I'm not a fan of metropolises, I rather choose the tranquility of nature over big cities, but Singapore is a destination that conquered us, definitively.
I understood what urban friendly means.
It's been on our bucket list for some time, so the 12-hour layover to Bali was more than welcome. In fact, I recommend stopovers of over 8-9 hours because they give you the chance to explore the cities you are stopping in and then you can sleep peacefully on the plane so that you arrive super fresh at your destination.
We flew to Singapore with Scoot Airlines from Athens, the low-cost company belonging to Singapore Airlines, for about 12 hours and we were very satisfied with the services offered vs. the price paid: around 900 euros, return trip, 2 people.
It's like an almost complete tour of the city.
I got to know Singapore at 6 AM, on a Saturday, when apparently the city was sleeping. The first thing that hit us was the extremely high humidity; you have the impression that you have stepped into a wet sauna, but with time you begin to tolerate it.
During the day, the values start from 90% and reach somewhere around 60% humidity.
The airport, like the city island itself, is impressive. It offers a free 2.5-hour city tour for those with a stopover of more than 5.5 hours. We opted for an independent wandering, haihuin2, with local means of transport.
We expected that in a city like Singapore, there would be extremely many cars, hellish traffic, horns, noise, and only glass buildings. The latter exists, but is surrounded by many green spaces: it's like an outdoor botanical garden, where you breathe clean, unpolluted, but humid air. There are few cars, most of them electric. Taxes are very high and for this reason, Singaporeans prefer to avoid the luxury of traveling by car, in exchange for means of transport (bus or subway). However, Singapore's public transport system is one of the best in the world.
Here we are in the heart of the city! The first stop is the famous hotel and emblem of the city: Marina Bay, a symbolic, innovative building highly appreciated by tourists. We really wanted to test the infinity poll by Marina Bay experience, but the cost of one night was $450... There are, however, other less orthodox ways to get there, but I said no. So I admired the architecture from the outside. Maybe, next time 🙂
We continued our walking tour with a walk in Gardens by the Bay, where to our surprise, at 6 AM we met extremely many runners, of all ages (from 5 to 70-80 years old). Sports and a healthy lifestyle are well-integrated values in the lives of Singaporeans. You will be amazed at how good it looks. I am extremely fit.
I work a lot, the fight for survival is fierce, and life is very expensive.
In Gardens by the Bay, we were waiting to see the famous trees - Super Trees - also featured in the movie Avatar. You have the impression that you have stepped into the future, everything is extremely futuristic, with perfect attention to detail, colorful, and full of life. Located at a maximum height of 50 m, you can visit them up close with the help of a skywalk. They are impressive, indeed. You look at them like an urban wonder. As in the case of the city, the experience of the trees during the day is different from the one offered in the evening.
Gardens by the Bay means an oasis of peace in the middle of the city, with lush vegetation as far as the eye can see, attractions of all kinds and for all ages, skywalk trees, exhibitions, and museums and is proof that nature can be integrated into the life of a city.
Large corporations have their headquarters downtown. Singapore is one of the great powers in Asia and an important geographical point for the stock market. You have the feeling that you are on Wall Street. Great agitation. People dressed in costumes are running, you wonder where, or enjoying their lunch in a hurry, together with their colleagues.
We continued with Little India, with a local bus, an area where you will experience small parts of India. A specific Indian bazaar. The explosion of color, aromas, sounds, and specific smells. Nothing to dislike, apart from the high temperature outside. You will find here everything you can think of and not much, at reasonable prices. Patterns, clothes, household appliances, IT accessories, anything.
And since Indian food is famous, I tried it at one of the restaurants in Little India and it was delicious.
Singapore must be explored, both during the day and at night. Same city, but different experiences.
At night, the city is extremely attractive, vibrant, and much more attractive than during the day, from my point of view. The terraces and restaurants are extremely lively, and the parks are full of families with children, and tourists, sitting on the grass watching the spectacle of the futuristic trees or sitting on the shore of the lake, simply admiring the downtown. Something is happening on every street corner. There are either open-air concerts, fairs with local products, or the impressive show of the fountains at Marina Bay that reinforce your conviction that this city never sleeps. Everything is so animated, dynamic, and infectious.
By the way, the fountain show here is much more spectacular than the one in Vegas. Don't miss it!
Singapore is a destination worth exploring in 3-4 days. Our bucket list tells us that it will be like that 🙂 Enjoy this green metropolis and don't miss it on your visit to ASE. It changes perceptions about what urban actually means.
Singapore for us is an emotion: of joy, of the moment when we lay on the grass and watched the spectacle of the trees. We felt like Alice in Wonderland. Again, kids.
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