Singapore, Malaysia.

We arrived at Singapore airport early afternoon, after a 2 hour flight in from Phuket. The airport was pretty modern and easy to navigate around so it wasn’t long before we collected our rucksacks from the baggage claim and were on the MRT train to our hotel. We had been warned that Singapore was expensive, therefore we did a bit of research beforehand and managed to find a pretty good deal on for a hotel in an area called Geylang, which was just a few train stops outside the CBD. The hotel we stayed at was called The Frangance Hotel- Pearl. It cost us just under 40GBP a night and although the room was tiny, it was clean, modern and everything we needed for our 3 nights in city.

We checked ourselves in to the room and were straight back out to explore the area. Geylang, surrounded by fast food restaurants and people selling viagra on the streets probably isn’t the nicest of places to be exploring so we headed straight along the river walk and followed it into the CBD. The walk from Gelling to the city centre probably took us about an hour (or 10 minutes on the train) but it was a nice day and the walk along the river was very pretty.. with the F1 race track along the right hand side of it which kept Gavin amused also!


As we arrived in the city centre the sun was just beginning to set and we walked around the marina we saw lots of running clubs, fitness classes and people exercising all around the water. It was a great atmosphere, and looked like one of the nicest places to workout as the marina was stunning with the sun setting over it. The marina was also pretty huge, so it took us a while to walk around whilst browsing at all the lovely little restaurants along it. It didn’t take long for hunger to kick in and we opted for a cheaper option of some take-away street style food round the other side of the marina. After dinner, we got the train back to our hotel and got showered and to bed early so we could start fresh the next day.

The following day we got up and had our breakfast early, and got the train straight into the city. It was another beautiful day so we headed straight for the botanical gardens. These gardens in Singapore were very different to any other botanical gardens I have ever seen. They were not all about just pretty flowers, but instead had many futuristic features within the gardens. Such as floating statutes, high rise over garden walks and specular views of the Marina Bay Sands Resort- which was the most expensive resort to build in world due to the challenging construction project that was undertaken to build it’s complex design.


After exploring the botanical gardens (aka. gardens of the future) we walked across the CBD to go on the Singapore flyer. The Singapore flyer is very similar to the London Eye. Although, surprisingly it was not flooded by tourists and there was no line whatever. We managed to get our ticket (for 33 Singapore Dollars / about 18GBP) and walk straight on, with a full cabin to ourselves- we might of actually been the only people on the whole wheel. Reaching a height of 525ft in the air at the top, the wheel took almost 30 minutes to do a full rotation. The cabin was fully air-conditioned and had a speaker with a voice telling you about the construction of the wheel, and various facts about the city of Singapore as you wheel up into the sky. With the futuristic city skyline views on one side and harbour obtained by vast numbers of oil tankers and container ships on the other, the views were surreal. I would definitely recommend as a must do tourist attraction in Singapore.


After the excitement of the high views, we treated ourselves to a gelato ice cream from a little parlour outside the back of the flyer entrance, where the woman serving us seemed to take a great liking to our Scottish accents, asking Gavin to repeat his order serval times. After a wee chat, we walked back along the riverside to our hotel. By this time, it was late afternoon and we decided to get changed into some running attire and run along to the Marina for the evening fitness rush. We ran from our hotel, along the river and round the F1 race track, getting to the marina just in time for the sun setting. After one lap around the marina, we were 6 miles on the clock and pretty bust from running in MUCH higher temperatures than what we are used to (Scotland is always cold FYI). We then grabbed dinner (and lots of water) from a wee place down at the Marina and got the train back to our hotel.


The following day we got up and decided to check out the Tree Top Walkway in the MacRitchie Nature Trail. We had read up as it being one of the top things to do on TripAdvisor, with the possibly of seeing monkeys as you walk through a tree-top level man-made walkway. We got the MRT train to Little India and walked to the MacRitchie Nature Trail from there, which itself was a fair walk away- probably around 45minutes. Once we got there, we walked the full nature trail and got treetop level views of the forest. We also saw loads of monkeys, squirrels and birds whilst wondering through the forest. It was quite strange to be able to walk around such a peaceful nature trail after being in the heart of the cities hustle and bustle. I would definitely recommend it for those looking for something a bit different than the classic touristy attractions in Singapore. It is amazing how close to some of the animals you can get while they are in their natural habitat, however I would warn (along with the many signs you will see throughout the nature trail) not to bring any food or plastic bags on the walk with you. Due to the fact that as soon as the monkeys hear the slightest bit of rustling of a bag or senses any form of food nearby, they go for it… and aren’t always nice about it- we were told of snarling teeth, snatching and even biting if your not careful.


By the time we walked back from the MacRitchie nature trail back to the CBD, it was late afternoon and we wondered about by the marina. Walking by, we just happened to spot a ‘Cat Cafe’ and decided to pop in a coffee. The upstairs cafe probably had about 12 cats all sleeping and playing in the cat lounge. Once you had purchased your drink you were given entry in and a little information sheet telling you the cat names and a bit about each of the cats, They were all rescue cats and you could tell that since being in the cat cafe they were well looked after.. maybe even a bit too well looked after considering the size of some of their bellies. We enjoyed our coffees here and spent some time playing with the cats. The majority of the cats were all very friendly and playful, there was a few lazy ones that didn’t seem to move the whole time we were there and were just quite happy being petted. If you like cats and have time while your in Singapore, I would recommend stopping by here. It’s a very relaxed little place and I suppose something different to your regular cafe or coffee shop.


After the cat cafe, we grabbed dinner and headed back to the hotel to pack our rucksacks up for our early morning flight the next morning.

Next stop: Bali, Indonesia.

Gillian O'Neil

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