It’s been 5 years since I last saw my friend Ruth. Every time I go on a trip or mention anything of one, she hounds me about visiting her either in Singapore or Malaysia, depending on where she is at the time. This time, it so happens that she’s in Singapore and considering the flight from HK to there is only 4-5 hours, I had no excuse. My sister decided to come with me as well so we went to a travel agent to book the flight in order to get on the same flight. Ruth took us around each evening and we were very grateful for that! It was great to catch up with her and when we saw each other, it was as if no time had passed between us – which is exactly the friends I want to keep.
It also wasn’t too expensive compared to a flight from Toronto to Singapore. Flying with Cathay Pacific has its perks when within Asia – so much cheaper! Also, staying in a hostel was a good choice, though a last minute booking landed us at a place called Matchbox The Concept Hostel. I liked the idea of it but not in reality. We stayed in a dorm style room but instead of bunk beds, they were cargo style boxes stacked two high and nine wide with lockers on the other side of the room to house our stuff. The mattresses were too thin and it was just uncomfortable to sleep on.
Three days in Singapore was just a day short of being the perfect amount of time. It’s a metropolis that isn’t crowded. The accessibility by public transportation is very similar to that of HK but less people, which is great. You can get from the airport to the city centre by subway as well as be able to walk to most places, which is great. They also have a tourist pass which allows for unlimited travel on most public transportation routes for a specific amount of days. This worked out perfectly for us since we got the three day pass. It occurred to me while we were there that there aren’t any natural resources for the country to export so tourism and services are a major economy driver and boy do they know how to cater to customers.
It’s an expensive place to live though. The exchange rate was almost on par with the Canadian dollar (1CAD to 1.2 SGD). Alcohol is too – we paid for 3 drinks which came out to 42 SGD and they weren’t fancy drinks!
We visited as many different places as we could – Little India (really cool since we arrived just after Diwahli so decorations were still up), Gardens by the Bay, Orchard Road for shopping, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Fort Canning Park, etc. It was nice to get a good sense of travelling around and the different places.
My favourite part of the entire trip other than seeing Ruth was the food!!! I travel to eat and this trip was no difference despite the short amount of time. First night was all about the chilli crab – steamed and sauced to perfection along with other foods such as noodles, rice, shrimp, etc. It was so delicious at Jumbo Seafood. We also went to Little India and ate at the restaurant sitting atop the Mustafa Centre (the Bazaar is open 24/7). It was nice to see parts of Singapore from atop. Then there are the hawker stalls – traditional Singapore/Malaysian food. OMG! There were so many things to try that I don’t remember the names of all the dishes, so here’s a picture of it!