Singapore, Worth It Or Not?

In my country, Viet Nam, along with Bangkok – Thai Land, Singapore is one of the two most popular destinations in ASEA that attracts a number of youngsters to visit every year, much more than the rest. You may here Singapore as their must-go ever, not Indonesia, Malaysia or the rest. Even with some families in my hometown, as they have to make up their minds where to let their children study abroad for a better future but still afforadable, the answer must obviously be Singapore! What make this nation so hot? Its economy? Modern skyscrapers everywhere but the entire area is still clean and fresh? Or just they can’t help falling in love with their artificial sceneries? I decided to make a trip to Singapore just because it’s my curiority to know all of the above inquiries.

Merlion statue is where you will find thousands of tourist wandering nearby to take photos from early morning to late night

Modern, Excitement but Lonely

There is no way that such a developed country exist without skyscrappers. To be honest, it’s those buildings that catch your eyes first when coming this this nation. Most parts of the center are fullfiled with lot of various shaped high structures, including apartments and condominium. Land is always a problem for this tiny nation; so as to solve this issue, the government built many apartments and let their residents rent for a period of time with reasonable price. The richest area to acknowledge how modern and luxurious Singapore is, must be Marina Bay. There you have a view of all refers to the fame of it.

Skyscrapers are the only things you can expect to catch your eyes first.

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A combination of moderness and tradition

Everything turns to be so excited, hilighted and delighted that you may find it a little bit hard to resist all of its fun. Sharing the same diversity of culture with islam, buddhism and hinduism with Malaysia, Singapore however doesn’t have a strict rule on wines or alcohol, which mean you are free to buy it. That makes all the bars, pubs and even red light district – Geylang still open with full of excitement at night. Their landscapes, to say in one way, are not really as magnificent as the real one for nature lover, but in another way, a really huge and admirable construction with careful maintenance every year namely Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. Late evening until night is the most bustling period of time around this place with marvelous spectra – lights and water performance. Once envolving in China Town, you will be amazed by all the foods, lifestyle and red lanterns there. Singaporean does have inside shopping center that will blow your mind by how the quality and the variety of goods is. It can be stated that the government did a gread job on improving its tourism to make Singapore a paradise of social life for visitors.

Glorious Marinay Bay Sand and Art Science Museum at night that reflects the bright sight of the city
Julibee Bridge with a wide view of the stall buildings
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All night long bars and pubs at Clark Quay

In contrary to all of those features, during my trip, I don’t feel like I am able to catch up with the way residents are living there, really fast and lonely! They rush to home after work in MRT stations, walking in hurry but eyes still stick on their phones. It seems like they have no one to talk to but just a screen… Although you may see there are all kinds of activities there but mainly tourists. The Singaporean? They came home after many hours contribution for work – that’s what my friend, a Singaporean said. He even expressed that life there is nothing but just working, eating, social network and sleep. The small center of Singapore appears to be a prison for them with all of the strict rules and somehow they feel lonely as it’s not legal to do some “normal” activities as in others. I rarely saw they smile, laugh or enjoy the life there, mostly a not really serious face with a kind of rigid gestures just to hide their real attitudes that there is nothing funny in Singapore towards the tourist. My friend told me how her guest (she is a local tourguide) reacted when she asked a Singaporean for some suggestions on what to do. He turned away and asked her to go for another place or search on the internet as with him, it’s not worth traveling to his country???

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It’s hard to find a smile on everyone’s faces
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A part of city in rushing hours after work

Strict rules and “Low” Cost?

The laws in this country, in fact, is one of the strictest but nearly as perfect rules of a leading nation in ASEA. People, even tourists with no exception, have to obey in oder not to make bad behaviors or commit crimes. The most popular one is that with litering as you may be fined with a sump of 1000 or more SGD for just a small piece of garbage. Cameras are everywhere to record criminals and track their ways in just one night. Inside the shop, signs of warning for vandalism and thieves, pickpocketing are hang in every corner. But, that does not mean you won’t find rubbish yourselves. It just limit the amount of garbages to the least, not perfectly preventing some “brave” persons from playing a trick on laws. That’s to say you are sure to eat chewing gum, but not to bring or buy it in Singapore, which is still possible to be tricked! I used to see some garbages piece myself in Little India – where I live, even at Marina Bay. Maybe it’s just a small one that doesn’t worth paying attention to, so no one comes to pick it up and throw in the bin!

Haji Lane is a great effort of Singapore government to promote green tourism
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Traffic rules here is really strict but provide safety as each kind of vehicles have their own lanes

It’s not that low as you may think of in Thailand or Indonesia when mentioning the word “cost” in Singapore, but with a moderate meaning. How can it be cheap for a 10 dollar dish of portion with a few small prawns, an egg and just some charquayteow? Media is too powerful in overclaiming all about this country. I’m sure that you, once in life, heard that with just 30 SGD a day, surviving is a big problem in SG. I bet you’ll be ashtonishing when I spent my three days in Singapore for 15 dollars a day, plus with 12 dollars for accommodation. To find a budget hawker is what you are totally able to do. Tiong Bahru center, People’s Center Market and definitelya hawker behind Bugis Street does offer you best food in town with great prices. A nasi lemak dish with 3$, Chee Chong Foeng with 2$ or a dish of char siew rice with soup comes with only 4,5$. Drinking water directly from faucet in Singapore isn’t as dirty and unhealthy as you think but pure and fresh as certificated from many organizations. Staying with budget hostel or guesthouse is a piece of cake when a number of such shelters are available on Booking.com or Hostel World with just 17 to 20 SGD a day. In a nutshell, it’s not the city itself make everything extremely expensive as some website may state but how you can plan everything ahead and control your budget.

You can eat all of these dishes with just from 1,6-3$ in hawkers

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with this store, you don’t have to worry about survival in Singapore (right at Bugis street entrance)

So, the final answer is Singapore really worth visiting in many aspects, that an underdeveloped country in century 20th to become the richest one in ASEAN must be a magical effort that you shouldn’t skip it from your travel list just because of the myth about price or strict laws. Coming back from Singapore, I got many answers for most of my inquiries before. But to consider living in this country is another aspect that I will have to think carefully not just because of what people called it “gluxurious, good and clean”.

Saimon Tobi

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