Singapore, one of the 4 Asian Tigers.
Its funny to think how life can play with us sometimes … 5 years ago I have received a job proposal to work in Singapore. At the time, very happy with my London life, I have laugh at the prospect. Never been to Asia before and had no interest in living in a place I hardly knew anything about.
4 years ago I visit Asia, SEA more precisely and felt in love Been in love ever since…. Asia is an wonderful place and has a very special place in my heart, so after visiting Singapore a few weeks ago, I can actually say I could totally live and work in this absolutely amazing and developed country in the Southeast Asian region.
Singapore is in fact a very interesting place. Is actually considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Why is so popular? It has the history, the nature, the shopping and is the perfect gateway for many other places.
So I am very glad that I managed to include Singapore on my route and here it is the result of a short but sweet stay in this little Republic.
Timeline: 10 Jan until 14th Jan – 5 days
Where: Singapore …. well, it is a small country….
Temperatures: Amazingly hot… always over 30 degrees. But it did rain a bit I must confess… :S we can’t have it all…
Touring: Spent only a few days in the country because it is so small plus it is very expensive. Was by myself but I had a friend in town so he took me out. Also made a friend from Korea, and spent the entire day with her, so was by myself only one day.
New additions in life: Met Minge Jeon (could never write or pronounce her korean name – sorry hun), from South Korea and can’t wait to visit her and meet her again, she was lovely. We had a great time together.
Sickness: nop, no sickness or problems this time
Accidents: nothing, maybe because I wasn’t there long enough? ahahahah
Transports used: Arrived by bus, and in Singapore I used metro, taxi and I left by plane. Have to say I was so impressed with the taxi system. First, the taxi drivers were really nice. While I was waiting for a taxi and waving any taxi I was seeing independent if they had people or not, twice the taxi drivers actually stop to explain they were on duty and couldn’t take me, which I was shocked as this never happened anywhere. Normally they don’t care or feel like they own us any explanations, so it was touching. Also, for the first time in a while I didn’t need to fight demanding for the taxi driver to put the meter on, as they just put it and actually knew the directions (most of the time I need to show my map) soooooo refreshing.
Accommodation: So, while in Singapore, I booked the coolest hostel I have stayed ever: Adler Hostel. I am not a big fan of dorms or share rooms but since Singapore is so expensive I knew I had no choice. However I must say, that even tho I had to share with another 15 people, never been in a hostel with so much privacy ahahha could even be naked in my bed and no one would ever notice as it was like a cubicle or also called, a capsule. The hostel was very posh, but still cozy and friendly. They had complementary food such fruit and toast, and even coffee and tea, all day long, which is very rare. I loved it. Ohhhh and I cannot forget to mention they had the most amazing pillows I ever rest my head on. Priceless. Advise everyone that go to Singapore on a “budget” to stay here… its not that cheap but probably one of the cheapest you will find in town ahahah. So here it is: adlerhostel
Special Nights: ahhhh my Saturday night was amazing. Was great, really, as not only I went out with an old friend from Singapore – thank you Thomas, that showed me around and took me to the coolest places, introduce me to his fun friends but more than that.. it felt just like being back at home, in the LGBT nights of London 😀
Cinema: No time for such luxury :p
Singing: damn I didn’t sing here!!!
Big Surprise: how perfect everything is? Seriously, I was shocked to see that even the smallest detail was highly considered and studied in this country. As a “new” country, Singapore did an wonderful job on how to be ecological. Small things like speed control/ecological escalators (they just work once you get on them), actually most of the elevators, escalators and travellators are designed with auto-lightning and ventilation fans. You see Eco-restooms in a lot of places and so are the taps in most places ecological. Great to be in such an ecological and environmental friendly place such Singapore
Curiosity: Loved to see a very cute campaign at the metro about priority seats/reserved seats. I mean, most of us have probably use the metro at some big and busy city and its upsetting seeing the young not giving up their seats for the elderly, pregnant or children so there was a great campaign going on in the metro about the reserved seats that people that are untitled can reclaim 🙂
Astrology: ok, this was a bit freaky…. as I said in India, I did have my palm read twice as it was so freaking accurate… funnily enough I was in a little park doing my nails and obviously looking at my hands, and that reminded me of my palm reading, so was thinking about the things that the astologue told me… and guess what… in that second, a indian boy, came out of no where and asked me if he could read my hand as he was studying astrology, and then he said I seemed to have an interesting aura… well, I did jump out of my bench and was scared for the full day. And did not let him read as I was too freaked out hahahha
Money: Expensive expensive expensive. Singapore is actually one of the most expensive places in the world… reason I couldn’t stay much longer there, but you can get by. I got a quite cheap accommodation and mostly walked to most places. The metro is not too expensive but avoid the taxi. Food can be cheap if you eat street food or go to the markets. Entrance fees, surprisely, are not that expensive, exception of Disney, which sadly I couldn’t afford to go this time.
Food: It was ok, not super easy to find food for me as a Vegetarian but not impossible either. I actually had the best dumplings ever while in Singapore…. found the place by coincidence… chose the dumplings by coincidence and then I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. Returned next day to find out a queue of 30min, which I obviously waited, and then understood why: the place is really famous. Its called Din Tai Fung and has been award a few Michelin Stars. Then while inside I realise some pictures of Tom Cruise learning how to do the famous xiaolongbao. Good news is there are a few branches around the world and I cannot wait to go to the original restaurant that is located in Taipei.
Being Portuguese: Due to the approximate of Singapore to Malacca, an Portuguese ex colony which is only a couple of hours by bus, people were definitely aware of Portugal. And as usual they were aware of Cristiano Ronaldo, as pretty much every time I would say I was from Portugal, the answer would be “ahhh Cristiano Ronaldo” lol
Myth or not: Is forbidden to chewing bubble gum in Singapore. NOT a myth. It is in fact true… since the 90s that Singapore banned the bubble gum and they take it very seriously. Not only there is a massive fine of $500 for spitting out gum but you will also be “named and shamed” publicly. Reason? the inappropriate disposal of the bubble gum. Singaporeans are VERY clean and who wants bubble gum sticked to your $1200 shoes? plus it leaves the roads and walkways dirty… and under the school desks :p
There was so many. The 5 days were filled with highlights.
- First one has to be Thomas. To met an old friend is always that special moment!!!! Specially when he cared so well for me. Thanks hun for the dinner, for showing me around, for introduce me to your crew and for the awesome party.. was great to dance to Lady Gaga and Brit again ahahah <3
- all the amazing and wonderful sights of Singapore… if you see my last blog singapore-top-5 I explain each one of them, definitely all highlights… the gardens by the bay, the Zoo, the safari… ahhh such beautiful nature in Singapore.
- The cleanness and politeness. Singapore is such an wonderful and developed country… and as much as I travel around in Asia, Singapore really is a contracts with other countries close by…. theres no way you will see garbage on the floor or seeing people spitting on the floor, or mothers taking their kids clothes in the middle of the pavement so they can have a poo… (real story, post coming soon….) so yes, congratulations Singapore, you truly are a jewel, a very clean one, in this beautiful continent.
As expected… the food ahahhaah. It wasn’t massively bad, but not good either. Still struggling my way to find food.
My bucket list:
- Vist the Singapore Zoo
- Have a night safari
- Being on a cloud forest (even tho was artificial)
- Long stroll on the waterfront promenade at the Marina bay
What I haven’t accomplished of my list:
- Swim at the Marina Bay infinite pool
- Visit the Universal Studios in Singapore
(I guess I will need to go back….)
So this was Singapore for me 🙂
Now this is definitely a place I know I will return… and might be quite soon ;p