While visiting Singapore, people mostly focus on exploring the centre (China town, Arab Street, Little India, Clarke Quay until Marina Bay Sands), Universal Studios Singapore and Sentosa. The east coast area seems to be an underdog as a tourism destination. I had the opportunity to explore a bit of this area on my visit to Singapore last month. I want to share with you, my discoveries in the east coast.
Best Things to Do and See:
1. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
This temple is worth a visit if you are around east coast area. There is no admission fee for this beautiful Hindu temple that is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
To name just a few of them; you can go shopping in Parkway Parade shopping centre, Marine Parade shopping centre and 112 Katong Shopping Centre.
3. Culinary Adventure
Take a culinary adventure around the food centres; There is Marine Parade food centre, East Coast food centre and East Coast seafood Centre
4. Do activities at East coast park
East coast park stretches more than 15 kilometres and is a great spot for jogging, cycling or just enjoy the sunrise. You can also experience the unique view of people swimming with massive oil tankers in the distance.
5. Visiting Big Splash
This can be a good option if you are travelling with your family. Big Splash is a super big playground.
6. Wandering around East Coast road, Joo Chiat road
Joo Chiat was declared Singapore’s first Heritage Town in 2011, because of strong efforts to promote its Peranakan culture. You can see the old buildings and many shophouses with Peranakan items.
Best to Stay:
I was invited to stay at the Grand Mercure Roxy Singapore and It reminded me of when I used to work 9-5 for a multinational company, great hotels, amazing facilities! I would like to share my experience staying at the hotel.
First up, let’s get a few things straight; the Grand Mercure is not an option for backpackers on a budget. Starting from SGD 175 a night, it is expensive. However, if you are planning to treat yourself or you’re coming to Singapore on a business trip, it is a great option.
I liked Grand Mercure, because it has so many advantages. Aside from the strategic location, the super comfortable room and complete facilities at the hotel, they also have special offers that you definitely can’t miss. You should check the Explore Singapore Package by Accor hotels group.
Here’s a little inside tip from me. By booking your stay directly with them at Accorhotels.com you receive special rates and extra benefits with the Explore Singapore Promotion 2014. For example, if you stay at the Grand Mercure just like me, then you will get a free museum pass to the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Peranakan Museum. Please check their website to learn more about extra benefit that you can get from the program.
Oh, I forget to mention the other thing that I love from Grand Mercure. The free shuttle bus services from the hotel to several important places such as: Marina Bay, Esplanade, ION Orchard, Paya Lebar MRT station and obviously to the airport are great. They really pay attention to the little things to make your stay more comfortable. Speaking of little things, I was always delighted with the toothpaste they provided. Real toothpaste. If you travel all of the time you’ll know just how rare this is 😉
Best to Eat:
Not a secret anymore, but Jumbo Seafood, a Chinese-style seafood restaurant chain, is a rising star in Singapore. This restaurant is extremely busy! You can actually find a Jumbo Seafood in several locations around Singapore, but hey what can beat the experience eating a tasty seafood by the beach! So, the outlet in East Coast Seafood Centre is a special one. The highlight of the menu at Jumbo seafood restaurant is their Chilli Crab. It is so tasty! Besides all the tasty seafood, the bib you get given is definitely something that can brighten up dining time.
Right now you understand why I said that the east coast area is also worth exploring, isn’t it?
Have you ever explored any of the less mainstream things around Singapore? What was your experience like?