Singapore – Lion City

I can’t even believe I’m holding my plane tickets to Singapore! It happened so fast that all the planets were certainly aligned for this holiday to happen (and here I’m referring to two of my best friends, Mihaela and Vio, who said YES right away).

We were preparing for a holiday in Croatia when, without spending too much time thinking, we took advantage of the offer from Swiss Air and changed our plans. The tickets, with one stop in Zurich, cost about 460 euros per person, just over a month before the departure date.

I chose June for this trip, as I read that the best time to visit Singapore is March-June or October. With a tropical climate and temperatures ranging from 22° C to 34° C, Singapore has high humidity and tropical rainfall, the amount of rainfall being what makes the most difference between seasons (with two monsoon seasons: one from November through March, and another from July to September).

So, be prepared for air to be a little harder to breathe and high humidity!

Although Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, you can find many free places to visit, as well as food for all budgets.

I found it more difficult to choose a hotel with a reasonable price. However, I solved this problem “easily” because of Mihaela, who discovered that if you come to Singapore and do not stay for one night at the Marina Bay Hotel, you have come for nothing. And how could we come to Singapore for nothing!? I paid about 130 euros per person / night, but it was well worth the money!

Marina Bay Hotel is impressive. It is the largest hotel I have ever stayed in, and you can lose yourself in its three buildings that connect directly to the subway station. For example, from the room to Garden Bay (directly opposite the hotel) still takes you over 20 minutes. The infinity pool is the main attraction of this hotel, but access is now only for hotel guests. The view here from the 57th floor is humbling and you can also enjoy it from the deck. You have access to this deck even without being a guest of the hotel, but you will have to pay $26 https: (https://www.marinabaysands.com/attractions/sands-skypark.html)

Did you know Singapore is the city with the most penalties for: throwing chewing gum, throwing garbage in public space, drawing graffiti, crossing through unauthorized places and more. In 1992, the ban on chewing gum was introduced, but at present, gum is not completely banned, although it is not found for sale in shops. Only since 2004, pharmacists and dentists are allowed to sell the therapeutic gum based on the prescription.

Singapore harmoniously combines people of different nationalities and beliefs, temples, mosques, churches, preserving traditions but at the same time being a futuristic city. Which means you have a lot of places to visit.

We stayed 4 days and we definitely needed a few more to see everything. We were sorry that we didn’t go to the Botanical Garden, especially since the entrance is free despite it being the only tropical garden included in the UNESCO world heritage list. We also missed the ZOO. So, if you have more time, don’t miss them! For further information:: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg & https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/singapore-zoo.html

What I couldn’t miss:

Durian:

If you come to Asian countries you must try this fruit! It is also called the King of Fruits for its many properties… it is an exotic fruit that has the worst smell, and because of that in most countries it is forbidden to transport it via public transport. If you eat it without breathing, the taste is very interesting 😉 Ah, and don’t forget to use the plastic gloves for that!

Singapore Sling Cocktail– 1Altitude:

We enjoyed a cocktail and felt the pulse of Singapore’s nightlife, at the same time taking in a 360 degree view of the city from the 61st floor. We paid a cover fee, but included in the cost is one cocktail. (https://www.1-altitude.com/)

Little India

We entered the world of spices and admired two of the most beautiful temples: Sri Mariamman Temple and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

Chinatown

Chinatown with its famous Chinese shops and ornaments is the perfect place for shopping, but also the place that hosts the oldest and most important Hokkien (Hoklo) people’s temple in the country, namely the, Thian Hock Keng Temple.

Gardens by the Bay:

You can’t miss this wonderful place! Here you will find the famous Supertree Grove, which transposes you into the world of fantasy through unprecedented architecture. Supertrees are constructed of steel and covered with plants that collect rainwater as well as photovoltaic cells that accumulate energy during the day. Thus, with the darkness, the trees are covered in a multitude of lights, creating the most beautiful sound and light show I have ever seen. The show and the outdoor gardens are free. You need to buy tickets only for walking along the elevated footbridge between the trees, as well as for the two spectacular greenhouses, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. More details can be found on their website: https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/attractions.htm

Esplanade Bridge & Merlion:

It’s a very beautiful area for an afternoon walk and for admiring impressive buildings; but also for taking a picture with the Merlion, the symbol of the city, a fantastical creature, half-fish and half-lion.

Sentosa Island (Joy Island):

It is one of the most important attractions in Singapore where you can spend a whole day visiting Universal Studio or relaxing on the beautiful artificial beaches. Here you will find another huge Merlion statue, as well as the southernmost point of Asia. You can access the island:

  • via the monorail, which has the station on the third floor of the VivoCity mall, 
  • via the gondola, which is an attraction in itself, offering a great view, 
  • on foot on the beautiful pedestrian bridge that has moving walkways in case you get tired.

No matter the method, you only need to pay upon entry to the island, so we chose to walk by paying 1SGD and returned for free with the monorail.

Telok Ayer Market:

For an unforgettable dining experience, try this market! We arrived here in the evening and found a lively atmosphere, locals and tourists, food of all kinds and for all tastes and budgets.

Did you know that Singapore:

  • Together with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the East Asian Tigers
  • It is one of the top ten most modern cities in the world
  • It is one of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia
  • It is the safest city in the world, the crime rate being zero
  • It continues to expand despite having no more natural land, artificially building land from the sand brought from the bottom of the ocean.

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