I am posting this embarrassingly late! I went to Singapore for a weekend LAST YEAR! It was a quick trip so I’m not pretending that I got an in-depth look at the country but I did get a glimpse of all the different cultures that make up Singapore.
Singapore is made up of various cultures from all over Asia who brought their food and traditions to the island state. If you walk down a street, you can see signs in Malay, Chinese, Tamil, English and countless other languages. The city is modern and has great public transportation but there is still plenty of greenery.
A good number of people in Singapore are bilingual. It surprised me to have everyone speak English to me as their first language after never having experienced that while I’ve lived in Asia.
Since Singapore is so close to the equator, it is pretty much always hot. I noticed everyone hides in the shade before they walk into the crosswalk. It makes sense, the city is usually boiling. Do Singaporeans have any idea what it’s like to be cold? I mean Antarctica in your bones cold, not the fake manufactured cold they get from air conditioning.
Everything does come with a price. The impeccably clean and orderly city is very expensive. A small bottle of water from 7/11 is 2 Singapore dollars. In Thailand, it would be 20 cents.
Fines for littering, eating food on the metro, and prohibited smoking are steep. The government is also extremely authoritarian from my perspective. If you would like more details, I would suggest you research the politics of Singapore because I won’t be able to explain it well in a blog.
This is a short summary of what I did every day.
Day 1: I walked around Chinatown and Little India. I didn’t do much because I didn’t get to the hostel until 2 am and the heat was making me even more tired. I did enjoy drinking a whole coconut.
Day 2: The highlight of the day was going to the gardens by the bay. The pictures I took don’t do the gardens justice. They are truly impressive. I went to Arab street and had some amazing ramen and I peaked in on the mosque. I fought through the crowds at Bugis outdoor shopping street to browse souvenirs, knick-knacks, and cheap clothes I could get for a lot less in Bangkok.
Day 3: I walked around Pagoda street and went to the Chinatown hawker center. How can food that’s so cheap taste so good?! Laksa is the kind of spicy food I love because I can still taste all the other flavors involved. Some spicy food is so strong, I can only taste pain.
I feel like this picture sums up Singapore better than I can. There is a Hindu temple, traditional Singapore housing, and a huge skyscraper all in view on a pristine street. If you want to imagine Singapore, just think of this picture