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#1 Poughkeepsie

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

Hit me with everything I need to know about an awesome family holiday to Singapore....accommodation, sights, meals.
Much appreciated as am confused by google results!

#2 Fabulous

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

I love Singapore. We took our kids there in 2011 for a week and our favourite places were the zoo, Universal studios and the Botanical gardens. Accomodation is quite expensive, we stayed at the Intercontinental. Food is pretty cheap.

#3 2bundles

Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:50 AM

We just got back from 5 night there. We did Universal Studios, new aquarium, Sentosa water park, Legoland, Gardens by the bay, massages in Chinatown, and some time by the pool.

Singapore is not particularly cheap. You can eat cheaply if you eat at hawker centres otherwise meals were close to Aus prices. Taxis are cheap.

We stayed at Sentosa Island, but we had been to Singapore before so this time mostly wanted to just do theme park stuff. It was ok, but we wouldn't do it again.

Marina bay sands is amazing if the budget stretches that far, although the bedding setup is not great for kids.

#4 Poughkeepsie

Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for the replies. I have heard good things about staying on Sentosa, but wondered if it was necessary or if it was a better option to stay elsewhere and travel across.  I haven't been in 20 years so am sure things have changed massively!  
Any more ideas most welcomed original.gif

#5 baddmammajamma

Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Former Singapore resident here.

The above suggestions are great. My favourite spot in Singapore is the Botanic Gardens -- but the zoo, Universal Studios, Sentosa Water park & aquarium are all fabulous fun, too. Depending on the ages on your kids, they might enjoy strolling around Chinatown or Little India (Mustafa Department store is a real treat). http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/trave...afa-centre.html

The Jurong Bird Park is also very cool: http://www.birdpark.com.sg/, and the Zoo's night safari is awesome: http://www.nightsafari.com.sg/

Singapore is a great place for a family trip! How old are your kids?

Re accommodation...because cabs are so reasonable & because the MRT is so clean/cheap, if you are looking to save money, that's a natural place to cut back. All you need are decent rooms, a decent pool & access to transport.

#6 baddmammajamma

Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Former Singapore resident here.

The above suggestions are great. My favourite spot in Singapore is the Botanic Gardens -- but the zoo, Universal Studios, Sentosa Water park & aquarium are all fabulous fun, too. Depending on the ages on your kids, they might enjoy strolling around Chinatown or Little India (Mustafa Department store is a real treat). http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/trave...afa-centre.html

The Jurong Bird Park is also very cool: http://www.birdpark.com.sg/, and the Zoo's night safari is awesome: http://www.nightsafari.com.sg/

Singapore is a great place for a family trip! How old are your kids?

Re accommodation...because cabs are so reasonable & because the MRT is so clean/cheap, if you are looking to save money, that's a natural place to cut back. All you need are decent rooms, a decent pool & access to transport.

#7 ~Tranquillity~

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

We're also planning a family trip to Singapore in the July school holidays, with 2 kids aged 7 and 5.

Badmammajamma, is it worth staying on Sentosa Island or just visit for a day? And would you recommend any of the nearby resort islands for a stay (Bintan and Tioman have been mentioned to us).

My head is being done in by reading Tripadvisor reviews of hotels- no matter which hotel it is or how many stars there will  be multiple reviews stating do not stay in this hotel- it was horrendous and was dirty, smelled bad etc etc !!

#8 runnybabbit

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:36 PM

I'm from Singapore but have lived in Australia for 10 years, although I've been back for a visit at least once every two years.

The ZOO! Not just the day zoo (which has an awesome water park, too -- don't go there with the kids until you've seen all the animals that you want to see, as it's quite possible that they won't want to leave the water play ground -- and bring bathers for everyone), but the Night Safari as well. There's also the new River Safari, which has PANDAS! I adore pandas. It only opened last year. So that's three aspects of the zoo right there. With the Night Safari, definitely pay the extra to get the tram rides, as some trails are only open to the trams and you won't get to see certain animals if you're only on foot.

Food. It's fantastic for a wide variety. Get to Crystal Jade for some fantastic dim sum (especially the Shanghai pork soupy dumplings, also known as xiao long bao). Hawker centres are also great for cheaper fare, although if you're Caucasian you will likely be borderline harassed by hawkers to buy their food -- just say no politely and keep going.

