Singapore is noticeably clean, strikingly beautiful, has stunning skyscrapers and is significantly expensive.
Singapore was the first foreign land where I had set foot and it was an amazing holiday. After the trip, I was sceptical about the ecstasy – was Singapore really awesome or was it because of my first trip abroad that I was feeling all cheerful. Therefore I waited for a month before I started penning down my experiences to keep the ‘first foreign trip’ excitement at par. I fell in love with Singapore within minutes of arriving at the Changi International Airport. I had heard that Singapore is a very small country (ranks 170 in the list of countries sorted by area), but what they did not tell me was that the country is growing vertically up. Driving down from the airport to our hotel, we could see an array of skyscrapers – lined up one after another in a fashionable sequence. We had rooms booked at Hotel Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay.
Singapore Bay is the epicentre of tourism in the country. It’s a small water body (as large as a lake) and is surrounded by impressive buildings and attractions in almost all directions. There is Singapore Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel with capsules as big as a room. The wheel is in continuous motion and takes about 30 minutes to complete one rotation. The capsule offers a 360o stunning view of Singapore city. The recently created Gardens by the Bay is another attraction which has gigantic tree-like structures, two huge green houses, mini forests and artificial waterfalls. The signature of Singapore – the Merlion statue attracts tourists like a magnet.
But the most striking part of the bay is Marina Bay Sands. You can’t help but stare at the building in awe. Its glass walled floors, the flower shaped museum on the ground and the boat shaped bridge on the top floors are all a mark of human’s creativity at making magnificent structures. Marina Bay Sands lies on one side of the bay and a bunch of skyscrapers lie on the other side. From a distance it looks like all the other buildings are bowing down to the majestic Marina Bay Sands which stands firm like a king.
Clarke Quay is yet another lively place where one can spend an entire evening admiring the riverside lighting. There are lot of restaurants here which offer exquisite menus ranging across infinite cuisines. We felt part of the Singapore crowd roaming on the streets of Clarke Quay. There was a person playing the guitar right in the centre of the pedestrian bridge. With the Singapore River in the backdrop and romantic couples lined up listening to the musical, it was a picture perfect moment, similar to the ones they show in movies. There are river cruises as well that one can take to roam around Singapore along the river.
Sentosa Island is one hell of an experience. The fun begins right when you take the monorail from the VivoCity shopping mall to the island. Segway Fun Ride, MegaZip, Jetlev Water-Propelled JetPack (fly boarding), iFly (artificial sky diving), Luge Ride, Trick Eye Museum Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Wings of Time, Oceanarium (Underwater World) and Dolphin Show are a recommended. There is a multitude of activities to be done on the island and you need at least 2 days to experience the most out of it. We couldn’t visit Universal Studios though. You may also purchase a ‘Day Fun Pass’ before visiting Sentosa. I have written a separate article about the pass – SENTOSA DAY FUN PASS – MYTH AND REALITY
On our 3 day visit to the country, we also visited the Night Safari. The safari starts at 7pm and due to the darkness, the animals don’t see our moving tram. Taking advantage of this fact, the animals are kept un-caged (except for the tiger). They can be seen at stone throw away distances from the tram. One can also take a walking trail and visit the animal compounds at a leisurely pace. They also feed the tiger and the lion at pre-set times. One can time his/her trail accordingly to see the animals when they are fed. Apart from the safari itself, there are two other shows included on the ticket – the fire & dance show and the animal show, both of which are amazing and highly recommended.
I wish I had more time to stay in Singapore. Although the city is ridiculously expensive, but I would love to come back some day and roam around the city to explore other interesting places.
Date of visit – June, 2015