Now about Singapore.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is the smallest country in Southeast Asia. This city-state with 716 km˛ is slightly larger than the Dutch Polder. The country covers a group of 63 islands in total, separated from Indonesia by the Singapore and Malaysia Straits by the Straits of Johor. Both sea straits are very narrow.
The main island, Singapore, is connected to the mainland of Malaysia by the Johor-Singapore Causeway in the north and by a bridge, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, in the northwest.
Some surrounding inland islands are also connected to the main island via fixed connections. A lot of land reclamation takes place to accommodate the people and to be able to construct new industrial estates. The highest natural point is the Bukit Timah Hill at 164 meters. Mount Faber is another high point at 105 meters. This hill is a tourist attraction because of the panoramic view of the harbor and the city.
Singapore is a special mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures. They merge into a small, energetic region. What was once a small, charming piece of land was transformed into a futuristic region. Full of neon lights, towering skyscrapers, a 24/7 economy and hipsters at every corner of the street.
The nicest thing to visit in Singapore is probably Sentosa Island. The island feels like an amusement park, which can also be found here. If you go to the island via the promenade - over the water - you do not have to pay an entrance fee. On the island there is something for everyone: beaches, Universal Studios, aquariums, a fort, endless indoor and outdoor activities, and much more. And from the island you can return for free with the monorail!
Beach at Sentosa Island
Two nice neighbourhoods in the city center are Chinatown and Little India, which show an entirely different side of Singapore. You imagine yourself in another country! Because the population is so diverse, various neighborhoods have also developed. This may seem like segregation, rather than integration, but nothing is less true. Singapore has a strict housing policy. For example, each district represents the entire population of Singapore (75% Chinese, 18% Malay, 7% Indian, 3% Europeans and Middle Asians). Once the quota of your ethnicity is reached, you have to look for another neighbourhood to live in.
And then the Marina Bay Sands, as an elephant in the room attracts all the attention, the hotel Marina Bay Sands attracts all the attention of Singapore. A poopy-chic hotel that we can never afford our life with our budget, with a roof terrace with infinity pool and views over the entire skyline. What is free again is the Marina Bay promenade. The Marina Bay lies in front of the gigantic hotel and from the promenade you have a beautiful view of the Singapore skyline, you can admire the famous Merlion and you have a beautiful view of the Spectra water-light show.
But the best (free) highlight, we liked the most, was the Gardens by the Bay. Singapore has the strategy of turning a 'city garden' into a 'city in a garden'. A high-tech and fancy garden, then again. Gardens by the Bay is part of this plan. The immense park (101 hectares!) Is a futuristic forest with giant metal trees. These trees light up beautifully at night during the Gardens Rhapsody light show. And the gardens and light show are also completely free!