While I really enjoyed the Supertrees in Singapore, I had been excited to go to the MacRitchie Treetop walk and the Night Safari. Unfortunately, the day we had set aside to do this started with rain and a 100% chance of thunderstorms throughout the day. I didn’t think hopping along a treetop metal walkway in a storm was the best idea, so we decided to skip it. Of course, we made this decision, and it didn’t rain a bit.
Instead we spent the rest of our time in Singpore hopping on and off the subway to visit different neighborhoods. Singapore is by far the most modern, cleanest city we have visited. It completely surpasses Seoul and Hong Kong. I had been told that if you miss America, you should visit Hong Kong. Nope. We’ve been there, and I had soup with a chicken foot in it. That is not American. Singapore felt comfortable though. Everyone spoke English. They really believe in standing in line (or “queuing”). They definitely adhere to the same ideas of consumerism. Just about every street block was a mall with an array of luxury brands. There is such a mix of cultures in Singapore that it was easy to find food that was different and delicious. (We had the most amazing pork and truffle dumplings at a dim sum restaurant.) If you want the Western world when you are in the East, go to Singapore!
And then, of course, escape all that and visit Little India and Chinatown! We visited Little India first, and I expected to see a lot more colorful houses than I did. There were a few, but not as many as the internet led me to believe. However, there were several market stands and a lot of weird looking food. I couldn’t identify many of the fruits (?) that we saw. They were spiny and gave off a weird smell.
Oddly enough, Chinatown had more of the colorful buildings that I was looking for. They were a little difficult to get pictures of because the street level was filled with cars and vendors. Again, I doubt there is a cleaner Chinatown than what we saw in Singapore. Chinatown is where to go for all the mass-produced souvenirs (because they’re made in China?). Lanterns hang above streets that are lined with booths selling silk robes, tea, shirts, and a lot of red items. I felt that there was a lot more excitement and more to see in Chinatown than Little India. Though the food was good in both places, I’ve had better Indian and Chinese food in other countries.
We also coughed up $60 to ride the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel. It wasn’t in our original plan, but the threat of rain changed our itinerary. It was nice, but definitely overpriced. Our main complaint was that we got put into a container with a family traveling with 4 children under the age of 10. We really should have stepped aside and waited for the next car. I know, I know. People have kids; people travel with kids; kids will be kids. I taught preschool, I can deal with children. However, is it really necessary for you to change a baby’s diaper when you are in an enclosed capsule towering over a city? I’m pretty sure that could have waited another ten minutes. It was fun to see the bay and the city stretched out below us, but it definitely wasn’t the highlight of the trip. (If we ever get to London, I definitely want to go on the London Eye.)
Singapore was the perfect weekend getaway. It was amazing to see how well-run and clean a city can be. Yes, I know Singapore is the way it is because of some amazingly strict laws. Those laws make a very nice city though! We barely have time to unwind from this trip before we set out on another adventure!