As our daughter and family live abroad we have been privileged to stay with them in various countries; the US, the UAE and now Singapore. One of the most interesting challenges we have faced has been to cope with different weather and traditions. Visiting Chicago the worst of the winter weather can be avoided by going spring time or autumn, also the same can be said of Dubai but for a different reason - avoiding the worst of the heat during the summer.
Staying in Singapore is a whole different ball game as the country is so near the equator. The weather is more or less the same all year round. This means it’s hot and steamy, with temperatures ranging from 28C at night to 35C during the day.
After being there a few days, and melting under a hat, we noticed that the locals used umbrellas to keep the sun off. This allows the air to move around and keeps arms and shoulders safe from sunburn; it also has an added benefit of sheltering from the frequent sudden and very heavy rainstorms.
Clothes should be light and easily washed as they need frequent washing. Also shoes need to be comfortable, as feet swell in the heat, and also waterproof.
As with other hot places, there are biting mosquitoes, which although not malarial, can transmit Dengue fever, so it’s essential to apply Deet or some other insect cream. The government does what it can to try to keep mosquitoes down by spraying with insecticide and making sure residents don’t have standing water around to allow them to breed, but inevitably bites happen so don’t forget the antihistamine cream.
All this makes it sound like a most unpleasant place to visit but it’s not. The locals are really friendly and most welcoming. The city is beautiful and lush. There are many flowering trees with ferns growing in the branches and the Frangipane gives the place a delightful perfume.
Although it is supposed to be the most expensive city in the world, it need not break the bank. There are many places to eat reasonably priced meals, such as the Hawkers’ market, where the food is very cheap and among the best. Certainly it’s where the locals eat.
Public transport is again very reasonable, air conditioned and clean. Buy an EZ Link card to swipe in and out. This can be topped up and reused.
Living and being with our grandchildren has opened our eyes, seeing things in a whole new world. Living somewhere is an entirely different experience to travelling through somewhere. The children, now aged seven and five, have no preconceived ideas and notice things that would otherwise go unnoticed. It adds an added dimension to the travel experience when you have a small child as your tour guide.
Down with Dengue Fever - what are the symptoms?
Taking Tiffin: The Tiffin Room at Raffles Hotel
Top ten activities in Singapore