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Travelling: Unlocking Singapore

    Singapore
    Singapore
    Singapore

    More than half a year has passed since my trip to Singapore, but I am still daydreaming about the city/country that I never imagined I would fall in love with. I was so confident that I would not be impressed by a place so new with little to no history, yet walking their streets and seeing what they managed to achieve in so little time, made me understand why Singapore is one of the most sought-after places to live. 

    In January 2023 when we were discussing where we would travel, Bali became the clear winner. Our initial plan on landing directly in Indonesia was dropped when we found a very good deal to land in Singapore and therefore we decided to have 6 days in this place that has everyone talking. 


    To my shame, I have never been interested in the place. I can say that it caught my eye  only when the Crazy Rich Asians movie came out and the city was presented. Another thing that scared me a bit, were the prices, which were presumably very high. Yet we managed to secure a decent-priced hotel close to Clarke Quay. 


    Clarke Quay is an area known for its bars, restaurants and nightlife. Even if we are not the partying type, we enjoyed being in an area where you have plenty of options if you want to grab a bite or a drink. 


    After more than 11 hours on the plane, we finally landed at Changi airport, the place where you can find The Jewel with the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex. As if that wasn’t enough, you will also get a terraced forest setting. The airport itself is a place to visit, having people travel here just to get a meal and then fly back.


    We planned to land in Singapore, spend one night, and then fly to Bali, when we would return we would stay for 4 nights to explore the city, yet Turkish Airlines had other plans for us, so we had to extend our stay by one night when we arrived because our flights changed. We cannot complain about the change, since we enjoyed the extra time here. 


    One thing to note is that the humidity here is a pain. On the first day, we were unable to stay more than a few hours outside. Not to mention that rain starts and stops randomly, so it’s better to have a backup plan with both indoor and outdoor activities. 


    We divided our activities before and after our trip to Bali so we could get a glimpse of the city as well as check all the major attractions that we had in mind. I will present them by day, just in case some of you are interested in seeing how much you can do if you don’t have a lot of time. 


    Day 1 - Landing in Singapore

    We landed in the afternoon at around 6 pm when it was already dark. Before we headed to the city, we spent a little time in the Changi airport mesmerised by what humans can do. The forest and the rainfall are truly amazing during the night when everything is lit up. 


    The city has very well organized public transport, therefore you would not need a car. We took the subway from the airport to Clarke Quay and we had to walk an additional 5 minutes to get to our hotel. 


    Given it was raining and dark, we ended up taking something to eat from 7/11 and then going to bed. Apart from the very long flights, we were also surprised by the humidity levels and the high temperatures.

     

    Day 2 - Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay

    This was a full day that we got to spend in the city to walk around and get a glimpse of how the locals live. 

    We started by grabbing a coffee and some snacks, then headed towards Merlion Park, where the unofficial mascot of Singapore lives. Given that we arrived close to noon, there were not so many people. From the park, you get to see the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the front and the financial district in the back. 

    With a short stop in the Marina Bay Mall, for the much-needed AC, we headed towards the Cloud Forest, where Supertrees are found. 

    Again, even if I was set on not liking something artificially, I ended up loving the park and getting sunburned while trying to get the “perfect” picture. 

    And with this occasion, I have to note the importance of sunscreen (50+ SPF) while here. At times you might get fooled by the fact that it's cloudy, but man that sun will burn. Don’t risk it and apply the cream regularly since you will sweat a lot.


    After so much walking we decided it was time to take a break and have a drink. The best place for that? Marina Bay Level 56 Bar. 


    There is also the option of visiting the deck, but we wanted to get a little bit more value for our money and we got an Aperol, a beer, and some water at the bar. The total cost including the tip was $63 (sin dollar). 

    The view from above was worth it and we didn’t have to stay in line or wait for pictures. I would recommend this if you just want to see the city from above. 


    From Marina, we went to Chinatown, where apart from the market with souvenirs and the beautiful temple, you can also find the cheapest restaurant with a Michelin star.

    If you find yourself looking for a great place to eat, Hawker Chan is recommended. 

    Speaking of affordable places to eat, the famous Hawker Centres that you can find in the city are an experience that you do not want to miss. Maxwell was the one that we found to have the best variety of food. But we would recommend the one from Chinatown as well.

