I visited South East Asia over 8 years ago but the memories I made on that trip are as vivid as the day they were created. I travelled with my boyfriend and 4 of his mates so being the only girl was quite a thing! But we had the time of our lives and Singapore instantly became a part of my top 3 cities in the world. Here’s why.

The climate is intense but being a summer baby who can bask in the sunshine I was in my element. Even with humidity that reaches 80% (!) it’s a tropical urban jungle that your hair won’t love but your heart will fall in love with.

Singapore is a sovereign city-state, like Monaco, and is a small island off the coast of Malaysia. It’s also known as the Lion City, the Garden City and the Red Dot. It makes sense to me that it would be called the Garden City as it really is like an urban jungle. Sky scrapers with rooftop gardens are littered throughout the city, patches of lush green parks filled with playing children and lined avenues of trees make for a unique cityscape I’ve never experience before. Speaking of litter it is possibly the cleanest city I’ve ever been to!

A must visit when in Singapore is the island resort of Sentosa. The island hosts a number of amusement parks including Universal Studios, the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Adventure Cover Waterpark. If you have kids this is a great experience and will keep them busy for hours (and guarantee you a good nights sleep!)

A spot we thoroughly enjoyed on a night out was Clarke Quay – a historical riverside quay, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. I would compare the are to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town with a bustling vibe, great restaurants and cool little bars.

I possibly had the weirdest dining experience of my life in Singapore at a bar called The Clinic. So basically it’s like having drinks in a hospital. The question asked by the waiter was, “Would you like your sangria in an IV bag, or straight-up?” The tables are from an operating theatre and your seats are wheelchairs! It’s simply crazy! And a bit creepy I might add…

We ate the freshest crab, sipped on Singapore slings (the famous pink drink that any tourist has to take a picture with) and walked the promenade under the stars. It really was magical!

Now comes the shopping… possibly the highlight of my trip! Here I said goodbye to the boys and headed to Orchard Road – Asia’s most famous shopping mile. Sit down New York and London because this beats any shopping street I’ve encountered. From high-end brands like Prada and Chanel to Topshop and H&M, Orchard Road has it all.

A highlight is Tangs: one of the oldest department stores, established in 1932, the distinctive Chinese designed exterior of Tangs has evolved into a modern Asian lifestyle store that has found fame with international visitors. Its Beauty Hall stocks well-known brands and its home ware comprising Asian collectibles, gifts and decorative items appeal to visitors looking for unique souvenirs to take home.

It was a truly magical time as we were there in December and Christmas lights and decorations were abound unlike any I’ve ever seen before.

I must warn you, Singapore is not cheap. Possibly one of the most expensive cities I’ve visited. Drinks are at a premium, even the basics like beer and wine, so saving up for a trip to this city-state is a must. But well worth it!

There is always the option of getting a hotel that includes breakfast and stealing a piece of fruit or two for the day in order to save on snacking! You can definitely find decent accommodation options via websites like Expedia and Bookings.com.

You may find this surprising but a quant area in Sinapore is a place called Little India. Easy access by train (which by the way is a fab way to get around) will take you to some beautiful Temples and historical sites which adds a cultural element to your trip.

Altogether Singapore is a melting pot of modernism, cultural history and nature that is unlike any other city in the world. I would highly recommend it for a traveller looking for a varied experience who enjoys a bit of everything. Bon voyage!