Travel: Guide to Singapore

 

Singapore is a mega-city, but it’s also a country all of its’ own.

A high-tech oasis nestled on the end of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is the business hub of South East Asia. For guys who want to move to Asia to enjoy it’s delights without dealing with the hassle of the developing world – Singapore is the best place you can be….if you have the cash for it!

Fast paced, metropolitan and developed to a level that puts most Western nations to shame, Singapore is the choice destination for high-income expats, businessmen and tourists looking for a break from the grind of living in surrounding nations.

So what is there for a man thinking of travelling to Singapore? Why should you add it to your list of places to go in Asia? What does it offer that Bangkok, Manila or Jakarta doesn’t?

I’ll cover that and more in this article. Enjoy.

The Lowdown on Singapore

Singapore is pretty small when compared with its neighbours. It’s only really one city and a little surrounding area, but it packs a hell of a lot of punch in that it has everything you could ever ask from a single city.

Singapore has a metropolitan, high-tech feel as soon as you step out of the doors of Changi International airport (where you could easily spend a day in itself), and into the hot, steaming tropical air.

Take the sky train into town in a nice, air-conditioned, modern unit and before you know it you are in the heart of the South East Asian financial capital. The affluence is obvious – giant malls, sky bridges and uninformed order unseen in surrounding countries.

Virtually every modern convenience imaginable is available in Singapore right along Orchard Road. This is where the mega malls are and a lot of the entertainment venues, too.

Singapore is also split into a mix of ethnic “sub-cities”. You can visit little India, Chinatown or the Malay-dominated areas and feel like you are in completely different countries.

One of the best things about the city is the fact that absolutely everything is connected by a fast, reliable, no BS underground metro system which means you don’t have the manic traffic and pollution you have in other surrounding countries. It’s easy to get from A-B, and this is a big attraction for many.

When night falls Singapore has a wild side, too. You can see all the pretty ladies out on the street trying to lure you into whatever bar or club they are working for, but don’t fall for it, they are either prostitutes or working for the club and getting a fee for everyone they bring in who spends money. There is endless nightlife to choose from in Singapore if you’re single or just love to go out and club. The nightlife scene isn’t as good as Jakarta or Bangkok, but you won’t get bored easily, either.

Add to all this that there is virtually no crime due to the insanely strict laws and Singapore could be very attractive indeed.

The cost of Living in Singapore

With quality comes a price tag to match, and Singapore is no exception.

There’s a reason why Chiang Mai and Cebu are as cheap as they are. Electricity blackouts every time there’s a storm, flooding, traffic and general BS to deal with all come with the territory.

In Singapore you won’t face any of that but you will pay a hefty price tag to keep all these first world services running. Singapore can cost just as much as some major Western cities.

An apartment is going to set you back at least $2000 per month for something small, and climbs up to $10,000 and above for luxury. A meal out (let’s say fish and chips) and a single beer could cost you $20-$30 and a taxi across the city could cost you $70-$80.

If you go eating and drinking in the Marina Bay Sands area, expect those prices to double. It’s an expensive city and is certainly not for the broke guy looking to launch his startup on a shoestring.

Singapore is for those who have made it or are in the process of making it. You need a fat stack of cash to be comfortable here.

Meeting Women in Singapore

Meeting women in Singapore is not a problem, much like in the rest of Asia there are millions of young, beautiful and available women.

For a young, attractive and ambitious guy, you’ll have no problem finding a beautiful Singaporean girlfriend or just casually dating.

If you’re a fat, pot-bellied old dude looking for some twenty-something ass, head to Bangkok or Phnom Penh and you’ll have better luck.

As I mentioned before Singapore is jam-packed with clubs, bars and malls. Just walk around and you will see stunningly beautiful women everywhere you look. One of the best parts is the ethnic mix in Singapore represents the whole of Asia – there are Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Filipina and just about every mix in between here. The girls are amazing, as you will see about ten seconds after stepping out the front doors of Changi airport.

