Now this could easily be a post which flows on and on and on and on………you get the idea. Quite simply because there was endless things to do in Singapore and even with 10 days, we had to be quite tight with what we chose to do and a very heavy influence from our bank account, as things are not too cheap here.
This was the last stop for my Mam who only had a quick 4 days in Singapore, which is plenty time to do the main attractions that this amazing city has to offer. The immediate feeling from Singapore is like any cosmopolitan city, big high rises, busy roads and lots of public transport. The only difference with Singapore is that instead of sruffy, gruntled, grumpy looking commuters with their heads buried in the daily paper who can’t wait to get out their work clothes, you get commuters who look like they have just walked straight off the runway and everybody is playing on iPads and iPhones. Its a bit of a punch in the face to stroll off the coach from Malaysia in your ‘backpacker’ attire to be met by a population that is completely immaculate!
There is a famous description of Singapore online which references it to being ‘Disneyland with the death penalty’ and i can totally see why. Aside from just wandering the streets or catching the pristene MRT and taking in the towering high rises and futuristic features of Singapore, there is a wealth of ‘touristy’ things to do, which are all so easily reached by public transport, simply because the city is so well linked up and very very small.
Whilst my Mam was still with us me made it a priority to do the best attractions with her, so this included hitting the Zoo and Night Safari. The Zoo is easily the best I have ever been to in my life and all of the enclosures are open! Meaning no grubby glass to take pictures through, with some of the enclosures featuring walkways that go above you or under you! A really great way to see such an amazing mix of animals in as close to a natural habitat as possible. This was then emphasised by the Night Safari, which allows visitors to walk around a seperate Zoo which houses exclusively noctural animals. With the same principles of open enclosures as the normal Zoo, just that its dark and they are much more active. We also go to meet some Orungatans during the day Zoo, which came within arms reach, with the obvious distraction of food. The animals at both sites were so well looked after and compared to other zoos, there wasn’t an empty enclosure, starved animal or forgotten path in sight.
Although rumours have it and LonleyPlanet will definately have it, everything is expensive in Singapore, this includes alcohol and food………wrong. If you lift your eyes above the LonleyPlanet guide and ask Singaporeans where they eat, then you uncover some of the best Asian food at reasonable prices, including bottles of beer for 3-4GBP which is much much cheaper than Malaysia. The food might not be as cheap as Vietnam and Thailand, but at 2-3GBP it was certainly cheaper than the majority of the tourist hot spots in Malaysia and the quality certainly didn’t disapoint. As Singapore is so multi culture the food on offer included some of the best dishes from all of South East Asia and lots of western favourites too, which ironically lots of Singaporeans ate! I was a very happy bunny, eating Laksa, Papaya Salad (Som Tam), Chinese Chicken with Rice and pretty much every favourite dish from all of the places we had visited in SEA. It was a great way to show my Mam some of the dishes we had sampled on our journey so far.
The rest of our time inbetween (as always) eating great food and seeing the local sights, was spent visiting Clarke Quay, a popular nightlife hub including bars, pubs, resteraunts, Hooters and a sling bungee! Strolling around the many over-sized shopping malls, lazing around in the gardens by the bay, taking a way around Marina Bay and finishing our walk off with a water hologram! We also visited Raffles, which my Mam was very excited about, unfortunately for us we didn’t know enough about it, apart from it being very, very expensive.
We capped off my Mam’s trip with a surprise ride on the Singapore Flyer with a Singapore sling thrown in. Organised with military precision and SAS stealth, so she wouldn’t clock on, we managed to persuade my Mam to come down to the area where the flyer without question and then casually stroll into the executive lounge ticket office to begin our fancy pants experience. We struck really lucky with getting our own capsule, which was also decked out much more than the others, to give a more luxurious feel!
After a very sad departure, we spent the remainder of our time exploring the areas of the city we didn’t get to see with my Mam and because we are both big kids, hitting the water park ofcourse! We both fell in love with Singapore and it was too easy to become comfortable there, if it wasn’t for the supermodel looking Singaporeans (it makes you very self-conscience), it could have almost became a new home for us!