“There’s a special quality to the loneliness of dusk, a melancholy more brooding even than the night’s.”
– Ed Gorman,
Singapore is a tourist haven with a variety of hotspots like the Sentosa Island, Singapore Flyer, Universal Studios, the shopping districts of Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands and more.
The common thread among all these is the fact that they are man – made attractions. These attractions are the ones which are advertised the most.
Beaches are places where you can relax and unwind.
Beaches are places where you can rewind your thoughts and give meaning to them.
Beaches are places where the sound of the sea waves hitting the sea shore provides a sense of tranquility far away from the big bad world out there.
Singapore is regarded as one of the most dynamic cities on the planet. It is at the crossroads between Asia and Europe. Despite its small size, Singapore has for long been a strong business and tourist hub. And so when I got a chance to experience the feeling of ringing in the New Year 2014 in Singapore with a lot of fireworks and celebrations, I was quite excited.
While there are dance parties throughout Singapore, the area around Marina Bay Sands is where Singapore showcases it’s splendid fireworks.
We all have many life events which we remember for a long time be it birthdays, anniversaries, the day we marry, the day we fall in love for the first time, the day we have our first breakup, the day we come first in class, the day we make new friends, the day our parents gift us a new laptop or phone and many more. These are the days when we thank God for keeping us happy and contented. But as is human nature, we also remember the bad times for a variety of reasons as well.
For me, one of the key life events which I have been thankful for is the fact that I got a chance to go out of my comfort zone to complete my graduation and post – graduation in India. I had always lived a sheltered and well protected life while growing up in the Sultanate of Oman. There was almost never a time when I didn’t have AC be it at home, school, malls or in cars. There was almost never a time when my parents weren’t around for their support in anything and everything I wanted. Most importantly, there was no pollution – water, air, noise whatsoever.
Christmas in Singapore is celebrated with much fanfare and is particularly reflected in the elaborate lighting for the various malls across Orchard Street and the rest of the city.
It’s as though each mall is a prop and dressed to impress to the maximum. There are competitions every Christmas for the best dressed mall of the year.
Orchard Street is generally full of people singing, dancing and taking lots of photographs.
Gardens by the Bay is one of the iconic landmarks of Singapore situated right next to the Marina Bay Sands in about 100 hectares of reclaimed land.
It consists of the Flower Dome which spans an area of around 1.2 hectares and is regarded as the world’s largest glass greenhouse consisting of flowers and plants found in regions as varied as the Mediterranean, South America, Australia, South Africa and more.
Then, there is the Cloud Forest which is a bit smaller than the Flower Dome but it’s cool moist conditions make you feel that you are somewhere in South East Asia.
Batam and Bintan – two small islands part of the Riau archipelago in Indonesia are both famous weekend getaways for individuals and other tourists from Singapore. Since both of them are less than 200km away, they are easily accessible from mainland Singapore by a short ferry ride.
There are various deals for trips to Batam which you can find on sites like Groupon. They typically offer a hotel stay (2D1N should be more than enough) and a ferry ride (to and fro from Singapore). Some do offer all the meals while others only offer breakfast. Our package included all the meals. The hotel was fairly decent as well. Some deals also offer city tours. Do check the fine print to know what is and what is not included in the tour packages in order to avoid any surprises.
I have always heard people crib about the fact that Singapore doesn’t have anything natural to offer when it comes to tourism. Ironically, as of 2005, Singapore has about 2000 hectares of park area which is equal to about 70 km. But then, Singapore isn’t generally promoted as a destination for eco-tourism simply because the authorities believe that they can offer much more to the tourist in other areas like shopping, man-made attractions and more.
So we have already the crossed the first half of the year. As always, it feels as though the months have passed by quicker than I can even imagine. And soon we will bid goodbye to another year gone by.
January started off with me still dreaming about my trip to Moscow and the lovely winter there. There were travel posts galore of the times in Moscow, Kuwait and Singapore. February and March were all about family and fun. I went home for the first time after coming to Kuwait and it truly felt like those days back in Muscat whenever we used to go home during the school summer vacations. There was also the trip to Dubai which culminated in a number of travel posts as well.
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