If you want to meet girls to hang out with there before you get there try www.dateinasia.com or www.asiancupid.com

Opportunity in Singapore

Singapore is not the city for startup entrepreneurs, as I mentioned before.

If you are a serious businessman with a lot of cash to invest and want to open a hotel, bar or restaurant, however, Singapore could be just the place for you. The city is endlessly busy due to being a transit point for nearly every country in the region and many international flights stopping over, and it is the most stable, transparent and least corrupt country in Asia.

You’ll need 10k a month minimum balance just to open a bank account with HSBC, though! Like I said, it’s not for amateurs.

Other opportunities in Singapore are in the teaching and banking sectors. Just like most countries in the region (and in my opinion how it should be everywhere), you can’t come here and take a job from a Singaporean. You have to actually offer skills and expertise which local people don’t have in order to land a position.

There’s opportunity here for the right people with the right skills. For everyone else, sorry, but you’re out of luck.

Visas and Legal Stuff

Singapore has awesome visa rules in that pretty much anyone gets 30 days free on arrival.

Add to this the fact that you can just take a bus to KL (a couple of hours) or a quick flight for a weekend anywhere in Asia and then come back again and it’s too easy.

Most people do it the other way round, however, coming down to Singapore for a quick R&R before heading back into whatever pit they have relocated themselves to work on whatever it is they are trying to start or build.

Summary

Singapore is not as “chaotic” and “adventurous” as other places in Asia. There are no ping-pong shows with girls shooting objects out of their ahems like in Bangkok and no crazy volcanoes to scale like in Indonesia.

It’s a sanitized, organized, business-oriented city. Everything costs but everything is quality. It is a place to rest and relax, gather yourself and go back into the frontier countries surrounding it.

If you’re a high-level professional or wealthy businessman and you want a dumbed-down South East Asia experience, or if you’re a first timer who wants to enter Asia without immediately losing their mind, Singapore could be the way to go.

I like to visit the place and enjoy taking a time out once or twice a year there, but I honestly wouldn’t live there. It just isn’t as exciting as Indonesia or The Philippines, but that being said it sure is nice to take a couple of days out sometimes and sip a Singapore sling in a pool overlooking the entire city, thinking about what to do and where to go next.

All in all Singapore is well worth the visit! Who knows….you might even stay a while 😉

Desire. Decide. Persist.

G-Freedom

16 Comments

  1. I’ve never been! I’m in Melbourne at the moment so should make the relatively short trip soon!

    • You’ll love it. If you’ve never been to South East Asia it is the place to start. It’s kind of a “gateway” between the Western world and Asia. North past The Singapore border it is pure chaos (but sheer excitement).

  2. I’ve never been! I’m in Melbourne at the moment so should make the relatively short trip soon!

    • You’ll love it. If you’ve never been to South East Asia it is the place to start. It’s kind of a “gateway” between the Western world and Asia. North past The Singapore border it is pure chaos (but sheer excitement).

  3. Another great, well-informed article…Singapore has always been on my list.

    Curious, what’s your take on teaching English there for us that are TEFL certified?

    Thanks

    • Rico…I used to be an English teacher myself. Singapore was always somewhere I thought of teaching, but you’ll need a BA degree in an English related subject and a good, certified TEFL. My friend taught there for 2 years and she lived a very nice life. It was busy, 6 days a week and she had to shoot between multiple locations, but from the times I visited her she looked as if she was having a very good time!

    • Just an FYI: teaching English there wouldn’t be like teaching it in other Asian countries as English is the national language and everyone speaks it.

  4. Another great, well-informed article…Singapore has always been on my list.

    Curious, what’s your take on teaching English there for us that are TEFL certified?

    Thanks

    • Rico…I used to be an English teacher myself. Singapore was always somewhere I thought of teaching, but you’ll need a BA degree in an English related subject and a good, certified TEFL. My friend taught there for 2 years and she lived a very nice life. It was busy, 6 days a week and she had to shoot between multiple locations, but from the times I visited her she looked as if she was having a very good time!

    • Just an FYI: teaching English there wouldn’t be like teaching it in other Asian countries as English is the national language and everyone speaks it.

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