Hi there, if you read my previous post about how I went backpacking in August for 26 days, then you’ll probably know that this is the first part of my mini-series. So here’s my first one: SINGAPORE!
I fell in love with Singapore the first time I went there in 2015. It was my first international trip and I was ecstatic but scared at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect and how to deal with new surroundings, new things, and different language. But after 4 days, I was floored by how everything is cool and I swore to come back at some point.
Come 2017 and I finally made plans to do my backpacking trip in 4 countries. My first leg of the trip was of course, Singapore! I didn’t want to pass the opportunity to come back because… well, everything is orderly and organized. I come from a country where everything is chaotic (hello PH traffic) and majority of the Filipinos don’t follow the rules. But being in Singapore was a such a change for me, especially the first time around.
Now, I’m totally calm, cool and collected. This time, I’m more confident to go around without getting lost (thank you prompt buses and MRTs). Like seriously, their public transportation is the bomb. You never get lost! And don’t get me started about their food because everything is sooo delish! If you’re like me who wants to go to cheap, the Hawker Centres are the places to go. You can’t go wrong with them.
Anyway, the duration of my stay in Singapore was cut between two legs: first leg was on August 7-9 and the second was on August 13-15. In between, I went border crossing to Kuala Lumpur (it would be in a separate blog), and I came back after by plane.
I want to list a few highlights of this trip:
Couchsurfing Meet-Up Event on Singapore National Day
My trip coincided with Singapore’s National Day, which was on August 9. For those who don’t know this was a celebration of their independence and nationhood, so it’s a really huge deal for the Singaporeans. Because I had no one to celebrate with, I decided to join a Couchsurfing meet up organized by CS locals (and a few travelers) and joined them to watch the dazzling fireworks on a rooftop.
Needless to say, I had a lovely time meeting these people. We shared bits and pieces of our lives back home, travel stories, and much more. Also, I encountered a few Filipinos in the group and was glad to talk in the native tongue for a few hours, haha!
So here’s a video of the event!
Staying in hostels at Chinatown
When I planned for this trip, I sought help with a Singaporean friend of mine and asked where’s the best hostels around. Without hesitation, she said “Chinatown!” All thanks to Agoda and their great deals/discounts, I stayed in three hostels from the duration of my stay.
Out of the three, my favorite is the Beary Best Hostel. It’s very laid back, the reception staff were nice, and the rooms were nice and cool. I didn’t bother to take photos of the rooms because I was staying in mixed dorms and I didn’t want to act rude in front of my other dorm mates.
Also, an added bonus to staying in hostels near Chinatown is that I can simply go around the area, do a bit of shopping and dining, or grab a few beers nearby, then still go home safely. And oh not to mention, it’s near public transportations and MRT stations.
A few more snaps here from Chinatown!
Walking around Clarke Quay
The last time I was at Clarke Quay, me and two of my friends walked around this area. This time around, I had a chance to explore it myself and just sat on a curb while watching the boats pass by. Despite being busy and full of locals and tourists around, I absolutely love the place!
While I was there, I chanced upon a Canadian traveler who displayed his photos on the ground. If you like one of the photos, you can grab one and he’ll gladly sign it for you. You can also donate (which I did, a small amount though) and talked with him for awhile about his travels.
Anyway, coming back here was an enjoyable experience and I hope someday I’ll get to ride in one of their boats (too bad, so expensive).
A trip to Sentosa Island
Back in 2015, I passed on visiting Sentosa because I was with my fellow travelers at the time. However this time, I decided to put this place on my go-to list and finally went there with my former college classmate, Rodz.
We stayed there for almost 2-3 hours. We hopped hopped from one place to another through Sentosa Express, took a bunch of photos, had coffee, and much more.
Here are some snapshots:
The Water Show at Marina Bay Sands
Coming back here was very nostalgic for me because I remember being there in Marina Bay and was very amazed by everything there – the shopping spree, the food, the architectural structure… everything! It still feels refreshing for me.
Since I came here already before, I decided to do only one thing -to see the Spectra, a free-to-public outdoor light and water show displayed at the Event Plaza along the promenade. The show was only for 15 minutes but they repeat the same show every hour at night so you won’t miss it.
Also, I was graced with the presence of my good friend, Hamza, from Morocco. He’s one of the people I met during the CS Meet-Up during Singapore’s National Day and he’s currently based in Singapore because of work. He’s also a traveler so if anybody is keen to follow him, here’s his Instagram account: @gassib_hamza!
The reason why I love Singapore so much is because there were so many things to see even though it’s a small country. Although I admit that everything there is expensive, but Singapore definitely has it’s charm and I still can’t wait to go back again and explore more.
Have you been to Singapore? If yes, what were the highlights of your trip? Or if you’re planning to go the first time around, is there something you are looking forward to?
Please don’t hesitate to leave comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them. Also, my Kuala Lumpur blog post will be up very soon. You can also watch a short video of my trip here.
P.S. All photos are taken straight from my iPhone 7. I don’t have any of those fancy camera gears, haha!