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Curious what backpackers do in Singapore? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Today was all about me. I was being selfish and just wanted to spend some time alone. Tomorrow I meet up with the tour group and I know I won't have much space for a while, so I politely excused myself from all group activities and did my own thing :)

    I started the day by calling mom and talking to her a bit, I sent her some pictures that I haven't had a chance to upload to my blog yet and she was amazed! I think I've convinced her that Singapore would be a great place for her to visit ;)

    After talking I wandered out to find a post office. Same comments as before, finding places in Singapore can be a challenge! I was wandering around following Google Maps, right at the spot that it said the post office was supposed to be just not seeing it. And there were hardly any people around for me to ask for help... Eventually someone was able to direct me to the post office haha. I had to go underground 2 levels through this sketchy stairwell in the middle of a plaza. Who would have guessed! After the post office I decided to see how far I could walk underground before the "links" between the malls ran out. Quite far apparently, actually I didn't even go the full distance I could have because I saw an exit I wante. to take. I started at the Ocean Colours Financial District building and ended at the Marina Bay Sands building. Maybe 20 minutes of walking?

    In the Marina Bay Sands building I decided, as persuaded by Mom earlier on the phone, that I should spoil myself a bit and get a pedicure. Tomorrow is my birthday afterall and I'll be travelling, not enjoying ;) I also got my eyebrows down because, why not? Then I had a nice lunch, no rush no need to consult anyone, it was nice! Although making a decision was tough because I really wanted a soup and sandwich. I did find a place that met my needs but it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping :p you know how some places try to make themselves seem fancy by overdoing their food with fancy items? That's pretty much what this was, but it was good! Because I was in the Marina Bay Sands I had planned on going up to the Skypark to get a 360 view of the city and an original Singapore Sling but sadly I didn't get to. I was going to but then I heard thunder and it looked like it was about to start pouring. So instead I wandered back to the hostel while giving Alanna a virtual tour of the city via a Messenger Video Call ;)

    On the walk home I ran into some folk from the hostel who were heading to eat but I declined joining them and went back to catch up on some writing. Pf course while enjoying another beer :p after a while my friends returned and I stopped writing in order to be social and so goodbye to Nick, the Argentinian living in Vancouver. Maybe we'll cross paths at home! Isabela and I then went to the market again to grab a few more beers. Sounds like there are plans brewing to drink at the hostel tonight. Another Canadian girl, Monika, has friends flying in tonight and has a bottle of vodka to share with us apparently.

    And lots of drinking did occur! I ended up going to bed at 5am with a 7am alarm set :/

    It was interesting night with people jumping around from outside to inside and across the street for food and just random mingling, maybe 8 people at the max? We played some card games and did a lot of talking. One woman staying there tonight is an expat who needed to get away from home for a while. And oh man I will not complain about Vancouver housing prices ever again after talking to her! Currently they pay $4000/month in rent for a one bedroom just outside of the city centre!! In some places rent can get as high as $10,000. Absolute insanity. Although income is of course mich higher as well, her husband earns twice what rent costs, but still. Absurd! I really enjoyed talking with her. It's a different life here clearly... Money flows freely it seems, or if not freely then easily. Most people who live in Singapore aren't locals but expats and there's an entire "wives of expats" community that don't work and just take care of the home and go out drinking with friends etc etc. Crazy. I suppose that the majority of the people who come here for work are highly educated and very intelligent, the best of the best. Very very interesting. Would explain why so many of the locals seems to party a lot and let loose on all evenings of the week.. Work hard play hard right?

    That was evident during the trips we made for food over the course of the evening. We went to McDonalds twice and to a food court type place one. Don't judge haha. Everything is close by so it's not an issue! The first McDonalds trip a very drunk guy was asking everyone if he should break his 18 month vegetarian streak for a McChicken, the second time another drunk was going around smelling everyone trying to see where the flowery smell was coming from (hint, outside lol), and the third time there was a drunk man touching peoples hair! Haha everytime that we go out in the evening we see very intoxicated locals. And we know they're locals because they either mention it or ask why we don't just move to Singapore already. Very interesting.

    Anyway, at midnight all the people around the table sang me happy birthday it was so sweet! And of course I asked the Brazilians to sing in Portuguese because it reminds me of home when the family does the same <3 I guess because of the time change I'll get almost 2 days worth of birthday wishes, that'll be fun ;)
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  • This morning I made my eggs and managed to get a hold of Alanna, Kayla, and my parents! I talked to them while Youngmin and David went back to Chinatown. David hadn't been yet and Youngmin wanted to see a temple we didn't go into yesterday. I used the time to make my calls home. Sounds like everything is good at home! I'm missing the people but not the place haha. I mean, I'm still coming home at the end of my trip don't worry, but these places now have a special place in my heart!

