First time I went to SG was when I was 18 years old with my grandmother. The minute I stepped inside Changi Airport, my mind was blown by its look and feel. It was something else – from the interior design, the well spaced walkalators, plush carpeted flooring, the lounge, and even its spacious comfort room. No wonder why it was dubbed as the best airport in the world, and that’s even before they had The Jewel. But there’s also one thing obviously evident from their airport to the rest of the country – it screams of being digitally competitive. How they utilized the continuous growth of technology to improve is something I want to happen as well at home.
Initially, we planned for just a 4-day trip thinking to hit only the tourist spots of this well known small country, but it has its magic and we ended up staying for 2 weeks! On the first few days, we already went to check most of the destinations it was known for – Sentosa Island (where Universal Studios Singapore is loacted), Shoppes at Marina Bay, the Merlion, and even the Night Safari. One thing I noticed going to all these places was even if it was crowded with a lot of people – it did not feel overwhelming. In the train stations, it wasn’t unruly at all even during rush hour. There was this feeling that in the sea of a multiracial crowd, you still get to have your own safe bubble, your own personal space. It was because of this, and the country’s low crime rate that when my cousin turned 18, she and I decided to go to Singapore and celebrate her birthday, without any grownup supervision. In fact, during this trip, I must have forgotten my wallet in one of the lockers (all my money and card was inside) in Universal Studios only to remember it the next day. I simply called the USS hotline, asked if they saw it, and the lady only had to ask me what my name is and bring my passport to claim it. That’s one thing you can’t deny when you’re in Singapore – you feel safe.
The next thing I’ve always liked about Singapore is how clean and orderly it is! Some says that it’s because Singaporeans are well disciplined people or simply because they have nationwide cleaning processes and strict laws, but no matter what the reason behind is, in all times I’ve wandered in the streets, shopping malls, food communes, and did my commute – it’s cleanliness and orderliness is always a welcome sight to my eyes. There’s something relaxing when you ride through the city in the morning and see the streets clean, then stroll through Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk with a boba tea in hand on a sunny afternoon with the same comforting vibe, and still the same streets being kept at midnight after a few drinks at Clarke Quay.
What’s a better way to know a place than through its food? If you’ve seen the film Crazy Rich Asians, or read the trilogy, you’d know that Singaporeans are foodies. There are quite a number of Michelin star approved chefs and restaurants in the country – from Hawkwer Centres to an old church converted into a food complex. Yes, that’s where the wedding in the Crazy Rich Asians took place. I just love how welcoming their food scene is, it shows racial diversity and the combined culture of its inhabitants. Whenever I go there, it’s always a must to have some char siew meat, hainanese chicken rice, chilli crab, and bak kut teh.
Okay, I have to stop writing. Just by coming up with this post makes me want to go to Singapore for technically uhm… the 6th time.