My first visit to the Lion City was way back in 2012 when all I wanted to see was the famous Merlion statue and visit Universal Studios. It was also during those times that my friend and I first traveled abroad together for almost two weeks. Since we had other countries to visit (Malaysia and Thailand), we had to plan out our itinerary and prioritize those we wanted to actually visit.
This year, we agreed that we would take everything slow. No planned itinerary. Just the sort of looking randomly into the map and see where the day will take us. It was a great decision as we felt relaxed all throughout our vacation.
It was the last week of August when we decided to be in Singapore again. The weather was hot and humid all through out. Good thing that going to each destination didn’t expose us too much from the sun since Singapore’s subway system was built underneath the city. Almost all pathways were connected by air-conditioned malls and passageways. I think we spent more time there than the places we visited. 🙂 But we didn’t really mind.
Singapore is a beautiful country. But it was not as progressive nor clean as we know it nowadays. I discovered more of how it came to be when I read up on its history and watched videos on Youtube and how its former leaders and people made their country to what it is today. The discipline, the dedication was evident in almost every corner. The streets were void of litters and actual people littering. There were many pocket gardens and small parks across the country. Commuters obey traffic rules even though at most they appear harried, eager to get to where they should be going.
In the time of our visit, I noticed that many of its older buildings were under renovation. Just like in the areas where we stayed, both Chinatown and Clark Quay’s old buildings were put to good use. Converting these architectural gems not only bring forth new business opportunities for the locals but also helped in maintaining their historical significance. These places reminded me of Binondo but their conditions, once compared were like heaven and seas. How I wish our local government would implement adaptive reuse instead of demolishing centuries old building. I think the latter should only be done if restoration can no longer be implemented.
Exploring Singapore in three days can be done mostly by walking. And walking all day everyday was super tiring. I was craving for Chicken Rice all through out our stay. It was a good thing that Maxwell Food Center was just walking distance from Box Capsule Hostel. Here, there were many food stalls but we opted to check out the one with the longest line. This hawker stand was the busiest because it turned out being visited by Anthony Bourdain. My verdict? It was just A-Ok. I remember the 35 Baht Chicken Rice meal we had in a hawker’s stand in Chiang Mai for it was way more delicious. :/
My friend needed to do some wee bit of shopping so I accompanied her to Bugis where reasonably priced stuff can be found. Some of the RTWs were drool-worthy but it was just really bad timing for me. I was unable to do my shopping. 🙁 After shopping, we walked over a curve and saw this smoothies stand where fruit juices were priced at only SGD 1. We felt kind of robbed because those being sold on Chinatown Food Street are double that price. But I told my friend it was maybe because the latter is a sure tourist spot. That’s why.
There were some landmarks we visited too. We dropped by at Singapore City Gallery, Singapore’s National Museum, Buddha Tooth Relic and hang out one afternoon at Esplanade Theaters. At night, we admired the magnificent Marina Bay Sands and watched the lights and sounds show.
We had a nice time admiring Singapore’s skyline. Though Hong Kong’s skyline for me is still the one to beat, Singapore is less busy and more apt for the traveler who loves walking. I did not see many stray cats in its main thoroughfares during our many strolls. But I remember seeing a fat tom cat in the back of a stall in Chinatown. I had my kitty cravings satisfied when we visited Neko No Niwa Cat Cafe. It was quite expensive but we did have the greatest time relaxing with the cuddly felines.
It will be probably take years before I decide to come back in Singapore. But my second Singapore vacation definitely enriched my traveling memories once more.