Every single day we wander through life wondering what’s next, where to go, who to see, what to do?! But Singapore has it all down packed!
Singapore is a small country of 5.6 million people on the very southern tip of (what I am going to refer to as) mainland Malaysia. It has the largest port in the world for imports and exports, is surrounded by jungles with great hikes and beaches with beach volleyball and they sure know how to make good use of their green space with outdoor gyms and amazing lookouts! They have lavish bars and restaurants as well as a Universal Studios theme park and even an iFly Singapore. If that’s not enough for you, it is just a quick flight to Bali, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and so many more! Singapore has so much to offer and it is definitely one of my favorite places.
Where We Stayed:
We couchsurfed! Before we left for Australia we discovered a great website called Couchsurfing. While traveling through Australia we stayed with some really amazing in people in both Sydney and the Blue Mountains, so why stop there?! Our Singaporean host was actually Australia, so it made for a great transition into our trip through South East Asia.
When We Went:
February. Singapore is pretty close to the equator and it stays a pretty average temperature of 31 Celsius during the day and 26 Celsius at night all year around! It is protected from any major ocean storms and only gets the occasional flooding which has been remedied by upgrading their sewer systems.
What We Did:
Raffles Place, we were going to Raffles Place mainly for the food, but we checked out the beautiful mall as well! Filled with shops from all over including one of my favourite shoe shops; Charles and Keith.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel is one of Singapore’s most iconic new hotels. Opening in phases starting in 2010, it opened a mall, a casino and a hotel all linked by tunnels, walkways and bridges. Inside the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is beautiful artwork hanging from the ceiling which dangles down for all those below to admire….
It also has one of Singapore’s most sought after infinity pools which has 180 degree view and can only be accessed by hotel guests who have a key card.
Garden by the Bay is one of Singapore’s main attractions especially with the light show at night. To get there you can either Uber to the Gardens by the Bay or take the metro to Marina Bay Station (to download the PDF check out the how to get around section below). However, the Supertree Grove within the Gardens by the Bay is a sight for sore eyes! The large metal trees which are covered in live plants that grow and bloom throughout the year range between 25 meters (82ft.) and 50 meters (160ft.) tall! The Garden Rhapsody light show which happens every night at 7:45pm and 8:45pm is spectacular and changes the music regularly.
Where We Ate:
Raffles Place food court has tons of variety for tourists. The food junction is on the 5th floor. Each restaurant has its own specialty for food. I fancied a Korean dish called Bibimbap which usually contains rice as a base, carrots, cucumber, green onion, some kind of meat (chicken or beef) and an egg on top (sometimes also has seaweed).
How We Got Around:
Local Transit and Uber. The Subway and bus system in Singapore is referred to as the MRT and goes everywhere! Since the country is so small, they have had lots of time to build up their system and to make it better and better each year! Be aware that the strict rules in Singapore include No Eating and No Drinking on the trains.
To get a map of the Singapore MRT; click here.
Things to know before you go:
A lot of tourists that I spoke to are slightly worried or scared to go to Singapore due to the strict rules that they have. The most common one I heard was no chewing gum. You are actually allowed to chew gum and be in possession of gum, but you can not sell it or litter with it. Singapore is a more conservative country, but they have welcomed tourists for quite some time and are used to their different cultures and way of dress. There are a few beaches in Singapore which all walks of life come to enjoy. The work life in Singapore is mainly long hours and hard workers, especially for foreigners as you have to stack up next to the stars in the company. Mainly, just be respectful and don’t be an idiot! :p
The Full Story:
We connected with someone on couchsurfing who was willing to let us hang out for our 16 hour layover! As soon as we arrived in Singapore, we dropped off our things and headed straight to get something to eat! Since our layover was mostly during evening and night time hours on a monday, we headed to the Super Tree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay. The Super Tree Grove has a light show every evening at 7:45pm and 8:45pm called the Garden Rhapsody. The music is changed all the time and this one was a “Magical Wonders” theme which included music from Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and the Little Mermaid! Here is a little snip-it and a couple boomerangs to really hit the spot 😉
After the show, we wandered through the gardens and through the gorgeous Marina Bay Sands Hotel to catch a glimpse of the interior and then back to the MRT and back to our couchsurfing location for a good nights sleep! Our morning was a bright and early one and I ended up forgetting medication at the couchsurfing location! Which I only realized once we had arrived at that the airport (30 minutes by taxi). So after a quick debate, we decided to taxi it back to our couchsurfing and back to the airport to make our flight just in time!
Pro Tip: Don’t leave anything in your hotel/hostel/airbnb/couchsurfing, because I spent CAD $60 on Ubers and almost missed my flight! Haha