Two Days in Singapore
Finally, my travel diaries bring me to Singapore the FINAL stop on our SE Asia adventure. I feel like it’s been a real journey, both in the obvious sense that we have travelled across 5 countries but also figuratively writing this blog.
I started writing about this SE Asia trip in 2018 and after many intermittent attempts at blogging I’ve finally reached the last destination.
I distinctly remember arriving for our two days in Singapore and the realisation that this was our last stop setting in. Surely not, how could 3 months have flown by so quickly? However, at the same time thinking about being at home and working my 9 to 5 also felt like an entire lifetime ago.
Two more days and we would be back in the UK, whilst this felt surreal, Shaun and I would be moving from Wales to London when we returned, so in my eyes it was the end of one adventure and the start of another (potentially, an even scarier one if you ask me – moving in with a boy!!!)
Bugis Street Market
Bugis Street, which is a popular shopping destination, wasn’t always known for it’s bargains and it actually had a rather seedy history before it was revamped in the 80’s when residents became unhappy and the area had a makeover (think red light district come shoppers paradise).
Amongst some of the modern shopping centres is Bugis Street Market, the largest in Singapore. Shaun and I spent the first morning of our 2 days in Singapore here, the market is undercover which is perfect for us Brits who struggle in the heat and humidity.
There are two floors and a vast array of different goods on sale; clothes, electronics, souvenirs, the list goes on. I will be honest, there is a lot of tat, as with most markets but I do also think there is a good selection of items for purse strapped shoppers and budget travellers alike.
When we left the market we noticed a commotion outside one of the shopping malls so we walked over to see what was happening, we discovered that they were hosting the children’s finals of a competition called Drum Off Asia. Shaun and I stayed for an hour and watched in awe as some 7 year old’s absolutely rocked it out on the drums. In my opinion, stumbling across events like this is one of the great perks of busy cities!
Haji Lane is known for being the original hipster neighbourhood in Singapore due its selection of cool cafes, bars and boutiques, not forgetting it’s incredibly colourful disposition which see’s every building painted in a different colour or mural.
Shaun and I wandered down Haji Lane admiring the murals, nipping in to all of the boutiques and eventually stopped at a cute cafe called Windowsill Pies, which had a little hole in the wall selling some delicious pies with really unique flavours!
The street was pretty busy when we visited in the afternoon, so if you prefer a quieter scene perhaps visit early in the morning when the shops first open.
Marina Bay Singapore
Later that day we headed to Marina Bay Singapore, this is really a hub of activity whether you’re there for luxury shopping, visiting Gardens by the Bay or taking in the view of the skyscrapers – this is a totally unique destination.
Shaun and I wanted to end our first day in Singapore by soaking up all the sights that this area had to offer. Once we arrived we started making our way to Gardens by the Bay, as we were walking along the marina we could see some pretty impressive military boats zipping past us and a stadium full of people across the river which was pumping out music. Unbeknown to us, it was Singapore day and we had stumbled across the celebrations!
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay was the main draw for us in coming to the Marina, like many other travellers we were excited to see the Supertree Grove – the 12 tree like structures which stand at the same height as a 16 storey building.
However, embarrassingly Shaun and I did not realise all of the other amazing things on offer at Gardens by the Bay (too many to list in this blog) but here is a helpful guide by Trip Savvy. So be sure to leave enough time to enjoy all of the gardens not just the Super Trees!
Shaun and I timed our visit at the Super Trees to catch the Garden Rhapsody show, which is a light and sound show, showings are at 7.45 and 8.45 pm. I cannot recommend this enough! Shaun and I grabbed some food from one of the restaurants in the Gardens and found our spot under the grove to watch the show, which is free! So perfect for budget travellers.
As we were walking back to the Marina we noticed that in honour of Singapore day the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel had the national flag projected on the roof, which looked amazing! Just as we were talking about how lucky we were to have been here on this exact day, a huge firework show started just behind the Marina Bay Sands hotel, it felt like quite the ‘pinch me’ moment.
Our final stop of the day before heading back to our hostel was to watch the light and water show Spectra in the Marina Bay. The 15 minute show accompanied by music includes an amazing water display and light visuals which give it a really magical effect.
To top the experience off, our back drop to the show was the amazing Singapore skyline across the marina and a floating Louis Vuitton store to our right!
On our second and final day in Singapore, Shaun and I decided to head to Universal Studios, call us big kids, but neither of us had ever been to a Universal Studios before and thought it would be a really fun way to spend our last day.
We paid around £45 each for a ticket, which was almost double our usual daily budget, but we had factored this in to the budget when we decided to visit Singapore and we would be flying back to the UK the next day.
Universal Studios Singapore is located in the Resort World Sentosa, along with a host of other attractions such as S.E.A Aquarium and a Water Park, so there are plenty of activities here!
Universal Studios Singapore has 7 zones, and when Shaun and I visited in July it was actually so quiet, we hardly queued for any rides and one day was plenty of time to explore the whole park.
The lack of lines did however mean that Shaun’s inner child took over and he therefore proceeded to ride the Transformers ride three times in a row, by getting off and running straight around to rejoin to the front of the queue!
Although we only had two days in Singapore and we were on a budget, we had a great time, especially considering that our first day was mainly spent doing free activities.
I remember thinking that Singapore felt like a slightly weird futuristic city from a 2000’s film which was predicting the future, uber modern and bizarrely clean. I think it would be nice to go back again when we aren’t on a backpackers budget as it would allow us to explore a whole other side of Singapore that just wasn’t feasible on this trip.
It feels very strange to be signing off on the last entry of our SE Asia travels, as I’ve mentioned I started the blog to document this trip and have one central place that combined my journal entries, photos and videos – a multi media memory book if you like.
This is something that I want to continue to do for any future trips and I hope to never lose these personal diary-esque posts. However, now that it seems like it’s more than just my mum and Shaun who read my blog I’d like to start posting some more helpful content like guides and itineraries too, so I guess watch this space!