3 days,  August 2010




Kind of travel:
Me and my girlfriend Elisa in an independent travel

1st -3rd Aug 2010

Do I need a visa:
No, for EU citizens just passport

How I moved:
Being a 45km wide State, moving isn't really a matter, and beside means of transport abound (trains, metro, buses, cable car,...). Still you'll have a lot of walking.

Freezing or baking:
Sweating like hell! Even if the temperature is 'just' around 33 C, humidity soars to 90%

Where I slept:
In the well organized Youth Hostel, settled in Little India where for 20€ in a 8 people dorm you can find a pleasant backpacker vibe

What I liked:
the cosmopolitan atmosphere of a city-state hosting Indian temples, Chinanese pagodas, Christian churches, Muslims mosques and at the same time Ultramodern skyscrapers. The whole system managed efficiently by severe rules. The Marina Sand awesome structure amazed me.

What I disliked:
still sweated being frozen by a glacial A/C in any public place (metro and buses included), in any shop and even in the dorm of the Hostel. Moreover the addiction for any electronic stuff is a kind of ridicolous.
Night Safari his boring... skip it.

How much daily:
theoretically you can manage cheaply, but then you won't keep the draw of the cool (and expensive) activities: eating in the docks (30€), a day in Sentosa Island (zip line+ cable car= 40€), night Safari (20€), .. at the end we spent each 70€ day

Dangers/ hassles:
unless you don't break any of the several rules, maybe stopping to rest or taking food in the metro... safety is guaranteed

What you do need:
a sweater for A/C to carry always in the bag and increase your 'South Asia sized' daily budget!


Definitely Singapore is a role model for the whole Asia and not only.
An efficient city-state ruled by the steel fist of the Prime Minister, based on the respect of the rules through the heavy fines whose notices will threat you in every corner.
At the end the whole system works given the ethnic jigsaw (Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, English,…) matches without evident frictions, but which is the trade off on the individual freedom?
The drawback of a travel wholly dedicated to Singapore is that, being such ethnic melting pot in such small area, at the end it is impossible to identify his own characterization.
Hence I would recommend to associate the trip with the one of a neighboring country as Malaysia, avoiding to visit it in a flight stopover.
The last but not the least, is there something genetic in the need Singaporeans (and not only) have to freeze like hell in any closed place they are? Is there some masochistic



Landed in Singapore in the heat of the summer we immediately experienced both the freezing Singaporean A/C in any closed place and the unbearable damp heat everywhere else.
We stayed at the 'Crowd Inn' in the 'Little India' area: not bad for 20€ in a eight bed dorm (freezing A/C included) in a colorful hostel with plenty of backpacker vibe.
In three days we visited the Botanic Gardens, China Town, Little India, Sentosa Island, the Night Safari and Singapore downtown.
Botanic Gardens visit is definitely a must, although there's no lack of green areas in the whole Singapore and I'm not a 'flower-fan' I got impressed by the vastness and the setting of the Orchidarium (I guess the biggest in the world).
In Singapore stepping from one block to another could mean changing world.
'Little India' is characterized by Indus temples, where you'll forget India is 2.000km across the Bengala gulf. Parts of the setting are the stalls filled of flower-made necklaces and the unique incense scent permeating every corner.
Few blocks away you'll be among the Buddhist temples and the food stalls of Chinatown.
Enjoying the tasteful shells, fried noodles with a cold beer on one of the tables placed in the night- lit street has be one of the highlight of our stay in Singapore..
Sentosa island is the entertainment park for Singaporean; the nearest place to lay down on a beach and where a 'Hollywood park' is almost completed. We reached the Island trough a cable car (10€!) whose station is on top of a skyscraper. It's not a great place to swim being in front of the port, even if the white sand (imported!) makes its scene. Among the numerous activities organized on the island we tried the zip line: being launched down from a hill harnessed on a cable (20€! each).
The Night Safari zoo (20€) turned out to a kind of dump; unless you have a kid, I don't think you will enjoy being packed on a trackless train slightly spotting shadow of animals in the dark.
At the end in Singapore what impressed me more (and I would have never thought) has been the amazing complex called Marina Sands nearby the 'Manhattan like' downtown. It's a three skyscrapers complex topped by a huge boat-like structure bridging the all three. Over the boat there's the largest swimming pool in the world ever made over a building. The inside of the Marina Complex is jaw dropping… just to give you a taste, there was a jeweler's with a 80 Million American dollar exposed!!!!
The night of the third day we took a train setting out to Kuala Lumpur in a 8h trip
(40$ bottom berth) Although being kicked to the custom for the passport stamp out when already in pajama, and freezing like hell due to A/C, the travel passed smoothly. We reached the capital at 7.00am, worth to be said, without an entry Malaysian stamp (no Malaysian custom on the way); despite our worry, it didn't turn out in a problem when leaving the country though.

[Proceeding to Malaysia]