After the first day in Singapore, I had already fell in love with the beautiful city. It was time to go exploring some more, and I knew I would end up loving the city even more!
We planned to visit the island of Sentosa on our second day. It is also nicknamed the ‘Fun Island.’ It’s home to the Universal Studios in Singapore, as well as many other attractions, including an indoor skydiving centre, Segways, the beaches, Aquarium, Waterpark and many others. I had been told to visit the island via cable car. The views looked incredible on pictures, but unfortunately when we visited, the cable cars were shut for maintenance, so we had to get to the island via the Sentosa Express. It was a lot cheaper (around £4 for a return), you still get some great views, but you are cramped in a small train carriage, that is similar to being stuck on the underground in London during rush hour.
Not knowing the cable cars were shut, we decided to walk down from our hostel. On the way, we decided to go visit Little India. It was another recommendation to us, although one we wished we hadn’t of had. After visiting Kampong Glam neighbourhood the day before, and falling in love, we thought we would love Little India. But sadly that wasn’t the case. We stopped off at the Sultan Mosque, as we had only seen it from a distance the day before. It really is a beautiful building, and being a Sunday morning, there were all the locals going in for their morning prayer. After spending a few weeks previously in Thailand, and seeing temples that are very similar to one another, it was nice to see a religious building that was different. It was like being in a scene from Aladin. If you’re ever in Singapore, even if you’re not religious, the building is definitely worth a look.
The Sultan Mosque in the Kampong Glam Area
We carried on our walk to the Little India neighbourhood. We were quite excited to see it, after being told lovely things, and seeing how lovely the Kampong Glam neighbourhood was. We got to the outskirts of the area, and we were quite confused to how quiet, and unclean it was. Something we had noticed in the Kampong Glam area, and the Marina Bay, was how clean Singapore was. There were no rubbish about, and the buildings were immaculate. This wasn’t the case for the outskirts of the Little India neighbourhood. Sofas were chucked in peoples gardens, gangs of youths were stood hanging around staring, and there was a lot of rubbish on the streets. We carried on walking into the main spot of Little India, in the hope to find something “better.” But we were just faced walking down market streets, full of men, no women or children in sight. We were the odd ones out, and obviously being white British women, we stood out. The men were staring as we walked by, and we felt very uncomfortable. We came to a street where there were lots of gold shops. It would have been nice to stay and have a look, and as there were a few women and children, but again, they were just staring at us. We felt very unwelcome. The streets were dirty, and there was nothing that caught our eye and made us want to stay, or visit the area again. We just quickly checked our map, and walked down towards the cable cars to head across to Sentosa. This was the first time I felt a bit unsafe in Singapore. I was glad I was with my friend, rather than on my own. Whether it was just unlucky the day that we went, as I’ve read great stuff about it, but unfortunately, it was my least favourite place in Singapore that we visited. Personally I wouldn’t recommend people to bother going there.
We walked down to the cable cars, and I slowly realised again that Singapore is a beautiful city, despite experiencing one bad place that morning. If you’re in Singapore, walk to places. You’ll see a lot more, and some of the buildings you come across are beautiful. I wouldn’t say I’m hugely into my architecture, and neither was my friend, but a lot of the buildings made us stop on our feet and take pictures. It’s also a lot cheaper than catching a taxi!
We got to Bugis Street, something we hadn’t heard of, but just shows that walking places, you do find things, you wouldn’t have come across otherwise. It was where all your typical high street shops were. So if you want to do a bit of shopping in Singapore, and don’t want to rob a bank, this is the area to go to. There was also your typical high street restaurants, such as Nando’s etc. There were a few fast food places as well, such as subway. So whatever your budget, you’ll be able to find something to eat in this area.
It’s quite hot in Singapore, so after spending most of the morning walking, we chose to use the metro to finish our journey to the cable cars. It cost us under £1 for a single journey, and the process was easy. Definitely the better mode of transport to get around the city, although it didn’t seem as advanced as London, as it didn’t give you access to the whole of city, just parts of it. So if you visited certain parts of the city, you would still need to get a taxi or bus, if you didn’t want to walk. I personally prefer the underground, so for me it was a negative side to Singapore.
Using the Metro in Singapore
We got to the cable cars to find out that they were closed for a few weeks, due to maintenance, so we would have to use the Sentosa Express instead. It was chaotic, but this could have been down to the fact it was the only way to get into Sentosa at the time. The cable cars were more money, but you had the experience of the views across Singapore, so most definitely worth it. We got into Sentosa and we could tell straight away it’s a haven for families with children. If you hate those kind of areas, avoid this island.
A beach in Sentosa
We chose to not visit Universal Studios Singapore. It was only around £40-50, but it’s nowhere near as big as your Universal Studios in America. If we would have had a few more days in Singapore, I would have most definitely gone. Instead we went down to the beach area. We were quite surprised how nice the beaches were. The sand was crystal white, and fairly clean. The water also looked crystal clear, although after going for a paddle, we found it was full of rubbish and quite dirty. Plenty of people were swimming in it, and kids were playing in it though. You could see all the cargo ships lined up in the distance, so we gathered that’s why there was so much rubbish. We went to one of the beach bars for a drink, and surprisingly found it was cheaper than the Marina Bay prices. It was happy hour, but a cider was around £4/5, so similar price for a pint of cider back in London. It was full of English, so definitely look out for the bars that are full of English folks, as it’s usually a good sign it has cheap beer. Us English love our beer! We had a wander around the island, and came across the most southern point in Continental Asia. It’s definitely something impressive to say you’ve done, and a perfect photo opportunity.
Most Southern Point in Continental Asia
Universal Studios Singapore
After an afternoon exploring the island, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe on the island. I have a thing about visiting Hard Rock Cafes in the different cities I visit. So thought it would be the perfect opportunity to tick one off the list. It’s not your usual, typical Hard Rock Cafe and although it was a nice bar, it definitely hasn’t been one of the best Hard Rock Cafe’s that I’ve visited. (So far number 1 is that one I visited in Prague!) I had a lovely Mocktail, then we headed back on the Sentosa Express to the main city of Singapore.
To be continued…