Dear friends,

after this bunch of explanations and stories, I decided to sum up some of my Singapore travel tips for you.

In general:
If you start your journey in Germany, you normally have a stop in Dubai or one of the other Emirates. Taking off in a huge German city, a lot of different airlines bring you in a 13 hours flight ( excluding a stopover)  to the Chagi international Airport in Singapore. The expenses for the flight are really different, starting at about 600 €.

The airport is pretty far away from the city.  You can take a MRT  ( tickets are available at the track) or you can take a cab ( ca. 20-30€). Apart from that, the MRT is the best way to travel through Singapore. It’s really cheap and takes you almost everywhere. I can also recommend you to take a cab ( but you should talk about the price in advance).

If you are looking for a haven of peace in the center of this vibrating city, only 5 minutes away from THE shopping street, you should absolutely visit the Fort Canning Hotel ( as I already mentioned before). Otherwise there are a lot of wonderful but high-priced hotels around the harbor.

Sightseeingtour? If you like to hop on and off a bus, want to feel the nice atmosphere of Cinatown, take the bus to Orchard-Road and afterwards drop by the Botanic Garden you should absolutely go for a ride on the Hopp on – Hopp off bus tour. It costs about 15-20€ a day and you can switch between three colored bus routes whenever you want to. The bus stops at tagged bus stops and you can buy tickets from the bus driver ( only cash!).
Don’t forget your earphones.

Singapore Flyer? It is famous for its amazing view, but not really a bargain. It’s also possible to have dinner in the big wheel – those arrangements can already be booked back home in Germany. It’s very expensive and the opinions about the food are varying a lot. We finally decided not to go there.

 Marina Bay Sand Skypark. One of the attractions of Singapore. Unfortunately the Infinity Pool on the rooftop can only be used by hotel guests. The hotel is said to be pretty neat but we have been told that the prices are very high for the things that are offered.  We have just been to the hotel lobby, but that was already enough of mass processing for me.
Matter of taste if you like that or not. The entrance fee is 12 € per person – for using the lift once and watching the hotel guests while they are swimming – very high-priced.
My tip: If you absolutely want to go to the observation deck of the Marina Bay sand, you should visit the KuDeTa bar/restaurant for a drink. As far as I am concerned, there isn’t any entrance fee for the restaurant but you have to spend a minimum on drinks or food  in height of the amount of the entrance fee for the observation deck next to it. Instead of paying the entrance fee for the observation desk, I would prefer to pay for a cool drink in and enjoy the great view.

Singapore Night Safari / Singapore Zoo.  Not without good reason a tourist attraction, as the Singapore Zoo is said to be one of the most beautiful zoo’s in the world.
We went for the night safari at the evening of our arrival, which took place between 7pm to midnight.
The journey to the Zoo is kind of cumbersome. First of all we had a 45 minutes ride in the red MRT (4) to Choa Chu Kang where we changed into a taxi for the last 10 minutes to the Zoo (there would also be a bus from Choa Chu to the Zoo).
The other possibility is to take a taxi all the way from the city to the Zoo but it’s supposed to cost 35€ one way. Watch out for your return: most of the visitor come by public transportations and return around 11pm, so there is a lot of traffic. When we saw the crowds in front of the taxi’s we have been really shocked ( about 100m queue of people – I’m not kidding).
We took the bus back to the Choa Chu Kang MRT station, but the MRT’s in the suburbs are not busy all night so we had to change the MRT’s several times until we arrived back in the center.
Concerning the Night Zoo:  there is a train free of charge that drives you through the park, as well as a walkway. We started to take the walkways through the park.
Really beautiful created zoo with extraordinary animals, especially for Europeans but unfortunately tons  of people.
Some animals are only reachable by train, so we had to use it at the end of our tour. It’s a pity that the train goes really fast so you can only have a real quick look for the lions or tigers behind the glass. Sometimes the animals are incredibly far away. But to relax a little bit after an exhausting walk through the park, it’s a nice rest to sit in the train.

My first advice for you is more practically. If you arrive in Singapore with a six hours jetlag you are still used to the European rhythm. Most restaurants ( and also a lot of fast food resaturants) only offer diner until 9:30 pm. So if you don’t want to make the same experience as we did ( yes we spent the first evening with a dry piece of starbucks bread ) you should consider the following hint.

You have to try DimSum. I’m enthusiastic about this traditional food (filled with prawns or hash), served with chili and soya dip. Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to try a DimSum restaurant in Singapore but there are plenty of them at every corner. Just try it! In general I can absolutely recommend the food in the little booths on the streets. Especially interesting is China Town.

