SINGAPORE : MAKING THE MOST
Lesson #1: No travel book, tv show, blogpost or friend review can prepare you for how a city will make you feel. That feeling when you step off the plane and out the airport. When you’re in the taxi or bus or train getting from airport to city. When you start to get a glimpse of the city, the sights, the people, the sound, the energy.
Some people said- oh Singapore- too sterile, Singapore- great food, great malls, not much else. Oh Singapore, you only need 2 days. I’m not discounting those opinions and it’s always nice to have them in the back of your pocket- but really, truly, deeply, how you experience a city has more to do with what kind of person you are, what your interests are and the energy you’re carrying with you than the destination itself.
All this too say, I slow played Singapore and left wanting more- more food, more shopping, more time people watching, eavesdropping, just sitting in it. So what did I do? Well, I’ll share my Top 2 of my first full day in Singapore.
Stop 1: Little India– in real life I love color, in my social media Life, I’m even more obsessed with color- combination of making my feed pop, the happiness factor and positive reaction it elicits. Little India is as the name would suggest quite little, but just the right size for a tourist on a limited schedule. There was so much activity in that small area, but what my eyes and nose remember more than anything else had to be the food above all. Can you believe I didn’t even get to grab a meal there. Don’t worry, considering the locals eat there, I’m sure you’d be good taking a chance, rolling the dice. I do have to alert my female solo travelers- i did notice that there weren’t that many women walking around. It’s a hectic, working man’s neighborhood. Maybe it was the time of the day, but it was definitely a very male environment. People were nice, photos were requested- whether you’re saying Yes or No to the request, a universal polite smile always works.
Stop 2: Gardens By The Bay
So much of what you’ll need to Singapore can be discovered via subway, clean fast and efficient. The only ride-share I was aware of was Uber which was significantly more affordable than in the US. Not much else was significantly less expensive- Singapore is definitely one of the more expensive destinations in Asia. So I hopped on subway to Gardens by the Bay.
No visit to Singapore is apparently complete without a stop here, you can spend all day or weekend here. You could enjoy it by day or night, you could even do a mini detour to the Marina Bay Sands (shopping, casinos, rooftop pool) which is literally next door. it was quite hot and humid when I went so be prepared for that. I’d recommend going earlier or later in the day, not midday like I did. However, right when you think you can’t take the heat, head into the ultra cool Cloud Forest- and by cool, I mean literal temperature coolness- cool air hits you as you walk in, waterfall droplets hit your face and you instantly forget that you were dripping in sweat but a few moments earlier. So you breathe in to take it all in.