A confession. I didn’t expect to like Singapore. Another big Asian city didn’t appeal to me after living in Hong Kong. I could do without the cookie-cutter skyrises, the blatant show of wealth, the sprawling shopping centers, the business-driven mindset… No, Singapore I could definitely skip.
Oh, boy was I ever wrong! It wasn’t until I found an inexpensive flight from Manila to Kochin (India) via Singapore that I decided to give the city a chance. Against all misguided preconceived notions, I ended up loving Singapore. I mean, LOVING Singapore. So much so that every day I was plotting and scheming ways to move to this new favorite city of mine.
Here are my top five favorite things about Singapore that is making me want to call this amazing place home.
Food. It’s impossible for me to ever love a place without loving its food and one main reason I loved Singapore so much was because of its amazing food. Offering an eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian flavors, Singaporean food is simply delicious. The thriving hawker centers also make stuffing your face silly a fun, yet extremely affordable past time. (Check my upcoming blog about food center dining in Singapore)
Greenery. Spoilt by New York City, I need my big cities to have green space, and lots of it. Singapore is the only other city I have seen that places as much importance in green space, making it also one of the more beautiful cities I have been to. The new Gardens By the Bay is especially lovely and its Cloud Dome was an exceptionally well-spent afternoon.
Architecture. Few cities have managed to preserve its architectural heritage while developing rapidly and I found the blend of old and new, modern and historical within Singapore beautiful and impressive. Walking around was simply breathtaking and photo opportunities were everywhere.
Live music. One thing I missed the most during my years in Asia was the lack of good, live music venues and when I discovered that Singapore boasted one of the biggest live indie music scenes in Asia, I was already halfway sold. Although my timing in Singapore didn’t allow me to catch any bands, I did see this advertisement for a festival that I was bummed to have missed by just a few days.
The skyline. I’m a sucker for gorgeous skylines and Singapore certainly doesn’t disappoint. An evening of exceptional dining at Makan Sutra‘s hand-selected food hawker haven of Glutton Bay and a post-dinner stroll along the Esplanade, taking in the dueling skyline of Singapore’s financial district and the imposing Marina Bay Sands makes for a perfect night out.
There were so many more little reasons why I loved Singapore and was seriously considering packing my bags and making a move, and whether or not I ever do, I know I will be making plans to return for frequent visits. If only I had given Singapore a chance sooner…