We debated skipping Singapore altogether on this trip. It is expensive and the main attractions are eating and shopping. After debating we decided that it made more sense to visit Singapore and then go through Malaysia. So, we booked our first flights within Asia and flew from Hanoi to Singapore on TigerAir. The airline was nice and had a shockingly good inflight magazine.
Singapore is gearing up for their Golden Jubilee, 50 years of independence. To celebrate, there are events every weekend with food and music, leading up to the actual celebration on August 9th. There were fireworks shortly after we checked in, and a parade that we had apparently just missed. While bummed about missing the yourparade and fireworks we were happily surprised the next day when we got free admission to the Singapore Art Gallery. Many of the buildings were lit up with the Singaporean flag or SG50 logos, while we missed the biggest celebrations, everything still had a very fun and festive feel.
Singapore also has a quickly growing craft brewery culture that seems largely fueled by the diverse expat community. We only managed to try one of the breweries, Boulevard Brewing. I like the beer from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City a little better myself, but it was fun to sit down and enjoy a big full flavored beer every now and then. The car show of a parking lot out front helped as well. I tend to be the most impressed by efficiency in cars, but even I got pretty excited by the 10 supercars in the parking lot. Watching them all leave at once brought me back to reality though. Ten people drove ten cars out of the parking lot and it took about 10 minutes because they all kept trying to push ahead of each other at 2 mph to get out the gate first, 10 minutes of deafening rumble in a courtyard parking lot as these guys jockeyed for position to get onto the 20mph road in their supercars. The glamour was fun for a little bit though.
Overall, I really appreciated the pedestrian access in Singapore. It was nice that crossing roads didn’t take equal doses of bravery and stupidity. It was nice being able to just walk around and see things without being offered rides/deals/whatever every couple of minutes. Overall we had a really nice time in Singapore, if it wasn’t so expensive we would likely have spent longer there, but prices being about 10-20x the cost of Vietnam was too big of a jump, we found ourselves sitting in a random parking lot after about 40 hours in the city, waiting for our bus to Malacca. Sorry Singapore, maybe someday we’ll try again….