So after 2 nights in a posh hotel with a pool, 4 nights in a bunk bed in a huge hostel dorm was a slight fall from grace. We particularly enjoyed sharing 2 toilets between 30 people and being woken up by people turning the lights on and talking throughout the night. Thank goodness for my kitty cat eye mask!
The hostel had a really strange vibe, with lots of people seeming to actually live there. There were middle aged and even elderly people who actually resided in the bunk beds and then there were also a handful of backpackers. It meant there would be people lounging around in their beds all day (I don’t think they went to work – good for them, me neither!) or literally snoring on the sofas downstairs. I’ve never quite come across a hostel like it. There weren’t any social activities and as it was the place some people called home, it felt more like just a place to sleep than a typical hostel where people want to make friends and go out together.
Singapore was so organised and orderly, it reminded us quite a lot of the UK. I didn’t realise but their main language is English and they only seperated from Malaysia about 30 years ago.
There were hawker centres on every street selling all sorts of weird and wonderful delicacies – pigs bladder, chicken feet, fish balls – you name it. I obviously steered clear of these items and made the most of the huge Indian population in Singapore, eating in nearby Little India for most meals where the majority of the restaurants and cafes were purely vegetarian.
Compared to everywhere else we’ve visited, Singapore was extremely expensive. In Nepal, we were spending around £10pp each day and around £13pp each day in Malaysia (both +accommodation) Here we spent around £25pp a day and that was on top of the £9pp per bed each night. We’ve been paying less than £9 a night between us for private double rooms elsewhere – usually with our own bathroom too!
We spent some time wandering around the picturesque Little India, which had a change of pace as soon as you were nearby. People were crossing the road without the green man showing (this is a huge no-no in Singapore but they don’t even have traffic lights outside the main cities in ‘big’ India), people were shouting and pushing past one another and the delicious smell of curry mixed with incense was floating down the streets. We even found a market which reminded me of the real Indian stalls, selling hanging elephant decorations and tapestries, henna cones and every colour of baggy shorts and trousers imaginable.
We also went to the beautiful Marina Bay, where you can see the slick Singapore skyline sitting beside the crystal clear water.
We absolutely sabotaged happy hour here and then ended up getting separated on the train home. Alex charged onto a train whilst the doors were closing and I also tried to board, but the doors carried on shutting even though I was pushing through and I felt my arm getting pressed against them. In a drunken panic I jumped off the train, not on, and Alex was inside whilst I was left on the platform. I watched him slip away whilst holding up one finger and wondered what he could possibly mean. Did he mean 1 minute? 1 stop? I assumed he probably meant ‘1 stop’ so I got on the next train and there he was waiting for me on the next platform. I squealed like a lost child as we were reunited and squeezed his hand tightly for the rest of the journey home.
We were only laughing about the time I saw a couple get seperated on the London tube earlier that day – I definitely got what I deserved for laughing at someone else’s misfortune!
We also went to a waterpark called Adventure Cove whilst we were there, which was great fun, as well as Universal Studios Singapore. If you go to Universal I would highly recommend paying the (rip-off) express passes, because the queues were 90 minutes plus for most rides but we were able to get on everything in 20 minutes or less. They’re expensive but I think it’s sensible to make the most of your day and go on all the attractions, rather than spending your day hot and bothered waiting around in queues and only being able to go on half the rides.
We were waiting for a parcel to be delivered to Singapore from the UK before we could leave the country, which finally arrived on our 7th day. I was glad when it eventually got here as although I really liked Singapore, I was ready to move on and be somewhere new again.
We decided to get the catamaran over to Batam, the nearest Indonesian island to Singapore. We got here last night and although it’s only an hour (19 miles) away from Singapore, it couldn’t be more different. More on that later!
Hope you’re all well,