    When Youngmin and David returned from Chinatown, the three of us ventured out to ION Orchard Shopping Mall and Orchard Street. I guess the high end shopping area of Singapore. And I can see why! The main shopping mall has 55 levels, and the construction of the mall itself is exquisite. Glass everywhere and tons of fancy glazing clip systems, for that reason alone I loved it. Again, didn't care much for the shopping, but we did explore a bit. We went into a whisky shop which was definitely up my alley! But very very very expensive. The most expensive bottle in the shop was $96,000!! Damn. Wonder how long that will be on the shelves for :p A bottle of Belvanie was about $100 more than at home, but was the reserve edition. This shop only carried the best of the best. We also went into an art gallery and all 3 of us enjoyed that I think. Also very expensive and out of our price range but nice to look at nonetheless. I saw some art I really liked by a French painted. A mixed media item that was partially paining and partially cutouts from magazines or something. Very interesting. We also stopped by TWG tea shop and Youngmin bought some teas for home. I have so much tea in my suitcase already that I refrained. Especially because you can't ship it home! I still dont' understand that... Something to do with Canada's regulations.

    When we tired of looking at the shops we wandered outside to the famous Orchard Road. It was pretty cool I suppose but I wasn't overly fussed with it. Just another shopping street if you ask me ;) Nice buildings though! We went into yet another mall to explore and search for some lunch and spent some time listening to a live piano / singing duo. Very nice! They certainly cater to a more sophisticated crowd in this area of the city. We did find a small cafe to eat in and when we finally decided we were ready to return to the hostel it was raining! It was over really quickly but it was a typical tropical storm, intense and fast. There were lots of people just taking cover waiting it out.

    Back at the hostel, Youngmin checked out and went to check into a different hotel. She wanted one night in luxury, I don't blame her! I guess she had a pool and everything there. I'll see her again tomorrow though so it's not goodbye yet :) While she went off, David and I sat in the hostel for a while Chatting. He's in the BIM business so we exchanged work stories and ideas related to our careers. He sent me his Master's Thesis Paper that I'll probably actually read. Sounds very interesting! And will be helpful when it comes to revising our CAD standards at the office. Maybe I'll ask him for more help when I finally get around to my own thesis ;)
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  • After Chatting for a while in the hotel lobby David and I went back out to explore a new part of town.

    First we went to Bugis street an the market there. It was pretty neat! This city is so diverse and the skyline is always changing. I love it. Bugis Street and Market was an area filled with cheaper stores of clothing, souvenirs, and candies. It was crowded and more chaotic than the rest of the city. I liked to see the cheaper prices, but I still didn't buy anything because I dont' have any space in my bag! And because nothing really caught my eye. Sorry to everyone at home, but you aren't getting any souvenirs lol. My favourite part of the marked was buying fresh juice! For $2 I got a cup of freshly squeezed red dragon fruit juice. Tasty :) And spending $2 instead of $1 was splurging ;)

    From there we wandered a few streets over to a building that David had discovered yesterday that he thought I would love. And I did! It was a very impressive building... Looking at it from a distance you'd swear that it was built at least 50 years ago but apparently it's only 14 years old. Which is evident when you start looking at the finer details.. The building looks older because it's completely stone and the style is older, see the pictures of the brown building with this post. But looking close you can see that the stones are caulked with modern techniques, definitely something you wouldn't have seen in an older building ;) But that's just my inner nerd speaking. Anyway, the building was very inspiring, and really made you feel small. I guess that it's an office building, I can't imagine working in a place like that. Another thing I really enjoyed about this particular area was the merging of different Architectural styles. Adjacent to this building was a very modern looking building with the entire outer shell made of hexagonal shapes. But still, somewhere, the buildings work in harmony here in Singapore. Maybe because there is so much mixing of styles that it doesn't look odd to have two completely opposite styles right next to one another.

    From those buildings we wanted to Arab Street which is a small, well, Arab Community. There was a temple and the buildings here are shorter and older. We stopped by a Turkish place for dinner which was pretty good! Started with hummus and pita, I had a mint tea to drink while David had a sour yogurt drink that tasted exactly like Moi (spelling?) that I have come to love from my time in Nepal. For a main I had a roasted eggplant stuffed with chicken and cheese covered in a tomato sauce. Very good! The prices at the restaurants were also a bit more reasonable here than in the area immediately adjacent to the hostel. So that was nice.

