a travel guide to singapore

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What can you do in 72-hours? Well, quite a lot actually. But what can you do in 72-hours in Singapore within a budget traveller's price range? A whole hell of a lot.

Singapore is the world's only island city-state, and some travel experts have described it as a playground for the rich and famous. Many budget travellers to Southeast Asia only go there as a stopover, but Singapore can be so much more. While it can be a place for the wealthy, it still offers plenty of exciting budget traveller oriented activities; but you will need to keep your eyes open for them.

Singapore's public transportation is quick, convenient and can get you from one part of the city to the next in no time. It is great for a three day stopover before heading to other parts of Asia or back home. So, whether you are staying for an extended time or just a few days, you will love The Lion City.

Culture

Singapore has been described as a country that "doesn't fit into the traditional description of a nation". There is some truth to that statement as the city-state is home to multiple religions, ethnic groups and languages. Once a colony of the British, Singapore's national language is English, which means it won't be difficult to communicate on your 72-hour budget journey.

Due to the different ethnic backgrounds of the people that call Singapore home, some people sway more toward western culture, while others go towards eastern. It makes for a fascinating country with people that you will love to meet.

Places to visit

Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street

If you want to get an idea of the different cultures coming together in such a small area, check out Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street. Singapore's Chinatown is full of small local shops and restaurants selling authentic Chinese food. The area is full of great sites including the Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and the Buddha Tooth Relic temple. After you've explored Chinatown walk on over Little India. For over two centuries, Indian people have called Singapore home, and they have left quite a mark on the country. Not very far away is the Arab Quarter – aka Arab

Street. The area is known for its shopping and beautiful Sultan Mosque that you can view from the outside.

Raffles Hotel

If you have got some cash to spend before you go back home, or you want to indulge before hitting Vietnam, Raffles Hotel is the spot. The gorgeously built colonial building is something out of the past. Built in 1887, the hotel has stood as a legendary landmark for more than a century; and it has played host some of the most famous writers and actors during its time. Once inside Raffles, be sure to belly up to the bar for the hotel's famous Singapore Sling. The drink was invented there in the early 1900s.

Changi Chapel and Museum

Singapore was under Japanese occupation during World War II, and a trip to Changi Chapel and Museum will tell you all about life under the Japanese. The museum houses letters, photographs, drawings and other possessions that belonged to the imprisoned locals during the war. It is a truly moving building about a time that is moving further into the past.

Food

Thanks to the combining of cultures in Singapore, options for delicious food are endless. Tasty Chinese dishes, coconutty Malaysian meals and spicy Indian fare are all available. And if you are looking for great food at budget prices, the Hawker Centre is a must. The food stalls and restaurants provide authentic flavours that won't break your budget. The food stalls in the centre are permanent, so these aren't your typical Asian street food eateries. While you may think twice about eating at a food stall in Thailand, the ones in the Hawker Centre are clean and won't steer you wrong. Of course, no trip to Singapore is complete without eating the national dish known as chicken rice. Despite the boring name, you won't find it to have a boring taste.

What to see?

Fort Canning Park is a beautiful colonial building constructed in 1859. At one time, it was one of the main forts used to defend Singapore. Today, the building houses modern dance groups and actors. Meanwhile, the grounds are perfect for a picnic.

Singapore does offer a little beach escape, although it isn't anything like other Asian countries. Sentosa Island provides plenty of beach fun and Siloso Beach is its most popular sand spot. You can find a number of watersports to try there.

If you like shopping, Orchard Road has luxury shops and eateries in volume. There are 22 malls and six department stores in the area, but who's counting? Try not to blow your budget while venturing through the area.

Once you have had enough hustle and bustle, go to Pulau Ubin. According to the country's National Parks department, the island is what Singapore resembled before the skyscrapers and luxury apartments littered it. Cool, calm and relaxing, Pulau Ubin is a world away from the city-state.

Nightlife

Singapore can be expensive, so knowing that before you head out can save you from spending a lot of cash. You can still have a great time on a budget, but just be conscious of where you are drinking and eating.

Singapore has plenty of cool hipster brew pubs and microbreweries, so there isn't any worry of finding a drink.

Little India is a perfect place to stay, drink and eat, so look for nights out there to stick to your budget.

One tip that many budget travellers pass on during a trip to Singapore is to look for drinking promotions at bars. Hit up the venues that advertise happy hours around 5pm. It is always good to keep in mind that drinking in Singapore can be pricey, so beware. It can save you headaches later on.