Our first impression upon disembarking from the plane was ‘Wow, this is clean, brand new looking and gorgeous’ and that was just the airport. When it’s time to leave they have self check out stands for immigration and plane boarding, where you scan your passport and take a picture. Picture the self check out at the grocery store but smoother and quieter. You can watch free movies, use free massage chairs, hop on free computers with WiFi, and feed the fish in the koi ponds.
Singapore quickly became one of my most favorite cities. Here’s why:
The Chingay Parade is a mesmerizing spectacle put on annually right after Chinese New Year. Travel Tip: you must buy tickets in advance, I suggest at least half a year. They will give you a bottle of water and poncho (it’s rain or shine), as well as LED pom poms to add your enthusiasm to the show.
You can ride a cable car to Sentosa Island. Where everything is a magical resort. Imagine the most famous cartoon resort mixed with a certain movie about candy and you’ll get the idea. Travel Tip: you’ll be paying for a magical resort.
You can literally walk under sharks at the aquarium on Sentosa Island.
Back on the mainland are the Gardens by the Bay. The Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Supertree Grove are the star attractions.
You can see the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Cloud Forest. And feel like you’ve entered land of the lost….
You can witness the future as a light and sound show projected through giant vertical gardens with LED lights reminds you of the interconnectedness of all things.
And of course the star of the show- FOOD!!!! Singapore is a foodies dream. Nom nom to the extreme. You can spend a mighty sum at the finer restaurants ($35 US for one Singapore Sling) but every keen reader knows the famous hawker stands are the way to go! There are entire food court centers where you can find cheap, famously good eats. So good in fact there are two hawker stands that have earned Michelin stars. We ate at one (Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork And Noodle) for $6 each. The cheapest Michelin starred meal you can have.
On to dessert, for a rare culinary experience you must try durian in some form. As they say, ‘smells like Hell and tastes like Heaven’. I suggest adding ice cream. And then brush your teeth.
Singapore was a bit expensive for our backpacker budget at $150 -$200 a day, but certainly worth it. It has a reputation for being expensive but we found reasonable lodging (85 Beach Garden Hotel) and the food was delicious and super cheap at the hawker stands. Add in the English speaking friendly locals, drinkable tap water, cheap transport on the metro and free shows and you’ve got quite a remarkable city. Wow Singapore!!!!