A beautiful, modern and freakishly clean city which carries the death penalty for drugs and has officially banned chewing gum - so no 'Wrigleys Extra' i'm afraid, just mints. This financial monster was one of our favourite cities and was a fantastic place to start our South East Asia trip. I say this purely because it eases you into the Asian way. With its Western vibes, Singapore makes you feel comfortable after that long ass flight and isn’t so crazy that you’re already wanting to head home and call Mum complaining that this travel malarky isn't for you. You're surrounded by enormous sky scrapers, stunning look out points and a hell of a lot of money. Sentosa island, safaris, shopping, bars and clubs are just a few of the many things to do whilst here. Whether you are overlooking the city at Ku De Ta rooftop bar, sipping on a Singapore sling cocktail, or taking a stroll in the worlds only Louis Vuitton store that sits on water, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in Singapore.
That all important bank account. A lot of people say it is really expensive here, but we found it relatively cheap. We have always been good at budgeting which is very handy whilst you have no source of income, but for you f**k-wits who struggle to budget, don’t go too crazy here and always look for cheap places to eat (that means Asian Street food). It probably seemed cheaper as we started our trip here, and most places are cheaper than the UK. But if you're heading here towards the end of your trip, then be warned, it will be a lot more expensive than its neighbouring countries.
As soon a we touched down in Singapore we were absolutely stunned by that instant heat wave, coming straight from the UK our bodies were not used to such humidity and heat. As we stepped out of our cool air-con taxi, BAM, instant sweat on so time to check into our hostel and get changed. We were staying in the business district 'Project Boat Quay', right on the river at a small hostel called '5 Footway inn', our first taste of hostel life and in all honestly, neither of us had any complaints. A very basic room with shared bathrooms, it was just like the good old University days, but a tremendous air con system gave us a much needed break from the vastly humid country. Perfectly located right in the heart of the financial district we were surround by sky scrapers and busy bars which were booming in the evenings. It's also close to the very reliable underground, perfect for getting from A to B. The accommodation also had an iron, this went down a treat due to us being some of the spiciest guys to ever go travelling.
We touched down late afternoon and after checking our hostel we decided to hit the streets and go do some late night exploring, walking around the city at night whilst everything is lit up really shows off the beauty Singapore has to offer. We all instantly fell in love with the place. Our evening walk took us all the way around the business district and over to the Marina Bay Sands hotel which stands quite elegantly, sophistically and beautifully with a boat resting on it's three 55 story tall hotel towers. We all stood in awe of the hotel and its impressive architecture (A boat on top of 3 towers, WOW). Our first day of travelling and seeing this amazing place really made us look forward to exploring the rest of this amazing place, however there is a thing called 'jetlag' so it was time to try and get some sleep, which was difficult.
After a pretty restless sleep the three of us got ourselves up, had some breakfast and made our way around the city to check out more of Singapore and what it had to offer. This was also the first place we realised that being tall white Englishman we were going to stand out a lot more than others, leading to every person pretty much wanting a picture with us every 5 minutes. If we had charged £1 for every photo we'd have been millionaires by now. We took another walk around the business district, this time during the day, checking out the standard western shops such as Zara & H&M, and then decided to jump on the tube (which is better than London underground dare we say it) to go check out China Town. China Town, A must go for food and all things Chinese, treat yourself and enjoy a Chinese feast. We stumbled across some fantastic food hall where we stocked up on fresh Chinese cuisine, and it really did feel like we were walking into a Chinese school dining room. After a lot of miss communication, random jibberish being said and a bit of sign language we managed to get more than enough food to feed our appetite. The food itself was amazing and cost no more than £1.50 each, so it was well within our budget.
As our first full day continued we decided that we deserved a few well earned drinks. Time to check out Singapore night life and boy the place certainly did not disappoint. Being such a vibrant city Singapore has so much to offer from downtown tacky hideaways to beautiful open rooftop bars. We got ourselves freshened up and went out to buy some pre drinks, we actually got quite lucky and found a bottle shop around the corner of our hostel and managed to sweet talk the cashier for a discounted bottle of Grey Goose, which made the perfect pre drinks for our first night in Singapore. We left the shop with vodka as well a number written on the receipt (This is no lie, we're smooth operators). After having a few drinks in our hostel with some other local travellers we decided to head out and see where the night took us. First on the agenda was Attica, we paid £20 entry with two free drinks, here we met some cool locals who invited us onto a second nightclub called Bang Bang, which was absolutely mental. The locals managed to sort us all free entry and once in we managed to hit the jackpot when a few different locals approached us and told us not to buy a drink & invited us to come and join them on their 'models table' (apparently it was this exclusive table that was only for, you guessed it, models). Not being the guys to turn down free booze, we jumped at the chance and were greeted by a 6L bottle of belvedere being poured down our throats. From this moment on all our minds went blank but we made it home in one piece. Sick club, sick night, brutal hangover.
