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Lonely Planet Pocket Singapore

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Pocket Singapore is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Try the local grub at one of the many hawker centres, join in the national sport and go shopping at Orchard Road, or have breakfast with orang-utans at the Singapore Zoo; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Singapore and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Pocket Singapore:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Free, convenient pull-out Singapore map (included in print version), plus over 17 colour neighbourhood maps
  • User-friendly layout with helpful icons, and organised by neighbourhood to help you pick the best spots to spend your time
  • Covers Holland Village, Tanglin Village, Orchard Road, Sentosa, Southwest Singapore, Little India, Kampong Glam, Chinatown, CBD, Tanjong Pagar, Marina Bay, the Quays, the Colonial District, and more

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalize your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet's Pocket Singapore, a colorful, easy-to-use, and handy guide that literally fits in your pocket, provides on-the-go assistance for those seeking only the can't-miss experiences to maximize a quick trip experience.

  • Looking for a comprehensive guide that recommends both popular and offbeat experiences, and extensively covers all of Singapore's neighbourhoods? Check out Lonely Planet's Singapore guide.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer or Lonely Planet's Discover Malaysia & Singapore for a photo-rich guide to the region's most popular attractions.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet and Cristian Bonetto

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

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Singapore

ePub

 

Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay

ePub

The Colonial District dazzles with its 19th-century buildings, A-list museums and sprawling malls. Just south, the sinuous Singapore River is where you'll find the Quays and their booty of restaurants, bars and clubs. East of here, the river spills into Marina Bay, home to botanical blockbuster Gardens by the Bay and resort, casino, and entertainment-and-dining complex Marina Bay Sands.

MStart the morning with a saunter along the Singapore River, taking in Singapore's dramatic skyline. Right beside the river is the Asian Civilisations Museum, home to a breathtaking collection of artefacts from across Asia. Done, recharge with lip-smacking chilli crab at riverside Jumbo Seafood.

RTake a postprandial stroll though refreshing Fort Canning Park, then continue your cultural enlightenment at the National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum or National Gallery Singapore, all within walking distance of the park. Alternatively, ditch the museums for a little retail therapy at malls like Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and electronics nirvana Funan DigitaLife Mall.

 

Orchard Road

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Shopping is Singapore's national sport and Orchard Rd is its Olympic-sized training ground. What was once a dusty road lined with spice plantations and orchards is now a torrent of malls, department stores and speciality shops; enough to burn out the toughest shopaholics. But wait, there's more, including drool-inducing food courts and a heritage-listed side street rocking with bars.

MBreakfast at Kith Cafe or Wild Honey before stocking up on edgy local fashion at Reckless Shop. Head west along the south side of Orchard Rd and pop into Ngee Ann City for books at Kinokuniya, Wisma Atria for street-chic shopping at i.t and futuristic ION Orchard Mall for macaroons at TWG Tea. At the end of Orchard Rd, make a quick detour for Antiques of the Orient, then head back east along the north side of Orchard Rd.

RFor lunch, nibble, slurp and swallow Singapore's best xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at Din Tai Fung or tuck into authentic Indonesian at Tambuah Mas, both inside luxe mall Paragon. If you're still on a retail high, bag more cognoscenti labels at Robinsons. Alternatively, give your body some TLC at Tomi Foot Reflexology or decadent Remède Spa.

 

Tiong Bahru

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Spend a weekend morning in Tiong Bahru, Singapore's current epicentre of independent cool. An easy three stops from Raffles Place MRT station, it's more than just an ever increasing list of eclectic boutiques, bookstores, cafes and bakeries that make this low-rise neighbourhood worth a saunter. This area was Singapore's first public housing estate, its streetscape of walk-up, art deco apartments now among the city's most unexpected architectural treats.

m Catch the subway to Tiong Bahru, walk east along Tiong Bahru Rd for 350m, then turn right into Kim Pong Rd.

The Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre ( GOOGLE MAP ; 83 Seng Poh Rd; h8am-late, individual stalls vary; mTiong Bahru) remains staunchly old-school, down to its orange-hued exterior, the neighbourhood's original shade. Its hawker centre is home to cultish Jan Bo Shui Kueh ( GOOGLE MAP ; 02-05, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre; shui $1.20-3.30; h6.30am-10.30pm), famous for its chwee kueh (steamed rice cake with diced preserved radish).

 

Chinatown, CBD & Tanjong Pagar

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These 'hoods keep things interesting with diverse architecture, culinary riches and top-notch bars. Not huge on must-see sights, it's about the vibe. Dive into Chinatown for wet markets, hawker food and temples, and into the CBD to sip and party in converted banks. South of Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar is great for contemporary galleries, artisan coffee, cocktails and heritage shophouses.

MBreakfast at veteran Ya Kun Kaya Toast, then get the dirt on the area's past at the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Picture those opium dens as you saunter down Pagoda St to bursting-with-colour Sri Mariamman Temple. Across the street, scour for antiques at Far East Legend and Chinese remedies at Eu Yan Sang.

