Singapore has been the first Asian city I have ever travelled to, making me love this beautiful continent from the very start. It has been so different to everything I had ever known before: so diverse, vibrant and full of adventures and foreign places ready to be explored. This city has instantly captured my imagination and still now, after travelling a rather large part of South-East-Asia, it still is one of my absolute favourite cities. With the exciting combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western influences, Singapore is truly a cultural melting pot. From great nature over delicious street-food, giant skyscrapers, bustling markets, amazing light shows to contemporary arts – Singapore doesn’t cease to surprise you over and over again!
I’ll have to add: These days in Singapore have worked out absolutely perfect for us. We have been very lucky to just randomly stumble across incredible places,meet awesome locals to show us around and I am pretty sure that if things had gone differently I might have not enjoyed our stay as much as I did.
So therefore, here is a new guide to help you start of your Singapore Adventure right and make you fall in love with this city, too.
Start your day at Chinatown. The cramped five-foot-ways, dingy alleys and raucous street hawkers will be the perfect introduction to the cultural heritage of the city.You could easily spend the whole day wandering through these still-narrow streets, strolling past family-run goldsmiths, medicinal halls and teahouses, but also some more modern shops. Chinatown also is where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples, perfectly capturing the spirit of the entire city. Leave yourself some time to explore both the streets and temples, grab some lunch at one of the hawker stalls at the Chinatown Food Street and then make your way to the Gardens by the Bay.
The Gardens by the Bay are an amazing place. Right in between the modern business district of the city and the ocean they are enormous public garden facilities with great views on the Marina Bay Sands. There is heaps to do here, but I’d suggest you start of with a visit to the Cloud Forest. It’s one of the two domes featured in the gardens and is designed to take you up high into a mysterious mountain world, with lush vegetation and pretty waterfalls.
It’s also a very informative place where you can learn interesting facts about plants and our environment. Afterwards you can either check out the Flower Dome or have a wander around the gardens. Definitely check out the boardwalk over the Dragonfly Lake as well!
Then for dinner check out Satay by the Bay. It’s a nice little food court right in the heart of the gardens, hosting local food stalls. You’ll notice that a large number of them are specialising in Satay, which is a typically local dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with peanut sauce. Definitely get yourself a good amount of these: they are great! The dining experience is rounded off by the ridiculously small tables and chairs, often to be found in asian countries.
Finished your meal? Alright, let’s go on. There is one more stop that you should not miss out on at the Gardens by the Bay, literally my favourite experience in Singapore at all: the Super Trees! Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, they are massive vertical gardens in a unique tree-like look that is created through a trunks and large outspreading canopies. If you have already seen them earlier in the day (which is pretty likely, as they are towering up high above the gardens) you’ll be surprised by how different they look once it’s getting dark. Get there around 8 pm, look for a nice place to sit down close to the trees (the little plaza in between the biggest ones is perfect) and then wait. What you are waiting for you wonder? It’s called the Garden Rhapsody and basically is a light and sound show, bringing the Super Trees to live in bright colourful variations of light that are aligned to the sounds of classical music. It is absolutely stunning to watch and one of my most distinct memories of Singapore still is laying on the floor at the Gardens by the Bay, looking towards the sky and letting my mind drift away while watching these giant trees glow far above my head. This must have been the moment I fell in love!