If you can say one thing about Singapore, it is definitely an assault on the ocular, culinary and olfactory senses. While rent, lodging and sit-down restaurants have prices more reminiscent of San Francisco or New York than the rest of Southeast Asia, the hawker courts are still king of cheap eats, with full meals available for around $2-$4. You can get everything from Tokyo-quality ramen to Singapore’s famous chicken rice, and everything in between. When in Singapore, eat:
Much like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore is very eastern and very western. Coming in from the airport, if I wasn’t on the left side of the road, I’d have thought I was in Miami. I’ve seen Singapore dubbed as “intro to Asia” by travel writers, and now I can see why. Parts of it certainly bring up the old colonial influences, but you definitely can stay in the modern 21st-century areas too. It’s a way to have the Asian food and culture, in an advanced, clean, modern, friendly, English-speaking city. Whatever you want, it’s here, and within a 30 minute walk or 10-15 minute bus ride. One place on the “must-visit” list in Singapore is the super-futuristic Gardens by the Bay:
Another “must do” in Singapore is visit the ostentatious Marina Bay Sands hotel. While only paying hotel guests can use their famous infinity pool, everyone is welcome to enjoy a drink at the Sky Park Bar and enjoy views of Singapore from the 57th floor:
I found the public transport to be clean, easy, and operate with Japanese-like precision and efficiency. It’s a very livable city and a very interesting city. Singapore also has a stunningly beautiful harbor surrounded by an extremely impressive skyline, which I’d put right up there with New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sydney and some of the most aesthetic skylines I’ve seen:
Singapore is certainly not the super-affordable Southeast Asia with which most of us are familiar, but it is an amazing city to visit, and absolutely worth seeing for a few days while you’re in the area. You will have fun, eat well, and not be disappointed!
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel
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