Travel: Singapore Diaries

Travel Diary | Singapore






In the midst of my travels at the start of the year, we arrived in Singapore, already having visited Thailand, Laos & Cambodia. We arrived on the March 2nd and stayed for 5 days. Traveling to Singapore from Cambodia was a spontaneous decision- we previously hadn't even thought about visiting it- but one exciting day we made the decision and booked our tickets.


 Here's what we got up to...

Day 1

When we stepped into Singapore Airport my first impression was how clean and calm everything was. There was order. In stark contrast to the hectic, frantic and almost unsettling atmosphere of Phnom Phenh, the capital of Cambodia. It almost reminded me of the Capital in the Hunger Games- vastly modern & a sense of controlled order. Our first view of the city was from the MRT (their equivalent of the London Underground, except it goes over-ground too), where we saw a futuristic world of amazing architectural high rise buildings. We also had a nice first impression of the locals- as when we arrived in the area of our hostel, a kind taxi driver offered to take us there for free. Singapore is nice.

After settling in to the hostel (Mitraa Inn- super friendly & great hostel), we headed out to get some food and explore. We found the nearest mall & nearly cried at what met us- Starbucks, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and...THE BODY SHOP. It was an amazing moment. After much deliberation we decided upon Pizza Hut as our first Western meal after nearly 2 months. We went for the most bland, boring and wonderfully comforting things on the menu: lasagne & spag bol (I also didn't realise how much I appreciated Italian food until this moment). It was one of the greatest meals of my life (we'd been ill for quite a while in Cambodia, so comfort food was SO WELCOME at this point). For pudding we got mudpie Mcflurrys- these quickly became an everyday staple. We headed off home, content & full and went to bed, excited to explore Singapore.



Art in Singapore


Day 2 

Biiiiig exploring day. We tried to head to the centre, but got waylaid and stumbled upon Little India, which was full of beautiful little stalls. Here I bought my boyfriend a Singaporean print shirt (lucky boy) from the nicest man ever who gave us life advice as follows: 'in the current job climate, learn another language so that you stand out. Once you're in employment no one cares about degrees or anything else like that- every one is clever these days, the best jobs come with international links which not many people have.' Such great advice! +must learn language ASAP. He had very wise eyes and a strong personality- all of the locals, including him were lovely.

We carried on & came upon Victoria Street and our first taste of central Singapore. Very impressive. We headed into a mall & found Pull & Bear- only my fave shop ever! I got a beautiful blue dress, high waisted shorts & a purse. Dorothy Perkins & Topshop totally let us down though. After a little bit more shopping we treated ourselves to the biggest (and most expensive, oops) ice creams ever- I got chocolate truffle & baileys. We got the MRT back to the hostel & met a really interesting American couple who had just moved into the dorm room. We got ready for the evening as we had something very special planned. I put on makeup for the first time in a long time (see what I wore here), put on my new dress & literally felt a million dolls. The only downside to the overall look was my flipflops... major traveler probs. We hopped back onto the MRT & arrived in the centre of Singapore & to Raffles Bar- a rooftop bar with a 360 view of Singapore. It was breathtaking. The architecture was crazy. The atmosphere was amazing & it gave me and Rachel a chance to really reflect on our travels so far. It was a really special night which I don't think I'll ever forget.



Raffles Bar Singapore



View of Singapore at night

Day 3


Woke up feeling fairly worse for wear, aka slightly hungover & with all my makeup still on- grimmest feeling. We got up & headed to Marina Bay- another breathtaking view. I went off to look at Gardens by the Bay. Walking through the gardens, it was a strange mix between man-made & natural. Escalators took you down into the vast gardens & you entered through a mall- bizarre. I walked up to the 'Cloud & Flower Domes'. The Flower Dome was a vast indoor space which was freezing (I was very happy about this as it was so hot). It held plants, flowers & shrubs from all over the world. The Cloud Dome, was again a vast indoor dome, but this one contained a free standing living jungle wall with a huge waterfall. It was so cool and amazingly done. You could walk up and around the wall as there were elevated walkways around the dome. I got super scared as they weren't opaque and as you'll see I made a discovery in Singapore re my feelings towards heights. After I had explored in there, it was time to head back & meet Rachel at Singapore Art Museum.

The art gallery was really interesting. It's exhibitions were about living in Singapore, media & it's effect upon home life and also the pillars of their society (e.g Justice, Mercy etc.). We headed home & picked up a mudpie Mcflurry on the way.



Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay Singapore



Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay Singapore



Gardens by the Bay Singapore



Marina Bay, Singapore

Day 4 

Woke up late & headed to Starbucks. We then moseyed along to the Botanical Gardens. These were undoubtedly the most amazing gardens I've been to. They were beautiful, impressive & exotic. My two faourite things were a gorgeous orchid exhibition and a massive lake with tortoises in. FYI this was also the most humid day in Katie's living history. We left for lunch & I got an unsatisfying quesadilla, sad times. I then headed to the Singapore National Library. It was so cool. I get weirdly excited about libraries and this one definitely did not disappoint. Firstly, it was absolutely massive. It was also interesting observing the central role that the library played in daily lives- it was not just for students, but accommodated entire families. There was one section where lots of men were reading newspapers from around the world. There was also a really cool interactive children's library. I walked around the Literature floor, spotting old favorites- sadly the classic English literature section was surprising small. There was also a Theatre & a Possibility Room and Imagination Room?!?!? Dream library. I walked around the Art Gallery/Museum which showcased the Library's history, & then headed home to call it a day.



Botanic Gardens Singapore

Day 5

Universal Studios day- courtesy of adrenaline junky Rachel- (FYI I'm terrified of scary rides so what you are about to read is the memoirs of a very brave gal). We woke up v early and caught the MRT to Senosa City and arrived at Universal Studios. The first ride we went on was a children's Sesame Street ride, crazy times to start off the day, and ease me in gently. Next was Lights,Camera, Action. This was amazing- it was a hurricane stimulation on a film set. Next was a Transformers ride whose queue winded around about 20 rooms. The ride was worth it though, it was like you were in a Transformers film (don't know if I've even seen one, but it tots was). The Cyclon ride however, was a little past my comfort zone benchmark. Anything that involves feet dangling or going upside down makes me want to cry & that was exactly what this involved. I came to the realization that I am actually terrified of heights. After lunch we headed on The Mummy ride, which was really good. We headed next to Jurassic Park, where we went on a water ride & another feet dangling one (tried to conquer my fear after realizing it, really didn't work). We headed home, picking up burritos for tea, yay. We left the next morning for Bali, after such an amazing and interesting trip to Singapore.


Thoughts-

 Singapore was an amazing place like no where I've been before. The people were so friendly and the city was the epitome of efficient grand design, order and business. It has Asian roots which definitely shine through, but it also has strong Western influences. In that way it's a very unusual city. I would love to explore it more and go back if I get the opportunity.




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