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Go on the Circle Line Tour and Explore Singapore
Travel
Go on the Circle Line Tour and Explore Singapore
WRITER: Yang Huiwen PHOTOS BY: Alvin Toh
Go on the Circle Line Tour and Explore Singapore 24. January 2017, by Yang Huiwen, Photos by Alvin Toh
The commute on Singapore’s Circle Line boasts an eloquent and unique showcase of the city. Go on a Circle Line tour and explore the lesser seen sights of Singapore.

Subway networks are like the veins and arteries of a city, and Singapore’s Circle Line is the vital lifeblood offering inter-suburban connectivity, and a perfect way to explore Singapore. The name ‘Circle Line’ was given as it circles the business, shopping and recreational belt that is located within the southern half of Singapore. For those who want to see as much of Singapore as possible in a day or two, this commute boasts an eloquent and unique showcase of the city—a variety of interesting things to see and do, a sampling of the cultural, nature and iconic aspects of the city.

Our Circle Line tour starts from Concorde Hotel Singapore, bringing you through the city’s cultural and city centre, the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay precinct, through Kampong Glam – a lively district and conservation area rich in Islamic culture – a Chinese mythological theme park, a nature reserve and a coastal walk at Labrador Park. It culminates in a scenic cable car ride from Mount Faber where you get to alight at Singapore’s largest shopping mall. Simply buy a train ticket, follow our guide and you’ll be on the right track to explore Singapore!

Dhoby Ghaut

Dhoby GhautFrom Concorde Hotel Singapore, head to the nearest train station which is Dhoby Ghaut station, a mere ten minutes’ walk down Orchard Road.

 

Esplanade

EsplanadeExit D to Theatres on the Bay and Makansutra Gluttons Bay.

 

Designed to look like a durian, or the local ‘king of fruits’, ‘Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay’ has been a stage for world-class arts and performances in Singapore.

With its unique triangular sunshades, the building is protected from the sun without compromising the external view. Its calendar is packed with shows and festivals; you can check out their latest happenings here.

Make your way to the rooftop patio for a dramatic view of the Marina Bay waterfront, stretching from Gardens by the Bay to the Raffles Place business district. If you need a bite, look no further than neighbouring Gluttons by the Bay. Operating from 5pm to past midnight, the open-air food bazaar offers every conceivable local hawker delights one can think of. Feast on delicacies such as kaya fondue, chilli crabs and oyster omelette and wash it all down with a refreshing cup of sugar cane juice.

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay is Singapore's centre of performing arts located by the waterfront.
The Helix Bridge at the Promenade with the Singapore Flyer, a giant observation wheel, in the background.
The ArtScience Museum, one of the attractions at Marina Bay Sands.
Formula One's only night race in the world, held in Singapore.

Promenade

PromenadeTake Exit A to the Helix Bridge, the Singapore Flyer, the Float@Marina Bay, F1 Pit Building and Marina Bay F1 Street Circuit

 

World-class music performances, fast cars and the world’s most renowned drivers can all be found in one place—the only Formula One Night Race in Grand Prix history that takes place in Singapore every year. The venue for the Singapore Grand Prix is the Marina Bay, accessible by the Promenade Station.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit, also known as the Singapore GP Street Circuit, goes around Singapore’s Marina Bay and passes the front of the floating platform, the world’s largest floating stage made of steel, where some 30,000 eager spectators gather to see the cars whizz by.

If you’re not in time to attend the race (which happens 19 to 21 September this year) there’s still plenty to see and do in this area. Take a ride in the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel, and enjoy an impressive view of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, with its iconic Skypark that looks like a giant surfboard atop three towers. The Helix Bridge, an engineering and architectural feat named for its ‘double-helix’ design, connects to the resort.

Nicoll Highway

Nicoll HighwayTake Exit A to Arab Street neighbourhood and Kampong Glam

 

Arab Street, a neighbourhood gazetted as a conservation area, is a quaint district lined with shop-houses selling spices, fabrics, oriental carpets, rattan furniture and a variety of ethnic Arab goods and cuisines. Even on a weekday it is common to see locals in the sidewalk cafés puffing away on sweet-smelling sheeshas; an instrument for inhaling flavoured tobacco, where the smoke has been cooled by passing through water.

