First Stop, Singapore!The first stop of our journey, Singapore exhibits an amazing contrast of modern skyscrapers and picturesque gardens. For us, three nights here was enough to adjust to the southeast Asian climate before heading north to Malaysia. Due to the forest fires burning throughout Indonesia, there was a thick haze and visibilty was poor, forcing us to skip a few of the main attractions (like the Gondola to Sentosa Island and the Southern Ridges walk). We enjoyed Singapore, spending majority of our time wandering the streets, immersed in as much culture as we could find.
ACCOMMODATIONWe stayed in the wink hostel in Chinatown. We stayed in a dorm of double pods, which are essentially sophisticated bunk beds. It was a good set-up, our bed was set back into the wall with a curtain at the end, giving a bit more privacy than you would get in a normal dorm. There are also great lockers under the bed and the central location made exploring Singapore on foot a breeze.
FOODWe mostly ate at hawker style street markets throughout Singapore. It was awesome to be able to wander down a street and pick what we wanted to eat. We found it was definitely the most cost effective and enjoyable way of eating. The Singapore Food Trail was a group of retro-style hawker markets grouped under the Singapore Flyer. We tried a very interesting ice ball, a dessert made from shaved ice with jelly, some kind of beans and sugar syrup. Not quite to our palate but worth trying.
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONSWe walked everywhere, finding this was the cheapest and easiest way to see the city. It was extremely hot and consequently we found ourselves having long lunch breaks to escape the heat.
Gardens by the BayWe wandered through Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay both during the day and at night. It’s worth exploring twice, I found I appreciated different aspects of the garden at night when it was lit up, but to see the detail it’s necessary to go during the day. The garden is host to an impressive light show in the evening too, it’s worth returning for that alone!
Little IndiaThese markets were a bright array of trinkets, full to the brim with different hand-made crafts. We walked the few kilometres from Chinatown to Little India, leaving quite early in the morning. In hindsight, the markets would most likely be better in the afternoon or weekend. It was, however, nice to explore without too many people around.
Night SafariI had vague memories of visiting the Night Safari as a child so was very keen to return as an adult. We braved the public transport and found it to be an efficient and easy to use system. The Night Safari itself was well worth the trip. The enclosures appear to have minimal fencing and the animals seem very relaxed. It gave the feel of a closer encounter with the animals in a more natural environment.