There are many excellent things to do and see in Singapore, but if you are spending an extended period in the country or are on a repeat visit, you may want to consider taking a day trip to a nearby country. Experience a different culture and see different landscapes and types of architecture etc with an excursion to a neighbouring country.
Whilst several agencies can help to arrange trips to different places it is also perfectly possible to take independent excursions by public transportation – just make sure that you have enough pages in your passport for stamps and visas (where required).
Malaysia and Indonesia can both be reached within just a couple of hours or less. Cheap flights also make it easier than ever to explore further afield, although when taking a flight you would probably want to stay for at least a night.
If you want to take a day trip from Singapore, here are some great options to consider:
Around 236 kilometres from Singapore, a one-way bus journey to Malacca will take around three to four hours. A cultural and historically-rich city, Malacca is located close to the coast and is home to an abundance of striking red architecture. Previously a quiet and traditional fishing village, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has been ruled by the British, Portuguese, and the Dutch. Each group has left its mark on the beautiful city, as well as traditional Malay elements and Chinese facets. There are plenty of charming old religious buildings as well as several interesting museums such as the Malay and Islamic World Museum and the Youth Museum. Top sights around the city include Dutch Square, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Porta de Santiago, Masjid Kampung Hulu, King’s Well, Yeetea House, Christ Church, and Stadthuys. The Malacca River is a lovely place to take a walk.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Located just across the Malay border, the fairly new city of Johor Bahru can be reached by both ferry and bus. Legoland and Danga World Theme Park offer fun galore and the two zoos are great for a family day out. There are many splendid religious buildings to admire, such as the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Masjid India, Roufo Old Chinese Temple, the Sri Raja Mariamman Hindu Temple, and Gurdwara Sahib Johor Bahru. Other terrific attractions include the Sultan of Johor’s official residence, Istana Bukit Serene, the local art gallery, the Chinese Heritage Museum, Makam Diraja, and the War Memorial. Johor Bahru also offers excellent budget shopping.
Sibu Island, Malaysia
A small and un-commercialized island, Sibu Island is a lovely place to enjoy some peace and quiet. A top spot for snorkeling and diving, the waters of the Marine Park are home to an abundance of interesting aquatic life. The forested interior has lots of opportunities for long walks and nature spotting.
Looking for some beach time? Then head to the Indonesian island of Bintan. A ferry crossing will take under an hour and you can relax on the white sandy beaches and swim in the sparkling sea. Because of the proximity to Singapore you can even use Singaporean dollars in many establishments to pay for your drinks, snacks, and shopping.
Connected to Singapore by regular ferry services, the Indonesian island of Batam is another nice beach to enjoy for the day. Known for its vibrant and lively night scene, during the day you can enjoy tasty Indonesian food, play a round of golf, have fun at Ocarina Park, enjoy fishing, swimming, jet skiing, and snorkelling, admire beautiful religious buildings such as the Grand Mosque and the Buddhist Temple of Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya, and soak up some Indonesian culture.
Other nearby Indonesian islands that can be enjoyed on a day trip from Singapore include the Barelang Islands, Rempang Island, and Galang Island.