Singapore is Boring (There, I said it.)

I usually don’t believe in a place being “boring”. I’m more likely to blame the person being bored than their location. But I’m making an exception. Singapore is boring.

Going out with friends. It’s the best fun to be had anywhere, right? Well in Singapore, it comes at a price. Going out here is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. Ryan and I went to dinner at Clarke Quay, and one of the numerous seafood places along the water. We got dinner and each had a beer for… $114 US. Holy crap.

Saturday night I went out with Jill, a friend of Kerry‘s. I got us each a drink – something basic like a vodka-cran. $26 US. As in, twenty-six dollars. Of course, we got more than one drink that night, not to mention cabs to two other clubs. We had a good time, but going out in SIngapore is not for the faint-of-wallet. Apparently alcohol’s so expensive because the government taxes it to death.

Several people I talked to Saturday night conceded that Singapore was rather expensive and bland. One fellow however, loves SIngapore. I asked him why and it quickly became clear: he travels regularly all over Asia. I can see Singapore being a comfortable, convenient base in between travels.

The great outdoors. It’s not so much hot as it is humid. 80°F sounds pleasant, but at 80% humidity a nice film of sweat covers me within about 5 minutes of going outside and doesn’t go anywhere. It didn’t stop me from biking around Pulau Ubin all day, but that once was really enough. If Singapore were 10 degrees cooler, it’d be a totally different place. Unfortunately, this tropical rainforest climate never changes. Ever.

So what to do? If going out is too expensive and going outside is too uncomfortable, after a few requisite touristy things, then what’s left? I came across this humorous article, “The top 10 most boring things to do in Singapore.”

So what do Singaporeans like about it? Aside from it being “home” where friends and family are, I’m not sure. I just read a blog post called, “Stuff I like about Singapore”, which you can find by googling “Stuff I Like About Singapore | Stuff Singaporeans Like” I don’t want to link it, cause a pingpack, and make the author mad, because she looks like a very nice girl. Her entire list consists of McDonald’s, air conditioning, the airport, the subway and hawker food. And somehow proves my point.

Singapore: you’re nice, clean, safe and way too boring to have been here 5 weeks. I tried to like you, I really did.

18 thoughts on “Singapore is Boring (There, I said it.)

  1. I can’t help it, but I really do enjoy reading this. I’m Singaporean by the way, and usually only locals said it is boring cause we’ve been everywhere (Singapore is small) that we don’t really know where else to “explore” Nice entry by the way ^^

  2. I don’t get why foreigners like to equate “going out” with “drinking”. Just don’t order alcohol if you want to save money. If you can’t hang out and have fun without booze, then booze has become a crutch for you.

    • That’s a really good point! I think for me, drinking is more a social habit than anything. Also, it can be awkward being the only person not drinking. (“Ooh! Why aren’t you drinking?! Is it your religion? Do you have cirrhosis?”) Thanks for your comment. I think I’ll take your advice.

      • I guess you could grab a few pals and head out for a good cup of local coffee and laksa once in a while, and sooner or later it’ll become part of the social calendar, sans alcohol. 😉 Have fun in our lil island!

  3. So you equate boring with things you can’t afford…hmmmm, new perspective! So this means it is not boring if you can afford it?

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  7. Preach!

    It’s always a trade-off though. I’ve found, for some reason, the more modern the infrastructure, the more oppressive and controlling the government. Part of the reason Singapore is so boring is that the government hasn’t really allowed free thought or liberal thinking. It’s gotten a little better in recent years, but you pay the price regarding creativity and a vibrant social scene, if you want to control everybody and keep everything “tidy”. Take a slight step down in infrastructure and cleanliness, but a somewhat more open government, and you get Hong Kong. Finally, if you are willing to put up with even a grungier version of Singapore but a much more intellectually free and bohemian Sino-centric island, go to Taiwan. You know if the mayor of Taipei (and now President of Taiwan) was willing to be Grand Marshall in the Taipei Gay Pride parade (could you imagine any dowdy, conservative Singaporean leader doing the same?), this is a place where you can let yourself loose and have fun (plus the natural scenery is so much better, and you get actual seasons, depending where you are on the island).

    This is who I think are their sister cities are in the U.S.:

    Singapore — Kansas City/Salt Lake City – modern, clean, stay within the lines!
    Hong Kong — New York City/Chicago – modern, hairy, but exciting
    Taipei — San Francisco/Seattle – modern, grungy, “they let you do what?!”

  8. Complaining about heat and humidity when you are visting a country that is 1 degree above the equator is pretty silly. What did you expect? 4 seasons and snow? It’s like going to the North pole and complaining it is too cold. The weather is the weather, you can’t blame a country and it’s people for the climate. If you wanted cooler weather you should have done your research and not visited a country in the tropics.
    Also, complaining that a country is boring because you can’t afford to holiday there says you did not do your research again. Singapore is an expensive city, like Tokyo, like Dubai etc. If you wanted a cheap holiday then Singapore is not for you. Tax on alcohol and cigarettes is high, that is a known fact. So you can’t get drunk therefore it is boring?
    No where have I seen you mention any attempt to explore the multi-culturism that SIngapore has to offer. Did you try visting any of the ethnic areas, sample the cuisine, look round the shops in Chinatown/Little India/Arab Street.
    I am not surprised you are bored. You went to Singapore looking for the wrong things and did not take advantage of the wonderful melting pot of SE Asia culture you can find on this island. Why come all the way here to drink when you can do that back home?
    There are people who travel and soak in the local culture of a country and there are people who just get on a plane to go to another country to do the same things that they do back home and complain when they can’t. That is not travelling.

  9. Absoulutely what brandy has said before in the last post singapore is a an amazing country but for people whocan appreciate it and believe me ordinary and ignorant people are definitely not for singapore thats it.I myself have been there for 7 times and i know what am talking about.If you just want to drink and have that type of fun simply dont visit stay
    out ofsingapore or maybe just stay drinking at home

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