After a stressful morning of getting stuck in traffic leaving Seminyak & thinking we were going to miss our flight, we were then delayed and only made it by the skin of our teeth for our connecting flight from KL! It was a long day of travelling, but by 7pm we had finally made it to Singapore. We are staying at Galaxy Pod Hostel, and it looks exactly as you’d imagine it! A bit like something out of Star Wars, with a slight feel of sleeping in a tanning bed / coffin. Nevertheless, they look awesome and you get your own tv too! We’re staying right in the middle of Chinatown so we headed straight out to the nearest veggie place and had some amazing sweet and sour (fake) chicken and tofu satay.
After an interesting night sleep in the pod, we had a quick breakfast at the hostel and then headed out for the day. Our first stop was Little India, which was filled with busy markets and colourful shops and buildings. We then made our way to the Orchard Road, which is one of Singapore’s best shopping districts, to visit the Off-White store and do a bit of window shopping. Next on the agenda was Haji Road, famous for its quirky shops, cafes and vintages stores – they even have a coffee shop where you can get a selfie printed into the foam of your latte! It’s walls are lined with colourful graffiti, and hordes of tourists trying to get a good picture.
For lunch we ate at Gokul, one of Singapore’s best, and cheapest veggie restaurants. It didn’t disappoint! We had an amazing butter chicken (fake chicken, of course) curry, and delicious pineapple fried rice. The chicken and beef substitutes here are so tasty, you honestly wouldn’t know the difference! After lunch we crossed over the famous Helix Bridge (named after its DNA-like design) and went to check out the futuristic flower shaped building that is the Art Science museum. We saw two really cool exhibitions, one called future world, which was all about art & technology, and one about the history of graffiti and street art.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s famous riverside botanical gardens and futuristic forest. First we visited the Cloud Dome, a huge glass structure which houses a giant waterfall and hundreds of different plants and trees. Next we explored the Flower Dome, where thousands of flowers grow in areas dedicated to different parts of the globe. My favourite was the Mediterranean garden cause it was full of fresh herbs and smelled amazing! We ended the evening at Supertree Grove, a futuristic forest of giant metal trees. Not only do they look amazing, but they’re doing their bit for the environment too, as they collect and store rain water, and have huge solar panels on top which help power the other areas of the Gardens. We did the tree top walk just as the sun was setting, and were able to get an amazing view of the city from high above the trees. After the sun had gone down we watched a light & sound show in the gardens and then headed back towards Chinatown for dinner. We ate at one of the many Hawker Centres that are all over Singapore. They’re full of loads of different food stalls ranging from Thai to Vietnamese and Indian to Japanese. We had some amazingly tasty (and so cheap!) Indian thali before calling it a day and heading back to the space pod.
After a busy day in the city yesterday, we decided to take the MRT out to the Chinese & Japanese botanical gardens. It was so quiet and peaceful there, hard to believe that there’s a crazy city just 20 minutes away. Climbing the spiral staircase inside the Chinese Pagoda gives you an amazing view of the city skyline, and miles out across the suburbs and green space surrounding it. There’s just so many skyscrapers and tall apartment buildings that you feel like your playing Sim City!
We spent the morning exploring the gardens and baking under the boiling sun. We even managed to spot a huge (and I mean seriously huge) lizard swimming in the lake, and loads of terrapins sunbathing on the rocks too. In the afternoon we headed back to the city, stopping off at one of the university campus’s to check out a cool building that Owen wanted to photograph. We ate lunch in Chinatown again and then made our way over to the river to get on a boat trip from Clark Quay. There are bum boats (still not sure why they’re called this!) all along the river, ferrying tourists from one end of town to the other. We learned all about the history of Singapore and why the river was central to its business, and then arrived back in Clark Quay for a well earned beer!
We hung out by the river until sunset and then made our way back to Chinatown for dinner at the 8 Treasures vegetarian restaurant. The pineapple fried rice and sweet & sour chicken combo is just amazing here!
Our space pod
The Art Science museum and the marina bay sands hotel from the helix bridge
The cloud Dome
View of the city from the top of the Pagoda