Singapore is the first foreign country I've been to and the first country abroad where I worked and lived for more than 4 years. My dreams were nurtured and all my wishes came true. There are a lot of memories that made me who I am now through all my experiences in this small country located on the Southeast Asia. The red dot of Asia that will always leave a red happy dot on my heart. Singapore will always be a part of me. I have here a list that I will surely miss when I leave the country.
1. Efficient Transportation
This is one thing that amazes me about Singapore, the timely train and bus schedules with short, regular intervals. I love knowing what time the bus comes so I still got time to happily eat my cereal in the morning before rushing downstairs to catch the bus. Bus timings can be assess through the SG Bus Application on the phone, how convenient is that? Plus you get to connect with google map to track your destination. I know other countries all has it but Singapore was the first one who showed me the essence of efficient transportation. Besides I strongly believe, based on my travels in other countries, SG still remains number in providing great service when it comes to transportation.
It's also a tourist friendly country where all the exciting places are nearby the MRT station. Direct bus are available too for everyone's convenience. Plus all the sings are in English. Everything has been laid out in a silver platter for everyone to read. If you get lost just trace your way back to the station, read the map and follow the signs.
2. Clean and Organize
Rumors about Singapore being clean and organize is definitely true. They maintain this kind of surrounding by strictly putting signs all over the places, with corresponding fines for violating the rules. As what they said, "It's a Fine Country" after all. From the moment you land on the island the airline informs everyone that chewing gum is prohibited by law. Say goodbye to your 1 minute fresh breath. Back in my primary years students would place gum at the bottom part of the arm desk to avoid getting caught by the teacher, that will never ever happen in Singapore. The city is organize in a way that in most MRT station or a few blocks away from the HBD there's a hawker center, a community club, a convenient store, supermarket and a park around the area. The city has been carefully planned to serve the people's interest and convenience.
One important factor that makes Singapore lovable is that its a safe country. There are few crimes reported and are being monitored effectively to ensure every individuals safety. In other countries going home late is dangerous whereas in Singapore they are night rider buses available till early morning. I've never felt so safe, now I can run at night and have a good time with friends till the break of dawn.
4. Food Choices
There are a lot of foods to choice from: Singaporean, Malaysian, Indian and even western food. For the food adventurous check out their food fusion and be ready for the distinct burst of flavors that will surely make you crave for more. We all have our favorites, mine are simple and affordable on weekdays. On weekends, If I feel like venturing on a food trip then that's the time I hide my ATM card under my bed. Food is not that cheap in Singapore, most especially if you're a big eater like me who thinks life is so short. Besides I always tell myself I'm on a SEEfood diet, I need to religiously follow my doctor's order.
I remembered my first one dollar ice cream in Orchard. It was so good that I came back for it everytime I have the chance to be around the area. Aside from that my favorite dish of all time is the Singaporean, Malaysian Hokkien Mee. A noddle dish saute with egg noodles, rice noodles, pieces of squid, shrimp and pork slices. Top it off with fried pork skin, slices of lime juice and sambal or special spicy sauce. Lastly, I'm in love with wanton mee noddles with dumpling soup. I like mine mixed with all the sauce in the list and just a little bit spicy sauce for the kick. Most hawker centres and kopitiam offers this delectable dish.
My local friend told me once never leave SG without trying the most affordable meal in the country, the sought after chicken rice. This meal feed me for months when I started my first job. Then I started to discover other delicious treats like Prima Deli's Waffles (I always get the blueberry waffles), Egg Tart, Polar Cakes Sugar Roll and Ice Kachang, somewhat like Philippine's Halo-Halo desert. Also dishes like Satay dipped in peanut sauce, fried kway teow, Indian's Murtabak, Cheese Prata, Malay's beef rendang. Even varieties of milk tea's like Koi, Gongcha and Ajantea. They too have a variety of beer selection. Then I started to try pricey sweets like TWG french macarons, french crepes and Glace Banana log cake. I'll stop from here because surely I can go on and on talking about my food experience.
