Fantastic, amazing, stunning, outstanding, eye boggling, homelike, modern, exquisite, multicultural, unique, random, clean, beautiful, westernised, safe, friendly….
These are just a few of the words that I would use to describe Singapore. I found this city absolutely amazing! This is the only place in Asia that I would say I would actually consider living in. I will tell you why…
Singapore is a complete contrast to the rest of Asia that I have visited. It is immaculately clean, it is extremely modern, has outstanding architecture and has a very commercial feel about it. I would say it is a cross between New York and London, but in Asia. English is the first language there too, and there are so many English shops there…it really was like being at home!!
When I arrived I got the MRT (their version of our tube) to my hostel as they had given me very good directions of how to get there. The NRT is fantastic, I immediately knew how to use it and felt like a local buying a ticket and boarding the correct train without hesitation! This is because the MRT is so similar to the London underground, it is far cleaner, less complicated and more modern, but works exactly the same! It was so weird because they even have what sounded like the exact same voice saying ‘please mind the gap’, it was so odd how similar it was to home!
In the evening I ventured over to Clarke Quay which was very close to where I was staying. Here it was beautiful the way that the buildings were all different colours and that they were all lit up at night, and all right on the river! It was beautiful, I was immediately impressed with Singapore! I had heard that Singapore was expensive, but when I wandered around and saw that the average price for a beer was S$15 I was shocked! That’s around £7! Considering I have paid as little as 10pence for a beer on my travels, this was a big shock! So as you can guess, I didn’t drink too much whilst here….
The next day I walked. I walked miles. I walked across half the city! But it was fantastic! I was in awe the entire time!!! The buildings and architecture are out of this world, and so incredibly unexpected in Asia! One of the first things I saw was three very tall building adjoined by a huge ship on top of them! I was quite a distance away, so I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me (my long distance eye sight is not great at the best of time), but no, as I got closer it was confirmed-it was a huge ship in the sky!!!! AMAZING!
I wondered through the city taking in every magnificent view. There is a huge spikey kind of ball thing that is the theatre that looks incredible, a huge kind of half broken egg shape that is an art gallery, HUGE sky scrapers that are various HQ’s and banks etc and lots more….I could just marvel at them forever….
There is a symbolic animal of Singapore called the Merlion. It’s head is a lion and is body is a fish. There is a story behind it but I can’t quite remember it…. But anyway, they have a huge one of these down by the river, many tourists were gathered here to take pictures….and they were great pictures!
Walking around the city I felt very safe, more safe than I have anywhere else in Asia. In fact, Singapore is renowned for its safety. It was lovely.
I walked and I walked, I saw churches and museums and many other interesting looking things, but my final destination was Orchard Road. Here they have shopping mall after shopping mall, I have actually never seen a place with so many shops! I actually went in one shopping mall that had a river running through it where you could take a ride AND an ice skating rink! There is every shop you can think of, including so many from back home. It was so strange….Marks and Spencers, Topshop, New Look, Miss Selfridge and lots more! And the architecture was amazing throughout all the malls and all along Orchard Road! It was great!!
During my walking I also went to visit a couple of temples in the city, mainly because I wanted a fortune teller reading and I had read that they offer them outside the temples…. So that’s what I did. The main reason was to see if they would say the same thing as the lady that did my fortune reading back in Bangkok, and pretty much they did! But a bit less detail.
The following day I ventured to the Botanic Gardens. They were very pretty, but I am not really much of a flower person, so I’ll admit I did find it a little boring. But it was a nice little walk…. During which I was approached by a small Chinese man. He was very sweet and wanted to read my palm and give me advice on my life. He confirmed pretty much what the other two had said…I will get married at 30 and have a crap love life until then. I will have success in my career. The only thing that has differed was that the first said I will have 2 maybe 3 children, the second said I will have 2, 1 boy 1 girl, the third said I will have 3, 1 boy 2 girls. So I thought that was interesting…. So anyway, I think I spent around an hour and a half with the little Chinese man, who didn’t even want money from me at the end of it! He was very interesting to talk to, and at the time I was thinking long and hard about what my plans will be over the coming months, and I think he was him that helped me finalise my decisions on what I should do! He was very sweet….
After this I ventured to China town. This was very interesting and had a lot of culture as well as some beautiful temples! It was very busy, but had a good little buzz about it. Singapore has a very high Chinese and Indian population. I also wanted to visit little India, but ran out of time. I wouldn’t have minded a nice ruby! Ha ha
Back in Pattaya in Thailand many weeks ago, we met some lovely pilots from Singapore. So I thought it would be nice to meet up with them while in the area, only one was available as the others were doing their national service during the days I was there, so we went out just the two of us. He took me to a lovely little place that had lots of food outlets and I tried some traditional Singaporean cuisine. I can’t remember what it is all called, but I tried a few different foods (including carrot cake-but NOTHING like our carrot cake at home!) and sugar cane juice to drink. It was all very nice!! Then we went to a lovely bar on the oceans edge, where the aircraft from the airport flew overhead. I love the ocean and I love airplanes, so that was a winner for me!
He was telling me lots of things about Singapore, like how they have automated machines in their cars so they can charge their equivalent of congestion charge straight to their cards, like how chewing gum is illegal, and how all of the men have to do their national service. He told me lots of things, and it was fascinating. I really enjoyed spending the evening with him and felt that I learnt a lot!
The next day I left Singapore. I would have loved to stay longer. There were things I didn’t have time to do, like the night safari and the zoo that are supposed to be really good, as well as little India! But because the city is so expensive I thought that 3 nights was plenty and that I should move on to cheaper lands… but I will some da return to Singapore, when I have more money and can really take advantage of some of the luxurious hotels and restaurants there are. After leaving Singapore I felt a little homesick, I think because it really had felt so much like I was back at home! It was so unexpected that I would love this city so much, but I really did, it was fantastic!