Stepping from the icy air conditioned Terminal at Singapore’s Changi airport, the heat and humidity sucker punches you in the face. Like walking through hot soup, even a short walk will leave your shirt clinging to your body. Combine that with a heavy backpack and you will have an uncomfortable time. Fortunately it is a breeze to get an air conditioned minibus to your hotel/hostel, and so begins the life of hopping from air con to air con wherever possible.
Singapore is a modern, bright, open and very wealthy city. You won’t find any slums here. You won’t need to be wary of crime either. The streets are clean and the drivers are (mostly) sensible. They even obey traffic lights! in short, there is no edge here, and as such the city lacks… excitement. Not that there isn’t a vast array of things you can do: whatever you are looking for, you can likely as not find it here. If you like high class bars and restaurants, these lie dotted around all over the place. If you like eating locally, the hawker centres will cater to your taste buds for very little money. But, despite all of this, coming from Hong Kong, Singapore simply didn’t inspire me in the same way as that hectic Cantonese enclave.
If you disagree, you are probably right. I only saw Singapore for two days which is hardly enough to accurately judge one of the most important cities in the world! Two days however is about as much as I could afford. Singapore is expensive!
I am a fair way through my travels now, and I need to watch my wallet these days. Spending more than my three nights here was not going to be possible, so what could I fit in, in such as short amount of time? Well, Tripadvisor is your friend. Number one: cooking class. A short way from the hostel and it’s a wonderful little outfit they have there. You’ll get to make three courses and devour them all while making new friends. Book ahead though.
Then there’s the zoo. Singapore zoo is quite an astonishing place. It’s a densely packed place and you barely have to walk two minutes before getting face to face with some incredible animal life.
Wild men climb across the paths above your head.
You’ll be stalked by ancient reptiles.
And get more than you bargained for.
The most famous aspect of the zoo is actually the “Night Safari”, but the more people I spoke to about it, the less I was interested. You can do the zoo and the safari in the same day if you want, but for the latter, prepare to queue and jostle for photos. There’s also a river safari but this wasn’t running when I was there. It’s a great place to spend the day, and it doesn’t break the bank but make sure you eat before you arrive unless you really want some sub-par KFC.
You’ll notice I haven’t said much about the city itself… or included any pictures! Well, this is because I didn’t really see much of it. Outside parts of China town and the nearby skyscrapers, I didn’t get around much, and for some reason didn’t think to take pics of the skyline. No doubt there are many wonderful things to be discovered in between the steel and glass, but I am afraid you are just going to have to find out for yourself!