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So I’ve left Singapore and am ready to tell you the exciting details! Good news is, I can genuinely say that I LOVED it. The easiest way I can think of to describe Singapore is through the food. The amazing array of different treats from all around Asia really sum up the variety of life here. Boring is not in the dictionary on this island.
Not only are the people who live in the city from Singapore, but also China, India, Malaysia and all over the continent, not to mention the ex-pats dotted around the more expensive areas of the city. It makes for any walk around the often marred as ‘sterile’ city instead, brim with culture.
It’s often said that Singapore is too clean, lacks personality and well, there’s just not that much to do. But I really found quite the opposite. As the first stop on my one man tour, I wanted to get out and see everything that I possibly could. And there was a HUGE amount to see.
From the bustling streets and markets of Little India filled with the fumes from a chicken curry to a BBQ whole squid on a stick (yep) in Chinatown, the food is glorious and always interesting. The scenery is not much different, leaving behind the calm and green of the botanical gardens, you’re met by towering giants in the CBD and boats 2oom in the air! No matter which way you look there is something shiny to catch your eye.
Staying at a great hostel in Little India called the InnCrowd (which had the best 6 hour scooter tour of the city at night FOR FREE), I made sure I looked around this part of the town. Best bit has to be the Hawker centre where all of the locals eat. Food costs about S$4.00 (about 1.50 at home) for absolutely massive dishes of whatever takes your fancy. My Chicken Biryani was a portion size fit for Man V Food and included poppadoms and sauce. One bite and I was in heaven.
In true Bristol style I would have loved a roadie whilst I strolled these bustling streets but sadly, harsh laws in Singapore (chewing gum is even banned?!) and a prohibition style ban on weekend drinking in Little Indian meant for a drier stay than I had hoped. Luckily, a quick MRT trip led myself and some fellow travelers to the beer.
Heading across the city to Chinatown, you can’t leave the overarching sense of safety behind. Even alone and in the jam-packed markets filled with locals busy preparing for Chinese New Year, I always felt safe and comfortable. Again, the Hawker Centre here was my destination and after some food and the most delicious mango, passion fruit and pineapple drink I headed back across the city.
As I traveled the MRT (only S$8 a day tourist card gets you everywhere) to Boat and Clark Quays, Raffles and the CBD, I was showered in sunshine before jumping into shadows of the huge skyscrapers which cover the city. But why look up when you can look down? After a lucky tip from a local, I got the chance with a view from the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Normally S$30, you can get in free before 9 at the Club Ku De Ta. Breathtaking (even if my photography skills don’t do it justice).
Admittedly I knew very little about Singapore before I started my trip and now, after exploring the city I can truly say that for me, it’s the city of Views and Food, two of my favourite things. The diversity of culture here is really unbelievable and with skyscrapers and market stalls, Malaysian drinks and Chinese medicine houses, Chicken feet and samosas, it really it the definition of South-East Asia. Oh, and it’s hot. Very very hot.
See you in Manila!