Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands – This is where I’m staying next time I’m in Singapore

I’ve been in Singapore a few hours and I’m already feeling like the plane landed in heaven because this feels like a gift from baby Jesus.

The pods we sleep in

I’ve loved Southeast Asia so far but I have to admit, it feels amazing to be somewhere so immaculately clean, calm and orderly for a change. Traffic stays in its assigned lanes and goes in the direction the street signs indicate, people use the cross walks and there isn’t incessant honking. People don’t set up shop on the sidewalks or use them as motorcycle parking lots, you can actually walk on the sidewalk! I finally feel like my toes are safe from crazed drivers.

Tiny little living space

Singapore is expensive for Southeast Asia. I’ll be staying here for 3 days which I think is about the right amount of time for Singapore since it’s pretty much just a city. Prices are about the same as they are in the US. Because of that, I was glad to find a nice hostel for $20 per night. The thing that’s different is this is a pod hostel. You don’t get a bunk, you get a pod. Each bed is in its own tiny little room with a curtain over the end. They have a light and a plug-in and that’s it. If I would’ve booked a more expensive place I could have had my own tv too.

I like this set up. You get a little more privacy while having the social atmosphere of a hostel.

The main thing I wanted to see during my stay in Singapore was the gardens. That alone is quite a bit of ground to cover. Today I only visited the two main ones which are the Botanical Gardens including the Orchid Garden. They were so nice that I ended up spending the entire day there. There were a lot of different themed areas in the Botanical Gardens. I liked the Healing Garden with all medicinal plants and the Fragrant Garden. Each plant has a description next to it so you know the uses and the origin. Besides the smaller garden segments, there are ponds and streams and waterfalls and acre after acre of beautiful park scenery.

You can even get picnic lunches packed and ready from the surrounding restaurants. So, without the necessity to leave for snacks, I really had no reason to go anywhere else today.  I even met an American in the park who I had lunch with, he works for an international bank and helps to negotiate with their Asian counterparts.  I got lots of good tips on how to negotiate when I get to China.  It’s a little unusual here because I haven’t met anyone at my hostel like I normally do but instead spent several meals with a banker which is such a sharp contrast from the backpacker crowd.

I’d already decided I liked Singapore soon after I arrived but I think I love it. It was one of those days that made my jaw drop. I went to the Marina Bay Gardens. It was incredible. The scenery is like what you see in Utopian futuristic movies. The gardens were clean, sleek, modern and most of all, beautiful.

The Forest Dome houses a giant indoor waterfall. The waterfall comes from the top of a cone-shaped hanging garden inside the dome. You take an elevator to the top then wind your way down through bits of the waterfall and other natural exhibits.

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As you can see from my picture, I was so happy to be here. The Supertree Forest was unbelievable. There are elevators inside these giant tree trunks and you can take them up to the walkway that winds from tree to tree. There are great views of city from up there. Some of the trees have just greenery while others have orchids blooming all around the trunk.  I have honestly seen so many orchids since I’ve been here I don’t even notice them anymore.  They are just blooming out of everywhere.

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It was an amazing way to end my trip to Southeast Asia.

I have not seen anyone drive on the sidewalk in days.

It’s nice but feels oddly restrictive.