On our way from Borneo to Australia, we are making a stop in Singapore. And we have some good friends living over there! Ideal to pay them a visit and in the meanwhile discover a bit of Singapore, a city we have heard so much about. All be it just a first impression, as we are only staying for 2 nights. Yuna and Hanne are also really looking forward to seeing William and Audrey, their kids, again. Being on a long term trip, they only have each other the entire time, so other kids to play with is fun! And we are curious to see what our friend Sam really does here on the other side of the world. But also a short report of everything we visited. Even though we were here for a short period of time, Singapore already impressed us a lot and we definitely want to come back!
Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands Resort
We only have two days to discover Singapore so we have to be a bit selective with our activities. Day 1 we choose to go to Gardens by the bay. A huge complex which is mainly known for its big artificial trees that light up at night. And next to the gardens is the Marina Bay Sands Resort, one of the biggest hotels in the world. A hotel that appeals to one’s imagination. Reason enough to go over to The Bay. Despite the fact that we were very tired as we had landed in the early morning in Singapore, arriving from Borneo.
We start with the actual Gardens, an amazing complex with two domes and those famous trees. The entrance tickets for the domes are not cheap, but highly worth it! The rest of the gardens, the trees and a play zone for the kids are completely free!
This magnificent dome out of glass is one of the biggest in the world. Inside you find some amazing gardens, organised by land/continent. Even our region is presented by the tulips, sunflowers, … which the Asian people love so much they take hundreds of pictures. We see huge baobabs, cacti, tropical gardens, flower fields, … The kids are super enthusiastic, especially when they find out about the castle standing in the middle where you can walkthrough.
We just loved the Flower Dome, but the Cloud Forest was if possible even more impressive. With a real waterfall inside! You can walk all the way to the top to come down again along a beautiful sky bridge and walk. Heleen and the kids loved it, daddy had some nodding knees because of his fear of heights :-). When we come down again, the start the fog, what creates a mist over everything. Beautiful with the light coming true. Heleen her photographic heart goes in overdrive…
This was why we came here after all. The somewhat mysterious trees who lighten up when the dark sets in. We saw so many pictures of them and we never knew exactly what we needed to think of them. But once we were there, we immediately understood why there are so many pictures of them and everybody is so enthusiastic. They are just impressive! Beautiful during the day, breathtaking by sunset and during the night. And the amazing thing is they put on a light and sound show every evening! After a long day, it was a bit hard for the kids to wait around for it, but luckily an ice cream brought some salvation. Famous songs came out of the sound boxes and the lights of the trees showed all the colours of the rainbow on the sound of the music. It almost looked as if a thousand stars were twinkling in front of our eyes.
Marina Bay Sands Resort
We once watched an episode of the BBC show ‘Amazing Hotels: Life beyond the lobby’ dedicated to this hotel. And ever since we are a bit intrigued by this hotel. Especially by the enormous pool lying on top! But unfortunately, it can only be visited by hotel guests nowadays. So we will definitely have to come back one day to enjoy our moment of glory in this hotel! But just visiting the hotel and enjoying the skyline of it during sunset was already amazing! The lobby is one of the biggest in the world and just walking around there is worth the visit. Although next time we do want to be able to push the button of the elevator to go up to our hotel room. The kids keep on talking about the hotel with the surfboard on top :-). It absolutely lived up to our expectations and only makes us want to discover the hotel more!
A day of rest with our friends
The next day, the kids (and we as well) are tired. Daddy has to work and the kids just want to play with their friends, so we decide to stay home for a relaxing day. They have lots of fun together in the swimming pool. For lunch, we go together with Yan, their mum, to a food court (something we will miss in Australia) and in the evening we chat about their life here in Singapore and our travel plans. Thank you again for your incredible hospitality and the nice days we could spend with you!
For our last day in Singapore, we decide to go to Sentosa. In the evening we have to catch our flight to Darwin, but we still have time for another excursion. Sentosa is a kind of party island just off the coast of Singapore, filled with theme parks, bars, restaurants, … You can spend an entire fortune there in one day. But as we are travelling on a budget, we go search for some other activities and soon find lots of other things to do there that are completely free. The way to the island on the Skytrain is already an adventure in itself. The kids are very excited and don’t know where to look first!
We discover a nice and free water park not too far from where the train stops. It is very warm, so the water playground makes the kids very enthusiastic! They can play as much as they want there, run away screaming when the big water bucket falls over and go down the water slide for over a hundred times! And we? We enjoy a bit of rest, as the kids are having fun and we can have a normal conversation ;-).
The floating bridge, Siloso beach
After the water park, we head over to Siloso beach, a beautiful island connected to Sentosa with an amazing bridge. And it is also the most southern point of mainland Asia. It is absolutely fantastic there! We didn’t expect to see such beautiful beaches in Singapore, it feels as if you are on an amazing tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Of course, once you turn around, you realise you are in Singapore. But still, it is totally worth the visit.
What do we really think of Singapore?
As this article probably revealed, we absolutely loved Singapore and we are glad we could add it to our list. Although we do have to return because we even didn’t discover downtown.
Singapore is organised, clean, straightforward and not the typical Asian city. We enjoyed walking around there although we missed in a way a bit the chaotic way everything goes in Asia. Luckily you do find a food court on every corner! Singapore is known for its amazing food and the many foodies living there.
Gardens by the Bay is an absolute must if you are there! We actually can only be enthusiastic about it. Of course, it is all artificial but the whole site just breaths out a sense of peace and greatness at the same time! Sentosa was nice too, but that feels more like a big playground set up for the tourists. For a peaceful day or some authenticity, you don’t need to come over there. But it brought us a fun day with the kids and we had an amazing time!
2 thoughts on “Travel diary #8: a quick visit to Singapore”
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I absolutely loved your adventures and how wonderful they seemed! I am fortunately going to Singapore in a year or two and from your experiences, it seems to be wonderful!