To be honest, Singapore was the part of our trip that I was looking forward to the least, and I’m not even totally sure if I could explain to you why, except that I had heard that everything there was prohibitively expensive. We had three days there and were staying in a hostel in the middle of the city ( Starwood properties here are prohibitively expensive points wise!).
As soon as we arrived at Singapore’s famous Changi airport however, I started to feel differently about our upcoming stay here. The airport certainly is very nice, the most impressive part for me being the various sculptures and moving art placed around the place, the type of stuff you could stare at for ages.
The taxi ride started off next to a beautiful landscaped park next to the port ( one of the 5 biggest in the world!!) , passed through the streets used for the Singapore F1 track ( and recognizable from the PlayStation game) and continued on to the most instantly impressive modern city I think I’ve ever been in.
I know that’s a really big call, and is perhaps swayed by the fact that I wasn’t fully expecting it, but the architecture here is amazing. Almost every building has something unique, different and nothing like you’ve seen before.
After we settled in to our hostel, we set off to walk around along the river and the bay. The star of the show is the Marina Sands building ( s?), but the whole city is beautiful, and they excel at what I love to see in cities- the integration of natural water sources, architecture and culture.
The waterfronts are lined with all kinds of different restaurants, café’s and bars, with the focus on the views of the water, the lighting and the atmosphere. There are old buildings mixed in with the new that look remarkably well looked after and parks are dotted here and there.
We walked all, got drenched by absolutely pouring rain whilst taking pictures of the Merlion,
a famous statue which means that everyone is welcome here, and eventually listened to the grumbling in our stomachs.
We ate dinner at a row of restaurants called Boat Quay- taken in by the live seafood and drink specials that I think a lot of tourists fall for. We had a wonderful ( and very romantic) dinner here for a pretty good mid range price but if you eat here you have to be really careful as the prices can be pretty misleading- for example they will have a meal priced at say $10, but in small writing underneath, it will explain that that is $10 per 100g, and the minimum order if 500g.
We walked to Clarke Quay after this, a bar/club type area, before heading to Chinatown. We saw some people drinking some beers on the street, which apparently is legal, so we followed suit, after asking about 5 different people if it was ok to do! Breaking the law seems quite easy to do in Singapore- buying gum, spitting etc- and the consequences are not what you’d be wanting as part of your holiday!
But most of the people we asked about the beer just laughed at us and said of course it is ok, you are tourists, you drink beer! ( not sure if that’s the stereotype I want to reinforce but hey…)
Next: Sentosa: Asia’s favourite playground and the day we met lots of fish!