We visit Singapore many times, each time we plan to do a couple of Original Walks. We do this during the early days of our arrival, so we can go back to explore, see, shop and eat on our own.
Our memorable Walks are to: (1) Little India - to experience the Indian community way of doing business, life style, temples of worship, their cuisine and culture (2) Chinatown - day and night walks -for the different ethnic groups of Chinese way of life, their culture, history and worship places , various chinese cooking styles and dishes and (3) Arab Street.- to sample Arab community way of doing business, places of worship and their life style.
We had very experienced and qualified local guides, who do their research, thus are knowledgeable, are approachable (for our questions) and friendly, sometimes entertaining and funny, making our tours fun, informative and very interesting. The guides - from our experience - do not pressure us to buy (unlike tours in other countries where guides bring you to shops where they earn a commission or get monetary tips from the shop-keepers).
For us it is a wonderful way to learn local cultures, the way of life of the different races of people, their religious practices, their kinds of foods and how they go about their daily business.
After our guided tours, we select the places that we like to go back to explore further on our own for the remaing days of our stay. This way with each visit, we get more in-depth knowledge of amazing Singapore, which is more than just a shopping paradise.
Strongly recommend Original Walks to those visiting Singapore island for the first time.
1) Do plan ahead if you want to do the tours. Ask your concierge about booking for the tours, unless you want to do it on your own (TIME OUT can have useful information).
2) Some can be long - lasting 2 to 3 hours - and may not be so much fun, after a while for kids.
3) Prepare for it - walking shoes, umbrellas (is it rainy season ?), sun hat and drinking water (hot and sweaty under the sun), bring favourite snacks for the kids if tour is not going pass 7-11 and eateries.
4) Other ways to see the island on your own - do the hop-on-hop-off bus trip (use your Singapore Airlines boarding pass), or ride the MRT (underground train) - it is a cheap and easy mode of travel, as the MRT practically goes round the island. Or go on your own walk.
Am very sure you will discover your "own" favourite Singapore places !! Just do it !!
Many thanks to the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board for so many wonderful programmes and plans to showcase their island !