If you're walking down Orchard Road, you'll see some old men selling ice creams from their push cart -- usually $1 for a big wedge of ice cream stuffed in some rainbow bread, and it's delicious in the tropical heat. original.gif

If you want to splash out on accommodation, we stayed at Treetops apartments two years ago and they were fantastic, great location. Nice to have an apartment rather than just a hotel room, too.

And yes, taxis are cheap, but it can be a bit of a wait to get one if it's a rainy day, etc.

I'm personally not a fan of Sentosa because I think it's overall a little contrived (imported sand and all) but some people love it. I haven't been to any of the integrated resorts, either, but it's supposed to be great. If you google "National Parks Singapore" I think there's also a treetop walk (free) at one of the nature reserves, which I've been dying to do.

Singapore is fantastic, wish it was cheaper. We're going in May and I can't wait. My then two-year-old's head is going to explode when he goes to the zoo!

#9 2bundles

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

With Sentosa - only stay there if you plan on doing multiple theme parks there. Otherwise don't bother.

We stayed at the Festive Hotel. It was ok, but very overpriced.

We found it hard to find accom that would take 2 adults and 2 kids.

#10 Hufflepuff

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

We are going next year. Going to stay at the Swissotel. They take 4 in one room & seem to be in a good spot.

Hope to do the Zoo, Hawker Markets & lots of shopping!!!!

#11 beabea

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

I wouldn't worry about the cleanliness of the hotels. The whole place is sparkling.

Stay on Sentosa if you are the type of person who would happily book into the resort at Disneyland. If not, don't. You can get there very easily for a day trip (you can actually even walk there from Harbourfront MRT station - there's a bridge).

How old did you say the kids were?

Zoo is always fun.

Chinatown and Little India for your cultural or souvenir shopping fix. (Not great for toddlers.)

Some kind of garden - Botanical/By The Bay. Botanical Gardens has children's garden with playground and splash park, good for under seven/eight.

The nearby islands (Bintan etc) are keen. If you like hectic holidays then spend a night or two, but unless you're staying for a longish trip then skip. You could always take a day trip to Pulau Ubin.

Some kind of national park - Kent Ridge, Mt Faber, East Coast, West Coast, McRitchie Reservoir.

Malls. Seriously, it's a cultural thing.

Marina Bay/Merlion/Marina Bay Sands. (Art Science Museum.)

If still wanting more: Jurong Bird Park, Kranji countryside, Science centre (Jurong), Air Force Museum, National Art Museum, Duck Tours, River tour....?

MRTs are a breeze.

Food likewise - you can always find something, usually a food court or hawker centre for the budget-conscious.

#12 Leelot

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:16 PM

Question for those that have been to Singapore recently and crossed over into Malaysia.

We will be travelling in May/June for 2 weeks. We would like to take our girls to Legoland and Little Big Town / Hello Kitty Town which is 5 mins away from Legoland I think??? What is the easiest way to move across the border for a day trip?  I have read that the trip is 20-25 mins from Orchard Rd to the border but you can wait up to 2 hrs to get through immigration both ways - does this sound right?

Sorry to hijack post OP. original.gif

For others who may be interested I have also been researching Singapore accommodation and the Lanson Place Apartments come highly recommended.  Works out about A$400-$450 per night for a 2 bedroom which includes separate lounge/dining/kitchenette, and washer/dryer. It is one street back from Orchard Rd near to Wisma Atria. I think we will probably book there for 7 nights and then the Hyatt for 5 nights as they also have a 2 bedroom suite, but obviously with a higher end price and amenities attached. We want the luxury but don't want to break the bank LOL

#13 2bundles

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:01 AM

We hired a car and drove to Legoland. It wasn't cheap, but it was our last day with a late night flight, so it gave us the flexibility of leaving whenever we liked and not having to go back to collect our luggage.

It was super easy. There were no queues at Immigration on either side. It was a Thurs. perhaps weekends are worse.

There are buses that service Legoland, but not sure about Hello Kitty. We didn't see any signs for that.

If you do drive, you need toll cards for both Singapore and Malaysia. This was $95 we didn't know about!  We still have them if you decide to go that way.

