I was gripped by a sense of excitement upon arriving in Singapore for a two day stopover before moving onto Vietnam. I hadn’t been to Singapore for ten years and was eager to see the changes that had been made. Things didn’t get off to a great start when the taxi driver had no idea where our hotel was located, despite me showing him the print out from Booking.com that included the address. After a few missed turns and a dash the wrong way down a one-way street, he proudly announced that we had arrived.
Damn – I had gone too cheap again! The outside of The Daulat located in the Little India district wasn’t the most appealing. A quick glance to the right, and is that . . . ah yes it is . . . ‘a gentleman’s club’. Now the wife does like her little luxuries, but she also knows how I love a bargain – two world’s collide yet again.
Now this is Singapore, a bit of luxury can be extremely expensive, so surely I will be forgiven? After all it’s only two nights. The other thing about Singapore is the lack of space, rooms tend to be on the small side. Our room was slightly larger than our wardrobe at home. I admire the ingenuity of the designer to fit everything one could need into such a small space, but it was a little claustrophobic. We agreed to make the most of it (what else?) and put on a brave front by saying ‘it’s just somewhere to sleep’, and ‘well at least it’s clean’, and ‘we will laugh about this one day’. All true.
Singapore is renowned for its great shopping malls, and if that’s your thing you will be in heaven. Everything from the world’s top designer brands to a selfie stick can be found here. Don’t expect things to be any cheaper though, particularly the high-end stuff. Whilst browsing in the mall connected to the Marina Bay Sands complex a lovely shirt caught my eye. Feeling like I deserved to treat myself I ushered the wife into the shop to take a closer look. Of course nothing was priced, and the old saying popped into my mind “If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it”. Undeterred, I casually asked the salesman the price of the shirt that had brought me into the shop. Just $2000 sir. He kept a straight face, and I soon realised he wasn’t joking. Holding back a scream, I nonchalantly shrugged and said . . mmm ok, not bad. We then left as soon as he had turned his back.
We found the best way to navigate Singapore was by MRT (Mass Rapid Transit which is the underground rail). We purchased a two-day unlimited pass. All Passes are sold with a fully-refundable smart card deposit of S$10. You can get your deposit back by taking the card to any of the ticket offices, conveniently there is one at the airport that you can use when departing.
Singapore is truly one of my favourite places. Yes, it is expensive (hello $18 beer), but you are paying for the cleanliness, the safety, the magnificent buildings, the technology, and much more.