Singapore – a man-made beauty


On my last trip to Singapore we only used taxis to get from A to B. And we asked all the drivers the same question; do you like to live in Singapore?

It was very interesting to hear several times the almost same answers; “I like it here because it is safe and a good place to work and to get old (pension fund), but there is no real beauty”. We were a bit surprised because for a city(state) at first glance it looks quite beautiful and provides a lot of green areas and even the beaches aren’t far.

When my friend from Canada and I (Swiss) asked for a more specific answer one driver explained: “if you look around this is all man-made, nothing natural. They think we like it like that, everything in order, everything organised and very accurate, but it isn’t natural. No wild nature like in your countries, no lake, no wild forest, no mountains".

We immediately knew what he meant. Despite we both like Singapore, especially as two Westerns after spending several months in South East Asia, we had to agree with him. We also started to call it almost a bit sterile, ironically especially the business district. According to my friend there was “no life” in the streets. After coming straight from Bali, where we were used to sidesteps around some holes in the pavement indeed, people laughing and dogs playing, as well as beautiful offerings along the streets, the differences were huge.


What the taxi drivers mentioned isn’t uncommon; a lot of people feel deeply connected when out in true nature, away from man-built objects, away from concrete and away from artificial light. A nice prepared fine sand beach is nice, no doubt, but what about walking along a raw coast, looking for seashells and stones, not machined by men yet? Or to stroll through a wild forrest where you have to be careful where you put your feet? 


In this respect I'd like to share quite an interesting and elaborated article about how Singapore's land did grow and from where all the sand came from:


How Singapore Is Creating More Land for Itself


However, I can’t deny that I truly like Singapore. I haven’t returned for nothing after almost 13 years. Here are some tips you really shouldn’t miss while there:


  • The esplanade and gardens by the bay; interesting architecture meets man-made trees and a wide green garden to walk around, beautifully lightened up at nights - as the taxi drivers said, all man-made but for those who like it anyway.
  • Singapore’s wheel of fortune: 42 storeys high, these big giant wheels comprise of a 150 meters high wheel, basically with a total height of 165 meters, since it is built upon a three-storey terminal building. No doubt this gives you a spectacular view.
  • The Marina Bay Sands: Enjoy an iconic infinity pool and a stunning city view, but be prepared to pay for it! (and to dress up properly). 
  • Arab Street (Kampong Glam): a vivid neighbourhood with the Sultan mosque as its landmark and lots of nice bars and restaurants, as well as market stores to negotiate; the area around Arab Street hosts many middle eastern restaurants, textile and fabric shops. PS: it is also the area where you find “the life” ;-)
  • Favourite coffee bar for delicious breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner with a relax atmosphere: &why at Bali lane (no coincidence I guess ;-) 



Gardens by The Bay
Gardens by The Bay
Bay Area / Business District
Bay Area / Business District
Arab Street
Arab Street