Heat, humidity, and the smell of fresh air hit me as I got off the MRT subway, which we had taken straight from the airport. It was about 27 C (80 F), humidity at 80% at it was only 7 am in April! This was definitely going to be a sweaty trip. Singapore was our first of two destinations in Asia, and after 32 hours of travel from the US (3 flights, one of which was 16 hours), we were ready to move around and explore.
As we stepped outside on to the bustling Singaporean streets, I made sure to keep an eye out on Dima (my husband/travel partner). Why? Well at the time, I had a legitimate concern that he might get arrested as he wouldn't be able to follow the local law. Jaywalking, chewing gum, spitting and singing in public, walking around naked in your own house/hotel, connecting to someone else's wifi, were just the tip of the iceberg on why this could have been the place he was sent to jail :D Some other weird laws/ illegal things to do in Singapore include; smoking in public, forgetting to flush the toilet, feeding pigeons, and singing or playing an instrument in public. Penalties vary from jail time (up to 3 years for connecting to someone's wifi) to smaller fines ($150 SGD, around $108 USD for not flushing the toilet). And of course things like urinating in public, littering and hawking (selling goods on the street by calling out for attention) are also illegal.
You might think some of those laws are crazy, but I definitely witnessed the result from some of them. My first realization was that Singapore was extremely clean. No trash, cigarette butts, gum anywhere to be found. (Which was interesting, because we had an extremely hard time finding trash cans around the city. Weird) My other realizations were that Singapore was very safe and high tech.
Interesting Facts About Singapore
Gardens By The Bay
On our first day in Singapore we spent a good 4 hours exploring Gardens by the Bay. It looked like something out of this world! The park was so green, full of color, had interesting plants on every corner and not to mention the intergalactic looking Supertrees. In the park, they also have the Supertree Grove and two conservatories: Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, which house 217,000 plants from 800 different species!
Gardens by the Bay only opened in 2012, and was a strategic move by the government to transform Singapore into a "City in a Garden." The aim was to improve Singaporeans' quality of life by improving the clean, fresh air and boosting the fauna and flora in the country. If you look closely, the Supertrees (pictured below) have plants growing on them, and as of April 2017 they were covering about half of the Supertrees and one day they will be covered completely. How cool!
Cloud Forest Dome
The first conservatory we explored was the Cloud Forest. (Our favorite of the two.) This dome recreates a tropical, moist forest climate which is usually found at elevations between 1500 m - 3000m (approx. 5000 - 10,000 ft.) The centerpiece of the dome is a mountain with a 35 m (115ft) waterfall. I'm not much of a plant lover, but I was impressed! I saw so many interesting looking plants I had never seen before, experienced the cool but humid air of the 'mountains' and felt the soft mist land on my skin. Dima (of course) was most impressed with the building itself, which is the world's largest columnless glass greenhouse, built from glass that sits on a steel grid, which acts like an eggshell.
The second dome is the Flower Dome, which recreates the dry Mediterranean climate found across the world. Here we saw lots of flowers and trees including beautiful succulents, tulips and cacti.
If you are going to visit Singapore, this is a must place to visit! The park has even more to offer than what I covered in this post. They also have a Children's Garden and water play area, Dragonfly lake, Sun Pavilion and more. Entry to the Gardens by the Bay park is free!! But there is an entrance fee to the convervatories and skywalk, which are fairly affordable. (For more information on Gardens by the Bay, click here.)
Well this covered about the first 4 hours of our 12 day trip. Haha! So there's plenty more coming! I would love to hear your thoughts and/or questions. I would also love to hear the 'first impression' you received from reading this post. Is Singapore / Gardens by the Bay a place you would like to visit? Have you heard about Singapore / Gardens by the Bay before? Or will you stay away from a country with too many regulations and laws that might send you to jail?
Welcome to my travel & lifestyle blog!
This blog is long overdue! I've wanted to start it years ago, but never got around to it. Traveling is my passion. My dream is to one day visit all continents, countries and states in the U.S. Thankfully I have had the opportunity to visit 38 countries in 4 different continents so far. Keep posted for my adventures and life events on my blog! - Rebecca
God created a beautiful world out there! Get out and explore.
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