I was at a point that comes in everyone’s life, after slow travel in the high Himalayas of Ladakh, Spiti, Lahaul and other offbeat destinations (offbeat at that time), my family had began to feel slightly worried about my solo sojourns. I was making a lot of money, and yet wasn’t spending anything that could befit my status as a rich man.
Read : Travel memories of 2015
They repeatedly coaxed me to spend more on my vacations and not roam around like a backpacker. I did that by experimenting with gourmet food at chic eateries in Goa.
I had originally been looking at flying to Europe, but due to cheap airfares to Singapore and Thailand opted for the latter and how glad in retrospect that I did. It was pure adventure after reaching the plush Changi airport in Singapore; the guy who was supposed to pick me up had decided not to turn up and left me to experiment with the Singapore Metro.
I was booked at the Marina Bay Sands and somehow made my way to this extravagant place located in the prime area of Singapore. If memory serves me right, the cheapest room was priced at $250. In hindsight, this stay was instrumental in me becoming the type of traveller that I now am. Know more About Me.
I was in a lavish structure that was made of concrete with a dazzling skyline view of Singapore. Yet my heart kept yearning for the simplicity of a family homestay somewhere else. The bed was fluffy and very comfortable, yet the air conditioned environment shackled me.
‘If life was meant to be lived in four walls of a hotel, then all millionaires would die happy.’
The bathroom was jazzy with temperature controlled baths sending me into a tizzy. My simple brain could hardly comprehend the complexity and either ended up with scalding hot water or ice cold splashes.
There were three or four in-house restaurants and I could savour breakfast to my heart’s content. Also, we Indians (especially when we are travelling) try and make best use of available resources and I did the same by opting to gorge on the beautiful spread (So that lunch was automatically skipped!)
The top floor of Marina Bay Sands called Sands SkyPark was the star attraction, it was perched on the 57th floor and the elevator zipped through to the top. There was an infinity pool with stunning views of the Singapore Skyline, an observation deck and the fancy restaurant Ku De Ta (Since renamed CÉ LA VI). Residents of Marina Bay Sands could dine at Ku De Ta, otherwise it attracted an entry fee of 100SGD for outsiders!
I stayed for 2 nights and some of my favourite parts were :
Walking around the colossal lobby looking upwards at the beautiful ceiling
Savouring the aroma(s) of various cuisines roaming near the restaurants
Jacuzzi at Infinity Pool at Sands SkyPark
Night views of Singapore skyline from the observation deck
Spa, steam and sauna treatments
My mind constantly went back to my backpacker sojourns as my businessman bent of mind started comparing the costs involved vis-a-vis the experience. It was also an eye opener in terms of the beauty of India and the joys of exploring my own country rather than going abroad. I decided I wanted to explore more of India before laying foot on foreign lands.
Also check : Himalayan boy goes to the islands of Thailand
Read : Romancing the monsoon in Corbett
4 Comments Add yours
How do you transition between the lost wilderness of the mountains and the frantic bustle of the buildings? Is it very difficult or very easy?
Hey! As I mentioned, this was many years ago. In my current state, I feel the wilderness in my heart when I am amidst the frantic bustle of buildings. I prefer to remain in calm places even when I am in the city. Too many people scare me.