Singapore in 1 day
When I think Singapore, I think of prosperity. Singapore is one of the best examples of vision in my opinion. Singapore struggled through the wars and foreign occupation for many years and only became independent in 1965. Despite the fact that it faced a severe financial crisis, under the rule of Lee Kwan Yew, Singapore began a focus in manufacturing and invested heavily in public education. By the 1990s, Singapore had become of the the most powerful economies in Asia and had a free market economy. Singapore was funded on a dream, which eventually flourished and became the beautiful country that is is today.
I opted to take a day tour to to this country since my focus would only be to see the city center. I took a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and took a shared shuttle bus directly to my hotel. Shuttle tickets can be purchased at the airport exits. Please note that these shared shuttle buses run from 6am-11pm only so if you are arriving during the late night hours you will need to book a taxi.
I stayed at the Hotel 81 - Hollywood. Although it was a bit pricey for my budget, it was the most economic I could find US $50/night. However, it was quite comfortable and near a train station, which was very convenient. Public transportation in Singapore is quite easy to get around. Here is a map guide of the city train Train Map - MyTransport.SG. My first stop of course was the Marina Bay. I stopped at the Marina Bay Sands and decided to walk towards China town through the financial center. During my walk I was surprised to see how this city is so diverse and young. I saw faces from all over the world and most of them in their 20-50's. I also was surprised to run into several areas where there were mosques, churches, and Buddhist and Hindu temples, sometimes all in the same street and within the same block. It was interesting to see how people come together in this city. I walked around all afternoon, had lunch in chinatown, and finished the day by heading out to the Marina Bay Sands for happy hour and dinner.
After a refreshing drink and dinner at the Marina Bay Sands I ended the day by going to see the lights show at the Gardens by the Bay. It was a beautiful lights show. I was really impressed of how well it is put together and also how beautiful these gardens are. I have to give it to Singapore, they have really gone above and beyond to clean and beautify their city. There is great talent in architecture, engineering, and design in this city. My piece of advice for those adventurous souls like me, spend only a couple of days in this city if you are doing a full Southeast Asia trip and have limited time. As beautiful as it is, it is also expensive and very small. You can visit all the major attractions in one day or two at most.
I really enjoyed my time in Singapore but now it was time to continue the journey. The next stop was Indonesia, one of the countries that I had been looking forward to the most and it surely was one of the best. I cannot wait to share this adventure with you all.