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Singapore
 Country of cleanliness, greenery, and large-scale projects 
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Singapore


Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia. It is one of the countries where an economic miracle has happened during the last 50 years. Many have heard about Singapore because of its cleanliness and huge fines. It is true, this city is probably the cleanest among the large cities.

A real discovery for us was the fact that Singapore is an incredibly green city. Trees, shrubs, flowers and lawns are everywhere. And even despite the presence of skyscrapers, the city still looks more like a park than "urban jungle". Although it is not surprising, because now Singapore authorities are implementing a long-term program to transform the "garden city" into the "city in a garden."

Until 1819, when the Englishman Stamford Raffles settled here, Singapore had not played any role in Asian life. The real story began with arrival of the English: they built a large port, railways and roads. Then Singapore had become a part of Japan and Malaysia, and gained independency in 1965.

Since then, Singapore had a lot of reforms. It was a fight for every investor. Because of this the country that imported water and sand has become a country with high-tech industry, a leading financial and commercial center of Southeast Asia.

Among the reforms the most useful experience of Singapore is eradication of corruption. The government created the simplest rules that exclude ambiguous interpretation, canceled permits and licensing. Best private attorneys turned into judges and their salaries exceeded a million dollars per year! The entire police force was replaced by the Chinese guys. Salaries of civil servants in positions of responsibility were raised to the level of top managers. Now, Singapore is one of the least corrupted countries in the world.

In Singapore, you can receive a transit visa for 4 days if you are traveling to a third country. For example, Ukraine - Singapore - Malaysia - Singapore - Ukraine. Therefore, many tourists come here for 4 days. We also spent there 96 hours, although we had got the visas.

Many European airlines regularly offer tickets for $750 in both directions for example Lufthansa. But we bought tickets of Emirates with a transfer in Dubai for $1000 in both directions.

It is also important to know about the climate. It is fairly constant, with an average temperature of about 28-30 degrees. The rainy season is from November to January, but it is hardly noticeable, and the rains are short, so we can say that the weather is the same all year round. We chose to travel in March and during 4 days the rain was one time. It was very strong but lasted only for 30 minutes.

We will describe our 4-day trip to Singapore. The links lead to prewritten articles about specific places in Singapore.

Day 1

We arrived at Changi Airport at 3 pm. Next, we looked for the subway signs "MRT" and "Train to City". If you are in Terminal 1, go by monorail to Terminal 2 or 3. Singapore subway, by the way, one of the best in the world. At the station, you need to buy an EZ-Link card for S$12 (with a S$7 deposit) and put money on it. If you plan to travel by subway during the next days, put a minimum of S$20 per person. In any case, you can return the rest later. If you plan a single trip only, then simply select the desired station in the machine and click "Buy standard ticket". There'll be a S$1 deposit on such ticket. You can also return this deposit later in the machine.

We spent two nights in Chinatown and two nights at Marina Bay Sands (booking.com). Hotels in Singapore are quite expensive. For example, a room for $S80-100 can be tiny and without windows. We paid S$160 per night for a room at the Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen hotel (booking.com) and were satisfied.

Sri Mariamman temple
Sri Mariamman temple ©Yuriy Buriak


Chinatown
Chinatown ©Yuriy Buriak


Chinatown
Chinatown ©Yuriy Buriak


Chinatown
Chinatown ©Yuriy Buriak

After changing clothes, we had a lunch near the hotel and headed to the Pinnacle@Duxton skyscraper, where the observation deck is located. After that, we walked around the skyscrapers on Robinson Road and had a rest on the quay near the Fullerton hotel, which offers great views of Marina Bay Sands. It was 9 pm and we got tired because of time zone differences, so we took the subway to the hotel.

View of colonial houses and Pinnacle@Duxton
View of colonial houses and Pinnacle@Duxton ©Yuriy Buriak


This place is called a beach.
This place is called a beach. ©Yuriy Buriak


View of the skyscrapers area
View of the skyscrapers area ©Yuriy Buriak


Lots of Chinese lanterns are waiting to be launched.
Lots of Chinese lanterns are waiting to be launched. ©Yuriy Buriak


Robinson road
Robinson road ©Yuriy Buriak


Unusual halls in skyscrapers on Robinson road
Unusual halls in skyscrapers on Robinson road ©Yuriy Buriak


Marina Bay Sands hotel
Marina Bay Sands hotel ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 2

We got up early in the morning and went by bus #970 to the stop The Boys' Brigade HQ, which is located near the Singapore River. Further we walked on the quays along the river to the center. 

Singapore river quay
Singapore river quay ©Yuriy Buriak


Bridge over the Singapore river
Bridge over the Singapore river ©Yuriy Buriak


Removing British monuments
Removing British monuments ©Yuriy Buriak


Bridge over the Singapore river
Bridge over the Singapore river ©Yuriy Buriak


Restaurant at Clarke Quay
Restaurant at Clarke Quay ©Yuriy Buriak


Clarke Quay is covered with sun umbrellas
Clarke Quay is covered with sun umbrellas ©Yuriy Buriak


Hotel Marina Bay Sands is visible from everywhere
Hotel Marina Bay Sands is visible from everywhere ©Yuriy Buriak


House with colored windows near Clarke Quay
House with colored windows near Clarke Quay ©Yuriy Buriak


Crosswalk from Clarke Quay to the Fort Canning park
Crosswalk from Clarke Quay to the Fort Canning park ©Yuriy Buriak

After passing Clarke Quay, we had crossed the road and then went to the Fort Canning Park. We descended from the Raffles Terrace to Hill Street.

