It was hard to say goodbye to Bali, but Singapore turned out to be an incredibly unique and spectacular city for a quick trip. We were on the fence about whether or not to stop and spend time here, but since our flight from Bali had to go through Singapore before getting to Thailand, we figured we’d check it out for a quick two night stay.
We stayed at the River City Inn (http://www.rivercityinn.com/), definitely a no-frills hostel but one that has a superb location – walking distance to the city’s best attractions. Singapore is definitely an expensive city, something to keep in mind when planning a visit, but it is definitely worth checking out!
We weren’t sure quite what to expect, so we were both somewhat surprised by how much we liked it overall. It is a very clean, modern city with colorful international culture, stunning architecture, art and sculpture displays everywhere, and simple, high-tech, efficient, and cheap public transit.
We landed mid afternoon and enjoyed a long walk around Marina Bay. The skyline and unique architecture of the buildings is immediately striking. This can’t be emphasized enough.
We enjoyed a beer at a local microbrewery that is located on the 33rd floor of one of the city’s many skyscrapers – Level 33 (http://www.level33.com.sg/) – a fantastic place to take in the Singapore skyline.
We watched the sunset and stayed after dark to see the light show that the Marina Bay Sands hotel puts on every evening. There are fantastic art pieces that feature unique uses of light in all corners of this district, making a nighttime stroll ideal.
We also grabbed a bite at one of the many local food markets, Makansutra Gluttons Bay, which was a fun way to try some local fare.
Singapore certainly stands out as an international financial center. There is a heavy European influence in the culture, particularly British, which makes sense since it only gained independence from the UK in 1963.
One of our favorite areas in Singapore was the neighborhood that lines the south side of the Singapore river, between the Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. The pub scene here has river views and was more affordable than much of Singapore, and the neighborhood still had a rich, international feel.
We spent our second day in Singapore doing much of the same. We walked the famous Gardens by the Bay displays (truly incredible) by day and by night, and we strolled around the Little India neighborhood, taking time to enjoy the authentic Indian food available (delicious).
Overall, we were truly impressed with everything Singapore had to offer! The only downside is the expense, so if you haven’t been yet, GO! If you can afford it… Now, on to Thailand! Can’t wait to get back to the beach.