Why you don’t like Singapore (it’s not what you think)

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Why you don’t like Singapore (it’s not what you think)

merlion singapore

Why you don’t like Singapore (it’s not what you think)


When people tell me that they don’t like Singapore, I have one response for them: That’s because you didn’t see Singapore with me. I take you to the historic old neighborhoods, the best local hawker centers, and the most interesting sights.


Alright if Singapore is too sterile or uptight for you, give me a chance to show you otherwise. In one week I’ll be leading a small group of travelers on a tour through Singapore and Malaysia. We’ll hit up all the best eating spots, show your the best of the old and new architecture, drop into a museum or two, and see why Singapore is called Garden City.


If you can’t take this tour, we’ll run it again next year or consider our similar tours to Taiwan, Borneo, and Colombia.


Singapore via Instagram


To give you an idea of what life is like in Singapore and the kind of places we’ll take you on our tour, I’ve compiled my favorite Instagram photos (from my mobile phone) from Singapore. Enjoy and be sure to leave a message in the comment section if you’ve ever been to Singapore or if you’d like to go some day.


This post is part of an Instagram series I’ve published including: Myanmar via Instagram and Kolkata (Calcutta) via Instagram. If you’re interested in improving your mobile photography, read: 5 Easy Tips to Improve your Mobile Photography




Something special was going on at the Hindu Temple today.

It was a busy day at the Hindu Temple in Little India, but this man was on the side watching for a moment of calm.

At the Hindu Temple this morning in Little India, Singapore.

What I love about traveling, and especially about a place as diverse as Singapore is the fact that if you just start wandering, you’ll find something interesting. I’ve been to Singapore five times now, and have never seen this Hindu Temple so active.

More scenes from Little India.

Produce stalls like this line the under-cover five footway in Little India.

Little #India #pure #veg

You’ll find different vegetables in Little India compared to the rest of Singapore.

don't like Singapore

Backstreet scene in Little India.

don't like Singapore

This mosque at the border between Little India and Kampung Glam was built by the Malabar Muslims of Kerala, India.

Saturday, late afternoon along the Singapore River.

Saturday, late afternoon, at Clarke Quay, one of Singapore’s nightlife districts.

Saturday evening on the Singapore River.

The Singapore River on a Saturday evening. Marina Bay Sands in the distance.

don't like Singapore

Singapore’s financial district by night.

Saturday night fireworks in Singapore.

By chance we were treated to fireworks over Marina Bay Sands.

This is what hiking in Singapore looks like.

Singapore has a surprisingly large amount of green space. Take a hike through the Southern Ridges.

Up on Singapore's Southern Ridges this morning. Nice day for a hike with my brother.

The Singapore skyline is seen from only a small portion of the Southern Ridges.

Flower in Singapore.

Singapore’s tropical climate allows lots of flowers to bloom year-round.

don't like Singapore

Don’t miss the spectacular Henderson Waves Bridge, one of the many architectural highlights of the city.

Old style lunch boxes.

Old-style Chinese lunch boxes.

National Geographic photo from the old days when they trained monkeys to climb palms to pick coconuts.

Primates were used to climb palms to collect coconuts.

1952 newsboy Singapore

This photo is part of a collection of National Geographic photos at the National Museum.


The Botanical Gardens are a great place to go for a long walk. And they’re free!

don't like Singapore

Many Chinese burn incense at the temple.

Visiting the Temple in Chinatown, Singapore.

The faithful come to the Buddha tooth relic Temple in Chinatown.

Daily ritual in Chinatown. #Singapore

Everyday retired Chinese men gather to play checkers outside the temple in Chinatown.

The oldest mosque in Singapore is in Chinatown.

The oldest mosque in Singapore is located in Chinatown.

Praying at the oldest mosque in #Singapore

Muslims are called to prayer five times per day.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay is now one of the most popular sights in the city.

Have you seen the view from the top of Marina Bay Sands?

Do as most do–stare up in wonder at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

#Singapore #skyline

You can get this view from the bar on top of the Marina Bay Sands.

View from the top of Marina Bay Sands looking down at Garden's by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay was built on land reclaimed from the sea.

If you're in the mood for indoor time, Singapore is a good option.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid the malls in Singapore.

#bicycle #Singapore #backstreets

If you look hard enough, you’ll find little pockets of old world among the modernity in Singapore.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. rebecca says:

    I bet this tour would be pretty good. The photos look promising!

  2. Pamela says:

    You are making me proud to be living in this vibrant city! 😀

  3. Stephen Bugno says:

    You should be, Pamela! I get excited every time I visit Singapore. Sure I like the new, modern Singapore, (and the fact that everything works smoothly) but what I love most of all is exploring the neighborhoods where the old cultures are alive and strong. I tell people if they don’t find something interesting in Singapore, it’s because they haven’t looked hard enough.

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