|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.
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
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.
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
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
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: email@example.com).
Full Day Excursions
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
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, 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.