movieStar wanted to visit Singapore to start the trip, she's been in love with it ever since college. So we found ourselves there, first stop on this trip.
We almost missed the connecting flight in London, but a short run at the airport brought us to the giant Singapore Airlines A380 that would fly us half way around the world, with just enough time to board it. After some very comfortable hours (yay, Singapore Airlines), and a lot of sleeping, we made it and landed in Singapore. Let the honeymoon begin!
Singapore is big. I mean, not really big, like in China big (or anywhere else big, truth be told) but still big enough to feel a lot bigger than it is, with the heat and all. At least it felt much bigger than I had expected.
You can safely and quickly get to all the spots using air cooled mass transit, and cheap at that, but walking is a great way to see the city-state. There’s plenty to check out: food markets, architecture, the water front, the mega malls, the museums, you name it. We went everywhere. Our feet told us so.
Sleeping arrangements were made in one of the lower priced neighbourhoods, Geylang, and that meant a ten minute ride to the center, and back, every day. No issues there, the biggest annoyance were the packs of Chinese tourists permanentely parked at our hotel lobby. They can get a bit noisy.
We would later find out that some Singaporeans don’t even come to this area, seems like it was a bit rougher in the older days, and they still like to keep away. We had no issues whatsoever. Felt nice to go back to the area after a day walking around in the city, among the skyscrappers and the smell of money. I also loved the feeling of getting in the train with the commute crowd, and be able to observe them while we took the short ride.
I love people-watching, and this was a great opportunity to do so.
We'd walk to the station, past the fake Viagra pills sellers, and other makeshift stalls selling stuff I can only imagine, past the blue colar workers having a cigarette and a cup of coffee before heading up to the city center, on the train with us. It was a moment I enjoyed very much.
Food is plenty and cheap, in one of the dozens of food markets. You get to pick from Indian, Chinese, Thai, Malay, the usual around here. There are a lot of markets, and we tried to cover as many as we could for lunch. For dinner we quickly found a market we loved, by the waterfront, facing the Marina Bay Sands, and would return to this one daily for our nightly food needs.
Some places were on the must visit list, even though we know they’d be packed. We did visit the Gardens by the Bay, by day and by night (amazing show, not to be missed), and walked pretty much everywhere. Still fresh, beginning the trip, we wanted to see everything. The Peranakan Museum, where we tried to learn a little more about the local culture, was also on the list.
The city, as advertised, is clean. VERY clean. Everywhere.
Being fans of street art we were pleased to find incredible examples all over the place... This would turn out to be one of the constants throughout the whole trip. There is great art everywhere.
We would also rekindle our love affair with the 7-Eleven brand, as this was our safe harbour, and would be for nearly four months. One of the things we miss at home is a proper combini chain, and that's a shame. Being able to get anything 24/7 is such a comfortable feeling, one that we would miss back home.
We did not stay for too long. Enough to scrape the surface, and realize that we could spend a lot more time here. That would also be true on most other stops, as we'd later find out. We had a lot of time on our hands, but not infinite. When we felt we'd seen enough, it was time to move on. movieStar was happy, and that's the only thing that matters.
Next up: Indonesia!