I was really excited to travel to Singapore although it was a bit nerve wracking as my luggage was almost 4 kg heavier than the 20 kg allowance. Though, I had developed a tactic already and so I was leaning over the counter covering the scale while distractingly giving the lady a friendly smile. Check! 1 month had passed since my departure and my stomach was still super sensitive. I was so glad I had my ‘Iberogast’ drops with me.
Travel to Singapore
My first impression of Singapore: dusty, hot and humid. I was going to stay at a friend’s who was doing an exchange semester in Singapore. If I had known that it meant sharing a tiny room with him and his friend who already shared a bed I would have totally objected to it. Those poor guys, I was so grateful they offered me to stay with them and felt actually pretty bad for taking up even more space in the room. We had a lot of fun though e.g. one night water randomly started dropping from the AC and suddenly my mattress was floating and throughout the next nights, we couldn’t really make it stop. Before allowing all new impressions to settle in I wrote down all previous experiences and memories. If you want to be able to recall all those funny little details I would recommend to force yourself to put it all in writing – it is so worth the effort.
But then I was ready for you, Singapore. I was not sure what to think of you at first, though! The MRT system connects all areas with the city center. No matter where I went it always took me around 30 min. and all areas looked quite similar.
Fun things to do in Singapore
A definite must do and, in my opinion, one of the main attractions Singapore has to offer is the MARINA BAY area (©Ingmar Fröhlich). I am not sure what Singapore would be without it. Around here you can find the infamous Marina Bay Sands hotel with the unique infinity pool, the Marina Bay Sands Mall, a bridge formed like a DNA helix, the art center formed like a lotus flower and the Merlion Park. The Merlion is the city’s symbol – just taking a lion would have not been spectacular enough so they combined the heraldic animal, a lion, with the symbol of the ocean, a mermaid, and created the hybrid with the name Merlion. Each place I travel to I tend to look for its unique beauty, in Singapore, I found it in the Marina Bay Gardens. It’s a big forest that also includes the National Orchid Garden and has man-made huge trees with fairy lights. Every evening there is a light show to different kind of music which is like a ferry tale.
Another special moment was getting the opportunity to attend the NOBEL PRIZE SERIES at the reputable Nanyang Technological University. This year’s topic was ‘the Future of Learning’ and we attended two days of podium discussion with infamous Nobel Laureates. While spending the day on campus my friend and I got to talk about Singapore. He told me about the rather uncommon punishments on crimes and felonies and how people were beaten up in prison and others got arrested for simply bringing chewing gum to the state (whoops, didn’t I just do that?). It’s a different world here.
Areas in Singapore to check out
At the end of the day, we made our way to the city. It was a Thursday and on Thursdays, all rooftop bars are free for girls, not for guys they have to pay 40$ to get up there. It’s worth the direct view at the Marina Bay Sands though. If you want to see more make your way to the BOTANICAL GARDENS. I think botanical gardens are an oasis worth visiting plus they show all the national flowers and plants and are for free most of the times. Also, walking along Orchard Road is a good idea to spend the day. I always walk everywhere (‘What Lisa you walked all the way? That’s far too long!) since you just get to see more and get to experience all the locals in their natural environment. Checking out CHINA TOWN and LITTLE INDIA is also something you can fill your day with if you’ve got more time. Towards the evening I met with the others and we got to benefit from their landlady’s cleverness.
Lifestyle in Singapore
In Singapore, you either live in a townhouse or in a big apartment building with your own security guard, a pool, and BBQ facilities etc. We lived in a townhouse but we wanted to use the BBQ grill…tough luck. But the landlady somehow managed to steal us the key to the nearest apartment building. We then ended up having a big fat BBQ with fresh fish etc. there. You will also always find good food at the various food courts. The shops will have signs from A to C, A meaning ‘high quality approved’. You never want to get a meat dish from a C approved shop. ‘Lo Paz Sat’ close to Marina Bay Sands is a good address. Make sure to try Curry Rice with Pineapple and Chicken Floss (chicken floss is chicken meat with a kind of candy floss texture – sounds disgusting but is worth trying). Also, try Laksa (THE dish!) and definitely buy an ice block in a rainbow toast from a street vendor.
Singapore is an interesting place. Hanging out at one of the rooftop bars and chilling in the Marina Bay Gardens is a fun time. But without the Marina Bay area, Singapore would really be missing something. If you want to experience it stop by for a short visit, maybe even as a stop-over to someplace else, but you definitely don’t need to calculate too much time in. For me, it was all too clean, too fancy, too expensive…I was seeking adventure and wilderness.
~ I think I will find what I am looking for in Vietnam ~