I’m going to spend the next 2 weeks coming back to our big adventure (pre-covid) as I haven’t had the time to write about it yet! Singapore was our obvious first stop for many reasons: Changi airport is ranked number 1 in the world, we had to see the tallest indoor waterfall, and most flights from Europe to Asia stop there anyway. Not to mention the movie Crazy Rich Asians made us want to go there even more!
Also, this is a great place to visit when you’re a bit jetlagged. It gets very warm during the day so sightseeing at night is actually the best thing you can do… Especially if you’re coming from a country where you’re not used to the heat and humidity. We slowly got used to the temperature during the night, the city itself was looking even better in the dark.
Most popular icons
Everyone would know the most popular icons of Singapore. Among them are the Merlion (statue of a mermaid with a lion head) and of course Marina Bay Sands (Singapore’s most iconic hotel for the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool). The hotel displays illuminations every night at 8pm and 9.30pm (plus 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights). I didn’t know that but caught it by chance… It looked amazing!
Gardens by the Bay
If I had to pick only one place in Singapore to absolutely not miss, it would be the Gardens by the Bay… Surely you’ve seen the movie Avatar? It’s like you’re not on Earth anymore. There is something magical about this garden that makes you forget about everything else. It’s very romantic too so it’s probably one of the best locations in the world to propose (according to me).
They display illuminations with music (the Gardens by the Bay light show – Garden Rhapsody) every night at 7.45pm and 8.45pm. It’s free so you just have to show up. The best place to see the show is under the Supertrees. You can even lie down on the floor to take it all in (as many people do).
And if you want to see the city from above, you have the Singapore Flyer. This big wheel has spacious and very stable capsules (they don’t swing with the wind)! The view you get from it is simply breath-taking. I’m so proud of the picture below, it takes me back just by looking at it. For those interested in Formula 1, you can also see the track from up there. Singapore has hosted the first ever F1 night race in 2008.
Towards the end of our week, we were starting to adjust a bit more to the climate – or at least we thought we were. So we decided to get up early to visit the Botanic Gardens, the only tropical garden honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I think it’s worth mentioning it was way too hot and humid for us there, even early in the morning! It’s not a place you should visit at night though, unlike the previous ones I’ve just talked about. So don’t forget your sweat towels and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
Restaurants & Hawker Centres
Now there is something in Asia that I’ll forever miss in the UK… The food! You can find incredibly good value for money in food markets, but a restaurant will be quite expensive as it’s where most tourists and rich businessmen would go. If you want good and cheap food, hawker centres are open until very late – sometimes even all night. But if you want a good view/location as well as good food, then you might need to spend more and pick a restaurant. The one we went to along the Singapore River was really nice, Clarke Quay is where you will find a lot of them on the waterfront.
“The” Singapore Sling is at the Raffles Hotel
Last but not least, you can’t really say you’ve been to Singapore if you haven’t had the famous Singapore Sling. This cocktail is made with gin, cherry liqueur and pineapple juice – Yummy. Sipping a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel is the ultimate experience, we queued more than an hour… It’s very popular but so worth it! You’ll also get peanuts in abundance, for free. You just throw shells on the floor, littering is encouraged as a tradition at the Long Bar (don’t do it outside though!).
Other random facts about Singapore
In short, we had an amazing week in Singapore, we only wish we stayed longer. There is enough there to do to keep you busy, this post only talks about our best moments! Below some additional random facts and personal opinions about Singapore:
- The temperature is very uniform throughout the year, from 23-25°C to 30-32°C. It’s also quite close to the equator so days last only 12 hours.
- Sentosa Island is worth visiting if you like theme parks or if you’re curious about history, there is a cool war museum there. You need to take a cable car or a monorail to access the island.
- Singapore Zoo is full of gorgeous creatures – their rainforest show is a must-see, it actually made me cry. It was very emotional when they educated us about how important it was to save the planet.
- You can go on a boat ride inside the shopping mall at Marina Bay Sands.
- Durian is forbidden in the MRT (underground system) because it smells too bad – I’ve never tried this fruit myself but I heard it tastes great though!
- Sugarcane juice is delicious and very healthy, they make it fresh from sugarcane sticks in front of you in various markets.
- Singapore is known for its strict rules but they seem to work as I’ve never seen such spotless public spaces before (apart maybe from Japan)… It’s also very safe.
- You can still feel the British colonial influence with the music they play in shops and the fact that everyone speaks English. Also, street names sound like London and they drive on the left.
Have you ever been to Singapore? What were your highlights? If not, I hope I convinced you to visit when you have a chance… It’s definitely a place I want to go back as soon as travel restrictions are lifted!
Big Girl x