Apparently Singapore is a pretty expensive city to stay in. We looked hard to find an affordable yet convenient rental on AirBnb, but gave up and ended up reserving a few nights at a backpackers’ hostel. When we arrived at the hostel, we were drenched in sweat. We found that the hostel wasn’t air conditioned, and we found that the room we were staying in had five bunk beds, so there were possibly going to be ten people trying to sleep in the humid heat.
Our recently met travel companions Sophia and Suzy had smartly booked a room in a hotel, and they found that there were rooms still available in their hotel, so we ended up cancelling our reservation at the hostel and booking a room at their hotel. It ended up being about $120 a night, which is close to double the next most expensive place we’d stayed at during this trip, but we decided it was a fair price to pay to be able to sleep at night. We lost the deposit that we paid for our hostel reservation, though in hindsight it wasn’t too bad because we got to store our bags there for the first day, and a locker at the train station would’ve probably cost the same as the deposit.
We didn’t have too much of an itinerary for Singapore, more than anything it was a foodie destination for all of us. Our first stop was to Clarke Quay to visit Jumbo seafood for chili crab. Clarke Quay seemed to have a cool night life with various bars with bands playing live music, we would stop at one of them later on our trip where we discovered a cool local cover band called 3AM.
One food I was really looking forward to trying in Singapore was the chili crab. It was pretty good, spicy and sweet and savory at the same time. Since I love crab so much I may try to make this at home sometime.
I’d heard much about the hawker center experience and was looking forward to visiting one to see what all the fuss is about. It’s kind of overwhelming, there are a ridiculous number of food stalls packed in a small area, so it’s hard to decide what to eat. Being a hawker center noob we just gravitated to the stalls with long lines of people ordering.
Hainanese chicken and rice was another dish that I was really looking forward to trying. We found a stall at the hawker center that had a long line of people waiting for it. It didn’t disappoint– the chicken was very moist, and the rice had soaked up a lot of the chicken flavor. I actually eat this at a restaurant back at home from time to time, but it’s much better in Singapore.
The Marina Bay Sands is pretty cool, even from just an architectural standpoint. There’s a swimming pool and a park on the suspended roof, to me it boggles the mind that they can have that kind of structural load suspended in the air like that.
There’s a bar at the top of the Marina Bay Sands called Ku De Ta. We went to the top so that we could get a view of the pool and of the skyline. The drinks were seriously expensive. This is the most expensive cocktail I’ve ever had. You’d think if you’re spending more than $20 for a drink it’d be strong at least, but no, this tasted pretty watered down.
The Cloud Forest is a humongous indoor arboretum that’s large enough to house a 35 meter tall waterfall.
We spent a good amount of time in Chinatown shopping for souvenirs, but they also had a pretty good and cheap hawker center.
The hawker center in Chinatown was where I had my cheapest meal in Singapore. It came to about $3 USD, and came with dry noodles, a bowl of soup, and even came with an iced lemon jello dessert (not pictured.)
This ended up being one of my favorite pictures from the trip. There’s a pretty big Buddhist temple at Chinatown, this was taken near the entrance.
We went to the night safari. I kinda wish we had gotten there a little earlier so we could walk around more because I really enjoyed it. In concept I guess it’s not all that special, it’s basically not much different from a zoo. But it was cool because it’s open at night when the animals are most active. If I go back I think I’d want to take a camera that’s really good in the dark, maybe a Nikon D750 or Sony a7. My camera was pretty much pushed to the limits by the darkness there.
Singapore is a place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. I would have to say it’s a nice place to visit, the city is clean, the food is great, and except for the night safari it’s easy to get around by subway. But I think for me, once is enough. It was too hot and humid for me, and this was in the winter. I’d probably die or at the very least be an incredibly uncomfortable sweaty mess if I ever went in the summertime.