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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Singapore Tours - Excursions
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Information on a wide range of city tours, including walking, cruises, on buses, by night or by special interest, can be obtained at the Singapore Tourism Board. Hotels can arrange any of these.

Walking Tours

The Singapore Tourism Board has created a series of Yours To Explore guides for self-reliant walking tours, as well as the Singapore River, Chinatown, Little India, Orchard Road and arts sights.

Bus Tours

Bus tours can be arranged by different privately owned companies and additional information can be acquired from the Singapore Tourism Board. Travellers interested in, can book these through hotels. The Singapore Trolley (telephone: 6339 6833), an imitation of the red trams of the 1920s, is one of the most popular. The 60-minute tour takes in 17 places between Orchard Road, the colonial district and Clarke Quay, with running commentary. The fare (S$14.90) includes a riverboat tour. There are 6 tours each day, departing from the taxi stand at Clarke Quay at 9.45 am, 10.45 am, 12.45 pm, 1.45 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm.

Other Tours

An alliance of travel operators, East-West Executive Travellers PTE Ltd (telephone: (612) 9997 8010), based in Australia, runs a number of unusual tours in Singapore.

Excursions For a Half Day

Pulau Ubin

The boomerang-shaped island with a population of 200 is a popular destination for local people and very busy at weekends. With its thatched huts, mangrove swamps, rubber plantations and traditional fishing kelongs, Pulau Ubin is known as Stone Mountain as it is rich in granite offering a vision of a disappeared Singapore. This island is continually being developed into a nature park with shelters, trails, campsites and chalets.

On the eastern end is Check Jawa, a beach with its some marine life that can be reached by boat during low tide. There are some colourful temples located by the seaside, including some seafood restaurants serving good local dishes and cafés selling drinks. A 10-minute boat ride from Changi Point jetty is S$2 (S$4 with a bicycle) and ferries depart frequently from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm. Tourists can hire the whole boat for S$20. There is a tourist information centre which is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm near the pier and bikes are available for hire from shops by the pier for around S$7 a day. Additional information can be obtained from the National Parks Board (telephone: 6542 4108; fax: 6542 4843; e-mail: nparks-mailbox@nparks.gov.sg).

Full Day Excursions

Johor Bahru

Locals flock to Johor Bahru, just over the Malaysian border. Known as JB, it is ideal for bargain shopping, food, golf and beaches. Just across the causeway from Singapore, it normally takes less than 60 minutes by car; however, it can take as long as 3 hours or more at weekends and public holidays. A journey by train from Singapore Railway Station could be the best way to get there or a combination of MRT to Woodlands and a bus from the other side of the Immigration building. With its historic and modern design, Johor Bahru’s most stunning building is the Royal Bakar Mosque, whose grand domes and minarets look out to the Straits of Johor. A great number of open-air restaurants serve up seafood on the beachfront by the Eden Gardens Hotel.

Riau Islands

The Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan are ideal destinations for weekend or one-day getaway with luxury resorts, beaches, fairways, duty-free shopping and great seafood. Ferries depart every day from the World Trade Centre and the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (see Getting There By Water).

Malacca

Malacca, the 15th-century seat of the Malaya Sultanate, is 3 to 4 hours drive from Singapore. It was taken over by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in their attempts to take control of the profitable spice trade. Situated on the western coast of Malaysia, its quiet, reserved demeanour contradicts its historical significance: Folk hero Hang Tuah wandered its streets, while St Francis Xavier preached on St Paul’s Hill. SH Tours (telephone: 6734 9923; fax: 6738 7955; email: shtours@asiatours.com.sg) offers day trips, picking up from major hotels at around 08:00 and costing S$76 per person. The tour stops at St Paul’s Church, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, antique shopping on Jonker Street and ruins of the Portuguese fortress Port De Santiago.