A kid’s take on Singapore
As parents we spend a great deal of time planning holidays and deciding what will entertain the kids. Well if you’re heading to Singapore, this first hand account from Archie Thomsen, aged 11, tells you everything you need to know.
The thing I love about Singapore is that it’s a real mix of old and new, although there’s probably more modern buildings than anything else. It’s a multi-ethnic city and country, with a population made up mainly of Chinese, Indians and Malays, as well as a lot of foreigners, known as expats, who work there.
Singapore is very hot and humid, so make sure you’re staying somewhere with a pool. Some hotels even have them on their roofs. Which is pretty cool. Here are some of my very favourite things to do.
Art Science Centre
The lotus flower shaped building that houses this museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands complex – that’s the waterside building you can’t miss with three towers topped by a garden with a huge infinity pool. I keep asking my mum if we can stay there…
There’s an exhibition called Future World which has a nature and cities theme. It’s interactive so in each of the rooms you become part of the exhibition. In one room there are templates to colour in, you scan your picture and it appears on the walls as part of the art work.
The final room is my favourite: a maze of tiny lights that is meant to represent the galaxy. You can control with an iPad by choosing a constellation and then swiping up to send it into the lights. Epic.
Satay Street is great. It’s a hawkers’ market that springs up every night in Boon Tat Street. The road is completely closed off to traffic, and set up with tables and stools, and all the vendors come to sell you their food. The Tiger Ladies – who sell the famous beer of Singapore – wear blue t-shirts and can be a bit pushy.
The satay come with cucumber and rice cakes and you dip them in a spicy peanut sauce. I can easily eat 12 of them. I really love the murthaba which is an Indian style pancake with meat and onion stuffed into a paratha. Absolutely delicious.
Located on the second floor of the Marina Bay Sands complex, DC Superhero café is awesome. Every dish and drink has some sort of superhero emblem on it, such as Batman’s batwings or Superman’s ‘S’. Mum thinks the food is average but I don’t agree; quesadillas, fries and shakes are good at any time aren’t they?
The island of Sentosa is full of theme parks and this water park is one of the most fun. You can float around it on The Lazy River – the water pushes you along – or line up for one of the rides. The Whirlpool Washout is my favourite. You sit in a double inflatable raft and you go down the rapids and spin as you go, and then you zoom through a tube before shooting out into the pool below. It’s all over very quickly.
The Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay is truly amazing, with massive metal and cement structures covered in plants and flowers. There’s a sound and light show held twice each night when the trees are lit up in time with music. The best thing to do is to lie on the ground – it’s Singapore, so you wont’ get too dirty – look up to the sky and enjoy the lights and music.
Selfie coffee place (Haji street – Arab quarter )
Haji Lane is a little street in the Arab quarter. There are lots of boring shops (my Mum says they’re original shophouses and important in the city’s history) but in the middle is a seriously cool café which does Selfie Coffees. We put on hats and crazy sunglasses and pose for our selfie which they then print onto the froth of our iced chocolate. Then we all have a go literally licking our faces off.
A whole family of orangutans come to visit in the zoo’s famous Jungle Breakfast. To be honest the hotel buffet at the Westin is better but it’s not every day that you get to have breakfast with apes. It’s fun driving around the zoo on the motorised tram. I’ll never forget seeing the white tiger enclosure. These tigers are very rare. I feel sorry that they can’t live in the wild.
This is my other Sentosa highlight, with all the rides relating to movies made at Universal Studios. The rides in Sci-Fi city are the most exciting. And the most fun way to get to Sentosa is by taking the cable car.
There are lots of photo opportunities in the cloud forest which is basically a giant mountain built inside a greenhouse. It’s very educational with lots of information inside about the mountain plants and global warming. I think my teachers at school would like this. Every few hours there is a fine mist that fills the dome to make you feel like you are in a cloud.
This is the best thing you’ll eat in Singapore. Amazingly delicious, whole crabs are cooked in a tomatoey sauce. It’s a little bit spicy and very messy so we have to wear bibs. If you only do one thing in Singapore, THIS IS IT!!!!!!!.
Archie Thomsen travelled with his mum and sister courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board.