Singapore, Sweden of Asia?

“Sweden of Asia”. Or that is how Antti dubbed Singapore after the first impressions. We hopped over to Singapore for a five day visit before catching up with a friend in KL. Cleanliness of the streets felt weird after our two months in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur. Everything seemed to have a specific order and rules. And these were followed, with hefty fines for breaking them giving a good incentive. Even the Chinatown area, were we stayed, was cleaner and less chaotic than other ones we’ve seen. It was easy to get around the city by the efficient public transport system and it was very hard to get lost. In addition, English is as an official language there making the place a walk in a park for a traveler.

Singapore is a big business hub in the area and there is a healthy start-up scene. From the website Meetup we found a meeting of the Singapore Lean Startup Circle, and took the chance to learn a bit more about the topic, meet some local entrepreneurs and see how the HUB Singapore looks like. - By the way, there seems to be a lot of different events in Meetup for Singapore, so check it out if going there.

Our touristic thing was visiting the Zoo and Night Safari, which were said to be one of the world’s best. The Zoo was good indeed, with plenty of exotic animals like white tigers, hippos, and big fruit bats, and nice conditions for them. The best part was still the Night Safari. When the Zoo closes there are almost two hours before the Night Safari opens, but it’s worth the wait. The restaurants at the site do open earlier, so there’s somewhere to eat while waiting. We started our Night Safari experience with a tram ride around the area. Not sure which was more entertaining, the animals or the over enthusiastic guides… Afterwards we walked the paths to see animals more closely. It was already dark and at some points it felt like we really were in a wild jungle, although a very safe one. And we saw a lion standing on a big rock, roaring out loud, in a stolen-from-the-Lion-King-movie kind of way.

Overall, it’s a city worth a visit. It provides a break from the chaos South-East Asia can be. It might seem a bit clinical at first, but there for sure are more layers to discover. As a bonus point, if there’s anything you need to buy, you can find it from the thousands (at least it seems so!) shopping malls around.

Antti and Mirje

We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »