Exquisite Singapore

Singapore is a bright city filled with different cultures and people from different parts of the Globe – truly a diverse place. Each culture is open to the next with many festivals of different cultures being celebrated. It is a green lush city, with a magnificent coast line. Gentle calm waves beckon you towards the salty water. With the spice and cultures of the East and the high sky scrapers and shopping of the West, this is an ideal city to live in.” (MyGlobeTrotting, 2017)

Once we touched down, we used a local bus to get to our accommodation in the Lower East Side. Getting around Singapore is a breeze, public transport is the best and cheapest option (we used buses and the subway).  The weather in Singapore is great, it is warm and humid. We purchased a local SIM card, this was extremely useful so we were able to determine when the next bus arrives and look for the best route to our next tour stop.

The city is sprayed weekly to prevent flies and mosquitos. Yay!! No mozzi repellent needed!!

We had a great host in Singapore, we stayed with my family who are just amazing! Singapore has a well-connected public transport system, so staying anywhere in the city is fine.

As you travel through Singapore you will notice most people live in apartments due to a lack of space. The streets are extremely clean with no litter on the ground. With the warm tropical climate all year round, the city is very green making it more beautiful. Everything works according to the rules in Singapore. There is even etiquette on the escalators – keep left, so people walking may pass on the right. You do get the occasional tourist you would just stand on the right side preventing people from walking… haha. Well in their defense, in my country we have no etiquette on the escalators.

And 3 BIG RULES in Singapore: Firstly, no chewing gum (you will be fined – trust me, it’s not a small fine), secondly no eating in public transport (you will be fined) and lastly no littering!

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The other thing we seen is that in some places you are not allowed to eat durian (a fruit from Malaysia and Indonesia, it has a terrible odour).

A visit to the Botanical Gardens are a must. We walked through the gardens and then entered the National Orchid Gardens. It is just so beautiful. I love orchids, so I spent a lot of time in the gardens. Nature and beauty are a part of Singapore so visiting Gardens by the Bay, the Rain Forrest and Flower dome are worthwhile. Themes in the flower dome changes according to the festivals being celebrated in Singapore. The Rain Forest was cool, with an indoor waterfall being the highlight of the attraction. The domes are very cool inside, I would recommend carrying a light sweater before entering. We visited Gardens by the Bay around sunset to get the day and night view. The domes are lit once it gets dark making it even more spectacular.

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Hubby & I love theme parks, hence we visited Universal Studio’s and Santosa Island for some of the activities. We thoroughly enjoyed it but in comparison to Universal Studios in Orlando or LA, it is much smaller.  So if you have less than 3 days, I would give these activities a skip especially if you’ve been to Universal Studios in USA. We attended an evening display of lights, water and fireworks at on the beach front in Santosa, this was beautiful, the show was called “Wings of Time”. A day at Santosa can easily set you back S$250 per adult – not the cheapest place.

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We spent a full day touring the city. As we toured through the city, locals were preparing for the Chinese New Year – the year of the Rooster. Rooster decor was seen throughout the city – we even seen rooster shaped chocolates. China Town, Little India are great places to visit – a bus ride away and an inexpensive way to experience the city. Entering the Temples are a must, they are beautiful! The temples may charge a fee for photographs, so just give the photographs a skip. It’s the ideal time to pack away the camera and take in the beauty and tranquility.

Locals tend to speak ‘Singlish’ – this is a mixture of the local dialect with English, it actually sounds cute, so listen out for it.

We also visited the “Wet market” this is a fruit, vegetable and a meat market. This is where some of the locals shop. Seeing the variety of fresh produce is amazing and I didn’t even know what some of the veggies were… Hawker’s food centers are local food markets. Many people get their daily lunch from these centers. An inexpensive meal for the day. Something to try is keuh tutu – its a coconut steamed caked with a filling of your choice.

Singaporeans love food! The variety of food is amazing! One thing you have to try is an ice cream sandwich – this is a slice of ice cream, placed into a slice of sweetened bread. I was skeptical at first, but I’m so glad to have tried it.

We also visited the famous store “Mustafa” in Little India. This is literally a “one-stop shop”. The store was chaotic, with many people looking for good bargain. The store offers everything from groceries, perfumes, jewelry, furniture, televisions, etc. You name it, they have it. They also 24/7 so you can visit whenever.

Singapore is expensive – so if you decide to go to the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands, give the Singapore flyer a skip. Both offer views of the city. We used an app called ‘Klook’ for discounts to attractions. Singapore has the 2nd busiest harbour in the world. In the evening all the ships light up, therefore looking like a city of its own. The view from the plane is also amazing.
This destination is definitely worth visiting, 3 days is sufficient to tour Singapore if you not going to the theme parks.

Places visited: Marina Bay Sands; Merlion; Aquarium; Rain forest; Flower Dome; Gardens by the Bay; Little India; Wet market; China Town; Universal Studios; Santosa Island; Botanical Gardens; Suntec City; Bugis Junction

Delicious Food experience: Ice cream sandwich; Keuh tutu; Coconut ice cream

Essentials to pack: Sunblock; sunhat; summer clothing (tropical climate all year); rain jacket/umbrella

Local currency: Singapore Dollar

 

JANUARY 2017

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