On a shoestring: Singapore

As seen on: http://forgetoday.com/lifestyle/on-a-shoestring-singapore/

It may be a typical tourist attraction but a visit to the Marina Bay area is a must for its architectural significance. The infamous Marina Bay Sands Hotel and its surroundings is home to many designer and luxury brands. Above the hotel, the Skypark boasts breath-taking views of the city skyline and a 150m infinity pool. Entry into the Sands Skypark will set you back $23 but entrance to the bars and restaurants are free of charge, allowing you to absorb Singapore’s buzzing atmosphere while eating and drinking.

Travelling around Singapore is easy using the MRT system. It is clean, air-conditioned and straightforward to use. We were surprised to find that people queue to get onto the MRT, something almost unheard of when using the London Underground. Travel can be cheap, with a journey costing less than $1 for destinations that were only two MRT stations apart.

For the adventure-seekers, a visit to the unspoilt island of Pulau Ubin is a must. The 15 minute bumboat ride to the island was a mere $2.50. A further $10 (around £5) bike rental and a few kilometres later, you find the Chek Jawa Wetlands, a reason why cycling and fishing enthusiasts often frequent this place.  As the trail leads you closer to the wetlands, wild boars and monkeys are often seen roaming around.  Forget the Singapore Zoo, here you have wild animals in their natural habitat.

Haji Lane
Haji Lane

At the eastern side of the Singapore river, you stumble upon Little India.  The large Tamil community and influence in this area is apparent, with streets filled with stalls selling a colourful array of different clothes and saris. There are also many stores selling different handmade crafts and wooden novelties.  A few backpacking hostels are also nearby, bursting with young travellers tucking into $2 fresh fruit smoothies to cure their inevitable hangovers.

A stone’s throw away from Little India is Haji Lane, an independent shopping district.  The alley caters for the hipsters of Singapore, hoping to find unique finds and treasures at a very reasonable price.  Many shops have the ‘Urban Outfitters’ vibe to them without the hefty price tag and a guarantee that it is a one-off piece. It’s the perfect place to get all the unique clothes you’ll be showing off to your mates back home.

Hawker food culture is big in Singapore and its Chinatown is certainly not foreign to this concept. In the food centre, an abundance of stalls offer inexpensive dishes varying from local food to vegetarian dishes to fresh grilled fish.  The dishes normally serve two or three people and usually cost between $10-$20. The variety of food around means you can have something different each time you visit and if you are not very adventurous, settling for Singapore’s infamous chilli crab will serve you well each time.

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Julia Anduiza

Kitchen experiments and creations of a Chemistry graduate. A recent convert to the plant-based world, what originally was intended for my thrifty student days, has turned into my lifestyle. My passion lies in cooking anything from the plant kingdom, from your humble tubers to your ostentatious berries. Currently, I am devouring local and seasonal food, as well as reaping in the benefits of living ethically and sustainably - and I hope I inspire others to do the same too!

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