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I have always wanted to travel far, and until recently by “far” I meant somewhere within Europe. So it was surprising to myself and my friends when several months ago I decided to join a small group of adventurers who were going to travel two weeks through Asia. Our first stop was Singapore.
I had only vague impressions about where to find it on the map, and next to nothing known about what will await me there except the heat. When I googled Singapore in the airport before departure, it was quite scary.
Singapore has strict laws regarding narcotics. Even tourists can be sentenced to death if they are carrying forbidden substances. So I was a bit paranoid about what could be medicine in Latvia and a drug in Singapore. I had a little medicine bag with me with headache painkillers and something for the spicy Asian food. However, the airport in Singapore was enormous, my bag was small and unimportant, so everything went fine.
Our group stayed in Singapore for two nights and Dream Lodge was the cool hostel where we did it. “Pod” style hostel offered us a room for about 16 people, but the bed places were isolated from each other by wooden walls. Entrance to the “pod” could be covered by a curtain, that blocked light and sound, but at the same time allowed to the conditioned air to flow through. Overall this was quite a nice hostel within a walking distance from many food places and “Little India”. It was easy to get to this place by metro from the airport.
One block away from the hostel is a street food place, where locals and tourists can eat some freakishly weird things. Here I learned, that food can be described as “this with that” because I had no idea what was the thing that I was eating. There is Indian food, spicy food, seafood, vegetarian food, soups, chickens, even colored ice cubes that were “ice cream”. Marvelous place to play “truth or dare (to eat)”.
After our food adventure, we went for a walk around the block, and the contrast between the old and the new was present at all times. The small houses were built around a hundred years ago, and they are surrounded by gigantic, shiny and new apartment buildings. Where would you choose to live? Probably, where is the fastest internet connection, right?
By building so many high buildings the people of Singapore have managed to save some green spots for nature. Next, to the Marina Bay Sands there is a big botanic garden. To get to the garden you can go along the promenade and enjoy the magnificent architecture of the city.
There are several walking paths in the botanic garden with information about all the different plants and animals tourists can spot there. Plants seem not quite interesting to me, but the animals were cool. I saw many fat goldfishes and a lazy otter, which was sunbathing on an island.
Super-tree grove is a famous place and a part of the botanic garden. These trees are quite high and look like from science fiction movies. There are some real plants growing on these trees, and some flowers can be observed only if you are high above the ground. Which is totally possible, because there is a walkway between these trees. It allows you to view the botanic garden from above, walk between the tree-tops and at the same time feel insignificant in comparison to other tall buildings on the horizon.
Marina Bay Sands is the tree high buildings that have a ship put on their top to make them stand out from all the other significant buildings in the center of Singapore. There is a hotel inside and you can buy a ticket to go up to the top for the best view of the city. On the one side there is a wall of other tall and sleek buildings, and on the other side, these are the Singapore Flyer and sea with ships.
If you have enjoyed the beautiful view of the city during the day, then it would be wise to ride the Singapore Flyer during the dark hours, because Singapore at night is a sight to behold. During the night there are millions of smaller and bigger lights, the city is busy and awake, there are light shows in the super-tree grove and from the top of the Marina Bay Sands. It’s totally worth to wait for dark, to rise to the top of Singapore again.