Asia,  Singapore,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Singapore (part 2/2): the sweet life

Part 1 & practical tips on Singapore here.

As soon as we get back to Singapore from Batam, we head to the Botanical Garden. Emilie is waiting for us there. She is on a business trip in Singapore and we find it super funny to be, like that, on the other side of the world

We spent a lot of time at theOrchid Garden in the Botanical Garden. While the garden is free and ideal for jogging, the Orchid Garden part isn’t free and for 5$SG, you get your money’s worth. There are orchids of all colors, photo corners for the selfie pros, cool houses with air conditioning to grow orchids that need freshness, and a growing area where small plants are carefully taken care of. There are even new types of orchids created artificially through crossbreeding, including one with the sweet name of Angela Merkel ahaha

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We took the opportunity to ask Emilie, who lived in Singapore for 2 years, for advice on visiting. After these very sympathetic reunion, we go, thanks to her advices, to Gardens by the Bay (after having broken the crust at the foodcourt of Marina Bay Sands). Gardens by the Bay are very well known for its false metal trees serving as plant walls. Its two (paying) greenhouses are apparently not worth it


Having spent too much time eating, we arrive late and have to watch from far away the sound and light show (free) at 7:45 pm. While approaching the metal trees and finding them too beautiful, we decide to stay there to watch the second show one hour later, sitting in the grass, a sundae in hand. It’s super well done, the trees light up in accordance with the music, we almost believe they are singing. Listening to “I dreamed a dream” in this context moved me a lot. Here we are on a trip around the world, realizing a dream that we didn’t think was possible

As our Airbnb is no longer available, we book instead a capsule Cube Hotel – right in the heart of Chinatown, with double beds. It’s very comfortable and well done (we have two folding tables), even if the ceiling height isn’t for the claustrophobic. There is much less noise than a youth hostel. The air conditioning is very cold, so cold that the next day, when I woke up, I thought I was in Europe


We spend the whole morning booking the car, the flights… for our stay in Kuala Lumpur (1 day later) and our first days in New Zealand (3 days later). Might as well tell you that we are in a hurry 🙂 I used to be the kind of person who planned every minute, but that was before. The world tour changed me a lot, for the better!

Pooja also confirms that I am much more relaxed vs. the last time she saw me in Paris. It was last May, Pooja emailed me on Couchsurfing to have coffee with me, and I took her to the Museum of Romantic Life, we had tea in the beautiful garden of the museum. She became a friend. She is of Indian origin, was born in Hong Kong, and has been living in Singapore for 2 years

It’s magical to find her here. She brings us to the hawker center (a kind of covered food court) of theEsplanade, where she makes us discover the local specialties (stingray fish, satay, calamansi juice with plum). Singaporeans also spend a lot of time at the hawker centers

Chicken rice: even if it doesn’t look appetizing, it’s super good because the rice is cooked in the chicken broth



We then end up at Toast Box, well known for its toasts (of course) and creative drinks (for example a mix of tea and coffee). My secret dream of settling here is shattered when she tells us that you have to be a graduate of one of the 50+ universities on the government-authorized list to get a work card here. And contrary to the golden image we have of Singaporeans, they are rather unhappy and unambitious, like the Qataris who don’t need to be good at work, or the Norwegians who sink into alcohol in one of the most developed countries in the world. As a result, abundance does not necessarily do any good. Me too, it took me a lot of cold showers to finally know how to appreciate every hot shower I have during the trip. I don’t want to be a lecturer, if I write all this here, it’s mostly for me, for us. So that we don’t forget the lessons we learned during our trip. So that the reflections on us, our life, aren’t lost

Moreover, the visit of the National Museum of Singapore, even if I don’t like museums, is very interesting. It explains how Singapore managed to be reborn after World War II, its independence vs. the British and then the Malaysians. In short, it is highly recommended


Tomorrow, departure for Kuala Lumpur.

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