In October 2014 I traveled over to SE Asia to meet up with an old friend from school Louie (pictured right below) whom currently lives in Singapore and works as a teacher in a very prestigious school.
Whilst the majority of the trip would take place in Vietnam, we did start out in Singapore to see one of the largest / most exciting cities in the world. The trip was also attended by our good friend Parry and Chris/Dan who were using this as their first steps of an extended 2-3 month trip around the continent.
Singapore, or the Lion City is an independent republic on the southernmost tip of continental Asia and the peninsular of Malaysia. Founded by Sir Stamford Raffles (remember the name) in 1819 and originally part of GB, the city gained its independence in 1963 although English is still widely spoken.
Now-a-days the republic has a population of over 5,000,000 and is a major Asian hub for business, technology and innovation. It is also one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world (as well as my Grandmas favourite).
Singapore is expensive, equivalent to London for many things but even more expensive when it comes to alcohol. Lucikly we were staying with Louie which kept costs low. This is definitely one to come back to when I have more of a disposable income.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel – The hotel, which is modeled on a ship is world famous for its 50 story high infinity pool which looks over the city. Whilst budgets mean’t we couldn’t stay here. It is certainly high on my bucket list to experience. Until next time!!
Singapore Botanical Gardens – Asia’s top park attractions and the only Botanical Gardens to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are over 150 years old and open from 5am to 12am daily and admission is FREE.
Gardens by the Bay – Opened in 2011, these gardens are situated next to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel on around 100 hectares of reclaimed land within the Marina. They are a great place to experience some greenery amongst the urban jungle that is Singapore.
The park has several cool attractions including the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest (which assure me, is a welcome relief to the heat and humidity).
The gardens also had an attraction called Supertree Grove which are a range of tree-like structures where some where climbable and offer great views of the city. The trees were $8 (£5) to climb.
Raffles Hotel – This colonial style hotel in Singapore is named after the colony’s founder. The hotel’s Long Bar is also the birthplace of the Singapore Sling which was invented by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915.
The cocktail is expensive at $28 (£16), even by Singapore prices but it is worth trying it its original setting. We even got free tickets to a Magician show just by being there.
Satay Street – In the evenings, Boon Tat Street (near the Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre )in the business district of Singapore is blocked off and transformed into ‘sea’ of outdoor tables and satay huts which is often referred to as Satay Street.
Order beef, pork, chicken, prawn satay from 60c (45p) a stick along with a crisp cold beer and enjoy the atmosphere.
Orchard Towers – Orchard Towers, also known as four floors of whores (charming) is a club located within the shopping Plaza on Orchard Rd and is the main party spot in Singapore. Though it is crawling with ‘ladies of the night’ it also has 4 floors of different music and atmospheres and is a great club to go party in.
Note: Alcohol is expensive in Singapore. I paid £100 (£60) for 6 x sol in Orchard Towers. It is, however cheaper to purchase from a supermarket. Enjoy the sites and tastes of Singapore before committing to a club.
Have a game of football – A 3G pitch is situated in the Marina. With breathtaking views of the city it is definitely a location for an away game!.