Half-Day Singapore City Tour

Our family visited Singapore last March and was fortunate enough to roam around the city for a half-day morning tour. We booked our hotel stay through asiatravel.com and were able to get freebies from them: free airport transfers and an almost-free half-day city tour. 

It was supposed to be a free city tour however a few weeks before our trip, they said we had to pay a mandatory $2 (SGD) per person when we reach the beginning point of our city tour. I'm still happy, that's a lot of savings given that some city tours would cost you at least $25 each.

free airport shuttle
Our ride for free airport transfers

On our scheduled city tour, we headed to Mackenzie Heavy Vehicle Coach Park, along Mackenzie Road (beside the Used Car Centre). We were reminded that the travelling group will promptly leave so we made sure that we get there before 9AM.

Our tour bus

Before boarding, we paid the entrance tickets for the National Orchid Garden. We paid $5 for each adult.

We were headed by our tour guide, Janice. She's a very nice Chinese lady who answered all of our questions. She's funny and a very informative guide. 

asiatravel city tour
Janice, our tour guide

Our city tour started around Little India. It was early so there were only a few stores open that morning. 

Janice showing us what we can buy in Little India

souvenirs in singapore


Shown below, Janice explained some of the different flowers Indians use for their ceremonies. She also showed us the betel leaf that Indians chew for good oral health. I believe this is almost the same with what our elders here in the Philippines use (locally known here as nganga).

Had to take a picture of this residence building. Cool way to dry your clothes!

We headed next to Singapore's Merlion. On the way, we saw Raffles Hotel and the Esplanade

Janice was awesome to take our family pictures. Yay!

Family pic with Marina Bay Sands Hotel as our background

One thing Hubby and I have noticed in Singapore, is that we saw a lot of luxury cars. Janice mentioned that getting a car in Singapore is three times more expensive than in Malaysia. This is because you need to pay the Singapore government for rights to own a car. I guess there are a lot of rich people there.

One of the luxury cars we saw

We spent most time of our city tour in Chinatown. Still, I felt that it wasn't enough. There are too many stalls and stores to discover. I'm happy though because even with limited time I was able to get affordable items as souvenirs.

Chinatown Visitor Centre

Food stall



If you've been to Singapore, you probably know that drinks in this country is pricey (I'm using the Philippine market as basis here). For our stay, the cheapest we found was in Chinatown at $1 a cup.

A must-try!

While waiting for the group, we quickly visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a Buddhist temple and museum complex. This is where a tooth relic of Buddha is exhibited. We were unable though to see the relic located at the upper floor.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The temple has free admission. Please note that proper clothing is observed in view of the sanctity of the place. If you're wearing shorts, sleeveless or skirts, you can borrow cover cloths (sarong and shawls) that are provided at the entrance for free. 
dress code

Sarongs and shawls

After Chinatown, we headed to Singapore Gems and Metals. We were at the back of the group so I was unable to hear and understand the gentleman who was explaining the processes involved on how the gems were made. Okay, I admit, I wasn't really interested. He he!

Day Tour
Busy worker

The second floor of the building houses their display areas. They're expensive!

Our last destination for the city tour was the National Orchid Garden. Here we saw not only varieties of orchids but other species of plants as well.

Just Me!

Some of the species that the garden has need a different environment from that of Singapore for them to thrive. The garden has a Cool House, a greenhouse where species that require a cooler environment to live are placed. It was a very hot noon that day and I never wanted to leave the cool house! Ha ha!

National orchid garden
Inside the cool house

You will need more than half of a day to really view and immerse in the diverse culture of Singapore. Overall, we really had a great time.