I arrived mid afternoon for my two day jaunt around Singapore en route to London and was greeted by warm sunshine and incredibly high humidity. My hotel for the stay, The Champion Hotel was situated near the heart of the city and was easily accessible by the local metro so once my bags were dropped off, I pounded the pavement to enjoy some familiar surroundings and new experiences.
Singapore was once the worlds largest shipping port run by the British so there are still many traces of colonialism that was in place up until the fall of Singapore on February 15 1942 during the Second World War at the hands of the Japanese. The battle had lasted little more than a week. Despite having less troops and ammunition, the Japanese outwitted some incredibly incompetent British army chiefs.
The first thing that strikes me about this city is the clean and tidy feel. Crime is also minimal due to the severity of punishments dealt out so you can happily walk the streets without feeling threatened in any way. More importantly, woman are respected and the Police are quite friendly and approachable for tourists. Exercise is also big on the agenda and will stumble over countless walkers, runners and open air Zumba classes on the streets as evening falls. Food options are cheap and a small scattering of British and Irish pubs ensures a good drop is never too far away.
Despite the city centre looking beautiful, I like to make my way to the dirtier sides of cities and, from my last visit here in 2015, Little India and Chinatown were two spots that would guarantee to satisfy my needs. And that they did. Sadly, the fresh exploration of these small regions were met with heavy rain that occasionally ceased for all be it brief glimpses of broken clouds and sun which only increased the already sticky humidity. Today alone, I used no less than three different shirts and two pairs of socks!
My flight to Singapore with Scoot from the Gold Coast only set me back $129 and with $117 for one night in a city centre hotel on top of cheap eats, it’s been a very cost effective start to my latest adventure. My advice is to definitely spend a little more on city centre accommodation as it allows great walking access to all the major attractions and, as I experienced two years ago, the accommodation options outside the city centre may be super cheap but lack the basics like air conditioning and comfy beds.
It’s almost time to board my flight to London now. A two hour lay over in Kuala Lumpar will help break things up a little before arriving at Heathrow for yet another football adventure in England, Spain, Portugal, Scotland and Germany!