I had to see it with my own eyes last May to believe that Singapore’s world-famous reputation for cleanliness and modernity was really true. The small city-state was our second destination on the family tour last May. We went to Singapore by a 5 hour coach ride from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We only spent short three days there – but spent most of the times outdoors, making use of its fantastic public transportation. My first impressions were based on what I saw on the outside – which was undoubtedly how clean and modern it was. Besides that, the extensive greenery in the city was also impressive. I was so thankful for the greenery and parks especially when strolling around in the tropical heat.
We stayed in a nice neighborhood some 10-15 minutes away from the center. It was pleasant just walking around – as there were plenty of restaurants to enjoy, shopping centers, and even a Buddhist temple right around the corner.
On the first evening we went to the Marina Bay area, which is also Singapore’s downtown and enjoyed its modern architecture in the cool evening. A band played some classic rock while locals and tourists soaked in the atmosphere.
The city was soon after illuminated with lights in the evening and I liked how it came more alive. Our night ended with a delicious Indian dinner at colorful India town. Singapore, just like Malaysia, is a multicultural state. Singaporeans with Chinese ethnicity form the majority of its population, those of Malaysian and Indian ethnicity make up a sizable number, while Eurasians also make up a small percentage of the population.
Singapore started from a poor fishing village to what it is today – a modern, advanced and stable economy. All of that happened within few decades, most of it under the extraordinary leadership of former prime minister and Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.
Singapore often features in the empty promises of Nepalese political leaders before election time. How they will turn Nepal like Singapore when they get elected. It was personally interesting for me to visit a country that is apparently looked up to by many Nepalese and its politicians.
The impeccable roads, shiny shopping malls and its modern skyline are all stark reminders of how far Singapore has come, solving many obstacles along the way. Nepal surely has a long, long way to go to come even close.
I didn’t really feel the need to visit one of its more popular entertainment centers like Sentosa island. We just walked around various neighborhoods, hopped on and off its subway system to reach places and tried to get the local feel of the city. We also struck up short talks with locals while wandering, and found them to be friendly and helpful. We were commented about the big presence of Nepali soldiers (also known as “Gurkha”) in Singapore by a few people. Singapore is indeed a melting pot of cultures and nationalities from around the globe.
It was time to return to Kuala Lumpur and head off to Perhentian Islands to relax after an intensive three day exploring of Singapore, and all of us returned with lasting impressions of the country.