A curious city, indeed. You can feel the freedom and high standard of living in the air, but on the other hand, you can also see immaculately lined schoolchildren singing the national anthem while the flag is being hoisted. I dare say we saw more telephones and suchlike portable devices than people during our stay. Why would children carry two phones? We have the proof! We take photos of ourselves at every step.
Yet another good side of Singapore is the fact that the city is actually Indochina in miniature. The Chinese quarter is very well developed, the Indian quarter is even more developed, but the most developed part of the city is the Financial quarter. The living standard is high and it’s not cold. Singapore is also the ideal place for continuing your journey. Last minute tickets can be found at laughable prices.
What is cheap? Being a port city, Singapore has somehow managed to develop an interesting system of procurement of goods. Sim Lim Square (aka SLS) is the famous retail complex where you can purchase cutting-edge goods from shipping containers at a price far lower than in our region. Of course, you won’t get any information about the origin of the goods. You shouldn’t even ask that question since everything is legal and comes with a valid receipt. For instance, the price of G15 in Serbia at the time was €510 and we traded it for a mere €300. Haggling is an absolute necessity and the way to get the best bargain is to say something like “I’m not really sure I need this”.
Haggling is an absolute necessity and the way to get the best bargain is to say something like “I’m not really sure I need this”.
It’s such a turn-on that they immediately start to strut. We found haggling immensely enjoyable, since we were totally inexperienced in that respect. Electronic goods are very cheap, but should not be purchased in shopping malls. Just in Sim Lim. Here’s the link www.simlimsquare.com.sg. There is yet another thing that is cheap, but we won’t prattle on incessantly about that. It’s just enough to say: prostitutes and McDonald’s. But we will chatter about the absolutely amazing street food. Street food, although a trifle slimy, is truly delicious. Everybody, from yuppies to small kids, eats at food corners.
There are two eating venues we would like to recommend. Needless to say, one of them is the famous Chinese quarter, but the food corner in the photo below, located in the vicinity of Boat Quay, proved to be just our cup of tea. I think we got hooked more to chopsticks than the food. They are so versatile that you can shove them absolutely everywhere.
What is great about Singapore is that some things are provided free of charge. First of all, Wi-Fi service is available at every place via the national operator. There are also tourist attractions that are free and open to the public. One of them is the “Symphony of light and water”. This masterful show starts every night at 8 pm in front of the Sand’s Bay hotel. It’s the one with three towers and a pool at the very top (we will tell you more about it in one of the posts yet to be published).
All things considered, Singapore is absolutely worth a visit. It’s an exhilarating experience packed with a variety of interesting stuff. You can find cheap things and ways to get by, but Singapore has by no means been randomly named the second most expensive city in the world. We won’t visit it again, because we go by the rule that the world is too big a place to go somewhere twice, except for a lunch at your mother’s. That is a must!
Tips on how to save money:
- Eat at Food corners.
- Stay at cabin hostels. It’s definitely the cheapest form of accommodation in Singapore.
- The marina is so amazing that a simple stroll and a visit to the Merlion (the Singapore lion spurting water out of its mouth) or the symphony of light and water are more than enough to experience Singapore in a truly authentic way.
- Buy air tickets on a whim! AirAisa has last minute offers across Indochina for only €5. Of course, you should bear in mind visa restrictions.