I decided I would stop in Singapore on my way home from London. My reasons were threefold: 1. There’s not much I hate more than long haul flights. I thought it would be good to break the 24 hours up a bit. 2. To visit another one of my exchange buddies, Aditi. 3. To see a new city, and one I’d only heard good things about.
It was particularly nice to get off the 13 hour flight from London and be able to go to a hotel, not onto another plane. I arrived in Singapore in the afternoon, and that evening met Aditi in Little India. It was a vibrant place with colourful markets, shops, places to eat, and lots of activity. We ate at a vegetarian Indian restaurant, which was really good — though some things on my plate were a touch too spicy!
After dinner, we went to the waterfront, which was fabulous at night. I was amazed at the Marina Bay Sands, the famous three towered hotel with the infinity pool at the top. It has its own glamorous shopping complex, complete with a canal running through the centre. Outside on the boardwalk, the the lights of the skyscrapers lit up the water. There was plenty going on, including a sound and light show, a market, and live music. Aditi and I had such fun; I was thrilled with my first taste of Singapore and eager to explore the next day.
Armed with a comprehensive list of recommendations from Aditi, I decided to go to what’s called the River Safari. A new component to the highly-regarded Singapore Zoo, the River Safari is sort of a cross between a zoo and an aquarium. It takes you through seven major rivers of the world, showing you the different species that live there. There are primarily water creatures to see, but also birds and some land animals. The biggest attraction is the pandas at the end. I fell in love with them a little.
In the afternoon, I explored Clarke Quay, the area where my hotel was. It was nice enough, but I’m told there would have been more happening had I gone at night. There are lots of restaurants, bars, and that type of thing.
Singapore is an exceptionally well organised city. On my own, I had no trouble navigating the public transport system. It’s very clean as well. My only complaint about the place is the heat and humidity. My glasses literally fogged up as soon as I walked outside. As such, that afternoon I made the most of the hotel pool and went for a swim.
In the evening, I decided to head into Chinatown. It was a fabulous Chinatown! Chinese lanterns overhead, it seemed never-ending. I perused the stalls for an hour or so amongst the crowds, and once everything began to look alike, I sat down and had dinner.
Jet lag was not my friend in Singapore, and I was terribly tired the following morning, but wanted to make the most of the day before my flight that evening. After a delicious hotel buffet breakfast, I set out to find Raffles. It’s a beautiful, luxurious, colonial style hotel; a historic icon in the heart of the city.
I then walked to the waterfront so I could see the city in the daylight, which was nowhere near as breathtaking as it was at night. But it was good nonetheless. In the afternoon, I visited Gardens by the Bay briefly, which, as the name suggests, are gardens. They are expansive and very pretty but I couldn’t cover too much ground because of the heat.
I then headed to Orchard Road: the big shopping street. Another thing which amazed me was the amount of malls they have in Singapore. There are shopping malls EVERYWHERE. I’ve never seen so many in my life. Shopping rarely excites me, but Orchard Road is fairly iconic and I’m glad I found some time to have a look.
Then it was time to go to the airport. It was sad because the trip was over this time — I wasn’t off to another exciting destination. Singapore was a lovely way to round off a brilliant trip. Now, the question is, who else wants to get married overseas? Because I’m coming. You can almost be sure of it.