City break in Singapore

Friday, 9 June 2017

Although we were definitely very sad to be leaving Bali and the rest of the gang I was excited to embark on the next stage of our adventure and enjoy a bit of city life for a few days before heading to south east Asia. As you may know Singapore gets a bad rep with the backpacking community for being 'the most expensive city in the world' however we found it to be quite the opposite. The two main necessities as a backpacker are travel and food and Singapore has both amazing travel and food at extremely cheap prices. During our short stay in the city, we stayed at a hostel called 'Tree in Lodge' an eco friendly listing with the most incredible host - I highly recommend staying there just for him! SK had fab recommendations and tips, wonderful conversation and quick wit (aiming most of the jokes at us Brits). Although a little bit out of the main town it was no effort getting around as the bus stop is right outside and drops you into China Town within 10 mins and costs no more than around 50p. I believe the entire trip only cost me and Craig £10 for travel for the both of us! As well as the buses Singapore has an amazing tube 'The MRT' which is regular, clean and cheap! Anyway enough about logistics, let talk about what we got up to during our stay.

So when we first get to a new city we like to have a wander around and explore, as most cities you don't even need to do anything to have a cool interesting day, most of the time you can just soak up the sights and surroundings - this was defiantly the case with Singapore. The city itself is beautiful, super clean, so diverse and a perfect mix of greenery and astonishingly tall skyscraper (including the notorious Marina Sands hotel - which was so cool to see in real life). We also like to suss out a good local cafe! Although our hostel did provide breakfast it's nice to have somewhere to grab a good cup of coffee and have a relax as I've never been a fan of hanging around at hostels. Our go to whilst we were there was 'Dury Lane' - reasonably priced, amazing iced coffee and banana bread AND big comfy sofas with plenty of trendy magazines to indulge in.

During our short but sweet visit we covered off most of the classic touristy 'must sees' - below I will talk through a few of these in case you're ever lucky enough to visit yourself.

Gardens By The Bay
So Singapore in general has a very futuristic feel and garden by the bay defiantly enhanced this feeling. Right by the bay are these gigantic man made, space age looking trees, with real plant life climbing up the structures. These superficial trees are covered in thousands of lights that perform a light show to music every evening at around 7/8pm. It's a rather bizarre experience but well worth seeing. Plus it's totally free!

Asian Civilisation Museum
Seeing as myself and Craig would be spending a lot of time in Asia over the next few months it only felt right to educate ourself on a little bit of Asian history. The museum itself was a lovely building and was really interesting. We learnt a lot about Singapore's role and importance within Asia, especially with regards to trading. I highly recommend a visit if you want to get out of the heat and learn something knew! It's only around £6 each and takes about 2 hours to look about.

The Hawker centres
This was probably mine and Craig's fav thing about Singapore - the food. So Singapore has these street food style food courts that sell all different cuisines (mainly Asian) at wonderfully cheap prices, yet the quality and value for money is astounding (the best we've come across so far on our travels). If you're a backpacker or even a luxury traveller you would be silly not to check them out. Our favs were Maxwell Road and Lau pa sat - both having amazing Indian and Thai food. We also found a great little cafe called Hot Cakes located in The Fortune Centre serving vegetarian chicken rice, a traditional Singaporean dish.

Botanical Gardens
Another famous thing to do in Singapore is the botanical gardens. We went on an extremely hot and humid day, making it a little tricky to walk about and see everything. However it's a really beautiful, tropical place and I especially loved the orchid garden. You pay a little bit more to enter but it's well worth it to see the array of flowers and colours!

Singapore also has a fab cafe culture and like I mentioned previously, a cafe called Dury Lane quickly became out favourite however there were loads to choose from. Another two we loved were Strangers Reunion, a short walk from our hostel and an amazing trendy spot for brunch, somewhat pricier than others but worth it for exceptional drip coffee! We also adored Fart Tartz a really pretty girly cafe specialising in western Italian food and incredibly indulgent cakes and desserts.

I highly recommend at least 3-5 days in the city, there is loads to see and do and as a backpacker it really isn't expensive at all! Most people use Singapore as a stop over between flights but since visiting I have realised it so much more.

Elly x

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