Day One –
Mitch and I arrived in Singapore at 6:00am Saturday morning (Singapore time) after a long 17 hour flight from Los Angeles. We had left our home in Saskatchewan,SK early Thursday morning (SK time), and lost a whole day to travel. Its safe to say that the few hours of sleep we caught, sitting uncomfortably on the plane, were not enough to fight off the impending jet lag.
First things, first, despite being extremely tired, we had to find the hostel that we were staying in. We took the public transit system (MRT) for $2.40 each for 45 minutes from the Changi Airport to Little India, walked about a minute, and, after initially getting lost and asking for directions in another hostel, found the hostel we had booked.
We had booked beds at the InnCrowd Backpackers Hostel and although we couldn’t check in until 1 pm (It was only about 7:30am), they let us drop our bags off, use the shower/bathroom facilities and grab some breakfast that they provided. Of course, being that it was our first day and we didn’t have a bed to crash in yet, we decided to try and walk to the Marina Bay area. Trying to walk, when you’re jet lagged, and its +30°C and humid outside is NOT a good idea.
Surprisingly enough after a few much needed breaks in some air conditioned malls on the way, we actually made it to the Marina. At this point, after taking a few photos, we realized we were both starving. We also realized both of us get agitated easily when hungry. And, of course, although we saw many food places on our walk to the Marina, when we were looking for food, we couldn’t seem to find any decently priced food anywhere. Finally we walked into the nearest mall we could find, saw a menu that displayed burger and main course prices for about $16 and said “Yep!” and sat down. We would realize later that this was grossly overpaying.
After eating we figured we couldn’t walk anymore so we bit the bullet and paid a few dollars to hop the train back to the hostel. We were greatly relieved to find out that we had been upgraded to our own private room, with just the one bunk bed in it, because all of the dorm beds (which we were supposed to have – with 4-6 bunk beds per room) were full. At 2:00pm we decided to call it a day (this was supposed to be a nap), and proceeded fall asleep until the next morning.
Day 2 –
After a 16 hour sleep for me, and about a 12 hour sleep for Mitch, it’s safe to say we awoke refreshed and ready for the day. We decided to check out the Botanical Gardens because the front desk of our hostel told us it was free and really worth seeing.
After the first day we decided the train was the preferred option over walking, so, we hopped the train to the Botanic Gardens (maybe took us 20 min?). It was a really hot day, but the botanic gardens were beautiful. It felt like we had become lost somewhere in the rainforest. Our only regret was that we didn’t pack a lunch and do a picnic on the grounds.
Later that evening we went on a free scooter tour led by someone from our hostel. We used push scooters and went all over the city seeing all the main attractions, buying food at a cheap food court (which we noted for the future) and taking it to eat on a rooftop patio overlooking the Marina at night. We took in two light shows, one on the main waterfront, and one under the large iron super trees at the Gardens by the Bay. We stopped for some $1.50 icecream on the way back and to try the reknowned fruit Durian (Well I tried it, Mitch didn’t). Although we were exhausted and sweaty it was an awesome tour. And thankfully our tour guide took pictures for us! All in all it was a much better day than the first!
Day Three –
This day we decided to check out the Zoo! Despite the fact that it wasn’t free and was raining that day, we decided to bite the bullet, pay the money and check it out anyways. And we are very glad we did! It was hands down one of the coolest zoo’s both of us has ever been to. The exhibits were done in such a way that it looked as if the animals could escape if they wanted. Of course we were hoping that the zoo knew what they were doing and that the animals couldn’t actually escape, but it made for a great viewing experience. We spent 5 hours at the zoo and made sure we saw everything. We even took in a sea lion show and I volun-tolled Mitch to participate. He had to throw a frisbee to the sea lion and much to his delight, his throw was good and the sea lion caught it!
Then, later in the evening we went to the Fountain of Wealth (a fountain we found on our first day) because we were told that the fountain actually gets turned on in the evening. We grabbed some supper and just sat next to the fountain enjoying the water and the lights. Then we went back to the hostel and called it a night.
Day Four –
Our final day was a pretty relaxing day. We felt that we had done majority of the things to do in Singapore that didn’t require deep pockets. We went back to the cheap food court that we were shown on our first day for lunch, and later decided to take a stroll through the Gardens by the Bay. These gardens have super trees that are large iron trees with vegetation growing all over them. If you google Gardens by the Bay they are the first things that come up. Unfortunately, other than the super trees though, we didn’t find the gardens to be all that spectacular. However, they are only 7 years old, where as the botanical gardens are much older, so maybe in a few years they’ll be a must-see destination.
We then decided to head back to the hostel, pick up some drinks (Sommersby 2 for $8) at 7-eleven and have a few drinks in our room, getting ready for our flight to Thailand the next day.
Parting Singapore Thoughts
We both liked Singapore. However, unless you are a ‘foody’ or have very deep pockets, I wouldn’t recommend more than 3 days in Singapore. Its a great city, but one that is easily traversed in 3 days. Plus, there is a 3 day Singapore tourist pass for the train system (MRT) for $20. Also, you shouldn’t have to spend more than $8 on a meal unless you want Western food or something fancy. If you do have a lot of money to spend there are many other things that we did not do that might appeal to you.