Just 2 days in Singapore...it's mainly a big shopping city and is unbelievably expensive, especially compared to our previous destinations. The hotel we chose was right in the middle of the city in 'Little India’. For £50 we got a shoebox of a room (the cheapest accommodation we could find apart from hostels in the Geylang area known as the red light district), so small you have to take it in turns to walk around while the other sits on the bed! It did come with free minibar and free limited cocktails between 5 and 7pm which we were determined to make the most of – Singapore Slings of course! The last time we spent this much on a room we had a massive suite with it’s own living room and large balcony but we are in Singapore and space is premium.
On the plus side, Little India is a great place for food. We stepped out of the hotel into the hot and humid bustling streets which could have been India itself. The shops and stalls sold Indian gold, saris, Hindhu and Muslim foods etc with the sounds of Bollywood playing from the stereos. We found a small stall selling ‘dum biryani’ served on a large tray so we thought we would give it a try...it was the tastiest biryani we had tried with a large piece of melt in the mouth mutton, a quarter of chicken, a mound of spicy rice, pickles and a vegetable curry sauce. We were the only Westerners at the tables but felt safe and secure mingling with the locals.
Little India is quite close to Orchard Road, the main shopping area of Singapore and walking distance to the quays lined with bars and restaurants. As shopping was not on our agenda, it kind of limited our things to do so we walked along the quay. We passed the famous old colonial Raffles Hotel along the way which used to be the hotel for the elite but is now dwarfed by the new skyscrapers surrounding it (and doesn’t get great reviews on trip advisor). On the quay is a uniquely designed and fairly new skyscraper – Marina Sands Resort. This has three linked
skyscrapers in an arc with a platform running along the rooftops like a boomerang. It dominates the skyline and is the most impressive part of Singapore in our opinion. There are some colonial buildings, a zoo, loads of malls and a few mosques and temples but nothing really to shout about. There is also a London Eye copy but was a little too expensive for our liking so we were quickly running out of things to do (on the cheap). We were glad that we had only booked two days and were looking forward to Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.
If you have money to waste and love shopping then Singapore would probably impress you more but for us we were glad to move on...feeling a bit claustrophobic in our hotel and not impressed with the city attractions, value for money or service...we won’t rush to return.
We are about to board Tiger Airways for Kuala Lumpur right now. Two months in Malaysia to soak up a new culture and plenty more sunshine.