Another new Asian destination and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get to Singapore. A Southeast Asian City that has always been high on the priority list and finally there was another tick on the bucket list.
For this adventure, it’s another solo trip, and I plan on doing a lot of walking during my brief stay and visiting many attractions like Gardens by the Bay, Clarke Quay and Sentosa Island, to only rattle off a few attractions.
However, this is the day one of Singapore Diaries, and I need to settle in before getting hard-core of what Singapore has to offer.
The decision was justified to say the least because it wasn’t exactly plain sailing getting to Singapore, all because I chose the cheap option and more extended option, which included a seven-hour stopover in Bali, which had a few complicated issues on arrival.
For whatever reason, the friendly staff Ngurah Airport in Bali found it odd that I would want to stay in transit at their airport for seven hours, keeping in mind I arrived at midnight and was departing at seven that morning. What else was I gonna do?
At that time, the airport security was refusing me entry until closer to boarding time, keeping in mind I already had my boarding pass. I told them I had a 6-hour pass at the Premier Lounge inside the terminal and I wanted a refund if I didn’t get through. That shut them up and hence, in the end, they allowed me permission into the transit area.
So, I finally made it to the Premier Lounge, worth every money too, with free food, drinks, comfortable chairs and showers, but for whatever reason security was not finished with me yet, and while I was sleeping, they woke me up to check my passport and boarding passes once more.
Frustrating, I know.
Anyway, nothing came of it, I enjoyed the following 6 hours in the Premier Lounge and finally flew with Air Asia to Singapore, where the adventures began.
Highlights of Singapore Diaries: Day 1 – New Adventures in Singapore
Checking in at Fragrance Hotel – Shappire
It’s what you call a real budget hotel that is situated in the Geylang area of Singapore, and anyone that knows Singapore well will know Geylang is not the fanciest part of the island.
With the Fragrance Hotel – Sapphire, you get what you pay for, limited amenities, small room and no swimming pool to escape the heat. But what it does have, is a comfortable bed, a shower, a television, tea and coffee and air-conditioning, so what else is it you need really.
For a bonus, the hotel management even gave me an extra early check-in, so they will also help out when they can. Not bad for a budget hotel that goes for around $60 Aussie dollars.
Wandering Around Geylang
Geylang is what you call the naughty area of Singapore, the legalised naughty area that is, and in this country, Geylang is the most popular red-district area of Singapore.
Red-district means, legal prostitution, adults shops, gambling and so forth, but don’t be alarmed; it’s not as scary or naughty as it seems, especially if you don’t go looking for it.
In saying that, Geylang is not as upmarket as the city centre, and while everything is organised along the streets, the buildings are old and rundown, the hotels need a fresh coat of paint and perhaps it needs the footpaths widened. But heck, it’s scattered with plenty of excellent restaurants that are as cheap as chips and the $4-dollar noodle duck was delicious.
The Amazing Suntec City
Suntec City is simply a city within a city and courtesy of a trusted Uber drive from the hotel, it was time to go a little upmarket, and Suntec City is exactly that piece of modern class.
Suntec City is a lot rolled into one, a large shopping complex with all the major retail chains, a Sky Garden with top-class restaurants, up above that you have your business buildings and the luxury apartments for those who can ever afford it.
If you step outside in the middle of Suntec City, you can see five towering buildings that makeup Suntec City as they hover all over you, it is a sight to see, especially with the famous Fountain of Wealth dazzling on display for everyone to see.
Getting Lost on Singapore MRT
I’ll be honest; The Singapore Rail System is going to take a bit of getting used to doing. Especially with different rail lines crossing all over the place. But just like the Seoul Subway System in South Korea, it’s only a matter of time and getting used to the colour systems to get the hang of it.
On day one, I only used the train for a brief few stops and even then, I found it complicated and in a bit of a spin. Although after a long night and day, I was fatigued, and I was in no mood to be fighting with the train system.
So, after a bit of a look around in the City, I took the easy option and ordered a Uber ride back to the hotel, more expensive yes, but a lot less complicated for how I was feeling at this point.
I will leave trains for day two.