I promised myself, after having a taste of independent traveling in Hong Kong-Macau last year, that I needed to visit at least one or two countries a year (Well, goals make us hardworking right?). The feeling of traveling to an unfamiliar territory that is very much beyond my comfort zone and being able to successfully conquer it was a very cathartic experience for me. And I just needed to do it again, and again, and again (Oh I just wish I had a never-ending supply of travel money). That very reason was the one that propelled me to have a second serving of INDEPENDENTLY traveling to another country. And yes, independence meant no adult companions.
For this trip, I managed to conquer Singapore-Malaysia in my quest to see the world one place at a time. I traveled with Pao the boyf, my good friend Eliza and Francis, Eliza’s boyfriend. And it was definitely a trip to remember!
Singapura is the new definition of CLEAN
Singapore is highly progressive. From what I’ve read, Singapore has very minimal rainforest left, with most of their land reclaimed due to urbanization.
“Clean and Green” would aptly describe how I saw Singapore. It is seriously spotlessly clean everywhere. That is why I am an avid supporter of Singapore being a “fine” city, considering that almost everyone is conscientious of their actions lest they will be fined. Look to your left, and then to your right, you will not see any trash in sight! Perhaps, their fine system is highly effective complemented by the high tax imposed on cigarette smoking. No chewing gums, no cigarettes, no excess litter to strew over the city. That way, trash is minimized and its citizens are conscientious enough to think first before they act.
How I wish the same system would be applied here in the Philippines, for a cleaner and greener Philippines. What a lovely sight it could be. Imagine, a picturesque landscape of blue and greens of our precious tourist spots, without evidence of any trash = Perfect!
Perhaps, for those who know me, it is apparent that I very much like to explore food from all over- be it my own country or another country! Food and culture are my foremost criteria in my personal standards of seeing a country. And I can very much say that the food aspect of Singapore made me embrace its cuisine. They say that Singapore is a fusion of various cultures. Its population is comprised of: Chinese, Malay, Indian, and finally, Singaporean. Perhaps it explains why their food is a fusion of different cultures as well, but mostly dominated by the Chinese cuisine. But nevertheless, I would still get intermittent cravings of Chicken Rice and Xiao Long Bao. That may be evidence enough that I appreciated Singaporean food.
But there’s one thing that is extremely expensive in Singapore: WATER. A normal bottled water would cost about 2 SGD or around 70+ PHP in local currency. Talk about gold water!
Since Singapore’s land area is just very small, it is easy to go around its places. . It was really relieving to be in a place where public transportation is very much accessible where it is hassle-free as it served as a gateway to all the tourist destinations. Hence, we took advantage of Singapore’s progressive mass transportation and hopped on and off a public bus, a public train, and cabs.
Singapore is known to be a gadget hub and it has a following among avid gadget geeks. Electronic gadgets are sold in a much lower price in Singapore. You can save as much as around Php 20,000 in a purchase. My good friend Janie advised me to visit Funan just in case I wanted to buy some gadgets. Sim Lim in Little India is also a popular destination, but my friend Janie warned me that Funan may be the better alternative compared to Sim Lim.
I tend to shop abroad even if I tell myself not to. Why? Because clothing outlets sold outside the country seem very promising and I’m sure the clothes in season there are not here in the country. Thus, the temptation to shop. And the cliche, “live life to the fullest”. To some extent, I think of savoring the moment too much that I get carried away, when I am not supposed to. So for all the girls who have the same problem as I do when presented with various retail finds, here’s what you will find in Singapore shopping. There are lots of outlet stores in Singapore. Forever 21, Esprit, Giordano, Bossini, Cotton On, Samsonite, Charles and Keith to name a few. Cotton On seemed to be my best friend for the trip as I availed of their buy 1, take 1 dress deals. Awesome awesome.
You like Budget Shopping? Try Bugis Street Shopping in Bugis Junction. I have to make a separate blog about it since I literally went gaga over their cheaply priced clothes. 10 SGD baby!
C. Refunding GST
The best thing about Singapore shopping is that you are able to refund GST or Government Service Tax. Singapore does not charge taxes to its tourists. If you were able to purchase 100 SGD in a single receipt, you are entitled to get a refund (yes, money back guaranteed) when you claim it in the airport.
Pretty much, that’s Singapore in a nutshell! I managed to enjoy all the sights that we visited and devoured all the food that I could. Thank you Singapore!