Singapore was great. The food, the city view, the people, the language, everything. But you know what wasn’t? The temperature. Whereas most people see Singapore as the beautiful picture above, I see it as the object below.
That’s right, an oven. Singapore is an oven. A beautiful high end, best in the business Viking oven (even featured on MasterChef), but an oven. Singapore sits at around 27-30 degrees Celsius all year round, all day long. But before I continue complaining about that, let’s talk about the good stuff.
For a long time, Singapore Airlines has been known for being the best airline in the world (Losing out to Qatar Airways in 2019). This is my first time flying with them, and I can definitely say that the legends are true. I flew from Singapore to Tokyo (HND), Economy class, and it was easily the most comfortable, luxurious economy international flight I’ve ever been on. I would say it easily matches the “Premium Economy” propaganda that Air Canada / Cathay Pacific offer.
- Seats were comfortable and had very comfortable legroom
- Entertainment unit was the best I’ve ever seen. No glitches, no stupid ads, good controls
- Food was superb and even the menu felt high end
Time To Get Fat
The food, in general, was good. My favorite ended up being the Kaya Toast from Toast Box. I did try a bunch of the other local favorites like Buk Kut Teh. And I did like it, but the first time I had it at the food court, the soup was a little too peppery for me. The chicken rice I liked as well, but personally, I found the ones in Malaysia a bit more suited for me. The “Hong Kong” BBQ rice ones were good too. But I just really wanted larger chunks of meat, the ones with 50% fat and you regret at 65 years old, with the doctor saying you’ve been destroying your body for the past 20 years.
In truth, the weather was one of the biggest setbacks for me. I just wasn’t very used to the hot weather, and most of the hawker centers (if not all) are outdoors with just some fans, so the heat really got to me. You can check out my video below!
For the most part, things in Singapore cost about the same as things do in Toronto. It also helps that the exchange rate between the Singaporean Dollar to Canadian dollar is ~ 1:1.
- Malaysia To Singapore – $20 CAD
- Singapore to Tokyo (HND) – $400 CAD
- Taking the transit:
- Between $1 – $2 dollars per subway trip
- Tip: You don’t need the EZ-Link card, but if you get it at the airport, it’s a little cheaper. $12 bucks, but the card comes preloaded with $7 with it. You can just tap on and off with your credit card. Subway is super convenient!
- These guys are heavily regulated so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off. We took the cab twice from the mall back to our hotel (~ 10 min ride), and it cost about $15 bucks
- We stayed at Hotel Mi ~179 CAD a night
- Good location, the hotel even comes with a smart phone that you can use for google maps if you don’t want to get your own sim card
- Hawker center food typically ranges around $10 CAD
- Street food is around the $5 CAD mark but really depends on what you get.
- Again food is on the “expensive” end. It’s definitely crazy compared to Malaysia
I exchanged about $500 CAD (which gives you about $500 Singapore Dollars) and I had about $50 bucks left on my last day. But most of the money is just on food. There’s really nothing else “to do” or spend money on. If you go into the mall for the high-end shopping, you will probably credit card it anyway.
We stayed in Singapore for 5 days. Most of my friends and family were pretty shocked and told me that was overkill, and 3 days was sufficient. I will confirm this. Singapore is pretty small, and there’s other than eating, there are only 2 or 3 “real” tourist attractions. The Gardens by the bay area covers most of it as the Marina Bay Sands (most instagramed hotel in the world) is right beside it. That nearby mall has everything you need for luxury shopping and a casino to kill time if that’s your thing.
I think a lot of what Singapore has to offer is really for its residents, vs its tourists. Housing incentives, economic growth, efficient transportation, clean environment, and luxurious living are all really interesting things and definitely 5 steps up from Malaysia and most of the other cities I’ve been to in my life. If it weren’t for the permanent death weather, I’d definitely consider coming here to work. English / Singlish being its main language also helps. But as a tourist, 3 days is enough. Fly in, get fat, lose all the weight in the heat, get out.