Arriving into Singapore for the second time via bus from Western Malaysia, I had an instant feeling of being in America. Driving along a 4 lane highway, in a rather fancy air conditioned coach, sat next to my new American friend, eating Lays crisps, where else could I be?
Arriving into the centre of Singapore and I thought this bus had magically transported us across the world to downtown Philadelphia. When walking from the bus station to the metro station I could well have been walking down Market Street, San Francisco. Joining fellow travellers in a quirky hostel, complete with western tunes, tv and fast wifi and I was suddenly in a hostel in Boston. Add a walk down Orchard road, past Jimmy Choo and Gucci, Christmas trees covered in glistening lights and I am now walking down 5th Avenue New York City. Then there is Sentosa island … a fun day out for all the family… am I in Disney World when Mickey and Minnie are on holiday?
The first time I visited Singapore (two weeks ago) I had merely gone straight from the airport to the marina via the MTR (tube/metro) and had seen nothing but hundreds upon hundreds of high rise flats of varying standards.
After 4 days in Singapore on my second visit, I have come to discover that Singapore isn’t much more than hundreds of high rise flats. Add in hundreds of shopping malls and a couple of reasonable beaches with views of many a cargo ship and you are pretty much there.
Ok this sounds negative … I actually really enjoyed Singapore, in fact I would go so far as to say I loved it … no really liked it would be more reasonable. If someone offered me a job in Singapore for a year I would be hard pushed not to accept… well except for the fact that their holidays are another thing they have in common with the USA … normally only 2 weeks a year! Being used to 41 days this would not fly with a holidayaholic such as myself!
If you are travelling through South East Asia and craving a city like back home, then I recommend a visit to Singapore. You aren’t going to find £2 a night accommodation there, but with couchsurfing and cheap street eats you can definitely do Singapore on the cheap. Though I recommend saving a few dollars to sample something from one of the mouth-watering cakes or chocolate shops, which almost outnumber the apartment blocks.
Those of you that know me well will know I am a HUGE fan of America, having lived there for two years it is definitely my second home, so a few days in Singapore was almost like a few days back home and unless you are trying to stay clear of anything luxurious spare a few days for the 53rd state of America.