Singapore – Atypical Asia

3 May 2019

Singapore is a city-state in South-East Asia, so don’t try to find the capital because you’re already there. Singapore is atypical Asia as it thrives economically, has modern infrastructures and is home to a huge number of expats. You’ll find a Western atmosphere at a fast pace with an endless number of sights, with the Marina Bay area as the icing on the cake.  Singapore’s legislation demands discipline from its inhabitants and therefore everything seems to be going smooth in this port city state.

Singapore is hot – Climate

There’s absolutely no need to worry about the weather in Singapore. On average, they reach 30 degrees Celsius throughout the four seasons. Remember that you’re in a city so these temperatures feel even warmer. The humidity here is crazy and can make sensitive people suffer.

Good to know is that Singapore is very green even though it’s an urban area. Both on the edge of the city as well as in the city centre there is enough green where you can hide from the sun. Moreover, there are 200 kilometres of covered footpaths in Singapore, enough to avoid the sun or the occasional tropical showers.

Singapore – Things to see

Gardens By The Bay

Divided into different areas, Gardens By The Bay is an architectural wonder. Walk through the public area and let the magic of the gigantic park overwhelm you. The public area includes the Super Tree Grove where the largest trees are. Nice to know is that the whole park is artificially irrigated by miles of water pipes. Because of this Singapore wants to be the pioneer in creating a greener world and the preserve nature.

Hats off!

gardens by the bay

Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest is an absolute must for the famous Instagram picture. Despite its popularity, it’s still immensely impressive to see a huge waterfall inside of a building. You can climb the waterfall from the inside and get phenomenal views of the Cloud Forest and Marina Bay during your walk up there. At the very top you should take your time to look at (and read!) everything. There are some very interesting facts about all kinds of plants, including carnivorous plants, so be careful where you point at!

Protip! You can buy your ticket early in the morning to visit the Cloud Forest and reuse your ticket in the evening to admire the free light show from a different perspective!

Price $28,00 (including Flower Dome)


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Flower Dome

A kind of Noah’s Arc for plants, both Mediterranean and tropical plants call the Flower Dome their home. Baobabs, olive trees, cacti, exotic flowers, just about everything can be found here. It’s the only place on Mother Earth where so many species are collected in one place. A guaranteed floral orgasm for every nature lover!

Price $28,00 (including Cloud Forest)

OCBC Skyway

Between the towering trees is a walkway where you have a spectacular view over the entire garden and Marina Bay. Unfortunately this one is only a few meters long and the bridge doesn’t go through the entire garden. We thought this was a missed opportunity and a bit of a disappointment. So we don’t really recommend doing it.

Unlike the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and OCBC Skyway where you have to pay for you can easily walk a few kilometers in the public area for free. Admire the beauty of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Ferris Wheel, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Don’t forget to read what’s written on the signs, because of those you’ll understand how Gardens By The Bay is set up. You’ll also find the perfect spot to photograph the Marina Sand Bay Hotel!

Price $8.00


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Marina Bay

Singapore’s tourist attraction with Gardens By The Bay on one side and the iconic Marina Bay Sand Hotel on the other. An overnight stay will cost you a minimum of € 236.00 but that also gives you access to the longest infinity rooftop pool in the world. It’s worth considering and we’ve said we’ll definitely do it next time. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and we definitely recommend it.

An alternative is to pay 22 dollars to go to the Ce La Vie rooftop bar. You can exchange these 22 dollars for a consumption but keep in mind that there will be added tax to your final bill. For example, we both had a cocktail of 21 dollars which, when we settled the bill, was 27 dollars. Expensive drink!

It’s worth the money, the view is definitely worth it and you can throw a peek at the famous infinity pool.

marina bay sands

What happens when I drink one cocktail

Protip! Take your time up there and explore so you can take a look at Gardens By The Bay by night at that distance. Take your DSLR camera with you and be sure to take a snapshot!

After visiting the hotel you’ll definitely want to take a look at The Shoppes. A mega shopping mall whose architecture is as dizzying as the prices of its products. Here you’ll find the richest in the world. Gucci, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Audemars Piguet, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel and many others. Moreover, you can act like you own the place and rent a Venetian boat to sail through The Shoppes.

A better plan for your budget is the Food Court in the back. Cuisines from every corner of the world are available here for a reasonable price.

Protip! Every evening at 20h, 21h30 and 22h30 there is a spectacular light show ‘Spectra‘ at Bayfront that lasts 15 minutes. It looks a bit like the light show at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

marina bay spectra

spectra, the light spectacle

Business District

Right next to the Marina Bay area you’ll find the Business District. Giants like Delloyd, PWC proudly show off their logo on the skyline of Singapore. It’s a fun experience to walk between the ‘rush’ on a weekday. Moreover, during the lunch break you realize how many expats call Singapore their home. A true international platform. Admittedly, I just added this paragraph to advise you to go to Two Men Bagel House. Huge bagels and cheap. We even went there twice.

Tree Top Walk – MacRitchie Nature Reservoir

A budget-friendly activity that takes you to the edge of the city is MacRitchie Nature Reservoir. You can use public transport or a car-sharing service if you want to save some time. Depending on your hotel, the bus lines will vary, but nothing is easier than Google Maps to check your bus line.

