A new country and a new Visa, passport is slowly filling up a bit too quickly and the thought of running out of space within the next few months is quite scary but I arrived into Singapore on a bus from Malacca. There was one other traveller onboard who was a German, for some reason he wasn’t a talkative traveller so in went the headphones and a catch up with UK podcasts. The bus pulled into Malaysian customs and the bus driver ordered us off, so as usual I just followed everyone else. The German decided to talk at last, asking whether I knew on the process! Ahhh a newbie on the circuit, with a shrug of my shoulders I told him to follow everyone else and off he did, walking at the speed of a gazelle. A quick check of my passport and straight through the other end where the bus driver was looking a bit impatient. Onto the bus through to the Island of Singapore and straightaway you noticed how clean and nice the place looked and this was only the border control! It was totally efficient and quick, straight through with a new visa in my passport. Impatient bus driver was waiting for me as again I was the last to turn up. Sorry mate, but it’s not my fault that I’m a foreigner and it takes longer for me to go through.
Driving for about 45 minutes and the bus stopped, in the middle of nowhere and all the passengers were ushered off. The German bloke looked confused as I was, not having a clue where we were. Travellers instinct took over and I headed over the road to a shopping centre knowing that there would be a coffee shop and WIFI, explaining to the German he followed like a lapdog. Thank god for Costa and even better helpful staff who must have seen the backpacks and had sympathy. I had not booked a hostel but had been recommended the Green Kiwi so that was where I was going. I was told the bus number, where to get it from and then which metro to get! I got to the hostel at about 7 after a long long walk from getting off at the metro station. First impressions of Singapore? As I’ve already said it is clean, however the street where the hostel had litter in places but not as bad as a normal UK street. The people were polite and helpful to a point that the bus driver before getting off the bus, gave me directions to the metro station and told me how to get a ticket which obviously held up the bus but no one complained, he also told me to have a good stay in Singapore!
The plan was to stay in Singapore for 3 nights, mainly because I heard that the country was expensive and my budget would be wasted. However the hostel was as cheap as any normal hostel in Asia and was as decent as any other. So that was the plan, however I was directed to a cafe on arrival at the hostel as I was starving and it was cheap cheap cheap. Full plate of traditional Singapore food for £2, maybe the country wasn’t that bad as people made out. So with a full stomach and a long day of travelling it was bed time and after trying to fend off a very inquisitive Singapore guy who was asking me question after question I got to sleep.
First full day in a new country and time to explore! Plenty of information at the reception and the good old hop on hop off bus is here. Getting the bus stop information I jumped on and got the tour of the place. Singapore is skyscrapers everywhere and you can smell the money oozing out of the place and the people. I’m feeling a pauper in my t-shirt and shorts that I’ve had on for 2 days. I get off the bus a few times and looking at the men in their expensive suits and I do feel like a scruff. There are shopping malls everywhere and its all a bit too expensive for my liking but totally loving it. The afternoon was spent at the Singapore Museum and then the main place where the British Army had their command at Bunkers Hill. The history of the country is amazing especially after the independence and finding out how one man made a small Island in Asia a major country of the world. Back to the hostel and another cheap meal at the restaurant round the corner, then into socialise with other people in the hostel however no one wants to talk. I grab a couple of beers from behind reception and head to the roof top garden to chill and catch up with a few facetimes with friends and family, then working out flights for leaving Singapore. I book a flight to Jakarta which will be the next destination and know that 3 nights is enough.
Waking up and helping myself to the free breakfast I try and work out where I’m going to explore for the day! The receptionist tell me that I have to go to Sentosa Island where all the theme parks are, I’m told there is a nice beach there and its nice to look around. So off I go! Getting there I discovered that everything to do with theme parks is out of my price range, except for KFC, so not really the place that I should be looking around and the place is badly designed for trying to get around if you have no sense of direction. 3 hours of walking trying to find these awesome beaches and I find them to be a little bit disappointed, they are more interested in beach bars then having a decent beach so my time go back to the hostel as I was tired, the heat and the walking has done me in. I also had found out that there was a music festival that night so wanted to get back to clean myself up. At the hostel I get back at the same time as a British guy is booking in, Jordan had only just got into Singapore and was staying for a couple of days before heading off to Australia to backpack for 6 months. After talking for a bit with a beer of course, he says that he wants to come with me to the music festival! So that night we went out to the social scene and thats when I found out how expensive Singapore is, especially cocktails! Singapore sling for £10, my god that was a punch to the wallet but who cares, you’re only in a music festival once in your life in Singapore. It was a late night and copious amount of alcohol and time to go, especially with a flight in the morning! Ive no idea how I dragged myself out of bed in the morning but I did and backpack on my back it was time to head for the airport. It’s at this point that I realised that I should have stayed an extra night to see a bit more of the Island seeing as I had someone to go round with but too late. Indonesia…. here I come
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