The penultimate travel diary blog post. Our epic 10 month adventure travelling to 18 countries around the world is coming to an end, but we still had five nights in Singapore (officially the Republic of Singapore) and a week in Dubai to enjoy before flying home.
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore’s airport has been voted as one of the best in the world for years and it’s not hard to see why. There is so much you can do here, and a lot is free.
As soon as we landed from Krabi in Thailand, we walked straight over to Jewel – a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex housing the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
Stretching over seven floors with water cascading down from the dome-shaped roof at a towering height of 40m, the HSBC ‘Rain Vortex’ is an absolutely spectacular piece of architecture.
Having five full days to explore was a welcome change in not having to cram everything into a short period of time, but it was probably two too many.
This afternoon, we walked from our hotel located on Bencoolen St past CHIJMES and the Raffles Hotel (famous for founding the Singapore Sling cocktail) to the Marina Promenade.
We’ve been on the High Roller, (the world’s tallest giant observation wheel) in Las Vegas, the London Eye (first ever big wheel) and now the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s tallest observation wheel at 165m.
Tickets cost $40 SGD / £25 p/p to see panoramic views over the Marina Bay district and city skyline.
Back to the airport!
You may wonder why we chose to go back to Singapore Changi Airport today considering we weren’t due to leave for another few days, but we decided to be big kids and check out the Canopy Park because the weather was dumpy.
From luxury designer outlets, Michelin star restaurants and the Canopy Park, there is so much to do at Jewel. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore.
We purchased Bundle Deal 2 for $54 SGD / £34 p/p which included entry to the Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden, Topiary Walk, Mastercard® Canopy Bridge, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze, Walking Net and Bouncing Net. Overall, this was excellent value for money.
I particularly enjoyed bouncing around on the nets, getting lost in the two mazes and watching the tram pass through Jewel from the Canopy Bridge.
This evening, we headed over to Clifford Pier at Merlion Park for more amazing views of the Marina Bay district.
We then walked around to the unmissable Marina Bay Sands – a Las Vegas style luxury hotel complex complete with a state of the art casino, more luxury designer outlets, Michelin star restaurants and the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool.
Em suggested eating at a restaurant chain called Black Tap. We dined here in Las Vegas and really enjoyed the food and the CrazyShake® milkshakes. They were just as good as the first time.
Big Bus Sightseeing
From exploring 30 countries across five continents, we’ve found that one of the best ways of exploring a big, widespread city is via a sightseeing tour with the hop-on, hop-off Big Bus Tours company.
A 1-day ticket for $61 / £38 p/p enabled us to ride on both the red and yellow routes. To begin with, we travelled along the yellow line. This passed by the city’s most iconic sights including Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Suntec City, Singapore Flyer, Raffles Hotel and the Botanic Gardens.
After lunching at EggSlut – another favourite food chain of ours, we then hopped off to have a look around Chinatown, Hadji Lane and Little India on the red route before getting the MRT (mass rapid transit) back to our hotel.
Using public transport is most definitely the way to travel in Singapore primarily because it’s the most expensive country in the world to own a car. This is largely as a result of taxes aimed at discouraging car ownership. According to Guinness World Records, the average price of a car costs $84,412 / £64,359.
Vehicle owners must also obtain a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) to register and drive in Singapore for a period of 10 years. Unbelievably, this can cost anywhere between $70,000 – $100,000 extra.
You won’t find many cars on the road older than a decade because they have to be de-registered (unless the owner is willing to pay a huge surcharge).
This evening, we got the train to Bayfront to watch the ‘Garden Rhapsody‘ performed at Supertree Grove – part of Gardens by the Bay, one of Asia’s premier horticultural destinations. This was a real spectacle of light and sound. We enjoyed the show so much we went back to watch it again an hour later.
Afterwards, we tried looking around the lavish 15,000-square metre casino inside the Marina Bay Sands complex. However, this was harder to get into than Fort Knox. You needed your passport and proof of address. We came back the day after.
Gardens by the Bay – Cloud Forest, Flower Dome & Marina Bay Sands Skydeck
This afternoon, we went back to the Supertree Grove to walk along the 128m long OCBC Skyway suspended at 22m above the ground. The views of Singapore’s most iconic hotel and ‘Supertrees’ were amazing.
We then bought a combo ticket for $53 SGD / £33 p/p to check out the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.
The Cloud Forest was the highlight of the two. I’m not particularly a lover of nature, but I really enjoyed seeing all of the plant life around the 35-metre tall ‘Cloud Mountain’.
There was also an Avatar theme throughout the Forest. One of the experiences involved stepping into a simulator which turned us into indigenous Na’vi characters and the other involved riding a banshee.
Admittedly, we didn’t spend half as long looking at the thousand-year old olive trees, magnolias and orchids across five continents in the Flower Dome – the World’s Largest Glass Greenhouse.
To end our time in Singapore, we went up to the Skypark Observation Deck at Marina Bay Sands for the most incredible views of the city skyline.
We missed our flight…
But it wasn’t our fault! Our travel agent forgot to reschedule our cancelled Sri Lankan Airways flights departing Singapore at 09:00 AM to Dubai via Colombo.
Instead, we spent most of the day in the airport waiting for our eight hour flight at 20:25 PM to Dubai via Doha with Qatar Airways.
As always, if you’d like to keep up-to-date with our adventure, you can either enter your email at the bottom of this article to receive instant notifications every time I post a new blog; click the Follow ‘Al’ Around The World link, or drop me a follow on Twitter at @AlecW95 or on Instagram at @AlecW95 or @alatw95.
Alternatively, you can follow Emily on her travelling TikTok account at @emstraveladventure.
Thanks for reading, until the next time…