I began two weeks of backpacking through South-east Asia in Singapore in December 2014. The weather was great- in the high 20°s to early 30°s and sunny the whole time.
We spent 2 days (2 nights) in the city, and easily could have spent a couple more days there if we’d have had the time. Unfortunately, we were on a tight time-scale that didn’t allow for schedule changes!
Our flight from the UK arrived at Singapore Changi airport early in the morning, which was great as it gave us a whole first day. The transport links from the airport into the city were great, and the MRT into the city took us just over half an hour.
We stayed at Bunc@Radius Little India, which was a fabulous hostel costing us the equivalent of £11.70 per person per night. This price gave us a single bed each in a 16-bed mixed dorm, a free breakfast, use of all the facilities and help from the loveliest staff we met on our trip. You can find out more about Bunc@Radius here. We found the hostel to be clean and safe, and the showers were great. The only slight downside was the location- it’s currently a 10 – 15 minute walk from a MRT station which could sometimes be inconvenient, but there was a lot of work going on around the hostel as they build the new Jalan Besar station. It is set to open in 2017 and is very close to the hostel.
^ We both had a top bunc at the hostel, which have convenient table areas for your belongings and lockers underneath! ^
After freshening up at Bunc, we decided to do some sightseeing even though we were very tired. We walked from the hostel to the Merlion statue via some temples, shopping centres and the Raffles hotel. It’s about a 3km walk each way so can get tiring but it’s a great way to see the city and we did this many times over the 3 days rather than use the MRT.
By this point it was early afternoon and we were very tired and hungry so we stopped for some chicken and bee hoon (thin noodles) in one of the shopping centres and then had a sleep at our hostel.
When we woke up that evening we went to see the light show at the Marina Bay Sands hotel. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a free show in the bay that uses water and light to tell a story- you need to walk round to the Marina Bay Sands hotel to see it- we nearly missed it as we were on the wrong side of the bay! You can access the hotel via the Helix Bridge, which is a beauty in itself. 🙂
Finally on our first day we had dinner at Glutton’s Bay, around the other side of the bay. I had chicken, rice, and vegetables, and my best friend had Char Kway Teow. I cannot recommend this hawker centre enough- it is fabulous and the food is incredible- my meal cost less than £2 and it may have been the best street food I ate during the trip. Street food and hawker stalls are, in my opinion, the best places to eat in South-east Asia. They’re very cheap (always good to hear when you’re on a budget) and they provide a real taste of local cuisine.
We then headed back to the hostel and got some much-needed sleep!
After breakfast we got the MRT to the Harbour Front to get the cable car. The cable car goes from the top of Mount Faber (more like a really big hill!) to Sentosa Island via the Harbour Front. This area of the city is very modern and stylish, which is a big juxtaposition to the greenery of Mount Faber. We chose to climb to the top to catch the cable car down again, and although it was a lot of hard work getting to the top it was worth it for the photographs and views! Don’t forget to take lots of water…
The photos just don’t do it justice- there’s so much depth in real life; you feel so tiny in comparison to everything else!
We then got the cable car down to the Harbour Front- it’s approx $15 (£7.50) for a return ticket. We only went the one quick journey down to the Harbour- but for the same price we could have gone all the way down to Sentosa Island and back again, which in hindsight I wish we’d done to make the most of it!
We had lunch in the food court at the Vivo City Mall- a noodle soup with meat, veg and hash browns! There was an assortment of items and you could choose what you wanted to have- a guessing game but very delicious.
Our afternoon was spent walking around the beautiful Botanical Gardens before hopping on the MRT to Farrer Park (I think!) to get the bus to the Night Safari. It was absolutely brilliant- although touristy and pricey at approx $36 (£18) per ticket, the show was amazing and the zoo unlike anything I’ve seen before- the animals roam free and you can get around either by tram or on foot. They also had some amazing fire dancers at the entrance on our way out.
Our evening ended with a late night and drinks at the hostel, and with us wishing we weren’t leaving Singapore in the morning! We could have spent another two full days here at least- one on Sentosa Island and another doing some more sight seeing- it’s a shame we never got to see the Gardens by the Bay, and I would have liked to meander through some different parts of the city.
Verdict: Singapore, you may have a reputation for being strict and boring, but I loved you- you were a perfect introduction into South-east Asia and I can’t wait to come back and explore you some more!
READ ME NEXT: