The funny thing is going to Singapore was never my intention when I left Canada to backpack around Thailand.
The time zone difference between Thailand and Toronto is a solid 12 hours…basically exactly opposite. So it was only natural to be jet lagged the first few days of my trip. One of these days that I was jet lagged, I woke up at 5AM and could not go back to sleep. As all of us millennials would probably do, I picked up my phone and launched the google maps app to explore where in this world I am and what countries are surrounding me. Quickly after I realized there are so many cool countries around that I want to see… then this crazy idea came to my mind to look at flight prices to some of these countries from Thailand! Long story short, I found out for around only $200 I could get a flight to Singapore round trip. Since I was going to be by myself I figured Singapore is probably a good choice due to it being really safe. And so just like that I ended up going to Singapore on a whim!
After I landed at Singapore’s airport, I quickly picked up a phone sim card for $15 that would give me a few GBs of data for 5 days so I could stay connected. I then went to an ATM and withdrew some Singaporean money. The exchange rate to Canadian dollars is pretty much 1:1.
From the airport I asked around and followed signs to get on their metro system to head to the hostel I booked last minute. It was my first time staying at a hostel and I was nervous, but given how expensive things are in Singapore I had no choice but to comprise. I had booked Dream Lodge right before my flight to Singapore departed from Thailand. They sent me an email with their after hours check in process since I was arriving late in the evening. The instructions were clear, complete and easy to follow. I would call Dream Lodge a modern hostel. They have a cool technology in places where they give their guests a special wristband that would unlock the doors by tapping your wristband on the door. Also, there is privacy curtains around all their beds so you can truly relax in your bed. Oh and all their bed pods come with a personal reading light and a plug. I had nothing but the best experience staying here. They have an all female room that has 6 beds and 2 additional mix dorms. I stayed in both dorms and had no problems at all.
Singapore has a great public transportation system that everyone living there uses to get around. The metro fare from the airport to the center of the town was only 4-5 Singaporean dollars. Cheap! They also have Uber and an Uber esque called Grab.
After I checked into my hostel and showered, I went out for dinner and drinks at an Italian restaurant called Latteria Mozarella Bar with some people that I had just met through a friend. I ended the night after grabbing a few more drinks at a couple bars and finally getting my first glimpse of the famous Marina Bay Sands-the picture that comes to mind when you imagine Singapore.
I needed to take a day to relax and unwind from all the hiking in Thailand and traveling so I decided to hit up Sentosa Island for the day. Sentosa is a man made island right off the shore of Singapore that gets connected to the city with a sky train. There is a Universal Studios, Casino, Water park, man made beaches, beach clubs, and anything else you might think of. There is even high end hotels like Shangri-La that people can book to stay on the island. Getting to Sentosa is pretty easy too. You just gotta take the city train to Harbourfront Station first. From there you follow the signs for Sentosa and buy a monorail train ticket for $4 that covers your roundtrip fare to the Island and back.
While in Sentosa, I got myself a bed at Mambo Beach Club. It’s a ocean front Miami style beach club. I got myself a fresh coconut and some food and absorbed every ray of sun.
I tried the famous Singaporean cocktail called ‘Sling’ here and it was delicious. Met some amazing people and hung out by the pool for a bit.
Around sunset I headed over to Gardens Bay Gardens…another ionic landmark that comes to mind when you think Singapore. This green space is hugggee but one of the main attractions is the supertree grove which is like vertical gardens that come to life in the night as well with a exhilarating show display of light and sound.
At night, I went out to 44 club street which is basically a street packed with bars and nightlife. After that I went to 1 Altitude which is a bar/club on the rooftop of a high rise building that offers 360 degrees views and had a great night.
I love going for a hike in any new city I visit so it was natural for me to find a hike to do while in Singapore. I chose to visit the Henderson Wave Bridge. It’s a bridge formed in a shape of a wave that runs through a forest and has beautiful nature views.
Hawkers Centers: Eating out in Singapore is not cheap… especially if you want to eat at restaurants and not get take outs. However, Hawkers centers are essentially government owned food courts that offer great food at a reasonable price. It definitely isn’t as fancy as going to a restaurant and getting served food but at least you’re getting decent quality food for a fraction of the price. You can find all kinds of food in these food courts but make sure to try one of Singapore’s main dishes: Chicken rice.
This night, I finally planned to go to the top of Marina Bay Sands with some friends and see the infamous infinity pool overlooking Singapore. Now, apparently the hotel has restricted pool access to only guests staying at the hotel so I was not able to go in. However, you can still visit the bar called Spago that’s situated right behind the pool and enjoy the views. There is also a club at the top called Ce La Vie.
I’m starting to lose track of what else I did this trip…
On this day, a few friends that I made and I made our way towards Little India and China town. I LOVED Little India and all the shops in the area. One of my favorite things about Little India was the flower bands they would make…you can imagine Hawaiian leis but an Indian version.
China town was super cool too. I found so many cool Asian treats and little souvenirs to bring back home with me.
Later in the afternoon, we went BACK to Sentosa again! …Can you tell I really liked this place… This time we posted up at Ola beach club.
Finally, at night I went to Clark Quay which is another street, right beside a river, packed with restaurants, bars, and clubs. This is also where the famous Zouk club is situated (named #6 best clubs in the world by DJ Mag).
One thing I found out was that Singaporeans loved going out. There was a special club or bar featured for any day of the week, Monday to Sunday.
And that concludes my trip to Singapore. The next morning I had to get up at 6am to head to the airport.
I would definitely recommend visiting Singapore. It’s such a clean, safe country. Price of eating out at restaurants, alcohol, and tobacco is quite high so just make sure you budget appropriately for the trip.
It was bitter sweet to say goodbye to this beautiful country and city but I was excited to meet up with some lovely friends in Thailand. If you want to read about my Thailand trip, you can by clicking here.
Till next time Xo