Arriving in Singapore, we had only a handful of things we knew we wanted to check out, but we knew that Singapore had more to offer. In Singapore, to resolve that issue, we got tickets for the HIPPO bus and boat. The hop on, hop off bus and boat gives you a great tour of the city, providing entertaining insight all from the comfort of your seat.
So after Changi Airport, did Singapore have anything else to offer us? Yes, absolutely. Our perception of Singapore before arriving was a city of polished beauty, not tainted by dust let alone gum, candy wrappers or cigarette butts. Singapore is not quite that city, it almost is, but in our minds if Singapore is not, then no city can be that dustless oasis.
The city though is amazing, and without exaggeration is clean, probably a little cleaner than most major cities in the world. What makes Singapore amazing though is the way the city exhibits so clearly her unique strengths and heart. For example, retail is a huge sector for the Singapore economy, and they know how to retail, 24 hours in a lot of place, we’re talking department stores here. The retail district along Orchard Road was a spectacular display of Holiday decorations and light, and one of the most impressive Christmas oriented exhibitions I have ever seen. This kind of atmosphere is sure to put anyone into the Holiday spirit, contributing to a generous gift buying mood.
Secondly, Singapore is extremely pragmatic in city planning and development. Everywhere you see an old church that is now a theatre, or an old theatre that is now a police station. Best of all, its all on display, and beautiful in design and utility. Singapore is not a cheap city, but the power of tourist draw this city has is impressive, and they are continuing to build entire islands, like Sentosa Island, that will entertain millions of tourists around the world in the years to come.
The nightlife areas in Singapore are also well designed and you can find anything that your palate might desire. Singapore seems to take a bit of everything from all the rich nations that surround, and the culture of the city benefits from that absorbing quality.
Singapore is also the second busiest port in the world, next to Shanghai. I really have to applaud Singapore though, as their port looks like the well maintained F1 or NASCAR garage, immaculate and orderly. Shanghai looks like a bomb went off in that port, and people are climbing out of the rubble.
Our 4 nights in Singapore quickly came and went, but our admiration for the city and her people will remain always. Beautiful, cultured, always changing and improving, and essentially pragmatic for the city and its citizens. Amazing Singapore!
I do believe that you will find Assisi, Italy to be a dustless town, so don't give up! (Also, as Terry might well know, Berlin and most of Germany is pretty clean…)
Any tips on accommodation in Singapore?
Urte, I'm glad you brought up the cleanliness relative to cities. I'm sure the whole "cleanliness" factor of Singapore is some concocted marketing scheme by Singapore's tourist bureau, or urban myth tied to their banning of gum and fines related to littering. Relative to most modern cities in the world (United States, Europe, Japan, Australia), Singapore is no cleaner, and in most cases a little dirtier. However, if you are looking at Singapore in the context of Asia alone, I have to give them an edge in cleanliness, as they were one of the cleanest.
Amazing, as they say – "Uniquely Singapore" 🙂 It's amazing indeed… but accommodation ain't cheap. Transportation either and you have to know and respect all those very strict laws!
Not even 2 weeks were enough for me, I couldn't get enough of Singapore. Been twice…