Singapore – very well known for being one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in / visit. This however did not deter our interests in this strangely clean-cut Asian city. Clean is certainly not a word I have ever used to describe any of the cities in Asia that I have visited, but Singapore, I’m sure, will graciously take that accolade.
Our reasons for visiting the budget-battering business behemoth that is Singapore was three-fold:
- Friends – very good friends of ours live and work in Singapore and we had been offered a very comfortable place to stay for the duration of our visit. This is an absolute life-saver, as even just a lowly hostel bed in the city can cost £30 per night!! Thank you very much to Hugo and Hannah for accommodating us in their swanky top-floor flat… massively appreciated!
- Rugby Sevens – Fortunately our trip coincided nicely with the Singapore leg of the HSBC Rugby Sevens Series (again, thank you to Hugo and Hannah for sorting this out!). What better reason to check out an amazing stadium and watch some guys run around (very, very quickly may I add) and beat the fuck out of each other for a weekend. Cracking entertainment.
- General Necessity – A decision had been made that we really should visit Singapore properly. We have been floating around various Asian countries for a little while now (on and off) and previously passed through Singapore on the way to Australia last year, but unfortunately did not make it any further than getting horrendously drunk and wallowing at the pool deck. It felt like we should do ourselves a service and experience a bit more of this South East Asian hub. Plus, after working solidly for a year in Melbourne, we could actually afford to do some things this time!
So off to Singapore we went, to spend a small fortune… and this is how we did it!
A sure fire way to spend a lot of money in Singapore is to spend two days in the National Stadium. $12 per drink (not even a pint… in fact barely over half a pint)… enough said! But, after all, money is just money, and if you work hard for it, it feels even better spending it, no matter how devilishly expensive the beer is.
We also took in some of the better-known sights around this wonderful city/country. The Gardens By The Bay, with its strange manmade “Super Trees”, which I’m sure in 10 years time, once all the weird and wonderful creeper plants have finished crawling their way up the huge metal structures, will be a real modern wonder of the world. Currently, they are still pretty damn impressive, but they can only get better and better! We also took a look at the two enormous greenhouses, firstly the Flower Dome (to be fair I literally couldn’t give two shits about this one, but the two domes came as a package ticket so I was kind of obligated…) and secondly the much more impressive Cloud Forest (this is the one we actually wanted to pay for and it was totally worth it).
To top off our Singapore escapade, we hit the wildly exotic Singapore Zoo. Known widely as one of the best zoos in the world, this “Open Concept” zoo (supposedly a zoo without cages – there were actually quite a few, but I will let them off this time) is set in the jungle regions to the north of Singapore. Packed full of pesky monkeys, lemurs and gibbons – in some cases running a bit riot – and the widest array of wildlife I have seen in any zoo, the day I spent with Soph at Singapore Zoo was another real highlight! Better explained through the medium of the MANY photos I took throughout the day, instead of my ramblings. Take a look below:
As well as a few culinary treats along the way (to be expected of course), with some drinks and meals in amazing places, such as Little India, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and the Arab Quarter of Bugis; a bit of general R&R with a swimming pool and a gym at our disposal; a very sweaty day cycling around the nearby island of Pulau Ubin; and (this is a big one) some proper real actual tasty beer (I’m about done with this Asian piss water lager). We have definitely barely scratched the surface of what Singapore has to offer.
*Massive thanks and respect to our hosts and local guides for putting up with us crashing their flat for almost a full week!!