    We were in no rush to return and wandered back to the hostel slowly. We had an excellent conversation about life, views on life, and such things. We have very similar personalities I think and discussed how we seem to be mediatiors in a lot of situations among other things. Interesting how travelling introduces you to people so similar to yourself!
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  • When David and I returned to the hostel he had to leave for the airport. We said our goodbyes and I met the new people staying in the room with me. Three lovely people from Brazil! Eduardo, Isabela, and Marcelle. They were kind enough to wait for me to shower before walking to the Gardens of the Bay to look at the artificial trees. The walk took us quite a while because we stopped to take so many pictures! Singapore is so lovely at night. This post is dedicated entirely to photos of that walk ;)Read more

  • When Eduardo, Isabela, Marcelle, and I finally reached the Gardens of the Bay we were amazed! I hadn't even heard of these trees before, how I don't know! Because they're beautiful. The photos don't do them justice and neither will any description. Just an incredible place you'll have to take my word on ;) I can say that I'd definitely had liked to stay there a bit longer, and definitely go at night. The lights on the trees are on until 2 am so plenty of time!

    On the way back we took a different route that gave us a view of all the trees, the Singapore Flyer (big wheel that I haven't and don't plan on riding), and the river. So beautiful. I also really liked that the Gardens weren't all that crowded, it was pretty empty. I love that about this city, it's busy but it's not chaotic or overwhelming. Our exit route was over the DragonFly bridge that took us into the Marina Bay Sands, a luxury hotel and shopping center with a casino. There's a canal inside! Very reminiscent of Vegas. There weren't too many people as it was about 1 am at this time, but there were still folk wandering around.

    When we got back to the hostel we all immediately went to bed. Except I couldn't sleep, so I went through my photos and am now sharing the best ones with you! Even at 3 am there were tons of people on our street... And it seems like this area caters to a very specific clientèle. Lots of young, scantily clad women and older business men if you catch my drift. And lots of bars in the area of course. Still a very comfortable place though, even at 3 am alone as a woman! Very nice not to have to worry. Don't worry though mom I still won't be letting my guard down ;)
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  • I got moving much quicker this morning than usual, things to do! I had breakfast at the hostel and then left to meet Youngmin at her new hotel. We first stopped by a purse store in a nearby mall as she wanted a new bag. We then wandered over to Little India, which I loved!

    The streets definitely reminded me of Nepal, there were the small little shops selling random things, and it even smelled similar :) I don't think that Youngmin enjoyed the smell all that much but for me it was a familiar thing <3 All the curry spices and foods cooking everywhere. It wasn't as busy as I would have expected but it was still busier than other areas of town. There were lots of shops selling phones and cheap clothing, very reminiscent of Nepal. There was a neat little park too that had trees with the canopy made from umbrellas. I guess that it's supposed to help offer shade in areas that don't have very many trees. Cool idea! There weren't people using the park at the time we were there but it looks like a place that would be quite popular.

    We went into the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple that is on the main street before continuing our journey. The temple was quite ornate and very rich looking, very very different than the ones I had seen in Nepal. There were people in there praying and practicing while tourists wandered amongst them.. I wonder what they think about all the people coming through taking photos, sometimes of the worshippers as well as the building itself. But anyway, I enjoyed the temple and the area of Little India as a whole really made me miss Nepal! It's interesting how there are so man little subcultures in Singapore. It truly is a city filled with diversity.
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  • After Little India, Youngmin and I took the MRT over to Bugis Street and Market. Second visit for me, but totally worth it :) I like those little shops, and I didn't really look around too much when I went with David as we spent more time talking that browsing. I also absolutely love all the fresh juices that they have there and was very happy to get another one. Kind of. I decided I'd try a sour plum flavour and oh boy was it disgusting! It tasted like salt water. Nasty. I threw it out even though I hate to waste food/drinks... But I didn't let that experience stop me and I went back and bought a lime juice instead, that was much much nicer. Haha. Each juice was only $1 so it's not like it was a huge deal or loss... Honestly I wish that I could have tried all the different flavours but that would be require a lot more time as there's no way I could humanly drink that much juice in one day. I think there are maybe 20 different juices? I'm not really sure.

    There actually happened to be some sort of religious event going on at the Chinese Temple while we were here this time. The streets outside the market were packed with people! And there were many more stalls than the last time that I was there. It was clearly a very specific clientèle being targeted, local Chinese. The different booths in the outdoor market were manned by people with microphones advertising their products... Products ranging from juicers, to household plants, to clothes, to dishes and other housewares. Definitely not touristy items which was kind of nice. As we were exploring the market I got the feeling that we were being herded and forced into one direction.. So we quickly turned around and forced our way out of the crowd. They all appeared to be going to the temple for worship of some kind. Each person was carrying burning incense, the scent was a little bit too much for me, but it was interested to see. I tried to ask someone there if this was a special event or not but they didn't really speak English so Youngmin and I moved on.
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  • After Bugis Street we decided to walk over to the Fountain of Wealth and then to Marina Bay, Youngmin wanted to see it during the day before she leaves tonight. I really enjoyed the walk! I really do just enjoy wandering here and looking at all the different, impressive architecture. Along the way we found an overpass that went through a Marriott hotel (I think) and I loved the building itself! Black stone everywhere, beautiful curving wood mixed with glass for the courtyard ceiling. It's great. I notice that there seems to be a number of buildings that feature black and wood mixed together. Personally my favourite combination! I think it's rather elegant and sleek. Anyway, after nerding out about this building a bit we continued trying to find the Fountain of Wealth. It is so confusing navigating here sometimes! Google Maps doesn't tell you when to use an underpass or overpass or a "link" between two malls - it's pretty neat actually you can pretty well walk the entire downtown area without ever leaving a building because they're mostly all connected somehow. But anyway, eventually we found our way to the Fountain after a ton of walking and stopping for a cheap, and not very good lunch at a food court Thai place.

