Sometime last year, I dedicated a mixed-feelings post about Singapore; my likes and dislikes but I might have appeared more negative than positive. Nonetheless, making an annual trip is a must for me because it’s my second home after Malaysia. Each time travellers tell me they’re going to Singapore, I’d go “nice, but it’s expensive”. Most Europeans don’t really care because it’s still cheaper for them and to be honest, Singapore is NOT that expensive. The food is cheap, there are plenty of free attractions, transportations are quite cheap too but I usually weigh on accommodations and booze. Partying in Singapore doesn’t come cheap but it wouldn’t be a problem for a non-partier.
So another year has dawned, I was craving for a short escapade over the weekend. I ended up flying to Singapore to latch on to the long weekend we had in Malaysia because of public holiday. This time around, I expanded my horizon by meeting new people instead of mixing with the same circle. That’s how my “hate” for this country turned to love. Don’t get me wrong, I never hated Singapore (hate is a strong word!), I just wasn’t fond of it. So how did I make do of my 4-day trip?
I stayed at Novotel Singapore on the first night, fantastic hotel with great view overlooking Clarke Quay and Marina Bay Sands. I always love Clarke Quay area because it’s close to everything and you can find great restaurants, bars and it’s close to the train station. I arrived pretty late, close to midnight so I didn’t do anything plus I was working earlier so it was an early night for me.
The next day I met up with Tobi and couchsurfed with him, an exciting guy with great stories. My weekend was perfect thanks to this guy. We kicked off the weekend by chilling and exchanging stories then we headed to his friend’s place for a pool themed birthday party. I met a bunch of amazing people that day; from locals to expats who have been living in Singapore for quite some time.
Weekend started pretty early but it felt so quick because we were all having so much fun. We had Korean BBQ for dinner around Tanjong Pagar area, which to me was the best BBQ grilled I had in many years (although earlier I claimed KL has one of the best Korean restaurants, boy was I wrong).
After dinner, we headed to a club called Bang Bang or previously known as Mink. It was an interesting club with the usual overcrowded scene, too packed that we had to fight our way to the bar but nothing unusual about that. Good music; a mix of old and new club music. Great, affordable drinks and pretty nice crowd. I’d still prefer Zouk or Ku De Ta but this club is exceptionally good too.
Sunday was more of a chilling day. We started off by sunbathing at the pool area then we went to Tanjong Beach Club to enjoy the beach, sun and drinks. There’s no better way to end the weekend, and TBC is the perfect place for it. The weather, the heat, the crowd, coupled with good end-of-the-weekend music screamed perfect.
You can simply spend hours by just doing nothing; fall asleep on the beach and get really toasted (like I did!), top up your drinks, take a dip in the pool overlooking the ships anchored around Sentosa. Times like this I wish KL had a beach, or better, I wish I lived in Singapore 😉
So what exactly made me change my mind about Singapore? It’s when you get out of your comfort zone, you will start to see things differently; just how simple things like meeting people and making new friends, exploring new places, trying new things can change your perception on the place that you have literally been spending plenty of years at.
In a way, I always feel safer in Singapore. Yeah, it’s a very regulated state, very. It’s ridiculous that there are so many rules and banning over things that don’t make sense but anyway, whatever makes the authority happy.
Nightlife here is fantastic! Although I have to say in KL we have Changkat, Providence, Marini’s, Skybar, Heli Lounge and the list goes on – all these places with unbeatable views! But I love how they make the clubs here a smoking free zone (I have nothing against smokers, I just don’t like the smell that latches on me afterwards)
Food here… I can’t even describe. There are some local food that I can’t find in KL despite the similarity in culture; they have a different version of Rojak, fried noodles and some dishes I can’t name. Tobi made me try some German dishes which I really enjoyed, especially this liver spread which I thought was nasty but turned out to be so good.
I love walking around in Singapore, I can walk freely without being and feeling harassed. I hate walking in KL because no matter what you wear, I will always be verbally-harassed by local onlookers. The transportation system has always been my favourite; from friendly cab drivers to the efficiency of the train system and the proximity of the stations.
There are things I really love about Singapore, there are certain things I don’t but from this trip, I learned to love it more.