Walk along Bussorah Street and enjoy the best view of the Sultan mosque, the largest mosque in Singapore with a grand, golden dome. Across the road from Sultan Mosque is the Kampong Glam Palace, built by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor in 1820 and was recently converted into the Malay heritage centre. Since you’re in the area, treat yourself to a hearty Nasi Padang from the eatery Rumah Makan Minang.

Tucked in the heart of this district next to the Sultan Mosque, the restaurant is popular for its affordable and tasty rice and dishes for you to discover. The variety of dishes displayed for your picking include beef rendang, tauhu telur (fried beancurd with peanut sauce) and sotong.

Sultan Mosque, the heart and soul of the Kampong Glam district in Singapore.
Tauhu Telur, a tofu dish topped with bean sprouts and grated peanuts is one of the many specialties at Rumah Makan Minang.
The Malay heritage centre, formerly Kampong Glam Palace.

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par VillaExit A to MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

 

 

Be immersed in the rich Chinese mythology and folklore, dramatized through more than 1,000 statues and dioramas set on a hill with a view of the sea.

Located next to the train station, this 77-year old attraction is definitely not your average theme park but it is still worth a visit. Locals will remember it fondly as a popular destination for family outings or school excursions.

The faint-hearted may want to consider skipping the Ten Courts, a gruesome recreation of the ‘afterlife’ which describes in detail the torture and punishment for each sin one commits in a lifetime.

Haw Par Villa has more than 1,000 statues and dioramas depicting Chinese mythology and folklore.
Haw Par Villa has more than 1,000 statues and dioramas depicting Chinese mythology and folklore.
Haw Par Villa has more than 1,000 statues and dioramas depicting Chinese mythology and folklore.

Labrador Park

Labrador ParkExit A to Labrador Nature Reserve.

 

 

Just 10 minutes into a brisk walk from the train station, be greeted with the gentle sea breeze and a picturesque view of Singapore’s southern coastline. Labrador Park boasts of having Singapore’s only protected coastal cliff vegetation and rocky shore.

The walkway along the coast offers a prime view of the cliff side vegetation and lush greenery, which is rich in biodiversity. The place is also steeped in military and war history.

Continue the walk along the coastal front as you explore Singapore and arrive at the Red Berlayar Beacon, installed around 1930 and served as a navigation point for ships. Sitting opposite it is a war relic, which used to be one of the coastal machine gun bunkers to fortify the defence against any enemies arriving from the sea.

The other historical landmark nearby is the replica of the original ‘Long Ya Men’ or ‘Dragon’s Teeth Gate’; a rock outcrop which guided vessels sailing through the narrow channel. Continue your leisurely stroll along the path to the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk, and treat yourself to sightings of flower crabs, seagrass and corals on the mudflats during low tides. It will be impossible to not look up and notice the magnificent residential complex ‘Reflections at Keppel Bay’, which appears very much like a futuristic fortress towering over the heritage black-and-white bungalows on Bukit Chermin.

Labrador Park contains the only rocky sea-cliff on the mainland that is accessible to the public.
The iconic residential development Reflections at Keppel Bay as seen from Bukit Chermin Boardwalk at Labrador Park.
The Bukit Chemin Boardwalk allows visitors to come up close to the mangroves and rocky coastal shoreline.
One of the many pavilions nestled within Labrador Park.

Harbourfront

HarbourfrontExit D to Mount Faber Park, Exit E to VivoCity

 

 

Hop onto a cable car from Mount Faber station, which offers a scenic commute in this area that’s hard to beat. Ascending as high as 100 metres above sea level, it offers a bird’s eye view of the city skyline, the harbour and Sentosa Island.

The ride departs from the Jewel Box station at Mount Faber, passing by Harbour Front station before reaching Sentosa. It takes about 12 minutes to get to Sentosa, with the option of alighting there. The cable cars operate daily from 8.45am to 10pm. The final stop on the Circle Line also leads us to VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore complete with an open-air playground for children and a rooftop amphitheatre.

So go ahead, go on the circle line tour, and explore Singapore like never before.

The cable car ride departs from the Jewel Box station at Mount Faber, passing by HarbourFront station before reaching Sentosa.

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