- North America
- South America
- Food & Drink
- Travel Photos
- Shows & Festivals
- Travel Tips
- Visit Toronto
I have been to Singapore a few times in my life and I’m sure I will be back. It is continually evolving and always interesting.
On my first trip there in 1988 with my parents, we stayed in a room with no air conditioning, and I have never made that mistake when visiting Singapore again! I discovered the Merlion statues and the tasty tropical fruit and soups that you could get in Chinatown. I didn’t know that you could get fresh water chestnuts in a bag with their own juice until then.
When I returned in 1994 on a school trip, I went to Sentosa Island – an artificial island with palm trees planted in a line two metres apart. It already seemed that Singapore was becoming commercial, fast developing, and that the authentic Chinatown was being cleaned up.
In 2012, I revisited Raffles Hotel with my husband, but didn’t pay the inflated price it now cost for a Singapore sling. We went to the top of the new Marina Bay Sands which had just opened in 2010 – the one shaped like a cruise ship. We could see Gardens by the Bay which was still under construction and all the way to Indonesia. A little tip – if you go to the cocktail bar next to the famous infinity pool, you don’t have to pay the price that it costs for the Observation Deck and you still get a good view of Singapore Harbour.
I went on two trips to Singapore in 2013, mainly because one of my friends now lives there with her partner and children. It was a not so daunting flight and felt like a safe place to visit on my first trip alone with a baby. We were also able to leave the little ones with my friend’s helper and go out for a French dinner in Little India.
The smog from Indonesia was affecting the air quality in Singapore then, so we could only go for indoor activities for a couple of days. I was awed by the huge shopping centers that had emerged – just window shopping was entertaining enough to fill a whole day.
My second trip to Singapore in 2013 was a short stopover on the way back from Europe with my husband and daughter, but we still managed to squeeze in some shopping and a meal at Din Tai Fung with friends.
To me, Singapore is Asian, but not really Asia. It has an Asian flavour, but it is modern in many areas that it seems western. It would be a great place to start for someone who has never been to Asia before as you get the warm weather without the crazy disorganized city.
A tip for vegetarians – there is an all vegetarian restaurant under the Buddhist temple in Chinatown.
* This post is brought to you by guest blogger Roshan Lewis.