Mega cruise ships like Queen Mary 2 come into the Marina Bay Cruise Center, a large facility at the southern tip of the island near a new downtown center that is still under construction.
The terminal building is large and spacious and offers rest rooms, currency exchange, and esay access to taxis, and buses. Taxi prices are clearly posted at the terminal; note the surcharge for terminal pickup. To return to the ship you can call taxi pick up at 552 1111.
The excellent subway is about 450 yards from the terminal but you will need Singaporean currency to purchase a transit link. The card requires a deposit which is refunded by inserting the card back in the vending machine when you depart. To use the card you tap it at the gate for admission and exiting. There is nothing to do at the terminal itself but there is good signage in the terminal building to point you in the right direction wherever you want to go.
National Museum and Art Gallery
For 119 years this museum offers many national treasures and is of architectural interest itself.
For kite-makers, herbalists, and other traditional Chinese trades , head for the busy streets of Chinatown located around the South Bridge Road. MRT station Chinatown
Located around Serangoon Road, the area offers many shops and food, temples, and colorful surroundings. MRT station Little India.
Head for Orchard Street (via MRT) for the fashionable retails that make Singapore a shopping haven. Most stores open at 10 am and take
Gardens by the Bay
This relatively new area features large gardens including the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome in huge enclosed air conditioned buildings, The Super Tree Grove, a gambling casino with hotel, and areas of beautifully landscaped areas where you can stroll free of charge. Entrance to the various buildings is pricey.
Singapore Botanical Garden
Begun in the late 1859 to experiment with rubber plants, the garden now features many different theme gardens including a children’s garden, healing garden, fragrance garden, and ginger garden, as well as Swan Lake, a rain forest, a dell, a symphony stage, an orchid house and a couple of good but expensive restaurants. All the gardens except the orchid house ($5) are free. Open 5 am to mid-night although some areas have shorter hours. Accessible by bus, MRT, and taxi.
Chinese and Japanese Gardens
These two gardens are located on two islands linked by a bridge. Bonsai Garden and Turtle Garden open daily from 9am to 5 pm. Main garden opens daily 6 am to 10:30 pm at Jurong Par Yuan Ching Road. MRT stops at Chinese Garden.
Over 2,500 animals including white tigers and Komodo dragons, are housed at this “open zoo”. Located in Mandai Lake Road, the zoo is open from 8:30 am to 6 pm. The Night Safari that allows you to see the nocturnal life of the animals at the zoo.
How Par Villa
The former Tiger Balm Gardens features a collection of statuary that illustrate mythical beasts from Chinese mythology. Open daily from 9 am-7 pm; located at 262 Pasir Pajang Road.
Named after Sir Samuel Raffles who founded Singapore, the elegant old hotel has been visited by the rich and famous over the years. Enjoy English tea or a Singapore sling here for a memorable visit.
Be forewarned: Laws about public behavior are strict. Littering carries a fine of up to S$1,000 for the first offense. Not flushing a public toilet carries a fine of S$150 for first offense, S$500 for the second, and S$1000 for subsequent offenses. Smoking in pubic places carries a fine of S$1000 (unless specifically exempted).
Singapore Tourist Information Center is located at 1 Orchard Spring Lane; Tel. Toll free 1800 736 2000.Open 8:30 am-8 pm.
Tipping is not expected or encouraged; most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge.
The local currency is the Singapore Dollar divided into 100 cents. Banking hours are 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 9:30 am to 11:30 am on Saturdays. Licensed money changers are also available.