Pete and I visited Singapore in early October. We decided to pack up our lives in Brisbane, Australia and make the big move over to the UK and this was our first stop. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. It can look a little too clean, expensive and void of charisma in photographs and postcards but there are gems scattered all around this amazing city. We chose to stay in an airbnb place ($80 a night, compared to $200 for three star hotels), firstly because it is so cheap and secondly because you tend to stay in places that are full of locals rather than tourists. Our airbnb place was a five minute walk to Chinatown, where you can grab a very nice meal for as little as $3! We ate there a several times.
Pete and I don’t mind a good walk and Singapore is so tiny that you can walk it – but be warned, you will be one smelly traveler if you dare to. We’re used to Brisbane humidity but nothing really prepares you for the Singapore sweats. Let’s just say I usually wear my hair with a fringe, but while we were in Singapore it was tied up. We still walked to a fair few places and attractions like Fort Canning are outside, so you’re bound to get a little sweaty even if you catch the metro everywhere. The Singapore metro system, while we’re on the topic, leaves every other country I’ve traveled to behind. Never more than $2 a go and the longest I had to wait was five minutes. There are also day passes that you can get, which I would recommend if you plan on spending a whole day travelling between sites.
Seeing as how we were on a budget, being unemployed and all, we stayed away from tours and just made up our own itinerary.
Day 1 Chinatown. Walk the streets, head to the tourist information booth and pick up some maps and brochures (the staff are super-dooper friendly). Just next to the tourist information booth there is a little square where old local men play board games. Take a break, drink some much needed water and watch these men battle it out over the board for a while, before heading to the main strip for lunch. Get the metro over to Raffles hotel, wander around and be transported back to 1920s Singapore. Then walk over to the Merlion and check out the view from the boardwalk.
Day 2 Boat tour along the river, Fort Canning (lots of walking outside), catch the metro to little India and have a very tasty curry. Little India is an experience all of its own. Head back to where you’re staying for a couple of hours to relax and shower, put on some nice clothes and go and get yourselves some Singapore slings at Raffles hotel long bar. Beware: we only had one as they are quite expensive for travelers on a budget, but are definitely a requirement of a trip to Singapore. Beware: if you have peanut allergies, you’ll receive a free bag of peanuts when you sit down in the long bar. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum.
Day 3 Relax. Have a sleep in and find a nice cake store or bakery. There are plenty. Head to Singapore Zoo for the night safari! There are discount tickets that you can buy day-of in the reception of a hostel in the center of Chinatown.
Day 4 Gardens by the bay free to explore; it only costs money to walk around the top of the super trees, or if you feel like splurging, check out the cloud and flower domes. If you could only afford one, I would recommend the cloud one. So bloody cool. Prices in the website link.
All-in-all, a highly enjoyable trip!
Author: Emily Bishop
I’ll post all my photos in a photo diary in the coming weeks.