In February ‘16 on my way from Myanmar back to Taiwan I decided to fly via Singapore to explore this garden city. Exhausted after two weeks in Myanmar and slightly sick and coughing because of the dusty air in Myanmar, Singapore was a nice change in comparison to other cities in (South) East Asia.
Like always, I got an early morning flight to make most of the day. But my plans didn’t work out as expected because unfortunately I didn’t feel particularly well, so instead of wandering around Singapore, I actually went straight to my hostel and spent the whole day there to regain my strength. After a good night of sleep and finally feeling alive again, I started to explore the city. As soon as I stepped out of my hostel, I knew why Singapore is called Garden City. Singapore looks and feels completely different than other cities like Manila or Bangkok in this area of the world. Its less dominated by high grey concrete buildings, but by colorful three store buildings and at every corner is a small park or at least some palm trees. Additionally there a lot of greenhouse style building, which are an architectural mixture of glass, stone and vegetation (like the Park Royal building).
Streets of Singapore
Architectural Mixture of glass, stone and vegetation
My hostel was located in Little India and therefore pretty close to all of the main sights of Singapore, so I just started to walk towards Marina Bay. On my way I past the Raffles Hotel, which is, besides of being of the most iconic hotels of the world, maybe the birthplace of the famous Singapore Sling. Being slightly on a budget, I decided to skip drinking one and went further towards Marina Bay.
The iconic area around Marina Bay is dominated by the Marina Bay Sands on the East Side, the financial district with its skyline on the South and the Esplanade Concert Hall on the North. I decided to wander around the area a little and relax a little in the sun shine. Next to Esplanade I found some nice food stalls with tables and benches (Gluttons Bay), so I decided to enjoy my dinner at this place.
Marina Bay Sands
Esplanade Concert House
The next day I joined a free (kick) scooter tour offered by my hostel. In a group of around ten people we drove up and down the streets. Our route took us from Little India to and Fort Canning Park. Around the Singapore River (close to Raffles Landing Site) there are dozens of restaurants and bars with a bit of a luxurious and chilled vibe. From there we rolled to a food court close to the financial district. The food court offered all different kinds of cuisine for a decent amount of money (for Singapore). The next stop on our tour was the area around Marina Bay Sands and especially the Gardens by the Bay. While the Gardens by the Bay are somewhat super artificial, the whole area is nevertheless really beautiful and stunning. We watched the brilliant light show and then we finished the tour at Marina Bay and watched the fountain show. (So many shows)
Area around Singapore River
Marina Bay Sands
Mall - The Shoppes
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay with Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the Background
The next morning I hopped onto a flight to Taipei to be there on time for the second term. My impression of Singapore is kind of mixed. The city is definitely a fascinating place and on my walk on the second I really understood what Singapore makes unique. It’s an incredible modern city, which indeed has a garden kind of vibe and is also an incredible melting pot with people from all over the world. On the other side, it also feels also like a theme park with Little India there and China Town here and everything overshadowed by strictly enforced rules and laws.