Quick stop off in Singapore before the flight home. We wanted around a week here but it was just too expensive, and I refuse to pay over the odds for a hostel or 1 star hotel – had enough of them!
As it was our wedding anniversary on Sunday we decided to treat ourselves for the final days in a fantastic five-star hotel. Considering the great location and the facilities on offer, we got it for an excellent rate. But then I would say that because I wasn’t paying (Steve’s treat!) 😊 The place was so slick and modern I could close the curtains with a remote, whilst lying in bed and watching the TV!
We were staying in the ‘Little India’ area of Singapore. It could be renamed Big India to be fair – walking through the streets on the Friday evening reminded us of Chennai! Literally thousands of Indian-origin families shopping, eating in restaurants etc… interesting to see.
The island of Singapore was founded by a Stamford Raffles in the early 1800s, not easy to forget his name as its everywhere, hotels, roads, tube stations, shopping malls etc all named after him. Singapore used to be within the Federation of Malaysia after Independence from the British Empire in 1963, however was expelled several years later after tensions between the Malay leaders and the predominantly Malay Chinese population of Singapore. The fact that Singapore is voted as one of the best places to live in the world and one of the most affluent (supposedly 1 in 6 people have over a Million Singapore Dollars in their account) they probably have no regrets of being expelled.
Five months of daily long walks means our legs and feet are SCREWED. I have ankle problems, Steve’s feet ache each morning… because of this we only picked a handful things that we wanted to see and do over the three full days. Despite that plan, our first day was spent walking between 6-7 miles. Good one, Davies! It couldn’t be helped, walking around the Botanical Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Sands etc all adds up, but definitely worth doing/seeing. I could immerse myself in the Botanical Gardens for an entire day, loved it. Our favourite areas were the Healing Gardens (where you could pick the herbs and plants if you wanted to) and the Symphony Lake. Stunning landscape and it being free just made it 100 + better.
Our second day was spent at Universal Studios, a nice little anniversary treat. I don’t usually tend to do theme parks (the queuing, the crowds etc) but after this I’ve changed my mind. We had such a blast, I couldn’t stop smiling when walking though the Jurassic Park gates, like being a big kid!
Our final day was spent nursing a hangover and feeling sleepy – visited a Irish pub on the Sunday evening to watch Arsenal lose (happy anniversary sweetheart!). Late afternoon and evening, however, was spent walking around the colonial district, Marina Sands and Gardens of the Bay. Being bank holiday Monday it was very quiet, and a perfect way to finish the 163 days of travelling (doesn’t seem a lot when you put it like that!). The photos below won’t do it justice but the sunset reflecting on Marina Sands buildings were stunning, followed by a light show at Gardens Bay. I was almost in tears!
So, Singapore. Could we live here? Definitely. It works, it’s easy to navigate, the common language is English so there are no barriers. Would we live here? Probably not. Far too expensive! And at times it all just felt a bit too man-made, with a lack of distinct culture. We’re also a little dubious about the number of rules enforced by the state. Some say it’s an authoritarian regime, and I can understand why. Some small examples of their enforced criminal law: you can’t buy chewing gum (it’s actually banned), drug trafficking can result in the death penalty (!), jaywalking is an offence, and you can receive a fine for not flushing the toilet after use. WTF?!
I’ve discovered during this trip that I actually DO like a few rules in place (India, take note) but Singapore leans too far over the other side I think.
So that’s it, our last place on the list and now a long flight back to the UK.
Thank you for reading, and for the lovely feedback, not just from friends or family but from various people around the world. It’s encouraged me to keep the blog going, wherever we travel to in the future, be it in Britain, Europe, Asia or anywhere else. Please keep checking back or sign up for email updates.
Our journey has just begun. And with little responsibility holding us back, we feel our location independent life is about to begin. There’s no stopping us now.
Till next time….