I stopped over in Singapore on my journey back from Bangkok to London. From touching down in Changi airport, I had 36 hours on the clock and nothing was going to hold me back! Oh except for an empty camera battery. Despite my eagerness to get out there, it was probably a real savour. In reality I was exhausted and this forced me to have a short power nap for an hour whilst waiting in my hostel for it to charge. By the time I was ready to head out I was down to 34hrs and it was time to go go go!
My hostel was situated near the central financial centre, right off Hong Kong street – how apt for me! The two cities, Hong Kong and Singapore, are often compared despite their many differences, and I couldn’t help doing the same. Parts of Chinatown looked quite like Hong Kong; though the buildings weren’t quite so tall and it lacked a bit of the chaos I’d gradually grown so fond of. The street food however, seemed much more inviting – without the smell of stinky tofu wafting through the streets. Taking the metro, I hit Chinatown for some lunch. I had heard great things about the food in Singapore and it did not disappoint. My favourites were some succulent chicken satay skewers and the chocolatey waffles I picked up at a street vendors.
Having filled my stomach, I headed off for a quick stroll through Little India. I could smell the spices in air before I got there. Wandering through Singapore, with its clean streets, American looking road signs, and a brightly coloured mix of architectural styles, was a bit like walking through the ‘around the world’ section of a theme park. Whilst your still getting used to it, Singapore can feel a little bit unreal… (and overwhelmingly fantastic)
I briefly popped back into my hostel for some quick directions, and was sent out with two other tourists towards the Boat Quay, which had a cheery and relaxed atmosphere. Here you can find plenty of waterside bars and restaurants, filled with a high number of westerners. Whilst it was enjoyable having some company with whom to admire the sights, I soon ditched the two boys as they were slowing me down. Passing a statue of the merlion (Singapore’s unusual mascot) I headed towards Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino, and the Gardens by the Bay. This may have not been the most direct route, and my feet would not have been so weary had I ridden a taxi, but I was enjoying taking it all in on foot. At this time, Singapore was getting ready to celebrate its 50th birthday and decorations lined a number of streets. It’s almost unbelievable to think that such a city could’ve developed so rapidly into the marvel it is today.
As I had been determined to see as much in as possible, it was an incredibly busy day. This means I packed far too much in for a single post….
(continues in: 36 hours in Singapore – Part 2)