Back to Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Skypark night panorama Singap...

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After a stint in Hong Kong, with a second dog in tow, we headed back to Singapore.

Luckily Singapore had changed its import and quarantine requirements since January 2010, which now allow qualified dogs to avoid or minimize quarantine. Coming from Hong Kong, if our dogs tested positive for the rabies antibody, they could bypass it entirely. The labs required that the tests be done at least one month after but within one year of the rabies vaccination.  With the timing, Creamy could take the test right away but Blackspot needed another rabies shot. As it turned out, both tested positive, much to our relief. And I’m sure, the dogs’ as well.

Leaving Hong Kong was much easier, having the dogs travel as excess baggage. It was quite a sight, I’m sure – two carts full of suitcases and bags and a dog crate each. Maneouvering these heavy trolleys was difficult, threatening to overturn at every corner with throngs of people pointing (and yes barking) at us.  Comedy in motion, but a full celebration as we looked forward to returning to clean air and fresh grass.

In our experience, finding a dog-friendly apartment in Singapore was usually not an issue.  It’s a temporary apartment with dogs that was a little more difficult. Only a few serviced apartments took large dogs but their prices were ridiculous. While we were away, Singapore had become a very expensive to live in.

We took this opportunity to rent in a new area. Before we left Singapore, we stayed at a friend’s in River Valley.  We enjoyed the riverside walks with Blackspot and the restaurant and bar lifestyle at night. This time we stayed in the CBD.

It may seem strange to stay with two large dogs in the business district but the walking routes are actually fantastic. Lots of green spaces and pedestrian walks around Marina Bay Sands.

Other walks include the Esplanade Park, Boat Quay, or a complete loop over the bridge, past Marina Bay Sands, and back to our place.  Pre-dawn walks was a great way to explore the CBD, without the normal work crowd and traffic. The Christmas decorations were still up, another excuse for pictures of my dogs. We even got lost in the labyrinth of the city centre, my sense of directions obscured by the dark.

We only really felt we were in the city on our afternoon walks, when the streets were full of suits. Most went about their business, while some stopped to smile. Many were simply confounded with fear, doing the back-and-forth dance undecided whether to run from the dogs or freeze in place. I had somewhat forgotten this fear of dogs, living in dog-friendly Discovery Bay, nicknamed Dogs and Babies (most people had either one or both).

We weren’t the only people who thought it was a great area for people and dogs. Creamy met her first friend in Singapore, another Golden Retriever. They would chase each other, roll on the grass, and wrestle, two golden balls in rough but friendly play.

With all the green spaces, Marina Bay was good for the girls.  With all the restaurants in the vicinity and my husband’s office close by, coordinating the dog’s evening meals with going out for the night for us was easy.  Despite it all, we were starting to miss the feel of a neighbourhood, with a more natural nature. As I sit here writing this post on our back patio, Creamy is lying by my feet. My windows are not closed to shut out the traffic noise. Instead we hear song birds and lingering raindrops on our awning and we feel the lightness in the air and a gentle breeze after a short downpour.


3 thoughts on “Back to Singapore

  1. We are about to relocate from Hong Kong to singapore… My research thus far hasn’t given a positive conclusion about the “dog-friendliness” extent of Singapore.. If anything, it tells it spells otherwise..have two English cockers that we brought over from Canada, they adjusted pretty well in HK’s Discovery Bay. Now, I am having difficulty looking for pet-friendly apartments. I was told by agents that Singaporean apartment owners generally do not want tenants with dogs. This makes it difficult With limited budget .. I like the east coast area where there are lots of greenery and I see dogs running leash free at times along the promenade. Would you know of other similar areas where rental is less steep, say less than SGD4.5k?

    Also how did your dogs adjust to the heat and humidity in Singapore?

    • Hi Sue!
      Coming from Canada Asia in general is a shock. Singapore in general cannot compare to Dogs and Babies. That’s for sure. There are definitely a growing community of dogs and dog lovers here. I know lots of renters with dogs. Cocker Spaniels are also quite “small” so that is a bonus for finding an apartment. It is also easier looking for something “on the ground”. East Coast is a good place because of East Coast Park and various neighbour green spots. Your budget is good. Do keep in mind you can and should negotiate and what’s posted is usually higher than what you can settle on in the end. Don’t be discouraged or deterred if agents say it is no pets. We narrowed it and depending on the “feel” of the place/owner/agent we ask about the dogs upfront. We looked at a ton of places when we first came and only had one or two say no!

      Singapore is more dog friendly than it seems. Still a long way to go… Good luck and let me know?

      Ps with the heat-many short walks to slowly acclimatize them and air con only when it is hot – so not 24/7, but weaned them off gradually. We walk in the morning and night and only short pee breaks during the day. It does get cool, believe or not but the rainy season is pretty much over so hotter now.

      There are lots of spaniels here. It’s the ears that need to watch out for, which I’m sure you already know from being in HK.

      Funny we were just reminiscing about out Mui Wo walks this morning!

    • Sorry I meant to ask if you are able to stay in a services apartment like Great World for a month. I don’t want to sound judgmental but those agents may just not want to “work for it”. There are many agents who are fine with it.

      Other spots would be further out. It depends on what else you are looking for – schools, convenience… Will you have a car? Upper Bukit Timah is quite green as well. Generally further from central is easier. I wouldn’t give up on any one area until you are on the ground looking…

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