Backpacking though SE-Asia: first stop, Singapore!

From Zurich I flew directly to Singapore with an overnight Swiss flight. I arrived in the late afternoon in Singapore on Chinese New Year and headed with the subway towards my hostel. I stayed at the Beary Nice! A Beary Good Hostel in a 8 bed dorm which was very nice.  The rooms were clean, so were the showers/ bathrooms. It’s located in 5 min walking distance from the subway stop China Town. Since it was new year all the streets around the hostel were packed with stands and lanterns. There was loud music, awesome Chinese food and fireworks. I stayed in Singapore only for two nights and one whole day (+ 2 half days) since I’ll be moving to Singapore next summer to do an exchange at the Singapore Management University. The university is located centrally (near Orchard Rd.) and is very nice.

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View from Marina Bay Shoppers, Singapore

I loved the city, it’s very clean and modern and everything seems to work just as good as in Switzerland. I didn’t do much since I’ll have plenty of time to discover the city. I’ve been to Sentosa Island and chilled on the beach for Chinese New Year – the weather was awesome (just above 30°C and blue sky). On my way to Sentosa I passed the Marina Bay Sands and entered the amazing Marina Bay Shoppers Mall (which even had an ice rink and a small lake with boats). After watching a beautiful sunset on the beach I headed back to the hostel before heading for a chicken masala in Little India. Don’t miss a meal there in case you like Indian food! After dinner I headed (with some people from the hostel) to Clarke Quay for some expensive beers down by the river. Two people fell down the river and almost drowned while we were there, so if you go there – please make sure you don’t drink that much while sitting on the stairs near the river! 😛 The whole Clarke Quay area is very nice and packed with clubs, bars and restaurants.

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Singapore Management University

To go around Singapore I used the subway, which worked really good and wasn’t that crowded as I thought it would be. Also the connection from/ to the airport worked perfectly with the subway. If you plan on staying a couple of days a Metro Card is definitely worth buying, since the single fairs are more expensive then swiping your card through. The card costs 5$ and you can add money to it at every station.

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View from Marina Bay Shoppers, Singapore

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Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Singapore

I really enjoyed Singapore and hope to see more of this amazing city! If you have any suggestions on what to do, let me know in a comment – I’d be glad to have some tipps 🙂

What I liked most about my first stop backpacking, was that the backpackers I met on the way were very friendly and open. I didn’t expect strangers to be nice, just because they were traveling with a backpack. It’s amazing how many people you meet on such a journey – a big thank you to all the nice people I met who made my trip unforgettable! I was a bit scared of arriving in such a big city all by myself, but in the end I didn’t spend a second by myself (besides from the time at the airport) and had a really great time.

After Singapore I took a flight to Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) with Tigerair. The flight was about 3h and a one-way ticket cost 240 SGD (guess it would be cheaper if you don’t book it a week in advance as I did). All I had planned from Zurich before heading to Singapore was that flight to Chiang Mai as well as a return from Bangkok – so I started getting a bit nervous, since I didn’t quite know where to go next.

The whole backpacking thing caught on me and I started writing down a journal about all the nice places I’ve seen (I really recommend you do the same in case you’re planning on backpacking, it would be a real pity to forget names of awesome places you’ve seen!) as well as looking very much on how much I was spending during the trip (I’m planning a longer backpacking journey at the moment, so I didn’t want to spend all my money). I had set a budget back at home which was more on the upper line of what I planned on spending. During the journey I wrote down all I spent, so at the end I could see for what I had spent how much (I love organizing and planning this sort of things and I do realize, that this might sound a bit overrated to you..). In total I managed to spend 155 SG$ for my stay (about 55 CHF/ day), which I thought would be a good start. I didn’t do any shopping besides food, hostel and metro (just a Tiger Balm for the trip), so in case you’re planning on crazy shopping (there are a lot of huge shopping malls with nice shops!), you should plan on spending more. I had decided not to do any shopping for the whole trip, since I already have more than enough clothes at home and didn’t feel like carrying around lots of things.

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