When you arrive at the MacRitchie Nature Reservoir you can easily follow the signboards. The quickest way to get to the Tree Top Walk is a three kilometer walk. The hike is fairly easy and large parts have been sealed. If you found this hike tiring, you need to start exercising! 

The Tree Top Walk allows you to walk between the tops of the trees. Not really for people who are afraid of heights!

A disadvantage of the Tree Top Walk is the number of tourists you encounter here. The hustle and bustle on the bridge minimizes the experience of nature and we thought that was regrettable. Would you like to enjoy the peace and quiet and greenery in a more isolated way? Then you can continue reading…


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Henderson Waves

Located on the other side of the city are the Henderson Waves. A green belt that embraces the city where several architects have gone wild to make something beautiful out of it. In the morning you’ll find the sporty people who come here to jog, during the rest of the day you’ll sporadically encounter a tourist who nods hello and goodbye. Henderson Waves is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore and gives you an impressive view over the city. Here, your adventure doesn’t stop, just continue walking and enjoy the greenery and tranquillity while underneath there’s a metropolis.

The walk is about 2.2 kilometers and on some sections you’ll find yourself in a jungle. I thought it was one of the highlights of Singapore. Moreover, this walk is completely free and without an abundance of tourists.


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Singapore in buurten

Sentosa Island

The victory of the capitalist commercial Western culture is summarized in Singapore on one island. You’ll find Seaworld, Universal Studios, Madame Tussauds, 4D Adventure Land and other junk here. There are a lot of ways to reach the island and all methods are pricey and unnecessary. Want to get to the island cheaply without throwing money overboard?  It’s easy, take the purple MRT line to Harbourfront and walk the Sentosa Boardwalk into the island without spending a dollar.

For the ‘sloths’ among us, there are travellators who limit the hiking. Both in the morning and in the evening it’s a pleasant walk whilest enjoying the surrounding  views.

On our last day in Singapore we decided to go to Universal Studios. Despite the high price tag of 80 dollars we thought it was worth its money. Try to go on a weekday and check if it’s not a public holiday or a school holiday. We were lucky and could very easily ride any attraction without having to wait too long.

Clarke Quay

Easy to find if you’re travelling by subway through Singapore and an all-round vibrant neighborhood. We thought it was a bit too touristy but nevertheless you can spend the evening at Clarke Quay, which is situated on the river. Clarke Quay has both an indoor mall and an outdoor mall separated by water. The outdoor mall only really starts to buzz when the sun goes down. Clarke Quay is full of bars and eateries, but is more expensive than the average neighborhood in Singapore.

Bugis Street

Bugis Street is not only the junction of the underground MRT system, there is also something going on above the ground. In my opinion Bugis Street is more impressive than Chinatown and ‘the place to be’ to see curiosities. Expect small cosy alleys, strange products and a general nice atmosphere. Ideal for an evening to spend and discover.

Haji Lane

Take an exit from one of Singapore’s many large, green streets and you’ll feel like you’re in South America. An attractive alley with coffee bars on both sides, Mexican snack bars and vibrant cocktail bars. Colourful graffiti on the walls and diversity of people. Keep on walking and you’ll come across Singapore’s impressive mosque. Indulge yourself in North African vibes and you’ll realize what makes Haji Lane so special.

haji lane

Singapore ontdekken

Depending on how long you stay in Singapore you can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass.

  • $10 – One-Day Pass
  • $16 – Two-Day Pass
  • $20 – Three-Day Pass.

Protip! Buy your pass in the morning! Your Singapore Tourist Pass is valid from the time of purchase, so if you buy your Singapore Tourist Pass in the evening, your Pass will be of little use. And yes, we’ve been there ourselves. 


Public transport in Singapore is one of the most impressive networks I have ever seen. Everything is so well organized and on time. You can easily make connections from subway to bus and you won’t miss a single line. If you miss a connection, it’ll take a maximum of five minutes for the next one. Despite this excellent structure you’ll still walk a lot during your visit to Singapore.

Protip! Free wifi!


The counterpart of the subway is equally impressive. The buses are often double-deckers so you’re always assured of a seat. It obviously takes more time than the subway, but by bus you can see more of the city. I advise you to take both so you’ve seen as much of Singapore as humanly possible. One neighborhood surpasses the other in innovativeness to make the city as green as possible.

Protip! Free wifi!

singapore green



Fragrance Riverside Hotel

Singapore can become an expensive trip very quickly. Accommodation is not cheap and finding the balance between location, price and luxury is not easy. We were lucky to find the Fragrance Riverside Hotel. Through we noticed that the hotel chain Riverside was quite prominent in Singapore. After surfing directly to their website we saw a deal for the Fragrance hotel. Reviews were average but okay and we booked for €236,00 for five nights.

Finding accommodation in Singapore under €50.00 per night for two is almost impossible. Even hostels can be more expensive. The hotel had no abundance of luxury and was not that spacious but meets Western standards. Also the check-in and check-out was very smooth. I advise you to book overnight stays in Singapore in time and follow the Riverside chain closely for such deals as ours.

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