Real botanical garden
Real botanical garden ©Yuriy Buriak


Old fire station on Hill street
Old fire station on Hill street ©Yuriy Buriak


Unusual house that looks like a Chinese temple.
Unusual house that looks like a Chinese temple. ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we walked around the downtown: Armenian street, St. Andrew's Church, Memorial Park. Be sure to visit the most famous hotel of colonial Singapore, Raffles Hotel (now the most famous hotel is Marina Bay Sands). You can walk both on its territory and inside.

Then we went to one of the widely publicized places - Suntec City with the Fountain of Wealth. There was nothing special to do, so we came back and went to the Arab and Indian blocks.

St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew's Church ©Yuriy Buriak


Tree near the City Hall subway station
Tree near the City Hall subway station ©Yuriy Buriak


Raffles hotel (1886)
Raffles hotel (1886) ©Yuriy Buriak


Raffles hotel (1886)
Raffles hotel (1886) ©Yuriy Buriak


Raffles hotel (1886)
Raffles hotel (1886) ©Yuriy Buriak


Millenia Tower
Millenia Tower ©Yuriy Buriak


Arab block
Arab block ©Yuriy Buriak


Non-typical landscape in the Arab block :)
Non-typical landscape in the Arab block :) ©Yuriy Buriak


Colored houses between the Arab and Indian blocks
Colored houses between the Arab and Indian blocks ©Yuriy Buriak


Indian block
Indian block ©Yuriy Buriak


Indian block
Indian block ©Yuriy Buriak


Building with unusual roof on North Bridge Rd
Building with unusual roof on North Bridge Rd ©Yuriy Buriak


Swissotel
Swissotel ©Yuriy Buriak


Nicoll Highway
Nicoll Highway ©Yuriy Buriak


A huge number of travel agencies in Suntec City
A huge number of travel agencies in Suntec City ©Yuriy Buriak

On the subway we drove to the Somerset station and went for a walk on the pretentious Orchard road. It basically consists of shopping malls. There is a food court in almost every shopping mall. But we were looking for Din Tai Fung restaurant, as we wanted to try the dumplings. The locals told us that it was the best restaurant in Singapore, and we agreed with them. Addresses of the restaurants can be found here.

After the end of the street we continued to the Botanical Garden, where we spent the next two hours. Then we returned to the hotel and rested for an hour. After that, we went to the artificial gardens to watch the evening performance, and then finally returned to the hotel.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 3

In the morning we went to the HarbourFront MRT station and walked around the best park in Singapore, Southern Ridges. We were very pleased with the walk.

Henderson Waves bridge
Henderson Waves bridge ©Yuriy Buriak


Forest Walk
Forest Walk ©Yuriy Buriak

Then from the Labrador Park station we drove to the Boon Lay station, and then by bus #194 to the bird park.

You can feed the parrots
You can feed the parrots ©Yuriy Buriak

We bought a double ticket (with a visit to the zoo) as it's cheaper. After the visit we ate some snacks at a local cafe and returned to Chinatown on a taxi (S$20). There we checked out of the hotel and on a taxi (S$10) reached our next hotel, Marina Bay Sands. After the check-in, swimming in the pool and dinner, we went to the Ferris wheel.

Ferris wheel view from the roof of Marina Bay Sands
Ferris wheel view from the roof of Marina Bay Sands ©Yuriy Buriak


View of Marina Bay Sands from the top of the ferris wheel
View of Marina Bay Sands from the top of the ferris wheel ©Yuriy Buriak

And in the evening we studied the hotel, swam in the pool and rested.

Infinity pool on the roof of Marina Bay Sands
Infinity pool on the roof of Marina Bay Sands ©Yuriy Buriak


View from the club room window at Marina Bay Sands
View from the club room window at Marina Bay Sands ©Yuriy Buriak


Huge lobby at Marina Bay Sands
Huge lobby at Marina Bay Sands ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 4

We got up early in the morning, at 6-45 am, as we wanted to come to the opening of the pool when no one was there yet. After breakfast we went to the HarbourFront subway station, and then by cable car (look for it on the signs) went to the Sentosa island. It is quite expensive (S$26).

Cable car between the Sentosa island and Mount Faber
Cable car between the Sentosa island and Mount Faber ©Yuriy Buriak

On the island we walked around a little and came to the Universal park, where we spent the next 4 hours. Then we went down to the beaches by the path behind the big Merlion statue. We turned to the right and after about 500 meters there were a dressing room and a beach where we swam.

Universal Studios theme park
Universal Studios theme park ©Yuriy Buriak


Beach on the Sentosa island
Beach on the Sentosa island ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we returned to the monorail station that is located near the beaches and went to the Vivo City mall. We had spent quite a lot time there looking for a taxi and then went to the zoo (S$20), which is located in the north of the city. The taxi driver was talkative and told us a lot of interesting things about Singapore.

Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo ©Yuriy Buriak


Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo ©Yuriy Buriak

From the zoo, also by taxi we returned to the hotel. In the evening we walked along the Double Helix Bridge near the hotel and made ​some night photos.

Marina Bay Sands view
Marina Bay Sands view ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 5

In the morning we were resting and getting ready for the flight to Kuala Lumpur, which was approximately at 2 pm. In general we spent in Singapore about 95 hours and saw quite a lot of interesting places.

Useful Links:
Maps of Singapore
Another map of Singapore
Who needs a visa and transit rules
Public transport in Singapore
Changi Airport board (to check the arrival/departure terminals)
Parks in Singapore
Airport - hotel luggage delivery service


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