Singapore is like the Cara Delevingne of cities, young, funky, beautiful, arty and ridiculously photogenic. Lets ignore her performance in the terrible film Suicide Squad *shakes head*. Although only a small country, the atmosphere and the buildings are mighty. Here is what we got up to on our first day, a whirlwind of a day, in Singapore.
Let me start where our day ended, Gardens by the Bay. We went here first but after seeing the giant Supertrees in the day time, we realised how sweet they would look at night, all lit up like fireworks, so we decided to come back at night. We did however visit one other of the many attractions within the park, the Cloud Forest. Within this domed greenhouse you will find a gargantuan ‘mountain’. In the Cloud Forest you can find ‘plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000 metres above sea level’ and the worlds tallest indoor waterfall! Its cold in here, 23-25 degrees! That is cold when you have become used to +30 degrees! But the chilly mist makes for pretty cool photos! (More at the end of the post.)
From the Gardens there is a bridge link to the most famous building in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands. If you want to stay in this over-the-top hotel in mid-July, you’ll be looking at a hefty £250+ per night. I’ve got to say, we weren’t too impressed with the lobby area (the only part you can enter for free haha). I’ve seen grander, more lush and swankier hotels in places like Las Vegas and Dubai. Granted, these hotels don’t have a 57 storeys high, boat-shaped, roof garden and infinity pool. But with entry to that level costing £13 for non guests, I think I’ll just look at the expensive top-level from the penny saving bottom.
The National Gallery was our next stop. The building was huge, almost daunting. On arrival we realised that Yayoi Kusama had an exhibition on. We recently saw some of her work in Naoshima, the art island of Japan, so were eager to see more. Her work was visually striking. Her famous infinity rooms and her paintings, both include strong colours, lines and dots which take you back to your childhood. The gallery had a second exhibition on, named Children’s Biennale with the theme of ‘Dreams and Stories’. We were loving the installations here because you can take part in the work, changing the piece with your interaction. I will write more about these exhibitions on a separate post coming soon!
By this point we were pretty hungry and found a hawker centre along the bay front, aptly named Gluttons Bay. Not one the biggest centres and probably one of the more expensive, but here you can eat with a view of some of Singapore’s best buildings, Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience museum and the bay itself. We ordered Singapore’s famous carrot cake. Don’t be deceived by its name, it is not a dessert and it actually doesn’t have any carrots in it! Also known as Chai Tow Kway, this dish is actually fried radish cake, made with rice flour, garlic, eggs and soy sauce – for black carrot cake – or not, for white carrot cake. I loved it. Sweet and spicy, it’s a warmer for your tummy.
After we washed the food down with a couple of $5 half-pint, beers (at £2.80 that’s pricier than its fellow Asian countries), we set up camp on Helix Bridge. Here’s where you can get that money-shot. The bridge’s web leads your eye across the water, directly to Marina Bay Sands. We watched the sunset here, and waited for the lights of the city to shine.
Now back to where we started, and ended, the Gardens by the Bay. Each night they play a Garden Rhapsody, a music and light show that will have you dancing around the trees. The theme was songs from the musicals. Expect jazz from Chicago, sorrowful ballads from Les Miserables, ending with the catchiest funkiest tune of ‘Oh What a Night!’ The Supertrees and I are the only ones dancing, everyone else is too busy with their selfie sticks taking pictures. Can’t blame them to be honest, the trees look so pretty all lit up at night, like the first time you turn on the fairy lights on a Christmas tree. It was an awesome way to start and end the day.
My lower back was aching. 8km we walked around Singapore on our first day. Strolling along its squeaky clean harbour front and wandering through the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay. I think we took more photographs in that one day than we have in any other city we have been so far. But when the city is as pretty as a supermodel, it has to be done! Just remember to put the camera down every now and then and soak up the atmosphere of Singapore.