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The Marina Bay Sands glistens in the distance. The Port of #Singapore fills up with chatter in several different languages. Shops fluff their window displays and the city is filled with life. Restaurants, both large and small, line the streets, showcasing a delicious part of the Asian #culture. This is Singapore and I've fallen in love!
When you come from a small country in Europe, Paris, Rome and Barcelona will undoubtedly wow you. When you first reach America, the dreamland of possibilities, you feel wowed even more. And then comes Asia. Magnificent surprises that one could not even imagine existed.
My first trip to Asia started 3 months ago, in Singapore. I will never forget the moment when I saw the picturesque city and the Port of Singapore. It is a breathtaking view that will whisper a thousand words to you within a second.
It's also a very clean, organized, and wealthy city. The biggest advantage is that most of the people speak very good English, unlike in Shanghai where it is very hard to communicate if you don’t have a translator app installed on your phone. Singapore has modern architecture, with a high hotel diversity, and food choices from local restaurants to Michelin star ones. I once had a very interesting experience in 313 Somerset Mall.
It's also a very clean, organized, and wealthy city.
I dined in one traditional Singaporean restaurant where the tables are all joined together. Next to me was a young couple sitting at the same table, and after about 5 minutes, the next customer (a young woman) was sat next to me. I ordered sweet and sour chicken because that was the only thing that I could understand from the menu. The restaurant emphasized the Asian sharing style of eating, where the food is placed in the middle of the table and everyone can try some of each dish. The lady next to me ordered “purple eggs” and when I asked what it was, she insisted I try it. That’s other characteristic of Asians, they are incredibly welcoming and hospitable.
Note: There wasn't a wine cart, only a selection of one or two beers, and extensive tea list because Asians usually consume hot water or tea with their meals. Tipping is not customary.
Singapore features all the famous brands you can think of.
Singapore features all the famous brands you can think of. Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the number one place to shop, and probably the most beautiful building, where anyone can get the best view photos on the highest floor and after that, enjoy drinks at Sky 57, the rooftop bar where the views make you feel alive. For the ones that want to continue the party in a club, you don't need to go far, only 2 minutes walking from the bar will bring you to the club with the open pool where you can party until sunrise.
Sentosa, Orchard Road, Marina, Raffles Singapore, or City Hall are also popular districts for party where you can find a lot of young Singaporeans dressed like they are in NYC's Soho district. Safety levels are high and everyone knows the famous Singaporean laws, where the use of marijuana can get you up to 10 years of imprisonment, regardless of your nationality.
For the casino lovers, the most famous casino, Casino Sentosa, is right next to Marina Bay Sands. Just beware of your dress code, my friend wasn't allowed in while wearing shorts.
The currency is the Singaporean Dollar which equals about 0.70 US Dollars, but credit cards are widely accepted. Besides via air, Singapore can be also reached by cruise ship, which nowadays have become even more popular. Every day many cruise ships bring thousands of passengers into the Port of Singapore.
Hotel Marina Bay Sands
Fun Ride at Singapore Flyer
Last but not least, the inevitable symbol of Singapore is the Singaporean Flyer, the enormous Ferris wheel, which at 169 m tall reminds me of the London Eye. It is the number two attraction (after Marina Bay Sands) that everyone should visit.
Fun Ride at Singapore Flyer
Sky Dining on Cloud
On the way to the airport, the taxi driver told me, "Take a photo of what you are seeing now, because in 10 years this will all be changed. This is Singapore, this is the future."
And as my Facebook status once said, "Where Asia is now, America will be in 20 years, and Europe probably never."