic architecture. But despite the free entry, the gallery was quite empty that day, which made for perfect photo taking opportunities like these.
My favourite part by far was the Art Playscape and Project Gallery at the Keppel Centre for Art Education. Okay, so this part was supposed to be for children (it even said ‘for 5-12 years’ in the gallery guide), but I just couldn’t resist going in – I mean, look at how fun and colourful and whimsical the whole area is!
The National Gallery is definitely a must-visit if you’re an art lover or even if you’re just looking for an aesthetic location to take photos of your #ootd like me, as demonstrated here ha.. ha..
Getting there: I took the MRT and got off at City Hall. The National Gallery is just a short 5 minute walk away and there are signs to guide you.
Official website -> https://www.nationalgallery.sg/
- Palawan Beach
Palawan Beach is located at Resorts World Sentosa. I’ve been to Sentosa Island twice previously, the first time I did Universal Studios, the second time I did the Trick Eye Museum and Siloso Beach, so this time I thought I’d give the other beach a visit. The main reason I wanted to check out Palawan Beach was because of this bridge, it’s so cool right? It really made me feel like I was in Hawaii or some other exotic beachy paradise. I was surprised though by how low the bridge hangs; at one point, it was almost submerged in the seawater!
There’s also this lookout tower that you can climb, and you can see the whole stretch of the beach from up there.
It’s definitely more crowded than Siloso Beach (mainly cos it’s more of a family beach) so if you’re looking for a more relaxing time maybe this beach is not the right one for you, but don’t worry Sentosa has three beaches to offer!
Getting there: I originally wanted to take the cable car from Mount Faber, but it started raining just as I got out at HarbourFront MRT station, so we decided to take the bus from VivoCity mall instead, which was a lot cheaper in the end. I did take the cable car back from the island though. Alternatively, you can also take the Sentosa Express train from VivoCity mall.
Official website -> http://www.rwsentosa.com/
- Singapore Zoo
This marked my first time at Singapore Zoo and I absolutely loved it! Truthfully, I can’t even remember the last time I visited the zoo. The Singapore Zoo looks huge from the map, but once inside I found that each attraction is within 2-to-3-minute walking distance so it wasn’t too bad. They also have shuttle buses inside the park if you’re too tired to walk.
I bought the 2-Park Admission ticket for this visit and did the River Safari first before moving on to the Zoo. I also bought my tickets online because it’s cheaper that way.
The highlight from the River Safari was definitely the Giant Panda Forest. The hyperactive red panda and the two giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, were a delight to see!
One thing I would say is make sure to bring a packed lunch because while there are restaurants and cafés in the park, they tend to be overpriced. Plus, it definitely saves time if you have a packed lunch ready. The zoo itself had a lot of enclosures to visit and performances to see. I managed to catch the Rainforest Fights Back and the Elephants of Asia shows, both of which were a pleasure to watch.
Also, look up the feeding times of the different animals if you’re interested in seeing them eat. It was definitely a day well spent, even if my feet were dead by the end of it.
Getting there: I took the MRT and got off at Ang Mo Kio, then took the 138 bus to the zoo. The bus ride was quite long, around 45 minutes from the MRT station, but it does stop right outside the entrance to the zoo.
Official website -> http://www.zoo.com.sg/
Despite what people say about the country – that it’s small and boring – I feel like Singapore has so much to offer. I wasn’t able to fit everything I wanted to do in my itinerary, which is fine cos it just gives me a reason to come back again soon, as if I’d need a reason to travel anyway! Have you ever been to Singapore? What are your favourite places to visit there? Let me know in the comments below *^.^*
p.s. much love and many thanks to my brother for being my personal tour guide and photographer on this trip!