RHunt down a table at Maxwell Road Hawker Centre and taste-test the city's legendary street food, then lose yourself in the glittering excess of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Collect your thoughts on the peaceful rooftop garden, before making your way to Yixing Xuan Teahouse for old-school tea and nibbles. Alternatively, treat yourself to a little pampering at cut-price Mr Lim Foot Reflexology.

 

Katong (Joo Chiat)

ePub

Also known as Joo Chiat, Katong is the heart of Singapore's Peranakan community. It's an evocative mix of multicoloured shophouses, tucked-away temples and quaint workshops and handicraft studios, not to mention some of the city's best eateries. Try to head in during business hours, when locals hop in and out of heirloom shops in search of fabrics, produce and the next tasty snack.

m Paya Lebar and Eunos stations are the closest stations.

g Routes 33 and 16 service Joo Chiat Rd.

Geylang Serai Market ( GOOGLE MAP ; 1 Geylang Serai; h8am-10pm, individual stalls vary; mPaya Lebar) packs in a lively wet market, hawker food centre and stalls selling everything from Malay CDs to skullcaps. If you're feeling peckish, hunt down some pisang goreng (banana fritters) and wash them down with a glass of bandung (milk with rose cordial syrup).

 

Geylang

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Contradiction thrives in Geylang, a neighbourhood as famous for its shrines, temples and mosques as for its brothels and back-alley gambling dens. Head in for lunch, spend the afternoon wandering quaint lorongs (alleys), religious buildings and an under-the-radar gallery, then head back to neon-lit Geylang Rd for a long, lively evening of people-watching and unforgettably good local grub.

g Routes 2, 13, 21, 26 and 51 run along Sims Ave through Geylang.

m Kallang, Aljunied and Paya Lebar are the closest stations.

Geylang is famous for its frog porridge and the best place to try it is Shi Sheng Frog Porridge ( GOOGLE MAP ; 235 Geylang Rd; h11.45am-3.45am; g2, 51, mKallang). Its Cantonese-style version is beautifully smooth and gooey, and only live frogs are used, ensuring that the meat is always fresh.

Take a class on dharma and meditation at the seven-floor Amitabha Buddhist Centre ( GOOGLE MAP ; %6745 8547; www.fpmtabc.org; 44 Lorong 25A; h10.30am-6pm Tue-Sun; mAljunied); its upstairs meditation hall, swathed in red-and-gold cloth, is open to the public and filled with beautiful devotional objects. Check the website for class schedules.

 

Changi & Pulau Ubin

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Singapore's 'Far East' serves up a slower, nostalgic style of local life. Vests, Bermuda shorts and flip-flops are the look in chilled-out Changi Village, a place where out-of-towners are a less common sight. A short bumboat (motorised sampan) ride away, the rustic island of Pulau Ubin is the Singapore that development mercifully left behind.

g No 2 from Tanah Merah MRT reaches Changi Village. Bumboats (one way $2.50, bicycle surcharge $2; 6am to 9pm) connect Changi Village to Pulau Ubin.

Although no longer at the original Changi prison site, the Changi Museum & Chapel ( GOOGLE MAP ; %6214 2451; www.changimuseum.com; 1000 Upper Changi Rd N; admission free, audio guide adult/child $8/4, guided tour $12/8; h9.30am-5pm, last entry 4.30pm) remains a moving tribute to the Allied POWs captured, imprisoned and subjected to horrific treatment by the invading Japanese forces during WWII. Its centrepiece is a replica of the original Changi Chapel built by inmates.

 

Little India & Kampong Glam

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Little India bursts with vibrancy. This is a world where goods crowd the five-foot-ways, shophouses are the colour of crayons and men in dhotis (loincloth) gossip over authentic dosa (savoury pancakes) at the marketplace. Walk 15 minutes southeast and you're in calmer Kampong Glam, dubbed Arab St. Head here for beautiful mosques, colourful fabrics, trendy boutiques and delicious grub.

MBreakfast south Indian style at Ananda Bhavan then head north along colourful Serangoon Rd until you hit Hindu showpiece Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Continue north to Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, or go as far as bargain mecca Mustafa Centre and dive in for cut-price electronics, threads, shoes and jewellery.

RRecharge with Indian homecooking at Lagnaa Barefoot Dining, drop into the reputedly lucky Kuan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, then bargain hunt at Bugis Street Market. Next stop: Kampong Glam. If you're not shopped out, pick up a bespoke fragrance at Sifr Aromatics and hit fashion-literate Haji Lane, otherwise head straight to whimsical Sultan Mosque.

 

Sentosa

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Epitomised by its star attraction, Universal Studios, Sentosa is essentially one giant Pleasure Island. The choices are head-spinning, from duelling roller coasters and indoor skydiving to stunt shows and luge racing. Add to this a historic fort, state-of-the-art aquarium and Ibiza-inspired beachside bars and restaurants, and it's clear why locals head here to live a little.

MOnly the truly insane would attempt to experience all of Sentosa's attractions in one day, so choose a few and enjoy them thoroughly. You could easily spend the entire day lapping up the rides, shows, food and shops at Universal Studios.

