Singapore 2018

In April 2018, we visited Singapore for five days before going back to Japan. It is such a dense city (um ... country) packed with so many things to see and places to eat at just within a couple train hops. The whole country looks like it's from the future. We enjoyed art & entertainment, scenery, architecture, and food at every place we went.


Click on the thumbnails below to see the pictures. Or, if you only want to see the photos and videos, go to my Smugmug gallery and Kuula 360° tour.

Food / Hawker Centers / McSpicy / Singapore Sling

Singapore is expensive in general but the food, especially at the massive "Hawker Centre" food courts, is surprisingly inexpensive (just a few dollars), extremely tasty, and sanitary of course (this is Singapore). We visited several of the Hawker Centres (by following this video) and enjoyed the famous Hainanese chicken rice, satays, laksa (noodle), and other local cuisines.

Don't forget the Singapore special "McSpicy" at McDonald's. You can have one at the airport, too.

Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice Lunch at TWG Tea store cafe in Marina Bay Mall McSpicy! Singapore Sling at its birthplace, Raffles Hotel

Future World at ArtScience Museum

Inside the flower-shaped ArtScience Museum, the highlight of the "Future World" exhibition is "Crystal Universe" by TeamLab with more than 170,000 computer-controlled LED lights filling up the room that can display meteor showers, supernova, and other spectacular effects that you can walk through.

The rest of Future World was ordinary kid-friendly interactive computer programs but this "Crystal Universe" at the end really blew our mind. We stayed there mesmerized probably for half an hour.

Note: The installation seems to have gone through a renovation in summer 2018 after our visit. Check for current exhibitions.

Marina Bay Sands (hotel) and ArtScience Museum Totally worth the S$19 Future World - Crystal Universe Future World - Crystal Universe Future World - Crystal Universe More than 170,000 LED lights Future World - Crystal Universe

Gardens by the Bay / Supertree Grove

We went up to OCBC Skyway half an hour before the light show. When ushers came around every ten minutes or so urging everyone to move forward, we went around the tree to hide from them ;) As the "Garden Rhapsody" show starts, millions of LED lights wrapped around the huge "supertrees" start blinking and changing colors to the music. The view from the Skyway while walking from right next one tree to another was spectacular.

Garden Rhapsody light show Garden Rhapsody light show OCBC Skyway

Marina Bay Sands / "Spectra" Light and Water Show

If you have seen the fountain at Bellagio in Las Vegas, think of pouring colorful light into the streams and projecting images on the mist and that would be Spectra at Marina Bay. The show is performed 2 to 3 times every night. We watched it once right at the waterfront and another time from the SkyPark observation deck.

Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands Marina Bay Sands Night view from Marina Bay Spectra Light and Water Show Spectra Light and Water Show Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay) and Supertree Grove Spectra viewed from Marina Bay SkyPark


The architectural designs of Singapore buildings are shamelessly progressive. They look like right out of sci-fi movies. Most extreme is "Star Vista". Can't believe it's just a shopping mall. DUO opened in late 2017. So most people haven't seen it.

DUO Singapore DUO Singapore at night DUO Singapore at night The Interlace The Pinnacle@Duxton Parkroyal on Pickering Parkroyal on Pickering Parkroyal on Pickering Star Vista shopping mall Star Vista shopping mall and MRT Buona Vista station ION Orchard Mall Fountain of Wealth

Singapore Flyer

The view from Singapore Flyer is spectacular. Guidebooks recommend going up at night also. We didn't get to do that but we went to Marina Bay Sands Skydeck instead. Singapore Food Trail (Hawker center) is conveniently located underneath the ferris wheel.

View from Singapore Flyer Inside Singapore Flyer

Singapore Botanic Garden - National Orchid Garden

The botanic garden is huge. But we focused on the orchid garden. You get to see tons of strange-shaped orchid flowers.

Botanic Garden National Orchid Garden

Esplanade Bridge / Merlion / Sentosa Cable Car / Apple Store

Singapore's iconic architecture and monuments can be viewed from Esplanade Bridge.

We also went to Sentosa Island to try the zipline but we wasted one hour just to find out it was too early before operation hours. Lessons learned: Do your research before going. Well, at least the view from the cable car was gorgeous.

Singapore Flyer, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Singapore has strict laws -- for instance, you must do this when you see Merlion. Sentosa Island Cable Car - notice the massive pillar holding the rope in the middle of the way Selfie on iPhone with Selfies on iPhone X -- at the Apple Store

Singapore Travel Guide

How to plan a trip to Singapore

Singapore is (very roughly) the size of San Jose, CA. Everything is within one hour from downtown by train. The hotel prices are like in SF downtown or Manhattan.
So the first question is: How many days do you need?