Singapore was a little gem that I had a taster of back in 1989 with my Mother and a group of travelling companions who we met back in Egypt – sadly I lost the batch of photos that I took.
To get to Singapore from the UK you can either take a flight from Heathrow airport, Singapore Airlines do direct flights which take around 13 hours, I would opt for this rather than a change over as that just adds to the length of time.
The other way to do it is as a stop over from another destination and we went from Hong Kong to Singapore, then Malaysia Kuala Lumper then on to Thailand, this short piece concentrates on Singapore.
Singapore remains one of my favourite places, it was extremely hot, I remember the air being thick and scented with flowers, the heat hits you as you get off the plane like stepping into a sauna and there is warning nowadays of pollution in the air due to the overcrowding, June to September is best avoided, a better time to go is in May.
One of the first things I also noticed was how clean it was, every street, road, park was free of litter, it looked spotlessly clean and the reason why is that the fines are incredibly high here for dropping litter so nobody does it. Simple.
GMT + 8 Hours’ time difference
Currency – SGD Singapore Dollar
No Visa is required for Singapore from the UK unless you are staying beyond 30 days then you will need to provide one.
Vaccinations for Singapore from the UK include:
Combined Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio Vaccination – 2 weeks before travel
Hepatitis B Vaccination – 2 months before travel
Tuberculosis (BCG) – 3 months before travel
Typhoid Vaccination – 2 weeks before travel
You cannot go to Singapore without trying the famous drink The Singapore Sling, head to the Raffles Hotel for one 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673), if you are going to try one anywhere then it should be Raffles, named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore and opened in 1887.
Here is the recipe from Raffles menu:
• 30ml Gin
• 15 ml Cherry Brandy
• 120 ml Pineapple Juice
• 15 ml Lime Juice
• 7.5 ml Cointreau
• 7.5 ml Dom Benedictine
• 10 ml Grenadine
• A Dash of Angostura Bitters
• Garnish with a slice of Pineapple and Cherry
Places to go
One of the best memories I have of my visit to Singapore is the Gardens by the Bay light and sound show, it is called the Garden Rhapsody and on every evening at 7:45pm when it is dark.
The park itself it beautiful and you can sit with a glass of wine and watch the spectacular coloured light over the water with the sounds of classical music, it will take you away to another place entirely.