Part 2 of 4:
During my one month Asia-Pacific study abroad trip overseas, I guess you could say Singapore was our main port. First we flew from Indianapolis to JFK in New York, from there on to Frankfurt, Germany, and finally landed in Singapore via Singapore Airlines on July 22, 2011. It was my first flight longer than 4 hours, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. I’ve never been afraid to fly, but I was slightly nervous to be flying over the Atlantic and even more nervous that I didn’t really know anyone who would be on our flight. The flight from JFK to Frankfurt was amazing with pretty good food and lots of good movies to choose from, making the long flight much better than expected.
What’s the longest flight you’ve taken and where were you heading?
We landed at Changi airport and it was stunning, complete with a butterfly garden and full size movie theater. We took a bus to our hotel, Hotel Royal, where the staff greeted us with welcome drinks- some kind of specialty fruity beverage that had us all ecstatic to be on the ground at our first destination. My initial impression of this beautiful country was how incredibly clean it was. There was no litter anywhere, no one was walking a dog, the air was fresh and the streets were spotless. We later learned that it is illegal to litter throughout the entire country, a crime that warrants punishment of literally cutting off the hands or fingers of the offender. Some penalty, right!? I’d love for America to take a tip from them!
On the first day, we took a riverboat scenic tour near Clarke Quay, allowing us to see the amazing architecture around the city. The best things I really recall were the Marina Sands Hotel and the famous Merlion statue. The Marina Sands Hotel has an infinity pool on top and we were all instantly mesmerized by how gorgeous that building truly was.
I don’t really know the full story behind the Merlion, so if anyone knows it, I would love to hear about it!
The first day included lots of walking and sightseeing, making it tough since none of us were able to adjust to the craziest jet lag we’d ever experienced. Even still, it was an amazing first day! We went to various markets and took in so much of the culture in just one day. No matter how excited we all were, we all slept like babies on the first night.
On day two, we went to the mall for breakfast to a coffee shop that was in a pet store. I’m still not even sure how that worked out but the coffee was good! We went to one of the greatest zoos in the world, where I was absolutely in heaven. There was so much space and so many awesome animals that I had never seen in a zoo before. The dugong was definitely my favorite and the restroom was outside in the middle of the jungle. We went to the Battle Box Museum, commemorating the events that lead up to Japan taking control of Singapore from the British. It’s always strange to me to learn about wars like this in other countries but it’s amazing to learn so much about unfamiliar places.
After the museum, we came across a festival in the quad outside of our hotel that threw us right into the culture. There was dancing and some shows that kept everyone entertained. It was similar to a small town fair, but so much more lively and colorful! We had dinner at the food court near our hotel before swimming in the pool and getting to know each other better.
We managed to go out to the bars at Clarke Quay that evening and we had a blast! I’ll never forget seeing a Burger King Bar, where they had every kind of beer you could imagine on the menu. Who knew!? I was amazed to learn English is one of the primary languages in Singapore, so communication was so much better than originally anticipated.
On the third and final day in Singapore, we slept in late, finally able to adjust to the time change. We took a bus to the airport, where we all split up and enjoyed the whole day exploring the most gigantic airport I’ve ever been in. I watched Despicable Me in the theater for the first time and visited the butterfly garden, seeing all different species of pretty butterflies before meeting back up with everyone where we had dinner at an Indian Restaurant.
Just a few hours later we were off to Sydney!
Regardless of only spending a few days there, Singapore was absolutely beautiful and I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment. So many new relationships were formed, new cultures were experienced, and another country to check off my travel bucket list. I was absolutely in love with my life and couldn’t have been more thankful to be half way across the world, essentially on my own.
Anyone been to Singapore? Can you share some of your favorite experiences there? I wanna hear from all of you!