The Far East is an undiscovered horizon for many westerners. From places like Bangkok, to the misty haze of China, Asia and the Far East feels like such a different place, that it may as well be another planet. But, for the budding traveler in you and the “East” has only formed part of your vocabulary when being part of the phrase “Easter Egg, Singapore is one of those places that envelops you. It becomes part of you (in a good way). There are so many different places in Singapore that you can integrate into a lifestyle that’s not just for the inherent traveler in you, but places that can make you want to settle down and live there. So, what places are there that will make you want to pack up your Western life and head out east?
The Bay Areas
Being on the coast, you are naturally going to get a view of some of the most fantastic Bay areas in the world. Gardens By The Bay is located in the Bay area (as the name suggests), but doesn’t evoke the same images as a typical bay. In fact, this place is a vast futuristic park. The park boasts extravagant seashell shaped greenhouses, and the Supertree structures highlight the sheer scope and magnitude of the gardens. The skywalk, in particular, which goes over the gardens, is a sight to behold. But the best place to get a real understanding of the size of the Bay is from the top of the Marina Bay Sands. This is directly opposite Gardens by the Bay, and its 250 acres of land on the Singapore waterfront, is a thing of beauty. Marina Bay itself is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore now. Having undergone an epic transformation, the Marina Bay Sands complex is the undisputed highlight of the Bay. From the various attractions, such as the Casino and Science museum, there is also astonishing imagery, in the shape of the light show, which takes place at 8 p.m. every evening.
The Shopping Locations
It’s not just about the cheapest items on a shopping trip, but the experience you have while strolling through there. Chinatown is one of the highlights of Singapore, where you can explore the restaurants, and get shopping bargains in abundance. In fact, many people swear to be the cheapest place to get souvenirs. Other places include Orchard Road, which is a shopping hub that you cannot escape on your visit! On top of the infinite amount of choice with regards to department stores, restaurants, cafes and boutiques, if you’re looking for a location that is right in the heart of the action. Living in a place like this is quite straightforward. The Housing Development Board (HDB) of Singapore has many options on their website for an HDB room rental, so you can pick an apartment that is within your budget and close to the action. If you really want to live in Singapore, then you might not consider a shopping area to be the most obvious of locations, but when you’re seeking somewhere that is the beating heart of an inner city area, shopping locations provides so much choice, on a cultural and personal level.
Understandably, if you are based on the coast, there are going to be beaches in abundance. In fact, the island of Sentosa was purpose-built for fun, recreation, and relaxation. While Sentosa is quite tourist heavy, and houses Resorts World, Tiger Sky Tower, as well as Universal Studio Singapore, the numerous sandy beaches along the southern coast of the island gives you the perfect opportunity to calm down, put your feet up, and enjoy the panoramic views of the Southern Coast. If you’re looking to get yourself wet, just take a dive in the ocean, and experience some of the beautiful sea creatures up close and personal. Of course, if you’re looking for a bit more adventure to your life, the Tanjong Beach Club, as well as the adventure Cove Waterpark provides two options of many!
The Esplanade is an entertainment area that is quite expensive. $180 to see a performance in this beautiful area is definitely worth the money, but if you haven’t got the cash, your alternative is to head down to the Esplanade every Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Esplanade – On The Waterfront is a free event that showcases various musical performances. Regardless of your music taste, it is catered for! It’s one of those places that bring the party and soul vibe to every weekend. So if you were to hypothetically live in this area, after a long week of working, you can head down to the Esplanade on a Friday night, and get that Friday feeling listening to some great tunes.
The Cafe Cultures
If you are mourning some of your home comforts, such as your morning coffee, there are numerous cafes that boast places for calm relaxing contemplation. In fact, there are so many it would be impossible to list! So, we’ll just mention a handful, Riders Cafe is great if you like brunch on a weekend, but be sure to book. The Club Street Social offers a diverse menu, as does Food For Thought. In fact, this is a very affordable breakfast; just make sure you go for the pancakes the first time you get there. Necessary provisions is a cafe that does exactly what the name suggests, you can order the basics, especially if you need to settle down, get your laptop out and do some work. A great thing about Singapore in general is the sense of hustle and bustle, but when you want to get away from this, ducking into a side cafe, ordering your favorite coffee, and relaxing with a book is exactly what you need to wind down.
The Relaxing Areas
You can find so many areas that can be your “relaxation spot”, but there are so many outdoor areas that you can go and relax, and get some sort of rejuvenation. The Cavenagh Bridge at Boat Quay is pretty popular with tourists, especially with the offers of the Footsteps Of Singapore’s Past With Afternoon Tea, but you can stay away from all this hubbub and take time to chill out on the grassy areas, lie down, and stare at the sky. This isn’t the only place, the SkyPark deck at Marina Bay Sands, while still full of hustle and bustle, makes you feel far away from all of this. An honorable mention: when you’re looking for an opportunity for some quiet contemplation, you can head to the Marina Barrage, and get a kite! While generally hot and humid and not conducive to kites on the surface, this area is home to a throng of kite flyers. Kite flying is one of those hobbies that can take you away from the banalities of normal life and let you be a child again.
Singapore is more than just a hot and humid country far away from your modest existence; it’s full of the cultures of every part of the world. So for all of its attractions to cater for the tourist market, there are so many other things that, if you were to live there, will make you feel like you are part of the furniture. It’s not such a foreign land, and if you are considering heading out east, you should make Singapore your first port of call. The various attractions and sights to behold makes Singapore somewhere that has so many obvious places of beauty, but also understated areas where you can relax, that makes it a perfect place to visit and never want to leave.
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