I love the diversity in Singapore. It's a multi- racial country that comprises; Singaporeans, Malaysians, Chinese, Indians, cross breed nationals and permanent residents from all over the world. Everyone seemed to be welcome in this very small island in the Southeast Asia.
6. Shopping Convenience
Most of the MRT station has a shopping mall. Getting your shopping list on the go is always an easy task. Online shopping is even reliable and is as easy as 1 2 3. I also loved the fact that the convenient store, food centre, supermarket and ATM machine is always around the corner. Everything is laid out in the city for consumerism. That said, you can't go around the country without money. A lot of shopping mall offers perks and discounts. There's always a Sale in different boutiques and outlets in the mall.
I love affordable stores like Daiso, Value Dollar, Miniso and Decathlon. Singapore has taught me to be materialistic yet it harnessed my budget skills and made me a better consumer. Now I know what are things I need buy and what are the things I need to ignore that will eventually turn me into a hoarder.
7. Hiking Trails
One aspect that is surprisingly available in the city are the number of hiking trails. I would have never thought about hiking in Singapore. The country is flat as my wallet, so I thought, but it turns out they have a lot of hiking trails to offer. I'm proud to say I've hiked most of the trails. My favorites are Pulau Ubin and MacRitchie Reservoir. It's nice to get away from the bustling noise of the city life once in awhile without hopping on a plane or a very long bus ride.
8. Everything you need
I've worked in Singapore for a few years and I can tell you that everything I needed is in the island. From basic necessities like food, clothing, transportation accessibility and leisure activities. I don't need to travel to a nearby town or take a long, strenuous bus ride to buy something, as what I need is always somewhere around the corner.
When I say everything that also meant everything I want can be done Online. There is no hassle of wanting something as everything can be done at the tip of your fingertips: from online shopping, to online reservation for food, gadget, beauty services and medical appointments. You can even pay your bills online, transfer funds locally and internationally. One more great thing about it is that you can book online for taxi's or uber cars for pick-up from your place to anywhere you want in Singapore. Post mail service is fast and affordable too.
9. Activities all around
There is always something fun to do everyday. Watch late night movies, late night bowling, late night karaoke and even late night massages. Even more in the morning like running, tennis ,free zumba, painting class , ukelele session, martial arts trial and all kinds of activities you can think off are available. This what I love most about Singapore. I certainly love the accessibility of doing anything I want in this small country. And because it has a small land mass index traveling to your activity is very convenient.
If you check online they have lots of free classes and group invitation for different kind of activities. I joined a yoga class for a cause, I paid cheap not even half of the cost of a gym card membership and whats good about it I'm helping other people while getting fit. There's also an art club, we went to different kinds of galleries and even meet the artist themselves. I found a fitness group which does circuit training every weekends. Lastly, something close to my heart a volunteer group reaching out to help other people by cooking for them, fundraising and helping out in any kind of way.
10. Fitness Addicts
I will surely miss the parks as I've went to these places several times and even the motivation I get from my friends. People in the island are fitness conscious. They work like mad robots on weekdays and exercise like mad Olympians on weekends. I like that because it motivates me to be healthy and fit. When I started working in Singapore I got myself into sports like running, hiking and cycling. They have a few parks and fitness ground for this kind of sports nearby all the residential blocks so getting lazy in the weekend is not an option.
What's interesting about it is the government's involvement on encouraging the citizens to get healthy. I joined the health promotional board steps challenge, where in a watch was given to count your steps everyday. Each accumulated steps are converted to points and once you reached a certain percentage you will get a corresponding amount of money. Expect $10-$30 in your mailbox for a job well done. It's a fun way of exercising and earning some extra cash for your intended cheat day. Another thing I'll surely miss is the recently opened Decathlon, a store that sells all kinds of sporting goods and equipments. A playground for the fitness enthusiast. This had been my favorite place since I heard about it.