Visiting Singapore is truly a unique experience. The country is a testament to how great results can arise from thorough planning and strategic execution. There isn’t any traffic, crime rates are low, healthcare and education are ranked highly, it’s super multicultural, and it’s SO clean!
There are so many things I love about Singapore, and we were only there for 4 days! Let’s start with the view from my Tita’s condo on the resort island of Sentosa. Their balcony overlooks the Singapore Strait and the South China Sea. In the mornings (and most hours of the day, really) you can see various types of boats going back and forth through the Strait, giving you an idea of just how busy this commercial and transportation hub is. Sentosa is home to one of the many Merlion statues in Singapore, but I think it’s the best looking one.
One of the things I loved the most about Singapore was the flora! It’s pretty obvious that Singapore and Canada would have starkly different looking plants but I didn’t expect to be as amazed as I was. Nature and green spaces are a huge priority, and that’s something I can get on board with.
A short drive from Sentosa into the main island is Vivocity Mall which overlooks a harbour, and has one of the best food courts I’ve ever been to, the downtown/business core, and many cultural neighbourhoods. I knew from a couple of my cousins and from seeing photos that I HAD to visit Haji Lane and the Arabic quarter; the colours of the decor and the smells from the restaurants made for a memorable experience!
We also visited Chinatown (which had a giant rooster for Chinese New Year), ate at a hawker, and saw a “no durians on board” sign on the bus. Seriously, have you ever smelled durian? Just thinking about it makes me queasy. Apparently someone on our flight back to Manila didn’t get the memo because they packed some in their luggage, offending the entire cabin!
There are some who would argue that Singapore has no “culture” since it’s only about 50 years old, but I don’t agree. Singapore’s history is incredibly interesting, especially in terms of how they built themselves up since their independence.
Check out my vlogs below to see Singapore in motion!
Some practical info:
- Brush up on the laws before you arrive. Smoking in non-designated areas and chewing/spitting out gum, for example, are illegal and they’re very adamant on following and enforcing rules.
- Take the public transit. You’ll have to load a metro card but it’s good for both the bus and the subway; both of which are super reliable.
- Don’t use thick moisturizers here; your skin will clog up from the humidity. Water-based lotions are the way to go!
- Most restaurants don’t provide napkins so keep a couple in your pocket/purse just in case!