Signing off from Singapore

Signapores MerlionI’ve spent the last four days in Signapore roaming all the things there are to do and even getting out to a little part of Malaysia. Most of the things that I ended up doing and seeing could most classified as very ‘touristy’, but in this, probably most westernised of all Asian countries, is very difficult to avoid.

Accommodation is expensive and even all the last minute prices available on the Internet were surprisingly steep. I ended up staying in a hotel in the midst of Little India, and though my room was literally no larger than a walking space around my bed, it was fine for its reasonable price. Staying in Little India was a great experience because it’s definitely less touristy than many other hotel locations around major shopping centres or tourist attractions. The area may impress a visitor during the day, but night time provides a whole new experience as the streets are literally teeming with people eating at the huge number of Indian restaurants, shopping at the various market places or just hanging out having beer or listening to some Bangla-Pop (is that even a real thing?)

Singapore Visitor CentreAs a visitor, I found Singapore very easy to get around with the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) system providing fast air-conditioned transport to major areas, and taxis at extremely reasonable rates when your feet get tired or when you’re too far from a MRT station. Most of the major tourist attractions and areas are very close together making your entire holiday walkable with the only deterrent really being the heat and the humidity acting against you.

Ice KachangOne big particular pastime in Singapore I’ve heard people and books rave about is the food, with popular hygienic food courts being the main staple to the majority of the people. Singapore has countless food courts, each filled with numerous stalls each serving distinct cuisines far too numerous to wholly list but include Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Indonesian, Indian. Normally there is at least one stall devoted solely to drinks including fresh fruit juices, and another especially for the refreshing shaved-ice based desserts that I definitely indulged in during the holiday. Numerous restaurants are also scattered around but the food courts offer the best value for money with a single meal typically costing S$3 or £1!

Here is a quick list of all the things I managed to do while I was here in Singapore:

  • Entered all the temples in the Little India area
  • Completed a walking tour around the Arab District including a trip to the Sultan Mosque and the Malaysian Cultural Centre, formerly the royal residence
  • Sauntered down to the Esplanade to see the Merlion and the Durian-shaped buildings that are also the Arts Centre
  • Caught the MRT and strolled through Eastern Singapore to visit beach in East Coast Park and eat the famous Singapore Chilli Crab
  • Overindulged in the historical side of Singapore’s Colonial District including a visit to Raffles Hotel and numerous other heritage sites
  • Walked around the market places in Chinatown
  • Wore myself out window shopping through at least a dozen of the many, many, many shopping centres along famous (or infamous depending on who’s wallet you’re talking about) Orchard Road
  • Escaped to the Night Safari (a part of the Singapore Zoo)
  • Rode a bus into Malaysia’s Johor Bahru and walked around town
  • Idled away enough time at the very touristy Sentosa Island – a place that seems more like a theme park than anything else though a visit to Underwater World was not bad (but I think Mooloolaba’s one is better)

You can find the photos here.