Singapore Day 1: Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Little India, Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay

Sep 23, 20176 min read

Singapore Day 1: Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Little India, Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay

Our 4-day trip to Singapore was a little bit spontaneous. By “spontaneous”, I mean we booked it just over a month before the flight dates. Plane tickets were already expensive, around ~Php4000, but still a pretty good deal.

I went on this trip with college friends, Pal and Sonia. Sonia didn’t fly to Singapore until the next day, so Pal and I had the first night and first day to ourselves.

Day 0

We arrived in Changi Airport at 8pm. First things on the agenda: get a sim card for internet and load our EZ-Link cards to be used in the MRT. Our cards were borrowed from friends who have been to Singapore before. So when you plan on going, ask around so you can save a few dollars.

Arriving in Changi International Airport

As for the sim card, they sell them at the airport for $38. This is 100GB good for 5 days (I only used up 1GB by the end of the trip), including some calls and texts. But if you buy outside the airport, it’s only for $15 (~Php500), so we opted to buy one at 7/11 instead, and headed to the train station just right under the airport.

We booked 3 nights at Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel in the heart of Chinatown. This is an ideal location, because it’s so easy to get to different places from here. Also, we got a capsule hotel experience. Bonus!

Capsule at Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel

I had my own outlet for my chargers, a light, towel and a rack and hanger for my clothes. Right under my bed is the locker to keep my things secured.

After checking in, we couldn’t just go straight to bed. So we walked around Chinatown to find something to eat. We came across this temple.

What a pretty sight of modern and traditional.

We were just wandering around and came across some stores that were already about to close.

Mirror selfie!

Day 1

Good morning, Chinatown! It’s our first full day in Singapore. We were too lazy make plans before the trip, but no problem for me, since I had trusty Pal to plan a whole day of exploring the night before. Thanks, Pal! 😀


We strolled around Chinatown again to get a different view of it during daytime.

This is on the side of the temple from the previous night.

Can you guess how tall I am? 😛

For brunch, we were on the hunt for some Laksa, a popular spicy noodle — a must-try in Singapore. Along with Laksa, we got kaya toast and duck meat. Eating like the locals!

Clarke Quay

With full stomachs, we were ready to go do some more exploring and headed to Clarke Quay. There wasn’t much to do except for some sightseeing. But we’re all about free attractions, so there’s really nothing to complain about!

I think this would be an even more beautiful view at night.

Okay, now time for obligatory outfit shots. A simple shirt, breezy shorts, comfortable sneakers, a small backpack for my necessities and a water bottle. All you’ll ever need!

There are so many Instagrammable buildings in this area. If you love colors like I do, definitely check this out.

By this time, we were just walking to the bus station on the way to Little India, and found another place for a good photo!

Little India

If you see a nice picturesque wall and don’t know how to pose, do the fake walk!

“I’m not very good at this fake-walking pose, so I am now just laughing at how ridiculous I must look to passersby.”

Merlion Park

A trip to Singapore would not be complete without seeing the view of the skyline, and of course, the iconic Merlion.

We walked through this bridge to see the Merlion up close.

Found it! It’s not very impressive, but have you really been to Singapore without a photo with it?

Next stop is a dinner place called Makansutra. We were supposed to meet my friend there, but we walked the opposite direction and got lost.

On our attempt to find Makansutra, we found this building. I think it’s a hotel or something. (I make a horrible travel blogger)

Getting lost in this city isn’t so bad, eh? Well it is when your feet are dying.

We finally gave up on going to Makansutra and opted to head straight to Gardens by the Bay. On the way, we crossed a small bridge with a spectacular view of the Singapore flyer and the famous supertrees.

We finally got to our final destination, Gardens by the Bay. We were so tired, so we just lied there on our backs, and watched the light show. Every 8/9pm, the colors of these trees change and there’s music playing. I think there must have been a story behind the show, but I didn’t understand anything.

By this time, I’m already dead but managed to walk all the way to the nearest train station, bought some dinner at 7/11 and made it back to the hostel.

Aaaaand… that’s a wrap for Day 1! Stay tuned for Day 2 where I take you to the most magical places in Singapore. 😉

Written by

Trisha Lim

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A frontend engineer with over 8 years of experience building interactive web applications with modern tech like Laravel, Tailwind, Vue, React, and Next.js.

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