7:00pm on a Friday night, running on four hours of sleep, we hightailed it through the airport somewhere in South China because we were late for our flight. Barely making it, we boarded the plane and were the only westerners on the flight. It was a three hour flight, but I couldn’t wait. I had never been to Singapore.
“I saw Dutch, British, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, American, Africans, and even a few South Americans all mixed into one big melting pot.”
We landed somewhat late in Singapore, but we stepped off the plane and made it halfway down the beautiful airport terminal. Elaborate designs unlike anything I’d seen in the United States, foreign brand outlets, and plants growing up the walls stretched along the entirety of one wall, gave me a glimpse of how awesome the Singaporean experience was about to be. This daydream was interrupted by the fact that my mom left her passport on the plane and I had to run two miles each way to communicate with the airline company. Fortunately, they were able to retrieve her passport (Good job mom) and we left. I was too tired to take in all the details, but I remember coming out of a tunnel to see the beautiful skyline lit up at night, each building with elaborate colors and distinct figures against a black sky. We got to the Sofitel hotel on Sentosa Island and I passed out around 2:00am.
“Around 20 world class resorts, a Universal Studios, a monorail system, and cable cars that soared above the whole Island.”
When I travel I love to do as much as I can so I woke up early at 7:00am the next morning took a long needed shower as I didn’t trust the one I had in China for the previous four days, grabbed my flip flops and left the room. I didn’t notice it when I came in, but the hotel is basically centered on a huge man-made pond. The pathways are black and white tiled separated by coy ponds in a grid-like system and surrounded by a dense rainforest on all sides. I met up with my mother to eat some sushi in a restaurant that over looked Singapore’s shipping bay which was filled with literally hundreds if not a thousand cargo container ships.
After downing some fresh yellowtail with spicy ponzu and sriracha (my favorite) she decided that she wanted to do a spa day and detox, blah, blah, blah, so I was out. I just grabbed $40, my bag, and set off to find out what was around me. Sentosa Island is disconnected from the Singaporean city state and is basically like their Disney World. Around 20 world class resorts, a Universal Studios, a monorail system, and cable cars that soared above the whole Island. I decided to take the footpath down the hill the hotel was situated on and caught a bus at the stop at the bottom of the hill. A ten mile per hour, open aired buggy picked me up and I sat comfortably between two native Singaporeans. I asked them what their favorite thing to do on Sentosa Island was because I heard them speak some variety of English. I was mistaken as the didn’t speak any English at all and they just looked at me really stupidly and eventually just pointed further down the train line.
“Their local legend of a god that’s a statue of a 110 foot mermaid/lion.”
I got off the slow tram because I wanted to walk and enjoy myself and be apart of my surroundings. I went down an all wood footpath on the edge of a beach with crystal clear water and dense jungle on the other side. Trekking along I saw many signs for touristy places like “Uphill for Singaporean Merlion!” (Their local legend of a god that’s a statue of a 110 foot mermaid/lion). I didn’t want to go full touristy the first day so I avoided the cliché spots an American would go. I stuck to the beach path and stumbled across a little island disconnected from Sentosa by about 100 yards with a suspension footbridge connecting them. I went across the suspension bridge that was floating on water and into the structure on the other side. I was a sight seeing place I guessed by the stereotypical looking lenses like you see on the empire state building in Downtown New York, so I took a couple pictures. I didn’t know this until later but I had actually gone to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia.
After the Island I trekked along the footpath discovering a decked out beach spot with an iFly indoor skydiving, 12 foot wave machine, western brand outlets, and thank god a Haagen-Dazs. It was like 100 degrees and humid and I was dying so I bought some German Ice cream (God bless). I love surfing, and I haven’t been for about six months so I was a little cranky you could say. That wave machine was flirting with me like none other, it was situated in a plaza with restaurants, surf outlet stores, and a few people that I was going to show off on. The only problem was I didn’t have enough money or a swimsuit on. So I continued down the footpath, which was now beside a road, and saw more copies of touristy places. This time some were on the actual beach and were bars with names obviously meant for westerner such as “Little slice of Italy!”. The major thing I noticed walking around Singapore compared too walking around China is that, in China, everyone is ethnically Chinese, but here it looked like one of the most diverse places on the planet. I saw Dutch, British, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, American, Africans, and even a few South Americans all mixed into one big melting pot. After noting this fact and admiring the beautiful landscape I high tailed it back to the hotel because the wave machine was calling my name
It took me THREE HOURS to bribe my mom and her assistant to quit sunbathing by the pool and “accompany” me to the wave machine. Now I didn’t know this, but wave machine surfing and actual surfing are to completely different things! I looked like an idiot but I managed to stay in the barrel on most of my rides. I obsessed over this machine for the next two hours! I couldn’t get enough of it until I could barely walk due to fatigue. At this point, the adventurer in me was like ,”C’mon dude lets sleep”. So we went back to the hotel, grabbed a short lived dinner of more sushi, and I shuffled to my room passed out on my bed and forced myself to write this blog this morning.
Thank you for reading my blog! Comment below where your favorite place in the world to travel too is! Adios.