    The Fountain of Wealth itself was pretty neat! But honestly I was so tired of walking at that point that I don't think I really truly appreciated it. There are some pictures attached, but what I really thought was neat is that the Fountain can be enjoyed from two levels. The upper area is outdoors and there were benches that you could sit at and a nice spray from the water to keep you cool. The lower level is indoors and you see the Fountain from where the water comes up through glass. There were a bunch of restaurants surrounding the Fountain base but none were all that busy. I guess because it was something like 2 or 3 pm at that point.

    After the Fountain we walked to the Marina Bay area one last time. While sitting enjoying the view we both Recieved phone calls at the same time, a good coincidence! My call was from the teachers at the school <3 It was so cute and so nice to see them all! Ganesh organized the call from his account but I spoke with Beda, Bobita, and Mahadev! And waved at the other teachers in the background. Nice to see that some of the things I helped them with are working ;) They told me how much they miss me and it made me feel like I really did have an impact, but also I miss them. I hope that I can continue to talk to them in the future :) They were all curious about the weather and I forgot that I was only wearing a tanktop when I answered. Oops haha. Recall that bare shoulders are not a thing over in Nepal ;) One of them commented that I wasn't wearing enough clothing lol. Oh well. Anyway, I guess I haven't describe the weather much? It's hot. About 30 degrees Celsius and Humid! Constantly sweating and gross. It's been fairly overcast too the last few days, I can only imagine if it were sunny.. Even as it is I think I burned today while walking around. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to suck haha.

    After our respective phone calls, Youngmin and I said goodbye :( She had to return to her hotel to pick up her bag and go to the airport. So I walked back to the hostel and had some time to myself before other people showed up. I wrote a few postcards - the first I've ever written - while drinking a very refreshing beer. Mmmmm. While I was writing a man came up to me telling me that he "saw" me in a dream last night and if I could just spare a few minutes of my time and go with him around the corner where he's meeting some of his students because he's a yoga instructor. I definitely did not go with him. What a strange experience..

    At some point my Brazilian friends returned from their own day's journey and we chatted for a while. We also met two new people staying in our room at the hostel, a guy from Argentina living in Vancouver and a girl from Peru. A lot of South American's this time around! We all decided that we wanted some beers and walked to the market together. We drank the beers at the hostel and the guys went out to the Gardens by the Bay while the girls stayed in and got much more rest than the men did ;) It was a good evening just socializing, playing Uno, and jenga. Much needed after a day filled with walking!
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  • So after waking up in the hotel which has no windows but compensates with mirrors we showered and hit the city. Started with breakfast in one of the many thousands of food courts, (seriously I'm not exaggerating, thousands...) Had a look at one of the many malls then got on a hop on hop off bus which has 7 different routes you can choose from or go in all of them one after the other. After a day of touring, interspersed with continuous eating it was back to the hotel for a snooze before heading out for a little more food, (yes I know) and cocktails to end the eveningRead more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Singapore, Singapur, Singapore, Singapoer, Singapɔ, ሲንጋፖር, سنغافورة, Sinqapur, Сінгапур, Сингапур, Sɛngapuri, সিঙ্গাপুর, སིངྒ་པུར།, সিঙ্গারপুর, Singapour, Singapɔr nutome, Σιγκαπούρη, Singapuro, سنگاپور, Sinngapuur, Singapor, Singeapór, સિંગાપુર, סינגפור, सिंगापुर, Szingapúr, Սինգապուր, Singapura, Singapúr, シンガポール, სინგაპური, Singapoo, សិង្ហបុរី, ಸಿಂಗಪುರ, 싱가포르, سینگاپور, Singapowa, Singapurɛ, ສິງກະໂປ, Singapūras, Singapure, Singapūra, Singaporo, സിംഗപ്പുര്‍, सिंगापूर, စင်္ကာပူ, सिङ्गापुर, ସିଙ୍ଗାପୁର୍, Cingapura, Singapuru, Sïngäpûru, සිංගප්පූරුව, Sigapoa, Singaboor, Singapori, சிங்கப்பூர், సింగపూర్, สิงคโปร์, Singapoa, سىنگاپور, Singapurän, Orílẹ́ède Singapo, 新加坡, i-Singapore