Singapore is a beautiful city. It’s very clean and there is a general feeling of affluence for the most part. The place is well worth a visit, though I’m not sure I would want to visit again unless we were going to use it as a base to explore further afield. Not that there is anything wrong with the place but a week there was enough for us to see whatever we wanted to. And while we enjoyed our stay, there wasn’t much to tempt us back again. Although we know some people who like to visit time and again.
Shopping there is great, though not particularly cheap. You can find just about every designer brand going on Orchard Road but you will probably pick up a better bargain in the China Town market. Singapore is an island/city state and apparently the only one of its kind in the world. There are four official languages there which probably also makes it unique. The recognised languages are English, Tamil, Mandarin Chinese and Malay.
Being so close to the equator, it’s hot and humid pretty much all of the time. We don’t find the heat a problem but the humidity can get to you. We would wander around shopping centres in the air conditioning just to cool off a lot of the time. Fortunately there is always a shopping centre or a bar within easy reach. And getting around the city is a breeze on the underground trains; they’re cheap too.
If you plan to visit Singapore, watch out for the bicycle rickshaws. One guy insisted on taking us down to Orchard Road (about 10 or 15 minutes walk from where we were). He offered to take us at a reduced price so we decided to give it a go. Instead of 40 Singapore Dollars he would only charge 25. That didn’t seem too bad until we got to our destination to find that it was actually 25 dollars per person. Mind you, the guy had to work to shift our combined weight.
If you like curry, little India is a great place to visit for a meal out. Look for the restaurants that are busy. They usually have the best food. Every shopping centre seems to have a food court where you can eat cheaply if you want to. They are usually in the basement or next to the underground car park. There are of course more expensive and comfortable places to eat if you prefer.
Any visit to Singapore must include a trip out to the bay. There is plenty to explore there. The Marina Bay Sands hotel is a distinctive landmark. It’s built to look a little like a ship perched on top of three huge tower blocks. It’s curved though so as a ship it would never be any use so I suppose the best place for it is up in the air. We had a wonderful breakfast in the Sky restaurant on top of the Marina Bay Sands overlooking the bay on a beautiful sunny morning.
Other attractions on the bay are the Singapore Flyer, a huge observation wheel similar to the London Eye. And then there are the botanical Gardens by the Bay. Even if you’re not into gardening they are well worth a visit just to marvel at the design of the structures. The place has a zero carbon footprint. It take energy from the sun and waters the gardens from collected rain water.