In the beginning of this month my sister and I traveled 12.000 km to Singapore in Asia. It was my first travel outside of Europe and first long journey by plane (Airbus A380, flying 14 hours). I was pretty excited by whole thing! As there is no direct flights from Warsaw to Singapore, we traveled via London (British Airways) and we waited there 5 hours – exactly enough to go out to centre for some classic fish’n’chips. The long journey was better than I expected, probably due to around 50 available movies on deck (all recent movie theatre premiers were there!) and nice food served. We also flew during night both ways – it really helps in sleeping through the journey.
Once we landed in Changi Airport, we were greeted by huge animated characters figures made of flowers. Immediately we noticed the beauty of Singapore – first of all, this is a very clean city (probably because there is no chewing gum on pavement ;) ), very colourful and diverse. Buildings, especially in colonial district, are really pretty and rainbow painted, all is quite neat. We stayed in Geylang district, in the midst of Chinese and Malaysian cultures, backdoor gambling, food courts and… hookers. All this just 5 km from the city(and country) centre. We chose great time to arrive – just before Lunar New Year, so the city was also beautifully decorated.
We visited Chinatown and Little India districts – they are the most colourful ones, really worth seeing them! The city was full of oriental-styled temples and state buildings, clementines and colour red, but the centre, when you go pass colonial houses, is dominated by financial district. Skyscrapers made of glass and steel look really nice, as they are different and variously-shaped. There is even one that is golden! The city looks the best at night, when all the lights are on – stroll along the “Singapore river” (well, not a real river) is the best way to end your day.
The main reason we went to Singapore was Gardens by the Bay and the Supertree Grove. We saw this in some TV program and fell in love with the idea. So much we decided to spend our winter holidays there! 2000 € later we regret nothing! The idea is genius, especially for places with limited space and for cities – the tree is built by people, then plants are planted around it and they grow on the construction to form the huge tree. Every day in the evening a light and music show takes place – and even during the day it’s a very popular place to hang out or lay down and read.
Singapore is the best place in the world for consumption. We counted more shopping malls and galleries than kilometres we had to walk to go around the whole city. :) There is more luxurious boutiques in the Marina Bay Sands gallery than in entire Poland I think. Not to mention that there is a river INSIDE the building and you can rest on a cruise there. Wicked! What we liked the most were bags for to-go drinks – you don’t hold to the cup, but to the bad, so your hand doesn’t get wet/hot from the drink.
Last, but not least – Singapore is full of beautiful flowers, trees and parks – and it’s all evergreen, as Singapore lays close to the equator. We’ve seen huge palm trees, flowers in all colours, trees with leaves bigger than us and wild iguanas casually searching for food in parks and botanic gardens. I must say it really is a great rest for the body and soul to lay down with the book on a grass in 30 degrees and just spend the day like that. There is also an island Sentosa, 10 minutes from the centre and on the Indian Ocean. You can quickly go from work or shopping to sunbathing and swimming. On Sentosa is also the Palau Palawan – Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, which we, of course, checked out. :)
I can recommend Singapore to everyone – for what I’ve heard, it’s the most west-friendly Asian country. I can vouch for that – they are all very friendly and will try to help you even when you don’t ask for help. ;) This country is well-organized and clean. People are friendly and all speak English, as it’s one of the national languages there. Touristic is really taken seriously by them so you will be able to pack your days entirely with great attractions, as well as finding some time for chilling in botanic gardens or Sentosa.