Singapore Tour: Safety and Shopping Wisdom

by John
(Darwin, Australia)

Hi, Gabriel

Thanks for posting my article... :)

This is a follow up to my previous post about transport, package tour and itineraries. I am sure you have the answers to my queries... :)

1. We are staying at Fragrance Hotel Selegie, estimated check-in time is 830pm. After checking in, we plan to have dinner. Any suggestions for a budget dinner near the area?

Gabriel replies...

Around your hotel are a few coffee shops selling pretty good local food. You could have a look at these.

Just further down the road at the Serangoon Road - Bukit Timah Road junction is Tekka Centre. On Level 1 of Tekka Centre, you'll find one of the best hawker centres in Singapore. Great variety. Good and reasonably priced food.

2. After dinner, I plan to take my partner to Mustafa Centre which I believe is a 12-minute walk from the hotel. Is it safe to walk that area around that time? Since it's a 24/7 mall, would it be safe even at the wee hours of the morning?

Yes, Serangoon Road is safe to walk on any time of the day. The area around Mustafa Centre is busy around the clock - so you'll find lots of shoppers and pedestrians around here even at 2am.

Of course, as in any place in the world, common sense should be exercised, e.g. don't take short cuts through dark alleys.

3. On our second day, I followed one of your tailored itineraries of going to the Singapore Zoo in the morning and having high tea at Equinox Restaurant in the afternoon. I already have a confirmed reservation.

Coming straight from the Zoo, I thought we need time to change from comfy clothes to smart casual. Is it ok to do it in the zoo before heading to Equinox or can we change in the Swissotel toilet?

You could do a change of clothes at either place. At the Zoo, there's a water-themed playground for kids called 'Rainforest KidzWorld', with an adjoining toilet for kids/parents to clean up, etc. You could check out the changing rooms here.

4. After the high tea, I planned to take them strolling to the Esplanade, Merlion Park or up to Singapore River and Clarke Quay, for picture taking. Then go to Orchard Road for more picture taking.

If we end our stroll from Merlion Park, catch Bus 167 and if from Clarke Quay, catch Bus 190. Any other options? (if we get hungry from strolling we plan to have dinner at Clarke Quay)

You could take the MRT.

From Merlion Park, head to the Esplanade, walk through the underground mall and you'll arrive at the City Hall MRT station. The MRT station near Clarke Quay is, well, called Clarke Quay.

Get a free city map when you arrive at the Singapore Airport. And you'll see how easy this is.

5. The next day after breakfast at the hotel, go to Lucky Plaza, then Sentosa afternoon till sunset tour at 1.30pm. After the Sentosa tour, I wanted to take them to Lau Pa Sat for dinner. Trading hours please?

The shops at Lucky Plaza have received mixed reviews. Just be more careful if you really plan on shopping there.

Lucky Plaza shops start business from 10.30am/11am. Lau Pa Sat opens till late.

I recommend that you go to Sentosa in the morning instead. You could then have lunch at the food court at Palawan Beach (reasonably priced food). Or at Food Republic, which is a food court at Vivo City. (Vivo City a shopping mall on the 'mainland' just across the waters from Sentosa.)

You could spend the afternoon shopping at Vivo City.

When done, take the MRT from Harbourfront station (accessible from Vivo City) to Raffles Place station.

Lau Pa Sat is a short walk from Raffles Place station.

6. And how to get there from the Hotel?

To Lucky Plaza by MRT:

Little India -> Dhoby Ghaut -> Orchard

To Sentosa by MRT and Sentosa Express:

Little India -> Harbourfront -> (Walk up to Level 3, Vivo City) -> Sentosa Express to Sentosa.

After last minute shopping in Mustafa Centre...

7. Last day... Upon check-out (12 noon) from the hotel, we plan to hire a taxi to get us to other Singapore tourist spots for picture taking before heading to the airport. Need to be at the airport at 3pm for the 545pm flight.

What taxi company can you recommend? Need to book it or can we just call before we check out?

Taxis cruise and use the meter in Singapore. Just flag one from outside your hotel - it doesn't matter which company you hire from. If you have difficulty flagging one down, get your hotel's reception to call for one for you.

Have an enjoyable holiday in Singapore.

Sorry for the long emails and questions....just want to have a smooth trip and make the most out of the time we have in Singapore. Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing from you again.

More power and God Bless.

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