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Exploring By Bicycle, 'The Garden City': Singapore

My best friend recently moved to Indonesia, for an internship, and as an avid traveller, I couldn't miss the chance to visit her there. We spent two wonderful weeks exploring Lombok, where she lives, and its neighbouring islands. The region's beauty blew us away as we encountered monkeys, Komodo dragons, and waterfalls, and snorkelled in the crystal-clear beach waters...

On my way back to the UK, I decided to stop in Singapore for a couple of days and embark on a cycling adventure. I didn't know much about Singapore besides the fact that it is a safe, modern country where chewing gum is prohibited!

I did some research before going and learned that, apart from being a very modern and urban city full of buildings, Singapore actually has a lot of green spaces. It has over 300 parks and 4 nature reserves.

In fact, Singapore stands as one of the greenest cities in the world. Rules require developers to plant new greenery when they build, which keeps the city green despite ongoing urban development.


So much beauty in such a small space! Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world. The city-state spans just 710 square kilometres and is inhabited by five million people from four major communities: Chinese, which is the majority, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian...

Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has undergone a remarkable transformation. The country was under the sovereignty of the British Empire from the early 19th century. After gaining its independence from the British Empire in 1963, Singapore briefly joined the Federation of Malaysia, before breaking away to become an independent nation.


Singapore consists of more than 60 islands. I visited the main island, which is the largest and the primary destination for most visitors. It is called mainland Singapore or Pulau Ujong in Malay. This main island is surrounded by more than 60 smaller islands which are mostly uninhabited.


But there are also some fantastic smaller islands that are definitely worth a visit and attract plenty of tourists! Sentosa is a must-see, with its gorgeous beaches and top attractions like Universal Studios Singapore. Another option is Lazarus Island, known for its serene beaches.

Unfortunately, I could only visit the mainland, but it didn't disappoint! I had a wonderful express visit.

Local Bike Hire with Anywheel...

To get around quicker, I used a bike as my main means of transportation. I decided to go with one of the local bike rental services, called Anywheel, as there are plenty of stations around town where you can easily pick up and drop off the bike.


Using Anywheel was quite convenient. The bikes are a vibrant green colour, symbolising the eco-friendly nature of cycling. Each bike is equipped with a small basket, perfect for carrying a small bag, and there are even family bikes available with a seat for a child. I spent £12 on renting a bike for the whole day, which I think is a fair price. For shorter trips, you can rent a bike for 1 SGD per 30 minutes, which is approximately 57 pence.




Before my trip, I had planned on using Anywheel and had downloaded the app. However, since the app tracks your location, I was unable to check the stations until I arrived in Singapore. Once there, the process was straightforward: simply follow the app instructions and scan the QR code on the bike.

It made exploring the city effortless, as everything I wanted to visit in Singapore was quite close by. The city has a well-developed infrastructure, so I could travel quickly between different parts, making it easy to enjoy all the attractions without wasting time or getting too tired.

Singapore's cycling infrastructure is very impressive, with 525 kilometers of dedicated cycling paths already in place, and ambitious plans by the government to expand the network to around 1300 kilometres by 2030!

One of the highlights of cycling in Singapore is the Park Connector Network (PCN), a system of cycling paths that connects major parks, nature reserves, and residential areas...

In addition to the PCN, urban areas are equipped with dedicated bike lanes, which are well maintained and surrounded by greenery, as is characteristic of the city's landscape...

Even when cycling on roads without designated bike lanes, amidst cars, I still felt safe!

Blooms & Shots!

Once I picked up the bike, I decided to find a local florist. Having just bought a new camera, I thought this trip would be a fantastic opportunity to practise my photography skills...

I recently bought a second-hand Sony a7 II. I used to have a DSLR Nikon D3000 about eight years ago, but I haven't practiced my photography skills in a while. Although I'm not very experienced, I love photography! With the good weather, I thought it would be a perfect day to take pictures...

...and adding some beautiful flowers to the bike basket would make for a great splash of colour and fantastic photo opportunities...


The vibrant flowers, combined with the blend of urban and greenery in Singapore, would help me capture some great shots. I knew the flowers would be a bit expensive because many of them are imported from countries across the globe, as most flowers do not thrive in Singapore's humid climate. I chose a colourful bouquet featuring Sunflowers, Eucalyptus, Alstroemeria, Limonium, Gerbera, and Eustoma.

It took me a long time to decide on the perfect bouquet, as I wanted something that truly matched the spirit of Singapore. Ideally, I wanted to buy Vanda Miss Joaquim- the national flower of Singapore.


I had read that in 1981, Vanda Miss Joaquim (Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim) was declared Singapore's National Flower by the Minister of Culture. It was selected because these orchids are hybrids, and symbolise Singapore’s cosmopolitan background. With such rich symbolism, Vanda Miss Joaquim holds a special place in Singaporean hearts, and there are even streets and a park named after it!

Unfortunately I couldn't buy it because it would have been too hard to transport it.

The florist was very kind and suggested this particular arrangement as an alternative because she believed its colours represented Singapore well, with the vibrant yellow sunflower, the white Limonium, and the beautiful pink Eustoma...

With my destinations mapped out, and my basket filled with flowers, I set off to explore everything on my list, starting with the iconic Raffles Hotel. Afterwards, I headed to Marina Bay, where I planned to visit the Merlion, the Art and Science Museum and Gardens by the Bay.

Raffles Hotel

The Raffles hotel was established in 1887 by Armenian hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, who named the hotel after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. The hotel's architecture is a blend of colonial and tropical styles, featuring high ceilings and beautiful gardens. It also offers a range of facilities including a spa, swimming pool, fitness centre, and event spaces for weddings.

