Singapore

Once you’ve arrived in Singapore airport you’ll feel an instant wave of relief come over you. One of the cleanest and safest places I’ve ever visited, Singapore is quite possibly the world’s most helpful city, and it’s so easy to get around. Visit Customer Services in the airport for advice on how to get to your hostel (they’ll even find the address for you and point it out on a map), hop on the MRT (Singapore’s answer to the underground, Mass Rapid Transit) and sail straight into the city center. We booked 5 nights in Footprints Hostel, which is an absolute gem splat bang in the center of Little India, $18 per night for a 12 bedroom mixed dorm including breakfast, free internet, television, laundry and insanely helpful staff. Little India is described as chaotic and pungent by many, and it is, but not as much as Vietnam or Cambodia, so don’t worry.

Most of the cheap guesthouses are located around here, and you can grab a curry for as little as $4. If Indian isn’t your thing head a few minutes outside of Little India and you’re back in Asian terroritory again, check out Albert Center located near Bugis station for traditional Asian dishes as little as $2! For those hankering for Western food, there’s an abundance of McDonalds, KFC’s, Subways and even Nandos. Our first night in Singapore we went for a curry just a few minutes from Footprints, wandered around Little India and it’s outskirts, sat down outside an art gallery for some iced chocolate milk, bought a couple of beers from the 7/11 before heading back to Footprints to watch a few DVD’s. The nightlife is pretty good in Singapore, the Muslim Quarter is especially nice for eating, drinking and shopping, but beware of the drinks prices; a beer should set you back around $9 and a cocktail will be over $15, if you’re shoestringing try the 24 hour convenience stores for $1.20 cans of lager.

The next day we discovered that there was a Pixar Animation exhibition showing at the Science Center, so we hopped on the MRT and found our way there. The exhibition cost $24 per persona and celebrated the last 20 years of Pixar’s work, displaying over 60,000 storyboards and many more sketches, paintings and sculptures. We also caught a 3D showing of Toy Story which made me very excited for the upcoming 3rd movie!

After this little delight we headed to Raffles for a Singapore Sling ($29, oh my life) and to have a look around the shopping center before taking the high speed lift all the way to the top of the Swissotel The Stamford for the best birds eye view of Singapore you can find. Hop off the MRT at City Hall for Raffles and The Stamford.
Tip: For second hand books, book swaps and trading check out the Bras Basah Complex, just North of Raffles shopping center.

The next day we took a trip to the Singapore Zoo, easily accessible by shuttle bus from the 7/11 on Serangoon Road ($4 one way) and the entry is $49 for both the Zoo, Night Safari and trams around the parks. (The shuttle bus runs at 9:25am, 10:25am and 13:25pm, but check with your hostel for exact times, you can book the tickets on the bus, it works out a little cheaper. The bus back starts at 9pm after the Night Safari).
Tip: Take your own food to the Zoo as the snacks and meals there are at least $12, drinks are $4.

You only need a few hours at the Zoo as it’s not too huge, but if you want to experience the elephant bath get there early, it starts at 9:30am. Avoid public holidays and weekends if you can. We sauntered around in the scorching heat snapping pictures of every single animal we could find (except Pandas), laughing at the tourists taking elephant rides, and also watching some animals being fed before checking out the Splash Show (a must-see) featuring Carlos the Sealion, where our friend Steve actually had the opportunity to play frisbee with him.

The next two days in Singapore were spent running around Universal Studios which had just opened in March as far as I’m aware. The biggest and best ride in the park is the Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster which, probably would have blown our minds if it had been open, alot like a few other rides which were closed due to the park being so new. Regardless, we had gorgeous weather on the first day which meant we could hit the Jurassic Park rapids and get soaked, we also did the Mummy Returns ride a few times which was amazing! We bought way too much food, novelty head gear and merchandise, but you get a 10$ food voucher and a $5 merch voucher as soon as you enter the park so that helped our budget a little. The Water World show was also pretty impressive, and another great way to cool down, and you can meet the entire cast of Madagascar and watch them “move it, move it”.

Our final few hours in Singapore were spent sauntering down Orchard Road, where you will find every shop you could ever dream of, and endless department stores, which, with us being on a budget, was relatively difficult to experience. A definite must see, the culture and architecture (as with most of Singapore) around Orchard Road mean that it is much more than a shoppers paradise, and you should only need an afternoon here to see all there is to see.

Our lengthy flight to Australia from Singapore (quite an expensive job, search around for cheap offers) was made much more comfortable thanks to Emirates, THE flashiest airline we’ve experienced so far. You get a choice of over 200 films (this flight is blatantly not long enough), drinks, food and snacks at your disposal, star-imitation lights in the ceiling on night flights, and due to our flight being majorly empty, an entire row of seats to sleep on. Needless to say we arrived in Oz feeling pretty refreshed, for once.

Keep posted, I have a feeling a lengthy post on Melbourne won’t be far away.

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1 Comment»

  trine wrote @

so much fun to read your blog! and about phi phi! we had so much fun with you:D
i wanna go back NOW! norway needs buckes and cute english girls i say!

kiss and hug!


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