I’ve been meaning to write about my recent trip to Singapore for a while now and haven’t quite got around to it.The reason for this was not only because of time but more the fear of finding the right words to explain the experience this amazing country has to offer. When I’ve been talking to people about my 3 week trip around Asia (Singapore, KL, Cambodia, Phuket & Bangkok) the words amazing, incredible, life changing always seem to come up.
Going on holiday has always given me a chance to stop and reflect, questions life, where I am, what I’m doing and some have more impact than others. Places like South America and India especially, always make be very humble and grateful for the lifestyle we live in the UK and also the upbringing I’ve had. I didn’t know fully what to expect of Asia having had the desire to go for many years, I didn’t fully appreciate the extent that it was going to impact me.
I could write pages and pages on the things we did and what was good and bad (the bad list is not very long) but the place that really stood out to me was Singapore. (The rest is on TripAdvisor)
From my understanding people’s vision of Singapore is different and this is down to whether you went more than 5 years ago or less, as they are two very different places now. The stats and figures around Singapore themselves are impressive:
Before you even get into the city you reach the airport: Changi Airport has over 420 accolades, it’s been nominated as the worlds best airport for the last 25 years and there’s no questions why. It’s spacious, clean, and just a beautiful building.
Singapore is a rapidly growing city-state of nearly 6 million people. It is one of the smallest countries in the world. The government have created almost a game like city with everyone living together in harmony. With so many people living together and so many expats entering the country this can be hard but the defined areas like Little India, Chinatown, Arab Street which are so defined in their feel, smell of the country they represent are an example of how well they’ve organised the city.
To get a taste of these areas we went to Little India for lunch and had a very traditional vegetarian meal, went to Chinatown to shop and visit the beautifully peaceful pagoda followed by shisha in Arab street at night. We felt like we’d been around the world in 12 hours it was incredible. The thing I also really like is that they celebrate every religion’s festivals and the whole place gets a day off and everyone is encouraged to celebrate as they decorate the entire city. This is a push towards their ‘one community’ and I think it’s a great way to make everyone feel included.
Singapore is an extremely green city with gardens, trees and jungles everywhere. They are transforming into a “city in a garden”, a current government campaign. It’s also very clean due to its littering laws.It was extremely impressive to see how clean the whole place is kept. Granted if you know you’re going to get fined then you wouldn’t chew gum. Most people think that this is excessive but being in such a clean place was such a nice feeling that you can see the benefits to everyone for this.
One thing i didn’t know was that the country sits just 85 miles North of the equator and the temperate is always hot. Their seasons are hot & dry and hot & rainy and when the rain comes, it’s extremely heavy. It does mainly only rain for a bit, well it did when we were there, for a few minutes. The thunder and lightning is actually scary here especially if you’re high up in a building and because so many buildings get hit by lightning they have conductors to deal with the electricity. The lowest minimum recorded temperature ever is Singapore was 68F and that was 80 years ago!
All these great things aside the main thing that blew me away was the marketing activity in Singapore. I guess like any other big city, London, New York, Paris that you expect to see a lot of activity and having a marketing head means that I notice a lot more. What I loved the most about Singapore was the use of lights and water. Most of the impressive features around Singapore involved lights and water. The city didn’t only come to life at night it came to light at night. On St Paddy’s day for example of one the buildings in the business district had 4 leafed cloves going up the building in lights.
Clarke Quay which offers water into the central built up areas of the city reflects the buildings giving great colours and atmosphere to the entire area. The Crane water and light show was a key example of this, the free show had massive cranes (to represent the construction growth in Singapore) light up and blast water from them whilst cleverly using a huge screen on their chest area to tell the story. Equally as good was the water and light show that projected the cycle of life from being born through to death on the huge amounts of water mist the fountains created.
The hugely impressive Marina Bay Sands which was 3 sky scrapper hotels with a boat on top, holding the worlds largest infinity pool put on a light show every night with laser beams and different colours. It was just superb.
From a marketing perspective it seems like the creativity will never run out of places to be exploited and the development is endless.
People ask me what the highlight of the whole trip was and it’s hard to say because all experiences were so different, however Singapore as a whole was definitely at the top of that list. It’s expensive and very regimented but you can see why, you can see the benefits of it and for those that are contemplating going or have never thought about it, take it from me it’s a MUST.
Granted this read more like a TripAdvisor report on Singapore but I had to share the lasting impression that beautiful place left on me.