RFeast on Malay hawker favourites at Malaysian Food Street, then spend the afternoon at Universal Studios. Explore the deep at S.E.A. Aquarium, or dabble in history at Images of Singapore or Fort Siloso. Adrenalin junkie options include indoor skydiving at iFly and luge racing at Sentosa Luge & Skyride, while those who prefer their thrills dripping wet should head to Wave House or Adventure Cove Waterpark.

 

Singapore Zoo

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While some of the world's zoos are boring or even cruel, Singapore Zoo is a verdant, tropical wonderland of spacious, naturalistic enclosures, freely roaming animals and interactive attractions. Breakfast with orang-utans, dodge flying foxes, mosey up to tree-hugging sloths, even snoop around a replica African village. Then there's the setting: 28 soothing hectares on a lush peninsula jutting out onto the waters of the Upper Seletar Reservoir. Miss it at your own peril.

Singapore Zoo is 22km northwest of the CBD.

m Catch the North-South (red) line to Ang Mo Kio, then bus 138 to the zoo.

GOOGLE MAP
% 6269 3411 ; www.zoo.com.sg ; 80 Mandai Lake Rd ; adult/child $28/18 ; h 8.30am-6pm ; m Ang Mo Kio then bus 138

AConsider combining your trip with a visit to the neighbouring Night Safari.

 

Night Safari

ePub

Next door to Singapore Zoo, but completely separate, Singapore's acclaimed Night Safari offers a very different type of nightlife. Home to over 120 species of animals, the park's moats and barriers seem to melt away in the darkness, giving you the feeling of travelling through a thrilling jungle filled with the likes of lions, leopards and alligators. The atmosphere is heightened even further by the herds of strolling antelopes, often passing within inches of the trams that take you around.

Located beside the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari is 22km northwest of the CBD.

m Catch the North-South (red) line to Ang Mo Kio, then bus 138 to the zoo.

GOOGLE MAP
www.nightsafari.com.sg ; 80 Mandai Lake Rd ; adult/child $39/25 ; h 7.30pm-midnight, restaurants & shops from 5.30pm ; m Ang Mo Kio, then bus 138

 

Holland Village & Dempsey Hill

ePub

Chic, salubrious Holland Village may not be a must for visitors, but its boutiques, cafes and lunching ladies offer a revealing slice of expat life. Even leafier is historic Dempsey Hill, a converted barracks laced with antiques dealers, boutiques, cafes and languid bistros. Upstaging them both is the Botanic Gardens, an invigorating blend of rare orchids, precious rainforest and romantic dining.

MBeat the heat with an early-morning saunter through the Botanic Gardens, keeping cool in the ancient rainforest, circling Swan Lake and dropping in on Vanda Miss Joaquim (Singapore's national flower) at the National Orchid Centre. Appetite piqued, head across to Chopsuey for dim sum or PS Cafe for beautiful global fare, then shop-hop Dempsey Hill for antiques, art and accessories at stores like Shang Antique and Em Gallery.

RSpend the afternoon in trendy, expat enclave Holland Village. Cool down with gourmet ice cream at Daily Scoop or a glass of vino at Park. Refreshed, scour Holland Village Shopping Centre for arts, craft and knick-knacks, or head upstairs for a manicure.

 

Southwest Singapore

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Home to Singapore's epic container terminals, this corner of the city is often overlooked by visitors, who pass through only to take the cable car between Mt Faber and Sentosa. But look closer and you'll find some worthy magnets, among them the spectacular Southern Ridges trail, the elegant NUS Museum and languid, stuck-in-time Colbar.

MStart with a quick bite-to-go at VivoCity, then slip into Labrador Nature Reserve, a slice of tropical forest scattered with wartime relics. If you're lucky, the Labrador Secret Tunnels will have reopened. Alternatively, check out kooky theme park Haw Par Villa. Either way, continue further on the MRT Yellow Line to Kent Ridge, from where a shuttle bus leads to NUS Museum and its beautiful artefacts and art.

RHop back on the MRT and get off at Pasir Panjang for cheap chow at Eng Lock Koo. From here, amble up to hilltop Reflections at Bukit Chandu to relive the area's bloody past, then step inside adjoining Kent Ridge Park to begin your easy trek along the jungle-fringed Southern Ridges walking trail.

 

The Best of Singapore

ePub

In a city firmly fixed on the future, the Colonial District offers a rare, precious glimpse of a romanticised era and its architectural legacies. This is the Singapore of far-flung missionaries and churches, Palladian-inspired buildings, high-society cricket clubs and the legendary Raffles Hotel. This walk takes in some of the city's most beautiful heritage buildings, swaths of soothing greenery, spectacular skyline views and even a spot of contemporary Asian art. Time it to coincide with a postwalk lunch or dinner by the Singapore River.

Start Singapore Art Museum; Bras Basah

Finish MICA; Clarke Quay

Length 2km; two hours with stops

End your saunter with trademark chilli crab at Jumbo Seafood ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %6532 3435; www.jumboseafood.com.sg; 01-01/02 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Rd; dishes from $12, chilli crab around $55 per kg; hnoon-2.15pm & 6-11.15pm; mClarke Quay).

 

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