4 nights in the stunning Singapore
Singapore has always been on my list of places to visit, the fact that it’s known as the city in a garden really intrigued me.
My friend from school Aime, had recently moved over there with her partner and so it was the perfect opportunity to explore the city and get all the tips and tricks from people that lived there.
With Singapore being a city transport was really easy to come by, and very cheap in comparison to London. The MRT is very similar to London Underground and was therefore really simple to navigate. It’s pretty much the only form of transport we used.
Obviously we very fortunate that Aime and Mike kindly let emily and I stay at their flat in Dover, which by the way is stunning! So this really saved us a considerable cost, as in most cities hotels were not cheap so we were very lucky for their generosity!
There is so much to see in this city, and 4 nights definitely only just scraped the surface of what it has to offer.
Gardens by the bay
Every evening at 7:45pm at the gardens by the bay there is a light display. There are rotated themes and when we visited it was a broadway theme.
We arrived when it was still light and ventured round the gardens looking at the pretty structures and flowers before settling on the grass for the show. Note to self bring a blanket grass is itchy.
The show goes on for 15 minutes and is truly mesmerising. It looks absolutely stunning and the planning and preparation that must have gone into it is crazy. It really is beautiful to watch.
Marina bay sands
Wow how the other half live. This place is something else. The shopping centre there was full of all sorts of designers, most of which I couldn’t afford! The hotel overlooks the gardens by the bay so if you have enough cash to splash it would have been amazing to watch the show with a cocktail from there open top bar.
Visit a Singapore island
Singapore has lots of little islands dotted around, so we took a day trip to Ubin. We caught a ferry from the passenger port and paid only $3 to cross.
On our way to the port it had been torrential rain and we were not looking forward to getting soaked. Fortunately, the weather brightened up when we got to the island and we hired a bike.
There are lots of little bike stores when you arrive on the island and all of a similar price. The quality however is not, we hired bikes from a rather aggressive lady and soon realised they were death traps. The gears didn’t work, the breaks were non existent, tyres flat and the squeak was unbearable!
We ended up returning the bikes and getting them from some one else. We made sure we tested them properly before leaving.
There are various cycle routes around the island and we didn’t really have a plan we just cycled and saw were we ended up. It was seriously hot and we were both dripping with sweat very soon (story of my life at the moment).
The island however was really pretty, very green and lots of nature. Within the island there is also a hill that if you climb gives you views of Singapore.
Singapore sling at Raffles
Raffles is a historic long bar, were you can sit and enjoy the famous pick cocktail, Singapore sling. It was created in 1915 by bar captain Nigiam Tong Boon, when raffles was a rendezvous point for rubber and oil plantation owners.
The cocktail is expensive at $31 but it is really tasty and definitely worth doing. A tradition at raffles is that you eat monkey nuts and chuck the shells on the floor.
Take part in a quiz at the prince of whales on Boat Quay
The bay is beautiful especially at night, it’s lined with cute little bars and restaurants. Aime and Mike go to a quiz every Tuesday at the Prince of Whales so we joined them.
They have happy hour until 9 so we stocked up on drinks and got ready for the quiz.
Turns out I had absolutely nothing to add to the quiz, the rounds being rock music, computer acronyms and general knowledge (there was nothing general about those questions). But we all still had fun, and luckily there friends were super bright so we didn’t do to badly! Prices aren’t cheap for alcohol in Singapore and my bill ended up coming to $50!
China town and little India
We ventured to China town to look at the markets and grab some lunch. The market had all the little stalls you would expect selling lots of souvenirs and clothes. Emily picked up a really lovely kimono for $10. We then headed to the the food stalls and enjoyed a massive plate of noodles that were really cheap.
Little India was pretty disappointing in my opinion there really wasn’t much there.
Haji lane is a little glamorous street full of colourful cafes, bars and shops. It is a popular area for young people who shop at independent boutiques and middle Eastern cafes. We didn’t do a shopping but enjoyed a break in a very colourful cafe in the heart of haji lane.
One altitude bar
This bar is situated at 282 metres above sea level, the highest alfresco bar in the world, the views over the city especially at sunset are spectacular.
It is usually £30 to enter with the £30 going towards drinks at the top. However on a Wednesday night ladies enter for free and they have £10 deals on cocktails! They are usually much pricier so definitely worth saving it for a Wednesday.
On one of the days I was alone in Singapore I decided to head to the Botanic Gardens. My intention was to wonder the gardens and then find a nice spot to sit on the grass and read a book in the sun. After wondering around the beautiful gardens however I was a rather sticky mess. So instead of laying in the sun I found a cute little restaurant within the gardens with outdoor seating called the bees knees. It was fairly pricey as you can imagine from an attraction restaurant but the prawn linguine was amazing.
On my last night in Singapore Aime and Mike took me to Holland Village. It is essentially a collection of restaurants and bars where the road is turned into a seating area and locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the evening.
Most bars have some sort of happy hour before 10pm so after selecting a bar with a good deal we waited for people to leave so we could grab a table.
Many of the traditional restaurants in Singapore are super pricey and this makes the Hawkers a really great option. There are super cheap and the food is tasty. They are dotted all around the city and are a great way to try new foods and please groups due to the options.
I ended up having quite a few glasses of wine at Holland Village which probably wasn’t the best idea. I went to bed at 12am and had to be up for a flight at 2am.
Luckily it was really easy to get an uber to the airport and didn’t cost to much.
I did however get questioned a lot at boarder control in Singapore about what my intentions were in Indonesia. I am not sure whether it was the fact that I was returning after only being out of the country for 5 days or whether I just looked shady with hangover.
But I can tell you that it isn’t a great experience on 2 hours sleep on your own. Eventually after showing them online my flight out of Bali they allowed me to go through.
Singapore city is unlike any other, I love the fact there is so much greenery and that nature is a key part of its identify.
The streets are clean and everything organised. The MRT reminds me of home and the Tube in London, only it has aircon which is a bonus.
The heat in this city is unlike anything I have experienced before, the humidity is insane and I know couldn’t live somewhere like this permanently, but I guess you get used to it.
The wealth of some in the area is evident the shopping centres are extravagant and the cost of buying alcohol and food is high.
But the city has a real unique feel to it, it has such a different vibe to European cities and is certainly very different from Asian cities I have visited.
My favourite place in the cities were Gardens by the bay and the botanical gardens.
Thank you for reading.
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