72 Hours in Singapore (aka. Asia Sydney)
TOP POST INSIGHTS:
Bring yo' benjamins
No beach. But the expat culture/ social lifestyle make up for it.
Visa runs have their way of fate. I never had Singapore on my travel list, yet I had the most amazing time. To enter the Philippines, you need to prove an outgoing flight within the 30 day period. I’m lazy and didn’t do my research. So i found sitting on the airport floor in Phuket frantically looking for a flight out of Manila.
Rationale for Singapore:
It was the cheapest return flight from Manila to any other country. I booked with Scoot (approx. $200AUD) and decided to stay for 3 days. Disclaimer: Singapore is the most expensive city in Asia! Whoops.
Here are my top highlights:
By chance, I was there during the Formula 1 weekend. I don’t live for motor racing but I’m glad I went! You can literally hear the vibrations of the cars zoom by and the energy on ground is pretty incredible. Everyone is drinking, walking, exploring and just having a good time. After a few hours I was bored though, so my friends and I carried on drinking to some other bars (which I can’t remember the names of).
Would I go again? Probably not, at least I can say I went. For me, F1 was just another excuse to murder your liver all weekend.
I was lucky enough to stay at a mate’s place here (FYI average Airbnb/ hotel here is around $130AUD p/night). I think I loved it so much because it felt like I was back in Sydney (home). Maybe because it’s expat central ha. In the short time I was there, I checked out a few cafes, went running and did some yoga. Here’s a snapshot:
This place is beautiful. But if you’re starving, pack some almonds to snack on because there’s usually a 15- 30 minute wait for a table. I got these amazing pancakes (see below) and my friend ordered the avo haloumi and toast.
Is there a study that proves cheese and wine release dopamine? There probably is, because there is seriously nothing wrong this combo can do. At the Wine Connection, it felt like the cheese Willy Wonka factory.
· Fort Canning
One morning I tried to sweat out the alcohol by running (ie. brisk walking) around Fort Canning. It’s a huge park and there’s heaps of fit people running which is inspiring… but also intimidating when you’re extremely hungover. Anyways this place used to be an arms store and barracks, so there’s some other things to see here other than grass and trees.
I try to stay active in every city, so I ended up going to a few classes here. It’s such a beautiful space (it’s on top of Common Man Roasters) and there’s a variety of classes from Power Flow to Zen (Yin style) classes available. It’s around $30AUD for a single class.
It’s cliché, but for me it was the people that really made this place great. I legitimately felt like I was back in Sydney. But maybe because I was doing ‘Sydney-ish’ things like going to pretty bars, eating at trendy cafes, doing yoga etc… all that wanky stuff. However, there is a sense of community here. It’s probably because of it’s massive expat culture. People from all over the world live and visit Singapore.
I met people who were in transit for a few days, people on holidays, men and women on their bucks/hens nights, friends who have moved there from Australia and people who have lived there all their lives. It’s a great eclectic bunch!
Other things to check out:
- I didn’t get time to go to Gardens of the Bay but will do so next time
- Marina Bay Sands, for your obnoxious ‘I’ve been to Singapore' pool shot
- Bugis Street markets, there’s actually really good cheap fashion here. I bought heaps of tops and little summer dresses for the rest of my trip. People were shocked when I told them my dress and top in these photos were like $10 from the markets.
Did I forget to mention that there's 24hr food delivery (at some places)? I ordered Indian at 4am... it was the tits.
I think the beauty of travel is the unexpected. And I absolutely fell in love with Singapore. Whilst I’m not dying to live there anytime soon, I did have an AWESOME time and would visit again in a heartbeat. However at the risk of making an early (ill-informed) judgement, you do get the sense that it is a very ‘work work work’ ‘grind grind grind’ culture. So if you’re looking for a sweet work-life balance, Singapore probably shouldn’t be at the top of your list.
All that being said, it was a great little break from island life. But I was yearning for beach time again… which was why I booked a weekend trip to Langkawi, Malaysia! (will post soon)