Singapore 🌿🌺 – 🌸🌴The Garden City

The Merlion &Central Business district skyline
The Merlion (cross between lion & fish-Singapore’s tourism icon) & Central Business district skyline

Ah, Singapore, such an affluent little county/city that literally has something for everyone. Still a major shipping port, straddling the trade routes between China, India, Europe & Australia, it has a rich history & has only been independent since 1965.

Singapore prides itself on being a multi-racial country, (however 85% are Chinese), where 1:4 people are expatriates from across the globe & where the unemployment rate is a mere 2%. It is also one of the safest cities in the world, with its squeaky cleanliness achieved in part by strict rules against activities that are tolerated in other countries. For example, jay-walking, spitting, littering, & drinking/eating on public transport are prohibited. Even gum chewing is banned, unless of course it is for medical reasons! Locals joke about Singapore being a fine city because heavy fines are levied if you’re caught committing an offence. Drug trafficking is punishable by death & the warnings were clearly spelled out on our entrance visas.

We were struck by the extreme cleanliness, how well laid out the city is, the beautiful landscaping with abundant flowers & greenery everywhere, wonderful art, sculptures & the marvellous skyscrapers mixed in with the colonial splendour of another era. And….no scooters or motorcycles! Such a breath of fresh air & so very civilized after spending the last several weeks in Thailand with its poverty, noise, dirt & where anything goes! The trade-off for all this luxury however is a major jump in cost, with everything at least quadrupled in price. There certainly appears to be great wealth here & Bob has never seen so many high-end cars on the road, e.g., Bentley, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porches; the common mans car seems to be BMWs & Mercedes. Despite all this, 85% of the population live in subsidized housing.

With  the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 19th the city is decorated with an abundance goats (2015 is Year of the Goat), stores & streets are decorated with kumquat trees & orchids. The city has swelled & China Town has hawkers out selling all the customary delicacies & the streets are packed.

The Singapore River cuts the city in two; south is the Central Business District & China Town, to the north the Marina district with Robertson & Clarke Quay, Little India & the Muslim quarter & to the northwest Orchard Road, a premier shopping strip with all the big names, e.g. Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Channel, Hermes, etc., etc.

We opted to do the hop-on-hop off day tour on our first day which gave us a really great overview of the city. Once familiar with the layout we were able to do more exploring on foot & even mastered the subway line. We also feel we can now give some great reviews of the more opulent hotel lobbies scattered throughout the city. Singapore is located a mere 1.5 degrees north of the Equator; the weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons & the stifling heat of the day builds between 2 & 5 p.m. To prevent heat stroke we would casually hang out in the various hotel lobbies & cool off in elegant surroundings.

We have seen most of the major sights that were on our list in Singapore & were also successful in obtaining our Myanmar visa. Another couple of check-marks to add to the list. Myanmar will have to wait though as we are heading into Malaysia next & plan to visit Melaca, Ipoh, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown &  wherever else that strikes our fancy.

Author: Theresa & Bob

We love to wander, aimlessly at times it seems, and will keep moving as far and as long as we can. Serendipity has provided many wonders along the way, when least expected, and we love the anticipation of the 'next great find' just around the corner.

4 thoughts on “Singapore 🌿🌺 – 🌸🌴The Garden City”

  1. Great pictures! Sounds like you guys are having a wonderful trip. Enjoy …… while we are in a deep deep freeze here in Ontario. The snow that has fallen here is unreal, so enjoy your beautiful weather and scenery! CHEERS!

  2. Ah, it is so great to see where you are traveling! We didn’t spend enough time in Singapore when we were there. We’ll be looking forward to your Malaysia pictures. We didn’t get to Georgetown, so we really do need to get back to Asia one more time!! Thanks for your updates!

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