#14 antiq

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:28 AM

Holiday Inn Park View, just behind Orchard Road will accommodate 2 adults and 2 children in their room.  It has 2 big double bed in it and very convenient location.  I wouldn't stay in Sentosa.

#15 knickerless

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:25 PM

I second the Holiday Inn - email them direct to see if you can get a good rate, I did this and it beat all the usual Asiarooms etc

There is a roof top pool with a separate toddlers pool, a 7-11 across the road for drinks and snacks, walking distance to great shopping (used to leave husband and kids at the pool and have a couple of hours shopping:))

Breakfast is fantastic too, used to have a lovely big breakfast and then go all the way to the afternoon.

Re : Legoland...haven't been but apparently coaches go from the Singapore Flyer - need to book the day before.

Singaopore is an amazing place for children!

#16 Bluemakede

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:54 PM

I wouldn't bother staying at sentosa, only go for day trip or universal studios. You will end up getting annoyed having to travel over daily, and it is really quite boring there. The mrt is very easy to navigate, you can buy an ezlink card from one of the stations and top it up, easier than buying a card each trip.

For food if you want cheaper meals definitely eat at the hawker centres, or small restaurants selling local style foods. I would avoid newton hawker centre though, it's popular with tourists but doesn't have the nicest food (try perhaps simpang bedok, or east coast park, especially east coast if you like seafood). There are so many good hawker centres around with great ranges of food.

The kids should like the zoo and night safari, don't do it in one day though, it is tiring. Botanical gardens are beautiful, and there is the tree tops walk, you can get there easily from harbourfront met station (in vivo city). The bird park is great as well. There are many good museums to visit as well. I'd also look at all 3 of the ethnic quarters, they're all quite interesting.

For Lego land there are buses that go across, or if you hire a car there are 2 immigration points, woodlands and tuas (near jurong), I think tuas is the closest, though that one has a fee to use. If you have net access there are cameras that will show if there is a jam or not, the jams can be quite random, also Malaysia can be a bit slower on their side (and do make sure before you leave Malaysia side that they have stamped your passport). And make sure you have the toll cards.

I can't help with hotels, as I have never been there with kids and mostly stay with family, but the hotels I have stayed in have always been clean.

Edited by Bluemakede, 03 February 2013 - 11:57 PM.

#17 Rocket

Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:06 AM

We all loved the hawkers markets. Everyone, even my fussiest eater found something they liked. And a hotel pool is essential.

#18 Lishyfips

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

I lived in Singapore with young kids - it was great. I'd recommend the Josef Balas Children's Garden which is at the north end of the Botanic Gardens. There is a fantastic fountain and water play area so take bathers or a change of clothes. Takes a while to walk there from the main entrance but the visitor desk at the Children's Garden will call you a taxi when you're ready to leave, so you don't need to trek back to the main entrance.

If you visit the wonderful zoo, I have two tips... I found the late afternoon a better time to go than the morning: the crowds are clearing out, it's less humid and the animals become more active (and start to feed in some cases). And when you leave, take a regular taxi, not a shiny black town car. I had a town car driver tell me the fare would be the same as a regular taxi but it cost a fortune and he took a dodgy route.

Hawker centres and food courts are great (cheap) places to eat. We ate a lot of $3 chicken rice - delicious! Look for the vendors with the longest queues.

Oh I'm jealous now, I want a holiday in Singapore!

#19 unicycle

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:06 PM

The zoo also has a water play area. Get a brochure to see which displays, feeding times you want to see and plan around that. We loved the rhino feeding. A highlight for our kids.
Yes, there are grubby places to stay on Singapore . I have erased the name of one place from my memory!
Universal studios is only so- so if you have older kids. There is a brilliant new pass for sentosa t bout $100 a kid that lets them do heaps of the maxing tuff( not US) I think it is called the platinum pass.
Hire rollerblades at  east coast park. During the week it is 2hours for
the price of one before 6 pm
Take the lonely planet willing tour of china town. Note the tooth relic temple has 5 levels and a great museum.
The Chinese history museum and peranakan museum recorthwhile.
Eat at Din Tai Fun.
ETA stupid iPad . Hope you can make sense of this

Edited by triumvirate, 04 February 2013 - 11:07 PM.

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