Singapore: A city within a garden.
I’ve left Singapore and am now spending the next week in Hong Kong.
Luckily this is plenty of time to see everything on my list! I’m starting the week by reflecting on the time I spent there.
First and foremost, Singapore was beautiful! It originally wasn’t on my list to come here. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t even know it was it’s own country or where it was before I looked it up. I just knew a guy back in Chicago who said he was from here. I am so glad I went out of my way to make a stop in Singapore!
It’s obvious even to the oblivious (me) that a lot of thought went into the design of the city, the construction of the MRT (mass-rapid-transit) system, and into how accessible McDonalds would be to the residents.
Comparable to Chicago, Singapore is quite expensive compared to southeast Asia. Instead of paying $4/night for a dorm bed, the price hovers around $20/night.
My wallet is having small heart attacks as we speak.
Shop till you drop!
Even though the room had air conditioning, I didn’t spend too much time there (except for that one night where I watched 4 Harry Potter movies and ate Oreos – don’t just me!). I walked around the city visiting Little India, the insane amount of shopping malls, Chinatown and Arab street. For some reason, Arab street makes me feel racist – but that’s what it’s called!
All of these neighborhoods are freaking shopping heavens. If you love shopping, you could live in the malls in Singapore. With Wifi being plentiful and so many varieties of food, shopping could suck a person in for at least a week!
Luckily, I’m not into shopping [at all] but did enjoy admiring how big the malls were and playing a game called “Count the number of Mc Cafes within eyesight”.
Eat your heart out!
I have to confess, due to Singapore’s prices, I didn’t go out to eat much. I mostly stuck to snacks from the 7/11 and eating as much free toast from the hostel breakfast as I could – a jellied attempt to fill up for the day.
That being said, hopefully you’re getting to know me by now and know that I can’t stay away from the sushi for too long. I gotta have my fix man or I get crazy!
It also seems like the closer I get to Japan, the more abundant the sushi is getting. In Singapore, I managed to find an all you can eat sushi place that served as all three meals for my day. I had about 30 sashimi pieces, rolls that came in pairs of two, edamame, gyoza and fried prawns, oh my!
Dang it, my mouth is watering just talking about it. DANG IT! Now I’m jonsen’. Why did I do this to myself?!
I also made it a point to try some Hainanese Chicken Rice because it’s a Singapore signature dish, and it was delicious! The chicken was chilled which kind of caught me off guard, but it was moist and extremely flavorful. The rice was perfect cooked and chicken-tasting and together it was an amazing combo.
I tried this chicken at a food stall near one of the attractions on my list – the Singapore Flyer.
A moving experience at every turn.
The Singapore flyer is the worlds ‘largest observation wheel’ [outside the United States] (cause ya know, everything is bigger in ‘Murica)…aka biggest ferris wheel, not sure why they couldn’t just say that.
Taking approximately 30 minutes for the whole circle, the Singapore Flyer gave me a wonderful and unique view of the Singapore skyline. It was about $30 USD to ride (yikes), but it was on the list and it was totally worth every penny.
An amazing feat of technology and engineering, the capsules rotate with the flyer so you always have a clear view. Also it’s Fung Shui!
With Singapore Flyer’s 28 capsules and each capsule’s maximum capacity of 28 persons, the evident figure of 28 means “double prosperity” or “easy to prosper” in Cantonese. Swing to some good Feng Shui onboard Singapore Flyer – the largest wheel of Fortune in its own rights.
The size of the Singapore Flyer is especially evident at night, when it stands out among the skyline with pride.
Even after dark, Singapore didn’t slow down. Tons of people, including small children, were still out at 11 pm!
Normally, I’m asleep by this time. Why was I out that late, a little old lady like me? To see the infamous Singapore Supertrees. I felt like I was in Avatar – the Gardens by the Bay are home to a very special type of forest.
Between 25 and 50 meters (look at me “learning” the meter system – that’s 82 and 160 ft for you back home), the Supertrees make an amazing view during the day, but even more amazing at night.
On a nightly basis, the Supertrees dance to American oldie hits from artists like the Begees (my mom’s favorite band), Aerosmith and Simon and Garfunkel, in a one of a kind light show that I won’t be able to find anywhere else.
While manmade, the Supertrees are still very much alive. Each is a vertical garden, home to different species of vines, plants and flowers. Each is also equipped with little solar panels, harnessing sunlight to generate their own power at night for their colorful light displays.
Additionally, ever Supertree also collects rainwater, and combined with solar power, this water is distributed to the plants that call the Supertrees home. The Supertrees also have air intake valves that assist the cooling systems of the various conservatories in the area.
You can see now why I felt like I was in Avatar. Even though they are man made, the Supertrees create a very real, lifelike experience that I enjoyed for several hours before heading back to the hostel. Singapore is clean enough that I was able to lay on the ground with others, all of us looking up at the Supertrees and admiring them.
Oh, one last thing.
Singapore, I loved visiting you! If it wasn’t for the fact that marijuana use warrants capital punishment (yes, the death penalty), I would have put you in my top 5 ‘would-maybe-live-here-someday-list’.
It’s not that I wouldn’t be willing to give up smoking weed, but if that’s a law I was warned about, it makes me wonder what other super uptight restrictions might be up your sleeves.
In your defense though, if it wasn’t for that law you’d probably have droves of stoners hovering around the Supertrees 24/7, so I could see it from that angle 😉