A weekend in Singapore, human overdose

I never thought I could feel so tiny! We often talk of New York by saying that it is a city visit with his nose in the air … Singapore, it’s worse! The buildings out of sight, a monster where the pedestrian traffic does not exist and 200 shopping centers in a city that can be done by walking in only one day!

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I traveled to Singapore for a 4 day weekend to renew my Thai visa. I was not especially accurate waiting and in any case different expectations of my current trip that revolves around nature and cultural traditions.

Going to Singapore, this new city and booming, I have found absolutely not what one says. There is talk of a city “garden” because of a tropical climate where there are beautiful green spaces… not really. Rather landscaped parks where one can not even frolicking on the lawn. Trees are marked with a museum and shadow is rather under umbrellas terraces where one sips a soda chatting. A big city !

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You’ll understand, I was rather disappointed. Not by the city but because I’m not doing this kind of trip! If you want to enjoy a 5 star hotel, impeccable service, excessive shopping activities and live the “something more” of the world, while Singapore is for you.

I don’t tell you a top 10 best things to do and see in Singapore, it would not make sense. I’ll just tell you about my weekend in the most salient points !!

 

What I preferred

The Marina Bay Sands

Imagine that one day, architects have seated in meetings, thinked really strongly and created this project! Three curved buildings connected at the top by a kind of future boat. The all overlooked by a hotel-pool-palm over 200 meters high. And guess what? It’s the most expensive hotel construction in the world, including the longest pool in the world, with the largest casino in the world .. Sure! It is in Singapore!

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Take a trip on the bay, day and night to admire it. That’s pretty impressive! It is also possible to climb to about $20 SGD. Access to the pool is reserved for hotel guests. If you want to see what it looks like inside, don’t worry, it’s also quick to join the gardens “suspended” Gardens by the Bay.

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Every day at dusk and every hour at the front of the shopping center (where there are scale reproductions of the canals of Venice with boats floating around it! No comment …) you can admire a “water and light” show with holograms. It is very beautiful! The show is a real paradox that advocates of life and safeguarding the planet in a city where consumption is the only known word !! But we are not there for the show worth unstoppable with a view of the city and its illuminated buildings.

Little India

It is only a small area where there are the Singapore Indian with the best tailors and jewelers. The houses are very colorful and smell the spice essences and incense.

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For those who know India, you will not find the land of a thousand scents and a thousand smiles. We are here in Singapore!! It’s worth it for a change of scenery and to escape to some buildings.

Chinatown

This is the neighborhood where I stayed and I can highly recommend it. The old colonial houses line the streets illuminated with lanterns. We find Chinese cuisine and sweet meats, herbalists and Chinese temples.

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It is a beautiful area, very lively and narrow streets where most strongly impede traffic and noise. In the middle of the neighborhood, there is the Food Street where you can eat every night without tiring.

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Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a garden where the lawn is off limits and where pushed iron covered with green trees of all colors. Platforms circulate between these gigantic plants. It looks like the wonderful world of Avatar’s movie! I had the chance to go on the day of the national festival which took place throughout the day performances composed by all children in all schools in Singapore. A magical day!

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Normally, I think the garden is more significant at night with light compositions and musical games.

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Foods center

Singapore is no exception to Asian culture! Indeed, in Asia, it is rare to cook and eat at home. Whether for lunch or dinner, everyone comes out and finds himself sitting down together. Apart therefore more expensive and fancier restaurants in the city, there are the food center and food court where we find the Indian, Malaysian and Chinese kitchen for 1-2 euros a dish.

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You choose your dish among the stalls and then you sit on tables set up everywhere. If you are in a group, so everyone can choose what to eat and then join the others to enjoy. Drinks are ordered separately. Dedicated Servers running between tables to take order.

Merlion

On a beautiful background buildings dedicated only to banks include the Merlion statue. It is the oldest of the city and faces the bay. Many tourists gather in front to take pictures with family or alone with their smartphone (selfie trend!).

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Sri Mariamman Temple

It is a Hindu temple wearing beautiful statues of deities. We find this type of temple in other Asian countries such as Thailand and of course India. It is also the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, a listed building.

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Every day at 6pm unfolds the ceremony which celebrates the goddess Mariamman. Admission is permitted and free to everyone, even the foreigners and non-Hindus, rare! SGD $3 for cameras and you have to leave your shoes at the entrance..

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My guesthouse

It is not easy to find a cheap guesthouse in Singapore because it is precisely the expensive part of the stay. In Chinatown or Little India, there are dormitory facilities at low prices (for Singapore!). However, none are backpackers lodge. Yes, Singapore is not really a busy town with this type of traveler.

So I was very surprised when I found myself in a 12-bed dorm (no less!), Air conditioned, sanitized and filled solely to foreign nationals get hired in this city where business is king. Their tie-suits hanging on the bunk beds and their computers, tablets, smartphones supported by the bed!

This is the first time in 5 months of traveling I was O-BLI-GED talking about  job and business!

 

Rules in Singapour

Singapore has many rules, many laws. Normal that the city is clean and that all the inhabitants are so polite front of so many limitations.

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Here are some that I could identify during my weekend reading the signs: Chewing gum banned (the control is done at the airport), SGD $ 150 fine if you feed birds, or my favorite , SGD $ 75 if you forget to flush your water after using the toilet. Pornography is also banned. A movie like Striptease with Demi Moore is censored and lasts in all 20 minutes! And I pass other laws much less qualified and less funny!

And all the rest

There are many other activities to do in Singapore with a low budget: the botanical garden, artificial island of Sentosa, Universal Studio, the world’s largest aquarium, the largest fountain in the world, shopping malls, have a drink on Clarke Quay, see the gondolas in the commercial center of Marina Bay, …

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So go ahead but with a handsome budget!

 

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