Not just a stopover destination!
11.01.2011 - 13.01.2011 26 °C
What can I say? Singapore has taken our breath away! We actually thought we’d only have one night in the city- but so glad it turned out to be two! We thought there wouldn’t be much to do since we don’t know many people that have actually been here for a holiday- only stopovers between flights, but we were very wrong!
First though, you can’t talk about the city without talking about the fines. You can be fined a huge amount for almost anything that could harm the appearance of Singapore: gum chewing, smoking, spitting, graffiti-i ng (although you get the cane for that), not flushing a public toilet (yup) or peeing anywhere actually, cycling under a bridge, jay walking... I could go on! But because of these laws, Singapore is probably the cleanest, most pleasant city we’ve ever visited- it really is fantastic. Another contributing factor is that the public transportation system is so fantastic (timed to the minute in the case of the metro that covers the whole city) there’s not many cars at all- I think this is the first city we’ve visited in a long time where we’ve not even used a taxi from the airport.
Singapore Island is about 20 miles long, it’s tiny- and the actual centre is much smaller, we were able to see an awful lot in the short time we were here. We spent time going through China Town where they are preparing for the Lunar New Year- there are lanterns everywhere, lots of red decorations (which signifies luck) and lots of rabbit toys , pictures and statues, which is what year it will be in a few weeks.
We were even lucky enough to see some teams from all over Asia doing a lion dance on huge stilts which were so far apart- looking like the Chinese dragons, but with only two people. Amazing!
The waterfront is also fantastic- it’s so nice to go for a stroll and see the candy coloured buildings everywhere. It’s easy to take it easy here- despite everything running like clockwork and being so efficient- they even sell ready mixed Jack Daniels and Coke in bottles (at ice cream stalls, woop woop) to save some time, and don’t get me started on the breakneck speed of the escalators here! And the fact that there are lots of gorgeous restaurants and bars right on the river that serve towers of beer- you can’t help but feel relaxed.
Now, I have to admit- we did plan to go to Raffles- to the bar that invented the Singapore Sling, and find out what one actually tastes like, but it turns out it would cost £20 each so we’re happy to stick to Tiger beer in the cafe across the road for now!
We also took a quick jaunt down to Sentosa Island to the south (still, only about 4kms from the city centre) which is basically a fun island- full of rides, attractions, beaches, 4D cinemas... I could go on and on!
I think Singapore will definitely be a place that, if we ever have a stopover between flights, we’ll make sure we extend it by a few days- really one of our most favourite cities.