If corporal punishment didn’t give it away, YOU GUYS, it’s Singapore. Let’s go over why I love Singapore. Singapore is clean, like sparkle city clean. My great aunt (that’s right, great aunt) came up with the term “sparkle city” for the amish town she lives in because it is so clean and I am reappropriating the term for Singapore, who has sidewalks you can eat off of. Why? Well because of its big brother like security and strict laws. Do I care that I was fingerprinted when I came in? No. Since I was fingerprinted when I came into the country I could use my fingerprints to go through expedited immigration to leave. It was actually faster than global entry when returning to the U.S.. However, the laws of Singapore are incredibly different from those of the U.S. and you may be surprised by some of them, so let’s go over some of the fun ones.
- Gum. On your flight in you will hear an announcement that you cannot chew gum. They do not specify if it is just in the airport or where the restriction ends. Gum cannot be imported or sold in Singapore. To have it on you, you have to have a prescription (think chantix) and you can only have so much on you at one time.
- Vandalism. Why don’t you see any graffiti in Singapore? Well because you will be caned! That’s right, they will beat you with a stick. You can also be find $2,000, but the caning is what got my attention.
- Littering. You can be fined up to $1,000 for a first time offense littering. After that, you can face possible jail time. For littering. Let that sink in. I could stand at street corners and have 0 cigarette butts to count. How glorious is this?
- Smoking. Smoking is limited to specific spaces. You’ll be fined $200 for first time offense of not doing so. Now picture this scenario… You’re smoking in a non-designated space and flick your cigarette somewhere. Now you’re fined $1,200. For some reason this logic makes my heart happy.
- Walking in the nude at home. This also applies to private spaces including hotel rooms. Yea, it took a turn for the weird here. If someone is outside your private residence and sees you naked, they can report you and you can be fined $2,000. That’s right. Read that again and let it soak in. The same is applicable for your hotel room. I’ve never used a robe more than I have on this trip.
- Drugs. This is where it gets strict. First time offenses can result in $10,000 and 20 years in jail. Singapore can chose to run a random drug test on you before entering the country. Just something to keep in mind. The U.S. has made headlines here before.
Ok, enough fun there.
This is not specifically just a hotel, but more of an experience. The grounds include a shopping mall, science center and several restaurants. If you’re not staying at Marina Bay Sands you can always go have lunch there. Not only is the view amazing (highest in the city), but so is the food. I recommend Spago, the cocktail menu is creative with options for everyone and the food is new take on traditional classics. Reservations are recommended, but if you go on a whim you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a seat at the bar.
Sticking with my theme of heights and my childlike delight derived from carnival rides, the Singapore flyer is a great way to see the city and listen to an audio guide. Or you can do what I did and visibly shake for 30 minutes causing everyone else in your carriage to question if you’re ok.
Mother Mary’s cotton socks it is hot outside. If you are a fan of orchids and bromeliads (who isn’t, right?) then you have to go walk the sky gardens. If you are not, then head for the section of the gardens that’s in the AC. The Botanical Gardens has two different domes that showcase two different worlds. One being the Cloud Forest the other being the Flower Dome. Both are massive and extremely beautiful featuring a variety of flowers and trees, some of which were thought to be extinct. I got to see a pine tree froth dinosaur age ya’ll!! If you don’t like plants there are some made out of LEGO’s and who doesn’t love that?
This city is home to a famous track and hairpin turn. Although the race is not until September 22 the city has already started setting up lighting and staging. This is one of the few races that is easy to watch from your hotel room if you know where to look. The Marriot and Conrad are a few that work well for this scenario.
This few weeks away has been amazing. It has opened my eyes to a side of the world I had never seen and never imagined. It’s one thing to view places on instagram or social media, but it’s another to go for yourself and explore. No one can ever tell you how warm a welcome can be, how rich a sunset is, the wander that goes into new trails to private beaches, the satisfaction of conquering a mountain. You have to go and find out for yourself.
Where to next?