London - Singapore by Marek Charytonowicz

We can't believe we finally made it to this day! We are leaving London for 3 months! Goodbye winter and rain and cold and rain and work and rain and hello hot tropical weather and sun sun sun!!!

After a very turbulent flight from London, feeling like we'd been on a rodeo for hours we finally landed in Singapore. The heat once we landed slapped us in the face like opening a 200 degree oven door only no baking smells inside, just pure scentless heat.

We got into a cab to our accommodation and the first thing we notice is the amount of trees and greenery around! In between the motorways, under bridges, around houses, balconies! It felt like this city was built amongst a jungle although it really has been the other way around. It's a jungle in the city. The Singaporeans ;) have really developed this city into a green urban haven! 

In the two nights and 3 days here we have been to local food markets and halls that generally smell of poached veggies and meat as the heat and humidity enhances the odour of every single type of food.

The only time we felt refreshed was when we entered cool air-conditioned malls which we soon realised was not the best thing to do. You feel even hotter once you go outside :)

We visited the botanical garden, went to the cloud and flower forests which were a highlight for all the senses, watched a night light show in the gardens which was spectacular, went on a night tour with a funny tour guide, that answered all her own rhetorical questions about the city waving a short red lightsaber-like guide torch. 

 We also visited the famous Ya Kun Kaya Toast for the proper Singaporean breakfast - two runny eggs and a small pile of coconut toasts with rocket fuel kopi - the local coffee. Yum yum yum. 

…and were totally blown away by the views from Marina Bay Sands 57th floor, also the only place we actually felt a cool breeze!:)

We loved Singapore. We didn't see it all but we know we would like to re-visit this beautiful and buzzing city gateway to Asia!

by Beanie :)

Ya Kun Kaya Toast by Marek Charytonowicz

Typical Singaporean breakfast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast - coconut jam toasts and running eggs sprinkled with pepper and strong kopi. It’s very nice, a bit too little as I’d probably be able to eat twice as much but lets leave some space for later. It’s also a bit of a difference after pancakes with maple syrup that I had all over Cambodia and loved it.

Merlion's roar by Marek Charytonowicz

Singapore in the first moment overwhelms me with the spectacle of night lights of the Clarke’s Quay and the financial district. Marina Bay Sands with it’s evening laser show and Chinese autumn festival with large paper and wired lit up sculptures everywhere. It’s hot and very humid and I’d suffer if I didn’t spend two weeks in Cambodian jungle before that.

I stay in the middle of China Town in a hostel with three other people in a tiny room with bunk beds. Not my type of accommodation of choice but low price which makes sense here as Singapore is much more expensive than Cambodia or Vietnam. It’s a good place to be - surrounded by night buzz of shopping stalls.

I take a late night walk along still lively streets and into Clarke’s Quay which happens to be a party district. There’s a mix of people from all over the world, plenty of expats and tourists with big photo cameras on their necks. You sink in immediately, only my height turns some heads like it does everywhere in Asia.

The next day I venture into the city to see a few places and hopefully sort out my Kindle’s power cable. The first place is the hotel i always wanted to see. Marina Bay Sands is very impressive although in the dusty air of the morning it looses a lot of its night light magic. The view from the top however is spectacular and gives you a vertigo when you realize you’re standing on a gigantic balcony suspended 57 stories above the artificially created land.

Wondering through the streets I realize that feeling of overwhelmed is gone. This city is very much like London - a bit amplified and with Asian touch but very much like London. Shopping malls where the reign is hold by expensive brands, English spoken all around with perfect accent, different cultures living next to each other in harmony, underground system (sooo much smaller than London’s but sooo much more spacious carriages) with touch travel cards, irish pubs…

Moving in here would be relatively easier because of all this. One will feel familiar straight away and it’s closeness to Malaysia and Bali would be a definite benefit. The only thing is - I would miss the scale of London. Singapore’s buildings are blocks of flats, sometimes really high and one must feel really anonymous there.