Waking up the next day a little later than we hoped + little worse for wear, we managed to get up and go do some more exploring of the city. On this day we decided to go check out 'Little India' and do a night safari tour, as soon as we walked off the tube it felt like stepping out of Singapore and into India in the space of a minute, just on a baby scale. Here, in 'Little India' they do a frightening curry and cheese naan combo that is to die for. The naan is freshly prepared in front of you and is another cost effective meal and a damn tasty one too! Once finishing half of 'Little india's' food we decided to head across town (by bus & train) and to The Night Safari which is the world's first nocturnal zoo. We started off by seeing a live animal show where the zoo keepers perform with a few different animals which was really entertaining, we then moved onto getting a guided tour around the entire park whilst sat in the back of a golf cart. The actual night safari was a bit boring and we couldn't take any photos as it's just too dark. Looking back, we're unsure what the point of this safari was, as you can’t bloody see a thing!! We wouldn't really recommend doing The Night Safari, save your pennies for somewhere else.
Our third day in Singapore we just had to head over to Sentosa island which is also the home of 'Universal Studios'. The journey itself over to Sentosa Island is done by a cable cart and is completely worth it for the sensational views of Singapore, despite it being stupidly high and pretty scary it is worth it, just don't look down. We spent the day here, exploring around the park, enjoying some rollercoasters and seeing some cool aquariums. All in all it's a fun day out and well worth a visit to Sentosa Island.
Our final day in Singapore and what a way to finish our trip here then to do some further sight seeing around the sensational city, grab a cocktail at the home of the Singapore Sling at Raffles bar before finally heading to Ku De Ta Rooftop bar. We took a walk down to the bay and explored around the worlds only floating Louis Vuitton store and saw the incredible Gardens by the bay which are both a must if you're ever in Singapore. The night started early as we took a cab to the famous Long bar at raffles hotel, this is where the signature cocktail 'Singapore Sling' was invented and even though it sets you back about £20 it's totally worth it, especially as they give you handful of free peanuts, where you can just scatter all the nut shells over the floor without a care in the world (Here is why? The nuts leak peanut oil over the floorboards when walked on, which apparently strengthens the wood). Once we finished our drinks we took a taxi over to the incredible 'Ku De Ta bar' which is located on the top of Marina Bay Sands hotel. We made our way up one of the three towers to the top and as we stepped out we soon realised we where in pure luxury. The bar/mini club is unbelievable and the place certainly boasts some sensational views of Singapore, with a drink in hand we all sat around a table on the balcony taking it all in and really appreciating the place we were in. A bit of advice when going to the 'Ku De Ta bar', is that a smart (ish) outfit is required, so no shorts or flip flops as you won't get in. Funny story: We met a guy who genuinely didn't pack a pair of trousers or jeans whilst travelling, but did have a pair of sweatpants, put them on and managed to get in. So you can't wear shorts but if you're lucky enough to have some sweatpants handy then give them a go.
Even though our trip had been short and sweet we really had fallen in love with the place we couldn't stop calling 'Sensational Singapore'. We stayed in Singapore for a total of 4 nights, which we found was more than enough.
From Singapore we then took a 6-8 sweatbox (bus) to Malaysia. A free visa makes the border crossing hassle free and we went directly to Kuala Lumpur, the capital city. There is so much to do in Singapore and in our time spent here we did manage to see a lot, however there is still a lot more to see and do, below we have listed a few of the top things we suggest you should do if you're ever in Singapore:
Gardens By the Bay
Check out the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Strolling around the incredible city
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
5 Foot Way Inn Hostel (Project Boat Quay)
Plenty of Western restaurants located around the city
Chilli Crab Stand (Signature dish)
Ku De Ta Rooftop Bar on top of Marina Bay Sands
Raffles Bar - home of the cocktail 'Singapore Sling'
Bang Bang club