I finished my trip to Singapore on Dec 13. I would want to thank all of the member here for their guidance. It was of immense help, and I hope to reciprocate if some of you travel to India. Below is my short trip report, I am not giving it out day wise, just activity wise and also some tips and observations:
Stay- We stayed at Aqueen Jalan Besar, nice property. The only con being room size which was small, but since we were prepared for it, there was no rude shock. As suggested my members here, we did not take the room with breakfast and it worked out well. They agreed to take the SGD 100 deposit per room in INR (and refunded the same on check out), so we had more SGD to spend.
Sightseeing: We visited Little India (Day 1) ,the Merlion Park, Marina Barage, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay sands laser show (Day 2), Chinatown, Buddha Temple, Orchard Road, Bugis Market (Day 3), Universal Studios (Day 4), Mustafa, MBS Skypark, GBTB (Day 5). We had deliberately left out few popular spots.
As suggested my the members here, did not buy tickets in advance which suited our changes in plans. All the places we visited were great and we always felt we wanted to stay more, but hey, it was just a 4 full day trip. Some tips:
Kite flying is expensive at the Barage ( SGD 25 onwards to buy a kite) so we just watched the kites,enjoyed the breeze and the sites and came back.
Singapore flyer vs MBS Skypark: Obviously depends on personal preferences, however, I think MBS Skypark is not value for money and I enjoyed the Flyer much more. MBS does not give out the credits for using the bar (I had read on the forums that give out SGD 10/20 credits to use at the bar). I checked at the bar enterance and was told that there is a change in management and they no longer issue credits with the MBS Skypark tickets. We bought Flyer tickets as a combo with USS through Klook and got a good discount, and it worked well too.
GBTB: In one word, just wow. We bought tickets online but could not give it enough time, and visited it on the last full day. I wish I could have given more time-but the park is so big with the domes, easily can take almost a full day, so budget accordingly.
USS: As mentioned, bought tickets for adults through Klook, and for seniors through USS website directly. Reached after 11 AM; all rides had a wait time of 90 minutes, however after 3 PM, all rides including the popular ones had wait times of 10-15 minutes. If we wished we could have taken Transformers multiple times since it had a wait time of 10 mins after 3 PM. Not to be missed: the show at Water world.
Shopping: Orchard road malls were fully decorated for Christmas. But it was mostly window Shopping for us in this area. China Town and Bugis were great for budget shopping, but Bugis was even more crowded than a typical market here in India. Bugis was great shopping for souvenirs, latest fashion clothes. Mustafa (avoid on weekends) also we found great deals on clothes, little curios, and chocolates.
Food: Being vegetarians we had our restrictions, however except for USS (where only options were Veg biryani, basic pizza) we had no problems. My suggestion to my fellow countrymen would be unless you are extremely strict about dietary preferences, avoid staying in the Little India area just for food. Most of the places there- the sarvanas, komalas, the bhavans, serve extremely mediocre Indian food with poor service. We found places like fill a pita, lau pat sat market, curry restaurant much better for vegetarian food. Try Yakun toast for breakfast (just toast and peanut butter, since kaya by definition has egg) with their coffee, it is just amazing. I feel eating local food even within our diet restrictions gives us a much better feel of the city. We also relished the “uncle” icecream in a wafer on Orchard road.
Travel: We used the MRT and buses extensively through the ezlink card and found it extremely convenient and cheap. Thanks members for suggesting the gothere.sg app, it was so helpful. We are so impressed by the quality of public transport in Singapore. Just a tip to others- at times, interchanging between two lines, or getting to final site through MRT may take considerable walking, so if there are seniors in your group, just give it a thought. Also, Uber although super convenient has surge pricing most of the time from popular spots, so flagging down a taxi could be cheaper. But first always check on the gothere app.
I have almost like written two pages after trying to keep it short. But it was such a great experience I could write more and more. Thanks again all, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting your beautiful country.