For the start of my 6+ month adventure, I'm flying into Singapore.
While I'm there, I figure I might as well stay for a few days to have a look around and see what's changed in the last 20 years. No problems. Until a friend told me that the days I booked (24-27 Sept) are the exact same days as the Formula 1 event.
Now, to me, a car is a car is a car. Except for blue ones. They're blue - and pretty.
I'm not too thrilled to think that I will be spending my 2 days/3 nights in Singapore with a bunch of noisy cars and associated petrol heads!
First thing I did was to sort out accommodation. Just as well, as prices were doubling for the weekend, and many were already booked.
So.... can anyone tell me what the impact of F1 is on the rest of the city. I understand the track runs through the city so presumably many streets are blocked off.
I have two full days there - my top-of-head ideas on things to do while I'm there are:
- night zoo
- Little India
- river tours
- Sentosa for a quick tour
and generally just explore.
Will this be possible with the F1 running at the same time?
Would appreciate hearing from anyone that has been there during the F1. Otherwise, I might need to consider changing my onward ticket and skip S'pore this time around!
for places you've listed, all will be unaffected by road closures except maybe the river tour - not sure exactly which tour you have in mind for that so can't say for sure.
those affected by the road closures are mainly locals who have to commute to work (last year's edition was a week-long total nightmare!) by buses that have to be rerouted &/or to workplaces within the 'restricted zone', & malls/shops/restaurants within that zone that saw their takings for the entire week nosedive as everyone stayed away. the main shopping stretch (Orchard Road) isn't affected.
Thanks for that, Cat - that's made me feel a bit better.
In terms of 'river tours', I'm not sure what I'm talking about either! I had heard in a podcast that it was an interesting way to see a different part of Singapore, and since shopping (and cars!) aren't of interest, I thought floating up a river could show me a different aspect of the island.
I'll have to research it more...
road closure info from today's news:
(map isn't very clear though)
have walked along the entire stretch of the Singapore river that can be followed on foot. most rivers in Singapore have been what we call 'canal-ised' - concrete banks + railings. starts off unceremoniously as a 'confluence' of two storm drains in a public housing estate. continues as a few metres-wide canal, after 5+KM & many storm drain 'tributaries' later it widens into the section that tourists see.
for the tourist section of the river, the starting point of the river bumboat rides is behind a mall, & near a whole stretch of restaurants & pubs. crazy horse paris cabaret used to be there. from that point downriver it's more malls, restaurants & pubs in shophouses, passing under a few bridges, past the parliament house, asian civilisations museum, the Fullerton hotel & a few other examples of colonial architecture, plus skyscrapers of the financial district towering above. there's a Botero sculpture (bird) if you can spot it (not lit up at night).
think when the tide's low enough boats can pass under all bridges to reach the 'durian' (Esplanade arts centre) & also the vomiting Merlion, with full view of the casino construction site. but you won't get near the sea, the estuary's been sealed off by a barrage. the section described in this paragraph is right beside the F1 route, so check if boat operators will be allowed to venture in there.
the asian civilisations museum & nearby Arts House are more interesting IMHO, can be (& prob have to be, during the F1 road closure) accessed on foot. ground floor of Arts House has a little shop that stocks a few items by local artists that some of us feel are 'true' souvenirs of Singapore, rather than whatever the tourism board/companies cook up.
Deepavali (Diwali) will be on 17 Oct this year, so for the month leading up to that date there will be a night market in Little India (2006 edition, 2007 part 1, 2007 part 2, 2007 part 3). though will be really packed on weekends.
what are your interests?
Thanks for the awesome update!
Interests range from photography, snorkelling (not in S'pore rivers!), and enjoying the cultural side of things (crafts, dances, music), food, scenery and people.
I'm not a great one for visiting too many monuments, temples (aside from Angkor) or museums - but am happy to visit a few stand-out ones.
I only have two days there on my way to the 'real' holiday adventure. I just wanted to poke around since I was there anyhow, see what's there - but not be rushed off my feet trying to cram it all in, in 2 days.
I really appreciate the info!
heh i don't care about cars either & am not looking forward to commuting to work during the next round of F1 traffic chaos!
should settle the cultural side of things for you, good place to poke around. Deepavali bazaar (mentioned in #4) will be on during your trip, & 2nd floor of Tekka market has a blinding array of saris & salwar kameez, i like wandering through just for the colours, & also into textile shops in the area.
'sanitised' beyond recognition (from locals' point of view). but still has good cheap food at places like People's Park food centre & Maxwell hawker centre. lantern decorations for the mid-autumn festival will prob be up by then, though the best place to sample free tiny pieces of the different flavours of mooncakes for this festival will be the B2 floor of Ngee Ann City mall along Orchard Rd. every year restaurants, hotels & confectioners set up booths there to sell their latest creations, even Haagen Daz jumps in with their ice cream version.
if getting there from Ang Mo Kio MRT station by bus #138 - don't get talked by anyone into taking their 'minivan service' instead of the bus. not sure if those guys are still preying on tourists there, have heard complaints about these touts in the past.
get food + drink before entering, F&B within the night safari (& also the zoo) is ridiculously overpriced, even drinks from vending machines cost 2-3X the usual price.
hmm...maybe you can tell me what about it is so attractive to tourists :P
for a peek into the daily lives of ordinary locals, & the rest of Singapore that hasn't been set up as a stage for tourists...i'd get on a public bus, preferably one of those double-decker SuperBuses, & sit right at the front on the upper deck for the view. ~SGD1.50 gets you a long ride across the island, in an hour or less it'll end up at a bus interchange (terminus), most of them are located right next to an MRT station (easier to make your way back). if you're afraid of getting lost (or prone to motion sickness), then explore by MRT instead. a long section of the north-south line is elevated & runs through 'ordinary Singapore'.
finding your way around - http://gothere.sg is more detailed than Google maps.
btw which part of NZ are you from?
Awesome stuff, Cat. Thanks!
Why Sentosa? Don't know really - other than it's a place that gets mentioned a lot and was just curious to see what it's all about. I didn't anticipate spending too much time there at all.
I like your idea of hopping the double-decker bus and riding around the city and seeing the real and ordinary Singapore.
I've been in Tauranga for 2 years, but was an Aucklander prior to that (and I still have a house there). My stuff will be in stored in Tauranga while I travel - and I have no idea which city I'll come back to. I guess it depends on where the jobs are - and whether I come back from travelling!
Are you an expat Kiwi, by chance?
in case you're heading to Sentosa, the cable car system has been closed as of today for an overhaul - just about everything's going to be replaced, even the old cable cars are up for sale. expected to reopen 'seond quarter of next year' according to the news.