We spent much of our two weeks in Singapore relaxing around the AirBnB apartment we rented (photos below), catching up on travel planning, but we also ventured around town and played tourists!
It was a little strange to both of us to be in a tropical place to celebrate the holidays, but Singapore had so many ways to get into the Christmas spirit! We went to the Gardens by the Bay, which is a huge botanical garden complex (not to be confused with the Singapore Botanical Garden). The city has so many green spaces and parks. It’s common to see trees and plants on apartment balconies; they are really trying to be an urban city inside a forest- it’s great!!! Anyway, Gardens by the Bay has a lot of free outdoor gardens to walk through and they also have 2 gigantic greenhouses, complete with waterfalls, that have even more plants. We opted not to pay to go into the greenhouses, but we did pay a few dollars to go into their Christmas festival area:
The huge light up trees have plants growing up the sides and they are covered in solar panels, plus they collect rain water to help water the gardens!
A few days later we went to Orchard Road, saw the new Star Wars movie, and walked though too many malls to count. Orchard Road has a bunch of high end shops, but it is also lit up for the holidays!
Singapore has wicked lightning storms almost every day. It will normally downpour for 30 minutes to a few hours, but then clear up without warning. On the day we decided to go to the Night Safari, it poured in the evening, right until we showed up at the gate!
The Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo was incredible. It is an entire zoo dedicated to nocturnal animals- so it doesn’t open until 7pm. Jeff and I stayed up way past our bedtime, and all of the animals were very active! Sorry the photos aren't very good, but it was dark!
It also rained on Christmas Eve, but we went out to explore Chinatown and ate dinner at a Hawker center. We also found a few Santa's:
After mass on Christmas day, we went to the Singapore National Museum. Most museums had free admission on Christmas day, so we took advantage!
On our last full day in Singapore, Jeff took me out to Reservoir Park. It was beautiful! We hiked a little over 10km and went across the treetop walk.
We had a great, relaxing time in Singapore! We would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy, comfortable introduction to Asia. Everyone is friendly and speaks English, and it’s extremely easy to get around. Even if you only have a layover in the airport- it’s a great place. We got to the airport a little bit early on the day we flew to Vietnam, just to hang out in the airport! (photos below)
Modes of transportation: Uber, taxi, bus, subway
Total amount spent in Singapore (including flight into Singapore): $2033.61
Avg.: $156.43 per day
Singapore was a little pricey, but we'll make up for that over the next few months in Southeast Asia as the cost will be much lower. That being said we spent less than we had planned (although we really didn't have a budget for this leg of the trip) because we didn't end up scuba diving or biking. Public transit was also very cheap and convenient so getting around town is easy and inexpensive. Cabs and uber were cheap too and from the airport as well.
Just a glimpse into bus riding and airplane food!