I barely even know where to start with this blogging. Do I simply tell you about my days? Or should I employ a more abstract line of discussion? Either way, I’m hoping to impart upon y’all some sweet pictures, interesting stories and a greater appreciation of the world beyond the sunny shores of Australia.
DISCLAIMER: the photos you see here are not nearly as refined as I would normally make them before allowing people to see them, they are very rough edits only, done on a not very accurate MacBook Air screen
So, how about that featured image up above? That’s the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. It’s an absolutely amazing structure that begs to defy the laws of practicability, common sense, and good maritime practises. I’m unsure about the WHY, and I’m sure gypsy magic is involved in the HOW, but I love the fact that in its most simplest form, it’s just a gigantic boat on some towers.
My time here had, unknowingly, been centred around celebrating Chinese New Years. It was simply blind luck that had my arrival timed perfectly with this holiday, it did however have the unfortunate side-effect of having the streets be incredibly busy at all hours and populated heavily by families with young children; this definitely made for a lot of exercises in patience and appreciation of the efficiency and cleanliness of this fine City-state. That being said, it did afford me a few good opportunities that I would have otherwise not had.
Chinese New Year was celebrated with a major fireworks display at midnight on the 6th/7th of February, and then again for 2 more nights with a smaller display at 9pm. I made a very specific point of trying to capture this, mostly because it’s fireworks, and who doesn’t like exploding rockets? Plus, I quite enjoyed the challenge of capturing such a difficult event with the VERY limited amount of camera gear I brought with me.
I also made a point of tripping to the top of the amazing Marina Bay Sands Hotel. and a handy hint for future travellers, Skip the costly Skypark, and visit the CÉ LA VI Restaurant and SkyBar instead. You’re afforded a very similar view, get offered overpriced drinks, and can visit for the very affordable price of SG$0.00.
If ever you find yourself in Singapore, don’t forget to check out the large array of Natural Attractions as well. Chances are you’ve probably seen photos of the “Super-Trees” in the Gardens by the Bay before. The Singapore Zoo is World renowned and very well tended. Though my only gripe would be the lack of reptiles. Though I did have the opportunity to go on stage during one of the wildlife demonstrations and hold a Ball Python and Albino Boa.
My hostel was The Inncrowd, located near the heart of the Little India District on the outskirts of the main CBD. A short walk away would find yourself in the heart of Little India; and being surrounded by phone stores (both sale and repair), food stores, and delightful masses of people. If you were to walk in the right direction you would even find yourself in a food hall, where you can pick up quite a delicious fare, for not a whole lot of money.
And before you ask, yes, that 7-eleven does serve Slurpees, and yes, they are delicious.
One of the best parts about Singapore (apart from the uncanny cleanliness) is the Marr Rapid Transport system, or MRT. It’s quick, efficient, timely and very clean, but most of all, CHEAP.
EXAMPLE! In Brisbane, Australia, the train ride from the Domestic Airport terminal to the City is AU$17.50, the MRT ticket, from Changi International Airport to Rochor (this involves 2 line changes) cost near on AU$1.50. So for public Transport, Singapore is definitely one of the best I’ve encountered so far.
My time here has mostly been spent, trying to not spend (money). This city is, for the most part, quite an expensive place to exist, with prices ranging from pretty cheap, to downright extortion. Generally you could expect to pay about similar to what you would back in Australia.
That being said, this place has a very rich and diverse culture, with excellent public spaces, delicious food and many attractions to visit.