Here we are in Singapore and back to the usual, diary style blog this time! Hope you enjoyed the change of the Borneo posts though😊 Not only am a blabbermouth in real life, I also seem to have trouble writing things in a condensed manner..! Another long one, I’m not even sorry.
We arrived in Singapore around midday but after working out the MRT (Singapore metro service) and navigating some of the local streets we arrived at our hostel around 2pm. Our hostel, Green Kiwi, had combined with Rucksack Inn so we had a room in the Rucksack Inn instead! To our surprise this hostel didn’t have the conventional bunk beds. It instead had cubby hole type beds, each separated by walls, with curtains on one end. At first Louise and I were apprehensive but as our 4 nights went on we grew to love our little hovels. They made the perfect place to hide from the rain and watch “An Idiot Abroad”.
Our first afternoon we walked into Little India and found the most huge department store, which also happened to be 24h. After sanding round as much as we could stomach we escaped back to the bustling streets. We found a small vegetarian
Indian restaurant so stopped here for dinner and I was delicious. So after having a fair few Indian meals while traveling, I don’t think what us Brits think a peshwari naan is, is quite the same as what a peshwari naan is internationally. My peshwari naan this time was more of a pizza, topped with all sorts: peppers, olives, nuts and other unidentified vegetables. It was still undeniably delicious.
Our first full day in Singapore ended up being JAM packed. We originally planned to visit “Gardens By the Bay” in the morning to look around and then head to the national museum in the afternoon but new events were soon added onto the days itinerary.
We started our day as planned and caught the MRT to “Gardens By the Bay”. This is the public park FILLED with wild life and also the famous tall trees featured on David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth”. These were as stunning in real life as they are on TV. After a few hours wandering round gardens by the bay we walked to the National Museum. On the way to the Museum we walked through Marina bay where we saw signs advertising a Holi celebration to due start later that day. This then became our first addition to the days plans… further down the road we also saw signs for a Cocktail Festival being held close by, again this was added onto our to do list! We arrived at the National Museum in enough time to join the guided tour. This meant our lovely guide “Sim” showed us round the museum explaining as she went along. Sim explained all about Singapore’s independence, its involvement in WW2 and about its heritage as part of British Empire. This was very interesting as I’ve always been intrigued as to the history of Singapore. However I’m pretty sure I walked away with more questions than I started with. I did some googling later in the day and cleared most of that up.
After our well cultured few hours in the museum we walked through town to the Cocktail Festival we’d seen advertised. The free entry event had multiple rooms, each of which represented a bar in Singapore. They all had their own feel to them with individualised decorates and activities as well as, of course, cocktails. After having one of the nicest cocktails I’ve ever drank (it had passion fruit in and anything with passion fruit is a win for me), we walked back towards the Marina Sands area.
Here there was a Holi celebration taking place. Of course, me being me, I got involved meaning I walked away 30 minutes later with splashes of multicoloured powder paints across my face! You’ve got to love spontaneous powder paint throwing and dancing right?
The sun was beginning to set so we went back to “Gardens By the Bay” to see the infamous trees lighting up as the sun set. The darker the sky got the prettier the trees looked. Ribbons of fairy lights were woven up the trunk, changing colour occasionally. Just as Louise and I were about to set off home, music started playing out! We didn’t know, but the coloured, lit up trees were part of a music symphony in the evenings. The music included segments from Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and even Little Mermaid with the lights dancing to the beat of each song. The display was very charming and was made all the better for being a surprise.
Day two in Singapore had a lot to live up to. Although not quite as jam packed I still had a fantastic day exploring the city. We first caught the MRT to China town. Here the streets were lined with rows and rows of shops and stalls, while above us hung row upon row of lanterns. We strolled the streets until we were happy we’d seen all of what there was on offer. After lunch we made our way to Sentosa.
Sentosa is a small island just off the cost of the south coast of Singapore. During British rule is was used as the military base but today it is a island resort. The resort is home to hotels, restaurants and even a “Universal Studios” resort! The island was very odd and had an entirely superficial feel. No evidence of the islands history remained and instead, a theme park style of development covered the island. After seeing as much of the excess here as we could stomach, we headed back to our hostel after a day with A LOT of walking.
In the evening we visited “1-Altitude”, an open air roof top bar. As a bit of a pro with the ol’roof top bar nowadays, sadly, this one didn’t quite measure up. We had to pay an entrance fee before we’d even got in the lift and on top of that, once at the top, there was a very odd tacky feel about the bar. Imagine a rubbish English club but on the roof top of a Singapore skyscraper. Now although that might fill some of you with joy, honestly it was disappointing. We put this to the back of our heads as we sipped our Singapore slings and gazed out over the city skyline. We finished our evening with burritos from a stall by the Marina. With being in such a multicultural city we were really taking advantage of the variety of food on offer.
On our last day in Singapore we, sadly, weren’t blessed on the weather side of things. It was raining heavily when we got up and ate breakfast, so we decided that our last day in Singapore, and last day traveling as a duo, would be a lazy one. Our only plans for the day were to go and see Disney’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast” and a last evening sipping wine and eating good food. “Beauty and the Beast” was fantastic, with all the original songs and a fantastic combination of real life acting and animation. We also paid half of what you’d pay at home to see the film so it was a win all round.
We decided on “loof” for our last night of drinks together. We took full advantage of their happy hour(s) before our dinner. This bar did the job of roof top bar far better than “1-Altitud”e. “Loof” had a much more relaxed atmosphere with a less garish tacky decor. It was close to the “Raffels Hotel” so of course it was going to be classy 😊Between drinks and dinner we watched a duet performing Mozart on the violin and piano at the Esplanade. This was so very different to anything else we’d done the whole trip but also a very special way to top off an amazing 10 weeks. This was a free show and just one example of many events that go on in Singapore everyday.
As big cities go, Singapore is a bloody good one. It was clean, we’ll run and FULL of life. Everyday there were loads of activities both free and paid to get involved in.
It also made a nice way to top of our time together as sadly, this is where our trip as “Sarah and Louise” ended. Louise left to go home on March 21st and I am continuing on for a month in and around Bali. The 10 weeks spent traveling with Louise have been more then special. Sharing such precious moments with such an amazing friend has been incredible. Venturing on alone is a little daunting, however, I’m excited for what Bali will hold. That being said I’m not actually alone for very long. Will, a very good friend of mine, is joining me on April 1st and we will travel together for the last 3 weeks!
But for now it’s off to Bali 👋