Singapore

A day later than we planned we arrived in Singapore. Alan’s dad was meeting us here and hooked us up with a room at the Marina Bay Sands, a massive three tower hotel with an infinity pool sitting about 60 stories above ground that is practically a symbol of the city.

Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands

Singapore is like a huge financial district. It’s incredibly clean (maybe partly because chewing gum is illegal so you won’t find gum on the sidewalk here) and a sea of people in business work attire.

Singapore’s wealth comes from it’s massive import/export industry. Surrounding Singapore is a port full of barges and containers. How does all the stuff we have that’s made in China get to us? -Singapore.

Singapore feels like country that is way ahead of the rest of us. They heavily tax car ownership so barely anyone can own one so traffic is never a problem. Cabs are able to get where they need to take you quickly with consistently clear roads.

It sounds harsh to make owning a car so unattainable, but with such a small city and with such good public transit it makes such a different in the city’s carbon footprint and traffic congestion. Singapore is an expensive place so with less money being spent on car payments, insurance, and gas, people have more money in their pocket to put back into their economy.

sculpture by Jaume Plensa
sculpture by Jaume Plensa

Another cool thing about Singapore is the art incorporated on every corner. This city has some of the coolest art and architecture I have seen in a city so far. Marina Bay Sands itself it an insane architectural structure earning an episode on Modern Marvels.

Marina Bay Sands infinity pool from the observation deck
Marina Bay Sands infinity pool from the observation deck

I watched it with the guys after we left and the engineering behind the design was incredible. They had to figure out how to build the hotel with that massive pool and the world’s largest obervation deck on top to withstand a monsoon.

Another cool building was the Park Royal. This hotel has the appearance of a terraced farm with plants growing out of the side of the building. If I ever make it back to Singapore (and can afford it) I want to stay here.

Park Royal hotel
Park Royal hotel

The city had a lot of sculptures and modern art integrated among the modern buildings. On the side of one building is a map of the world made of plants.

world map plant art
world map plant art

In front of it is a sculpture of mirrored spheres stacked on one another.

mirror sphere selfie
mirror sphere selfie

I think the coolest feature of Singapore is the “Supertree” grove. This is an assortment of vertical botanical garderns 25 to 50 meters tall growing on a tree like frame. Walking through these structures feels like I stepped into Alice in Wonderland (which is kind of funny because drugs are punishable by death here).

Supertree Grove
Supertree Grove

And finally, Singapore is known for it’s food. Singapore has a mix of cultures mainly Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian and this produces a mixed food culture clash. Food hawker centers fill the city with inexpensive delicious foods influenced by all the culture brought in because of it’s seaport history.

delicious bowl of Laksa lovin' spicy coconut lemongrass broth with seafood and noodles
delicious bowl of Laksa lovin’ spicy coconut lemongrass broth with seafood and noodles

Food hawker stalls are centers filled with food vendors and they’re are government run to ensure clean food preparation. We pretty much came to Singapore to eat. Laksa, chicken rice, steamed buns, and lots of duck. Many hawker stalls have peeking duck hanging in their windows.

food hawker stall in Peoples Plaza
food hawker stall in Peoples Plaza

Everything I ate in Singapore was full of flavors and spices from all over. Let’s be honest- if I ever make it back to Singapore it’s just for the food. Maybe the “eat” part of Eat, Pray, Love should have been here.

Next Stop: Railay Beach and Tonsai

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