Before arriving in Japan for my working holiday, I took a detour via Singapore on some good advice. The primary purpose of the visit was to go to Laneway Singapore - a music festival I've wanted to go to in Australia, but hey, there's a Singapore date so why not?
It was my first visit to Singapore and the humidity hit me as soon as we stepped out of the airport. A quick cab ride to our Airbnb took us straight into the Singapore lifestyle - our place was a small, but bright studio, in an old building that I think was primarily used for shops and workshops in its heyday.
To our pleasant surprise, Toast Box (a Singapore chain famous for its eggs, kopi and kaya toast) was across the road and the Zion Road RIverside Food Centre was just a two minute walk away. I was truly astounded at how cheap the food was at this food centre - and because it's Singapore all the stalls are graded according to health standards so you know that chicken you just ordered is legit and won't give you salmonella - bonus.
I guess I didn't really know what to expect from Singapore, but it truly is a melting pot of cultures, if evidenced only by the food - in a single day we would eat Malay nasi lemak, Hainanese chicken, kaya toast and finish with the best (and cheapest) laksa you've ever eaten (seriously AU$3 for laksa is ridiculous!)
The tropical climate was a struggle at times, but it helps support the most amazing orchid garden I've ever seen. Well worth the entry fee to see the gorgeous orchids for which Singapore is famous. To deal with life in that sort of humidity we soon nestled into a nice routine of activities in the morning until we sweated through our clothes, before retiring to the apartment for aircon and to wait out the inevitable afternoon thunderstorm, after which we'd emerge to venture out for more cheap food centre dinner.
A trip to Singapore, though, isn't complete without spending at least one night pretending like you're a high roller - so that's what we did. Aware that the alcohol tax in Singapore is the only rival to Australia's, we didn't flinch at the $28 price for a Singapore Sling at Raffles, instead opting to toss those peanut shells on the floor with gusto. This was followed by a trip to Marina Bay Sands to drink cocktails in really high places, complemented by a stunning view of the Singapore 'bay'. We picked out the hotels we'd stay at some time in the future when we're made of money (The Fullerton FYI) and can do the Singapore High Roller thing properly.
In amongst all the high rolling, we did achieve Objective #1 of attending Laneway (I might put up a post soon) and had a rollicking good time.
Singapore wasn't really on my destination list before, but it is certainly on my 'go back to' list now. If only for more delicious, cheap food.