Singapore – one of the smallest and wealthiest countries in the world. Founded in 1819 as a British colony and since 1965 an independent state. It is located on the Singapore Straits, just above the equator. It has a humid equatorial climate, i.e. it has high temperatures and high humidity, both at night and during the day. The local currency is the Singapore dollar (1S $ – 0.75usd). Polish citizens do not need visas to stay within 90 days. The country is not one of the cheapest for the travelers.
It’s a brief about the country. This is an entry from the Citybreak series, which is my proposal for a weekend getaway. Living in Bangkok I took a quick tour of Singapore in less than 2 days. I chose the flights with AirAsia on Saturday at 11:05 and return to Bangkok on Sunday at 20:35. I paid 110 euros for both (130 $ / 470 PLN).
Upon arrival, I go to the city center. I get to Raffle Place station in order to exchange money for the local currency, because there are exchange offices with better exchange rates than those available at the airport. From there, I go to the Little India district where my Hostel was located. Overnight in a hostel, in a dormitory room with bunk beds cost me 17.50 S$ (47 PLN)
Singapore is famous for its very strict law, which also applies to foreigners staying in this country. There is a high monetary mandate for littering or smoking in a public place. The penalty of flogging may result in vandalism or exceeding the visa expiration date. Possession of drugs and corruption are punishable by a death penalty. Until recently, chewing gum was completely forbidden in Singapore. Now you can do it, but only if you have a certificate from a dentist and you still can not get one in the store.
The city is very well connected thanks to the MRT train system. The ticket price depends on the distance that is to travel. After the current map of the transport network and calculating rates, I recommend the official website of transport in Singapore https://www.mytransport.sg/content/mytransport/home/commuting/busservices.html#Fare_Calculator
After leaving some of the things in the hostel and slimming the backpack I went on a trip towards Gardens by the Bay. The gardens themselves will be later in this post. Now I will focus on attractions that you can enjoy in the evening. Garden Rhapsody is a spectacle of music and light. Every day at 7:45 pm and at 8:45 pm, a music concert begins in the vicinity of Supertree Grove, and trees begin to shine with light. The repertoire changes every few months. I was watching a Christmas theme. Sometimes a little crowded so you might come about 30min before the show and take the best seats.
The next morning, I use the fact that my hostel is located in the Little India district and I start by visiting it. As the name suggests, this is the Indian quarter. There are Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim temples here. At every step, you can find graffiti about the immigration character of the district.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The next point of my walk is the Temple in which the Buddha’s tooth is kept. The temple is looked after by the Chinese community from the nearby Chinese neighborhood. On the way to the temple, you can admire the colonial architecture of Singapore.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Going north from the temple with the Buddha’s tooth, I reach the Sri Mariamman temple, which dates back to 1827. This is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. It is considered to be a national treasure and a monument of historical significance.
Going further north and turning slightly to the left, we reach the Singapore River. From here you can see the building of the Ministry of Communications and Information, which has characteristic colorful shutters.
Bullets in front of the Asian Civilization Museum
Walking along the promenade along the river, after crossing it you can admire the financial district of Singapore, which contrasts with the old buildings here. The promenade ends with a park with a museum of civilization, and in front of it, there are huge, polished, metal spheres where we can see our reflection.
Merlion is the symbol of Singapore. A mythical creature with a lion’s head and a fish’s body. To reach it, just cross the bridge to the other side of the river and continue across the street. The monument is located just above the bay. Therefore, we have an excellent view of the hotel Marina Bay Sands in the shape of a ship standing on top of three buildings. On its roof is probably the most famous infinity pool in the world, available only to hotel guests. (I visited a similar one in Kuala Lumpur).
Gardens by the Bay
After crossing the bay (eg with the Helix bridge), we reach the hotel’s footpath and the magical gardens of the future. Gardens by the Bay, where big artificial trees stand out (Supertree Grove). The garden is free, but you have to pay $ 8 Singapore dollars for climbing trees and walking in their crowns at an altitude of 22 meters.
In the gardens, there are also 2 domes hiding inside the botanical gardens. Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The first one has unique vegetation, the second is maintained in the rainforest ecosystem. You have to pay 28 S$ for entry to both. Only one of them is 16 S$ (I couldn’t find any information about that online, but I turned out that it is possible). I chose a walk around Cloud Forest from which I present pictures.
Singapore Grand Prix
The last point of my tour around Singapore were the boxes of the street racetrack. F1 competitions are held here
I ended my adventure with Singapore in the same place that I started it, at the best airport in the world – Changi Airport.
Unfortunately, I was 2 weeks late. AirAsia has just started operating from the newly opened T4 terminal. Unfortunately, the fourth terminal is separated from the other three and I did not have access to the duty-free area where the main attractions of the airport are located: slides, swimming pool, cinema, social tree etc. You can get to them using the internal bus only if we have a transfer from one of the terminals T1, T2 or T3. I only had to transfer with an external, free bus that runs between T4 and T2 where there is an MRT subway station.
Still, I remember the fourth terminal as very good. A carpet is lined everywhere. Right at the gates, there are very comfortable armchairs and sofas, which have built-in charging sockets and TV sets. There is a free Internet, hot and cold water, entertainment in the form of gaming machines. There is also a food court. If you have an electronic biometric passport, the process can be carried out without a fully automatic maintenance-free service, from baggage, passport clearance and security checks to the gate to the plane. We do everything ourselves with the help of vending machines and without contact with the service staff.
It was a very short visit to Singapore. Unfortunately, just over 24 hours I had, it allowed me to just lick what the country has to offer. I will definitely come back here, for example, to visit the world’s largest aquarium.
More post from my travel through South East Asia