    You will find a lot of stalls with food from a lot of Asian cuisines and the prices vary from 4 to 15 $ (sin dollar). 

     


    Our last activity before we officially called it a day was to see the Garden Rhapsody, a light & music show that happens in the Gardens by the Bay at 7:45 pm and 8:45 PM. It can get very crowded so make sure to show up a bit earlier to get a spot. We sat on the ground and it was great. If there was something that I fell in love with, it was with the SuperTrees. 

    You can imagine that after this full day, we went straight to bed. Please keep in mind that the temperatures and the humidity level will make walking into town even harder. 


    Day 3 - Walking in Singapore

    Singapore has a mix of cultures and that is what makes it so unique, from Chinatown to Little India, to the Mosque and the Sentosa Island, there is something to do for everyone. 


    On our 3rd day in the city, we wanted to walk in the Little India neighbourhood, get a glimpse of the beautifully painted house, see the Mosque and the Hindu temple. 

    For food, we went to the Hawker Center in Chinatown and after a great lunch, we went to the airport for our Bali trip the next day. We returned for another 3 nights to Singapore on our way back, so I will continue with day 4 from there. 


    Day 4 - Aquarium and the Botanic Garden 

    On our 4th day, we woke up to rain. After a few hours, the sun appeared but the humidity level was so bad that we decided to go to the S.E.A. Aquarium on Sentosa Island. 

    Singapore is very well connected via the subway and buses, so getting there is very easy. 

    We got the tickets from the counter, and we spent the next 3 hours in one of the world's biggest aquariums. Apart from it being crowded, I would say that the visit is worth it and it’s a great experience for everyone. 

    For lunch, we took the Sentosa train to Vivo Mall and we had one of the best Poo soups we ever had. Not to mention the prices were similar to the Hawker centres, but it included the AC.

    From the mall, we took the bus to the Botanic Garden where we spent the rest of the day. 

    We wanted to have a chill day, so the walk was very chill and relaxing. 


    From the botanic garden, we went to Clarke Quay for a drink and then to bed, since we had a very busy day planned for our last part of the Singapore experience.

    Day 5 - Sentosa Island and Universal Studio

    Our last day was dedicated to Sentosa island, we took the bus to Vivo Mall, walked on the promenade to the island, and from there wandered around the island until Universal Studios opened their gates. 

    We got to the beach, but I cannot say that I was impressed, especially since the water where people swim, was facing the port where the big cargo ships were docked. 

    Overall the island has some nice experiences, but for us, the Aquarium and the Universal Studio were the best. 

    Once the studios were officially open, we went there for the day. Compared to Disneyland Paris, I could say that the vibe was different and the attractions more engaging. 



    The downside was that not everything was open and some were still in construction. 

    Given that I am not a big fan of roller coasters, we did not go on the 2 big ones, but we did try almost all the rest. As a personal favourite, Jurassic Park, the Mummy and Transformers Bumblebee were the best.  

    After the adrenaline rush for the studios, we grabbed lunch at Vivo Mall and then headed out to Gardens by the Bay for the Skydeck walk.


    Initially, the attraction was closed due to the wind, but the after was lifted and we were able to get the tickets last minute. To make things better, we were able to enjoy the walk during the night as well as see part of the Garden Rhapsody show. 

    It was truly an amazing experience, and I recommend it to everyone.

    Conclusion

    Singapore was a huge surprise for us, we knew about it and heard that it’s a “different” world, 

    but we never imagined falling for it. From the view to the entertaining options, it’s truly a masterpiece of engineering. 

    Maybe it was also because of the contrast between Bali/Indonesia and Singapore, but I would love to one day return and see how the city/country has evolved. 

    I will go as far as saying that Singapore is a must-see in a lifetime and if anyone has the opportunity, I highly recommend that you do.

    Have you ever been to Singapore, is it on your list? What do you think of it? 

    Let me know in the comments below.

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    • Epsita M Epsita M :

      Hi luliana,

      How are you gal? Loved this post.so badly want to visit Singapore now...everything is so beautiful and aesthetic ✨️ 😍 

      2 days ago 
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