I didn't have the opportunity to enter as I wasn't staying there and I was cycling. However, from what I've read, accommodation at the Raffles Hotel is synonymous with luxury, offering suites named after famous guests like polish novelist Joseph Conrad and English novelist Rudyard Kipling.

The hotel also offers a diverse selection of dining establishments, ranging from North Indian cuisine to Cantonese classics, as well as elegant Afternoon Tea.

If you enjoy the occasional drink, you'll be thrilled to discover that The Raffles Hotel is renowned for crafting one of the most famous cocktail recipes worldwide: The Singapore Sling.

It was first created in the early 20th century by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon and is now regarded as the National drink of Singapore.

During that era, it was considered socially unacceptable for women to consume alcohol in public settings, so Ngiam crafted the Singapore Sling to resemble fruit juice, allowing women to drink it. It is a gin based cocktail and usually contains pineapple juice, lime juice, Bénédictine and cherry liqueur, giving it a distinctive pink hue. Today, visitors can still enjoy a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel!

Culturally significant, the Raffles Hotel is often featured in literature, films, and popular culture. In fact, it was one of the filming locations of Crazy Rich Asians! The hotel is popular among celebrities and has hosted several renowned names over the years, including legendary comic actor Charlie Chaplin, renowned actresses Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor, novelist Joseph Conrad, and many others.


The Emblem of Singapore...

After visiting the Raffles Hotel, I hopped back on my bike and pedalled my way to another iconic landmark of Singapore: the Merlion, an iconic lion-fish hybrid sculpture in the middle of Marina Bay...

Originally located at the mouth of the Singapore River, it was built by local craftsman Lim Nang Seng, designed by Kwan Sai Kheong, and officially revealed on1972. It was later moved to Marina Bay in 2002.

This part of Marina Bay is very modern and sophisticated. I decided to visit the ArtScience museum and then explore the area...

The Innovative ArtScience Museum

The building is beautiful, a white lotus-inspired museum designed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie. This unique structure comprises 10 distinct fingers connected by a circular base at its centre. Rainwater is cleverly directed through the Museum's roof into the central atrium, forming a dramatic 35-metre cascade before being recycled!

Right next to the museum there is Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s most iconic hotel and home to the world’s largest Infinity Pool, also designed by Moshe Safdie...


I was very interested in visiting this museum as I have a background in Science but now I am more focused in Art, so I love exploring the fascinating intersection between Art and Science. The museum's mission is to explore where art, science, culture and technology come together...

The immersive permanent exhibition, which is a collection of digital interactive installations is outstanding! Additionally, I had the opportunity to explore two temporary exhibitions, one was a Frida Kahlo immersive biographical exhibition, and the other, titled Goddess, celebrated the remarkable achievements of female superstars...

It was a wonderful experience! And afterwards I went outside to practise some photography, as the area looks so interesting...

Surrounding the museum there is a lovely pond filled with purple and white water lilies...

If you're a fan of unique shopping experiences or seeking a taste of luxury, this is the place for you...

Right on the waters of Marina Bay, you can find the first floating Apple store, a gigantic spherical structure reflecting the city's skyline through its glass panels.

Also floating on the water is the first island flagship Louis Vuitton store. It was designed by award-winning architect Peter Marino and blends seamlessly with the surrounding waterscape. This is a must-visit destination for fashion enthusiasts!


Gardens by the Bay

Having enjoyed the wonderful views, I decided to head to Gardens by the Bay, one of the most iconic gardens in the world, covering 101 hectares of reclaimed land. These beautiful gardens were revealed in 2012 and have since attracted many tourists from around the world...

Gardens by the Bay was built as part of Singapore's strategy, championed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to transform the city from a "Garden City'' to a "City in a Garden"...

The goal was to enhance the quality of life by adding greenery to the urban environment, promoting environmental sustainability, and making Singapore a more attractive place to live and visit...

There, I went cycling along a lovely, safe, and well-maintained bike lane that goes through the gardens. I was almost alone, which made for a very relaxing experience surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers. I was very impressed by the scenery; it was a perfect spot to practise photography.

I found a Frangipani on the floor and thought it would complement my already beautiful bouquet! While not native to Singapore, Frangipanis are tropical flowers that thrive in warm and humid weather.


After spending a good amount of time exploring the gardens, I decided to go towards the various attractions...


I had purchased tickets for two of the attractions within Gardens by the Bay. While the garden itself offers an open area to explore freely, there are also additional paid attractions, priced at around 10 pounds each. It's advisable to book these attractions in advance as they tend to be very popular.


I first visited The Flower Dome, the world's largest glass greenhouse! It showcases native plants from diverse habitats, transporting visitors from the Mediterranean region to the vast savannahs of South Africa.


I was fascinated by Tulipmania, an annual floral display celebrating the beauty of tulips!


But the pinnacle of my visit was ascending to the Supertree Observatory, another very popular attraction at Gardens by the Bay.

Right at the top of the tallest Supertree, which is about the height of a 16-storey building, this observatory promised unparalleled views of the gardens and the Marina Bay area. All the Supertrees are sustainable vertical gardens housing over 162900 plants of over 200 species, and Seven of the Supertrees are designed to harvest solar energy. It is wonderful to see how Singapore always prioritises sustainability!

I was lucky that I was there at the perfect moment to witness the mesmerizing Garden Rhapsody, a spectacular light and sound show that transformed the Supertrees into a symphony of color and music! With 68 independent audio speakers scattered among the Supertrees and an array of colours, this breathtaking show transports you to a fantasy land.


When the show finished, I hopped back on a bike for a night-time ride back to the nearest bike station...

On my way there I passed by The Helix bridge illuminated. It is an iconic pedestrian bridge designed to resemble the structure of DNA!

I feel so grateful for all the unique memories I created here. Singapore is a lovely place to visit with so much to offer. But I had to say goodbye for now!



































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