Pic from here

If you also want to give the delicious slimy noodles a try - the name of the store is Tamoya ( 177 River Valley Road Liang Court – a mall at the Young Street). As far as I know there are more of these stores all around Singapore. Just to make sure you don’t have as many question marks in your head as I had you should know that you first of all order the noodles ( in stock , in soya stock or naked without anything). Then you choose at the self-service box fish, meat or baked vegetables. Then you go to the cash-point. Afterwards you can pimp up your dish with several toppings (like algae, spinach, onions, soya sauce or teriykakisauce) 

Rooftop bars
Everybody traveling to Singapore loves to go to a rooftop-bar once. So did I – that’s why I was looking for the best rated rooftop bars for hours on the internet, before we came to Singapore. As I already told you we went to the Zafferano (Ocean Financial Centre, Level 43, 10 Collyer Quay). It’s about 5 minutes walkway from the MRT in Clifford center. The drinks and view on the glazed platform are absolutely recommendable! It’s pretty unknown and the rating on the internet was not that good (unfriendly service…) what I personally can’t understand.
Moreover we went as already mentioned to the KuDeTa on the Marina Bay Sand. As the Marina Bay Sand is a real magnet for tourists, it is usually pretty crowded there.
Here the rest of the rooftop-bars I’ve looked up on the internets which are supposed to be very nice, so you don’t have to spend your time by searching:
The Fullerton Hotel next to the harbor (there’s a pavilion called the “One Fullerton Rooftop”),
the Ritz-Carlton Millenia has a bar on top of as well, the Catalunya, Level 33 or the 1-Alitude.
Just look it up on the internet – there are lots more. I’ve been told that some organize pretty cool rooftop-partys (or Heli-Partys) J

So now just enjoy your stay in this amazing city , you can never spend enough time at!


How a city swept me off my feet II

It’s round about half past six in the morning and I am looking back on to a night full of great impressions, fascinating pictures and only a drop of sleep. In line with this I tramp with some kind of grumpy countenance through the hallways of the silent, still sleeping hotel towards the pavilion, where the breakfast is served.
“a cup of coffee – should be sufficient” I think that’s what I said. Up to the moment, when Mister glückSEEligkeit is standing in front of me with a broad smile, holding a plate with some kind of mysterious, greasy looking small balls (bringing the noodles of yesterday to my mind)from the breakfast buffet  under my nose.
To be honest – it took me a moment’s effort (well actually a huge moment) to place these white, transparent, shimmery balls in my mouth. I was absolutely thrilled. In real life, these squirmy looking things are some sort of steamed WanTan dumplings filled with prawns. Hello cute little something. Hello DimSum (that’s their real name).  Half an hour later I am leaving the breakfast room with my stomach filled with half a bottle of soya sauce and tons of small balls but with a bright smile in my face and feeling fit as a fiddle.
And one thing is for sure. My repertoire of delicious food has to be widened by this specialty because it really touched my soul.

The day before… under the heading “things always end up differently (often better) than you think”
After we finished our bus tour in the afternoon we decided to discover the waterfront on our own.

Back home I already made up a list with great locations to spend the evening and watch the fireworks at its best. That’s how we ended up at the Marina Bay Sands ( the building with the 3 towers and the “boat” on top of it).
According to the tip on my list, the rooftop bar should give us the “most amazing” view and it is advisable to buy some tickets (explanation:  we have been in Singapore during the national holiday. That’s why there will be fireworks and the special treatments, concerning the tickets and reservations everywhere).
At the counter ( which reminded me more of a promotion stand at the supermarket) we’ve been thought that the tickets are sold out “since forever” but we could come back at 5 p.m. and remaining  in the bar until the fireworks begin (20.15 p.m.)  
Whew! Well persevering in a crowded bar, spending about 17$ for a cocktail for more than three hours… sounds like fun.
My “look how good I am organized –mood” was just GONE.
As I was so much looking forward to see the fireworks from that place. After we refreshed ourselves in the hotel,  a drink and an appetizer in the hotel ( yes they really do have drinks and snacks on the house between 6-8 p.m.) lifted my mood a lot. Especially when Mister GlückSEEligkeit  persuaded me to give our evening plans one more try. So we squeezed us into the subway (the so called MRT) together with a crowd of people. My nose made acquaintance to some unfamiliar smells. In Germany’s big cities, taking the subway is on a level with holding my nose. In Singapore, my nose is pampered with a discreet fragrance. When I’m leaving the posh and clean MRT- station, I recognize where this delicate fragrance comes from. Believe it or not – there are nozzles in the ceilings and walls of the subway station. Crazy world.
But when I think of German subway stations, this is actually an enchanting invention. Well – here we are again (but this time dressed up) at the waterfront – still having my list with all the restaurant recommendations on it looking for a certain restaurant (one of the ten hints from the internet). Head up towards the sky hoping to find the right skyscraper. Confused we look at each other as we are standing at a counter again on the ground-floor. But this time it seems to turn out better than in the afternoon.  Nobody around us, just a gently,  smiling woman. Carefully and prepared that the woman might laugh us out of court, I ask her in an anxious way if there is a place for us in the restaurant on top (it is 7.50 p.m. and the fireworks start in about half an hour). No laughing. Nothing.
Just a “yes of course, the lift is on the left-hand side and then choose the 43rd floor”. Absolutely amazed we are standing in a great arranged restaurant, with a glazed kitchen and terrace (but that didn’t harm the great view). The waiter ushers us onto the terrace and he must have noted that I’m a tiny little bit irritated, because my back almost touched the people sitting and eating their dinner (they probably bought the wickedly expensive tickets months ago) he adds “yes,yes just stay here at the glass front, the people sitting at the tables will stand up for the fireworks anyway”.
Wow the fireworks starts underneath us, the city sparkles in all colors and so do the lights of the opposite hotels.  I’m absolutely delighted how wonderful these kind of alternative solutions can be.
Unfortunately the fireworks is not that amazing if you look down on it and it just lasts for 10 minutes. Actually it reminds me more of a New Year’s Eve table fireworks.

Well to be honest, I think most of the German folk festivals have a more spectacular (and longer lasting) fireworks.
But nevertheless it was unique – I have had my rooftop bar and an amazing view.
On our way home, we are strolling with the crowds towards the Helix Bridge at the harbor.
There we are again – the bar where we tried to get a ticket in the afternoon. But this time more luckily. There we go… straight ahead to the lift and up to the bar. The atmosphere is wonderful, but once more we are not the only people who think so. The drinks are delicious but quite expensive and the view isn’t as amazing as in the restaurant before.
The résumé:  You can, but you don’t have to. Anyway it’s really emotional to look down on to the city and the hurly-burly.
Late at night I go to bed happy and confident, dreaming of my rooftop bar and perfumed MRT stations – I’m absolutely in love with this city!


How a city swept me off my feet I

Bam – there I’m standing with a glass of champagne in my hands on the 43rd floor – underneath me a glittering, gloaming metropolis and as if this wouldn’t be stunning enough, a fireworks starts right in front of me (note to myself:  watching a fireworks on the 43rd floor is pretty similar to a table fireworks on a children’s birthday party)
Wow, sometimes life can really be more than brilliant. But let’s take one at a time…

I’m head over heels in love. May I introduce: Singapore. You clean, neat, fascinating, impressive, charming and above all absolutely pleasant megacity. So there we are finally, after a nearly 24 hours plane trip heavily loaded with our backpacks and probably giving the air around us a smell of airplane and sweating tiredness. Unbelieving we are standing in a drop-dead gorgeous hotel lobby – we could hardly believe our luck. At the same time I’m thinking of a possibility to slip away, because I feel kind of uncomfortable as my current style and this awesome colonial building won’t really match. So we will spend the next 32 hours of our Singapore short trip in the Hotel Fort Canning.
After the concierge left the room I shout with glee and have to jump for joy (yes I really did). Awesome. This is the best view I have ever had in my life. The bathroom presents us a unique panorama view of the skyscrapers, colored in the goldish yellow sunset light. This makes me speechless. And so I spend the next view minutes in the bathtub, admiring the view of the vibrant city next to me.
The rest of the evening and the outstanding night ( during a 32 hours stay, sleeping at night is overrated)  we visit the Zoo of Singapore (seems as if about 21975 other people had the same idea).

The next morning just on eleven, I start the day with a hysterical screaming fit. We actually sleep over two alarm clocks set for 7a.m. - thank you Jetlag! Well, bad luck. An hour later we are sitting exhausted in a mall and having some bizarre looking breakfast.
White, slippery seeming noodles in a clear sauce. I really damn my own cocky words “We absolutely have to try some local specialty”.
After the friendly cook explained to me that I can pimp my noodles up with all the delicious food (baked prawns, sticks of vegetable…) at the self-service buffet, the so called breakfast was excellent.
From this moment I have had a heart for white, slippery noodles (if anybody happens to know what the name of these thick noodles is, please let me know)

One of the best hints to explore this city was the hopp-on hopp-off bus. It was so much fun to watch the sights and the people out of the bus, to stop and get off at any place you want and meanwhile listening to the explanations of the  audio guide (even in German – I was really astonished about that fact)

In the second part of my Singapore report I will tell you about perfume in the subway and what it’s all about, why an insider tip sometimes is the best idea and how a prawn in a bamboo basket can touch your heart. If you have any questions concerning my journey so far, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments below. I’ll try to give you an answer within the second part of my posting episode.


Hotel Fort Canning is to find here

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