At the time we were in southeast Asia, Gaile entered couple of competitions with her best travel snaps. One of the pictures from Hanoi’s Old Quarter became a lucky winner and got published at AirAsia airlines newsletter. Winning prize also included a voucher for two nights at Four Points Sheraton Singapore. This was a sign to plan another trip and include this city as a stopover before we fly to Java, Indonesia. You can read about our journey to volcanoes here.
After 13 hours flight we finally arrived to Changi Airport and it made perfect sense why since 2013 it’s has been winning the “best airport in the world” name. Modern and stylish design filled with lush green, lots of shops and food places anywhere you turn. Changi has probably more vegetarian restaurants than some big cities in other countries.
Futuristic city of Singapore might be quite expensive for average backpacker’s budget but there are some ways to save up. The cost of train to the city is around 2£ and it takes around 30 minutes. If you are willing to spend a bit more for GRAB or UBER the cost is around 10£. Plan ahead by using their official website. If you know you will use public transport more than four times a day you can buy a day pass and get unlimited journeys.
Lucky to avoid the cost of accommodation we entered our hotel with the big smiles. It was quite bizarre to bring our dusty backpacks to four star fancy hotel. What’s more we were given a Handy phone to make our trip around town even easier. Next day we found out breakfast buffet with a great selection of malaysian and indian foodies full of vegan options.
Getting a bus around you will easily notice how clean that city is. Surely we are not fans of skyscrapers however the amount of greenery everywhere gives a good of balance. Organised and developed public transport will get you to the most secluded points.
We started our day with National Gallery to see the exhibition “Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow” of iconic japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. That’s gone by now but if you are feeling artsy there are always spectacular installations and in general lots of art to check.
Couple of streets further there is a asian hipster neighbourhood called Haji Lane. Full of independent stores and cafes the whole area is quite cool and enjoyable for browsing. As much as we would love to recommend A.R.C. Coffee shop for their amazing brew, for some reason the place has been shut! Later we had a lunch at Idealite Bugis Village where you can expect a bunch of vegan options with affordable prices.
The countless amount of good spots in the city can make you feel tired and empty your wallet. We mainly focused on places with free entry, for example Botanic Gardens where you could easily spend the whole day walking around orchid alleys. Perfect place to bring a snack, have a picnic under bamboo tree and relax away from the city.
Our visit wouldn’t be complete without visiting Gardens by the Bay, probably one the most modern concepts of garden a man ever created. In the evening this place becomes even more wicked when mushroom look alike artificial trees are starting to glow. If you wish to walk up and have a stroll along 128 meters walkway you will have to visit early to avoid the long queue – it will cost you 8 Singapore dollars (5£).
Have you ever wondered how the indoor waterfall would look like? Cloud Forest will almost make you feel like you are in the misty jungle if somehow you will manage for a moment to forget about all the crowds walking together with you. Sadly these places are so popular and it’s hard to enjoy it by yourself. After all looking at the highest indoor waterfall gives a vision how future cities could look like. Entry fee costs 20S dollars (11£).
For more information and activities have a look at their official website www.gardensbythebay.com
As usual, we tried to sneak on one of the rooftop bars where you don’t have to wear a fancy clothes. Couple of people recommend Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It’s really easy to get there – inside the building find reception where you can purchase Sky Bar entrance fee of 20S dollars (11£) which you can exchange for a drink or two. The view is stunning although there are many people and the place gets easily overcrowded.
We had only one full day to explore the city and it was pretty much enough for us. In the end of the day we went for amazing dinner at Real Food Cafe, situated at Orchard Central. Their soups will blow your mind!
Here are few more places we marked but didn’t manage to visit:
- Herbivore; plant based foods, fair prices,
- Fill a Pita; middle east fusion
- Genesis; menu consist of western and local vegan dishes,
- VeganBurg; american style plant based burger joint