Singapore Stopover

We left Germany at around 10pm with one of the last flights out of Frankfurt and landed in Singapore about 12 hours later, but on the clock it was now already 5pm. Goodness, that was one endless flight, it was so good to finally be able to get out of the confined space of the airplane.

Then we stepped out of the plane not only the time was messed up in our heads, but also the temperature. While it was pretty cold in Germany, around 6°C when we left, we now stepped out into the hot and humid Singapore climate, at about 28°C.

After collecting our backpacks and going through immigration we first had to figure out the local public transport system. Luckily the MRT is pretty straightforward (well, other than only being able to pay in small bills, not anything 'bigger' than 5$ and certainly not by credit card) and soon we were on our way.

Ou hotel was on the edge of the “Little India” District and that was where we went once we had checked into the Hotel and gotten rid of our bags. Our stomach was now calling for some real food as we wandered through the streets. In Little India you mostly get, well, Indian Food, and that is what we went for. Then it soon was time for bed.

Day 1 - Chinatown, Marina Bay and the Gardens By The Bay

The next morning we first tried to get a general overview over Singapore. We spent some time walking around Little India, this time by daylight and then took the tram into the center of town.

We gave the Old Police Station with all it’s colorful window shutters a short look and then moved on to Chinatown. Besides just walking around we visited the Buddha's Tooth Relic Temple. The building looked a lot more historic than it really is - it was only opened in 2007! Nevertheless it was very interesting and fascinating. The building is not only a place for worship but also houses a small museum about the life of the Buddha and an exhibition about important and influential monks in Singapore. We realized then that we knew virtually nothing about Buddhism, so we really enjoyed the museum part.
Still our favorite part of the whole temple was the orchid garden on the top. Also the whole thing is for free, so if you like nice artistry, religion and culture you should definitely put the temple on your list.

Afterwards it was time for a small lunch and we made our way to the food court of the Chinatown Center, a big market. On the top floor are many different food stalls serving different types of food, mostly Chinese style, for very reasonable prices. We chose some freshly made Spring Rolls and Curry Spring Rolls and then continued our exploration of the city.

We walked all the way through town to Marina Bay to check out the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel and take a look at the Shoppes - a mall right beside the Marina Bay Sands which features many very expensive shops and even an indoor canal where you can have someone paddle you around in a little boat.

Afterwards we came to the probably most impressive part of Singapore - the Gardens By the Bay. We skipped the huge greenhouses, even though they looked very cool - we had read a few places that they were indeed nice but maybe still not worth the entry fee of almost 30$ per Person. Instead we walked through the gardens and really enjoyed that. There were so many things to see. One of our favorites: the boardwalk around the Dragonfly lake is really nice and also offers great views of the Marina Bay Sands and the city skyline. Of course the Supertree Grove is absolutely impressive. And here, once again, there was a lot of additional information about the plants in the park, but also how the gardens, greenhouses and the lakes all work together in the ecosystem of the park. That is really interesting, and we were a bit sad that we had planned to little time to really read and digest all the information offered.

We had a small Dinner at the food court of the gardens and then went to see the “Garden Rhapsody” - an illumination and light show of the Supertree Grove. That was cool, but also a bit, well, not our style?

Afterwards we slowly started to make our way back into town, stopping again at the Shoppes. Outside, at the Event Plaza, another free Lightshow was played, “Spectre”. That was also really nice, and also free. So if you want to do stuff in Singapore but don’t want to spend any money, you can absolutely find enough to pass the time.

Day 2 - Tiong Bahru, Kampong Glam & Goodbye

For our last day in Singapore we wanted to check out two more districts that are said to be interesting. Before we went on our way to do that we went for Breakfast in the little India District. Prata with Banana, or Chocolate is what we ended having - together with a spicy sauce. I am still not sure if that fit or not..

.First on the list was Tiong Bahru, a district made up entirely of government built art deco buildings. Unfortunately it started raining really hard as soon as we got out of the MRT Station. So we waited up for about half an hour before venturing into the district. We really liked this part of town. It is very open and very green. Each house has only three or four levels and there are garden spaces and footpaths in between. The houses themselves are strangely uniform but nice. We also liked the Tiong Bahru Market, where we ended up for having Lunch. The food court, or so called Hawker Center once again offered many different varieties of food. We decided to go to the stall with the longest queue. We ended up with really good “Chicken Rice” for three singapore dollars each. And the stall even had a Michelin star! We also treated ourselves to a yummy iced coffee.

Then we moved on to Kampong Glam, the Arabian district of Singapore. Here we started running out of time which was unfortunate - the district has Bunches of beautiful, colorful little houses that would have deserved more of our time.

Afterwards it was time to pick up our things from the hotel and take the MRT one final time - back to Changi Airport to continue our trip to New Zealand.

Our general impression of Singapore

We're really not cityepople and we usually don't get too much out of city trips but we really, really liked Singapore. We were so sceptical at first and even tried to find another place for a stopover. But now we were glad that Singapore was the easiest one to do. Because it is a beautiful, diverse city. The ethnic districts really are full of their respective cultures and people, it is a bit like many cities were stuck togehter in one.

We also have never seen so much green in any city. It is really amazing. Not only the gardens by the bay were impressive, but also a lot of vertical gardening on building facases, and the many many green strips and trees throughout the city.

Two days were not enough to really explore everything, we ended up missing out on parts like the Botanical Gardens, Santosa Island and many more that are supposedly awesome. But if we can we’ll definitely come back here to make that up at some point.