Singapore is truly a city of stark contrasts. From the soaring skyscrapers to the perfectly maintained humbled homes in China town, this world class city offers what feels like an endless feast for the eyes. Our top destination supplier in this part of Asia is Goway who offer a fully customized 3 day city stop.
Upon arrival at Singapore's airport we are greeted by our driver who has a warm smile, firm handshake, and most importantly our tour agenda. Our 5am arrival helps us to avoid any traffic and in no time we are at the Orchard Hotel.
The hotel is within walking distance of some of the world's most expensive residential real estate but also just steps from a vast array of food options and the famous Orchard street shopping. The contrasts have just begun.
Our first tour is an evening in Chinatown with dinner. Our guide takes us first to a store that specializes in Chinese medicine. He explains the important role that the shop plays in the vibrant community. We stroll trough the food market and small shops stopping to admire the vast dining options. We are taken into a building, up a flight of stairs and escorted into a restaurant. Only locals would know this place existed. We enjoy an authentic Chinese dinner and are soon back on the street where bicycle trishaws await. We are driven to the waterfront via the busy downtown core. Our drivers drop the group near the river cruise pier and we are soon cruising the Singapore River in an all electric boat. The city reveals it's other side - the lights shine bright.
Our next day includes a city tour, the highlight of which is a visit to the National Orchid Garden. Our next contrast is shown. In the midst of this highly concentrated living space lies beautiful parks and green spaces, including tree lined streets.
Our final day includes a 3 hour private tour. We completely rework the agenda once our guide understands our interests. She offers to take us through an expedition through the life of a local. We visit the office where you pick out your apartment if you opt for social housing. She took us to see how communities are planned and explained the process of rejuvenating entire city blocks. We had a quick snack in a local market, and concluded the day in the Malay area of town.
The contrast between public and private housing, capitalism and state planning, freedom and control, are all left for us to reflect on.
On this 3 Day stay our eyes and minds are opened to new ways of seeing the world and leave us inspired.