Before I was to even book my tickets to Singapore, those who had sojourned the city warned me, “Forget litter, do not event think of dropping your phlegm on the road”, something that comes as second nature to most Indians. The first impression of the city is, indeed, neat. <b1>
The sidewalks, instead of the usual garbage-clogged sights here, are lined with cafés and restaurants that serve seafood, including best sellers like chilli crabs, prawn nuggets and scallops. Living vegan in the city is a little tough. Even the McDonald’s at the airport has nothing vegeterian.
Don’t be surprised if in your first few meetings, you get to hear ‘nice to meet you’ at least a dozen times. Hospitality runs in the blood of Singaporeans. Initially baffled at the burst of pleasantries being showered on me, I took to their culture very soon and found myself reciprocating the same way with equal zest.
The island city is a shopper’s paradise. With countless huge malls, a street dedicated to big brands (Orchard Street), two others (Bugis street and Chinatown) to indulge in some discounted shopping and plazas (Lucky and Mustafa) selling almost everything under the sun.
For night birds, there are a few interesting clubs that line the beautiful Clarke Quay — Clinic Bar, which simulates a hospital setting complete with arm chairs, hospital beds and ICU; Bar Fly, Lunar and Kandi Bar that cater to the young, hip-hop and salsa generation; the One Rupee Room with Bollywood influences; and the F Bar, which has a franchise in Delhi.
A visit to Little India is like a stroll to any of the desi markets back home. For the tourist in you, do visit the Singapore Flyer. Akin to the London Eye, the Flyer gives you a panoramic view of the island city. Due to time constraints, I missed out on the Sentosa Island, famous for dolphin dance. But I have already chalked out my plan for a second visit to the city, which is going to happen soon.